Virtual worlds

I listen to the VirginWorlds pod cast every week and Brent is always talking about the different virtual worlds available in cyberspace. The main focus of the pod cast is MMOGs or “Massively Multiplayer Online Games” for the uninitiated.

If you’ve read some of my posts about EQ2 you will know that I spent a lot of time playing a few years ago. Then I moved over to SOEs new online trading card game called Legends of Norrath. Then, together with one of my colleagues, I started playing Magic The Gathering and moved completely away from online games and into the world of paper cards.

I still play Magic, usually at least once a week, but right now I am very very busy studying to complete my masters and I have almost no time for anything else (except ice hockey.)

But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about another kind of virtual world. Who would ever have thought of having virtual computers? Actually I get the impression that the idea has been around for quite a while, probably ever since there was more than one operating system available and someone wanted to run them both at once on the same machine. I have recently set up a virtual PC with Sun’s VirtualBox software. I have Red Hat Linux running as a guest inside a virtual machine running on Windows XP. Pretty awesome?

Sun xVM VirtualBox

Sun xVM VirtualBox

I think that that’s pretty awesome. It makes life a lot easier. It is no longer necessary to reboot to change operating systems and it is possible, with a bit of knowledge and some trial and error, to configure the virtual machine so that it has exactly the same functionality as a real machine. You can even offer network services running on the virtual machine and make them available to the outside world! Nifty, but I strongly suggest reading the manual from cover to cover and experimenting a lot before planning your final implementation.

I now need to determine which will be better:

  1. Linux host with Windows guest?
  2. Windows host with Linux guest?
Categories: Everything, Sysadmin | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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