Monthly Archives: July 2016

Windows 7 VM

Yesterday I finished getting my final virtual machine running headless on my server. This one is my Windows 7 VM, which I really do not need running 24/7, but that never stopped me from before. Fortunately Linux has a really good Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) client called Vinagre, so I did not have to do anything particular beyond activating RDP in Windows to access the VM across the network.

Moving all my VM’s to a dedicated server was the one of the best things I have done in the last few years. I see now why VM’s are becoming so popular. They are not that tough to get up and running, they make managing multiple machines very easy and I can allocate just the resources needed for each machine. Most modern machines have more than enough CPU cycles and memory to run several VM’s. A 6 core processor with 16 GB of RAM runs my three VM’s with plenty to spare, so if need be, I can add another one later on.

BBS, past and future

Over the last several weeks I have spent a lot of time working on my little corner of the internet. I built a new server, one specifically designed to house virtual machines and run with little need of maintenance or even outside interference. I have been running my web site on a virtual machine for some time now, this something I do not want to modify much or add services to, I just want it to run this blog, my gaming wiki and perhaps at some point I will add some forum software to add another dimension to my Friday night game.

I have since, built a second virtual machine, this VM is where I do all the stupid things, things that are not as secure as they could be, things that could potentially screw with other things. In other words, this is not my production server. Right now the only thing it does is run Mystic BBS. You can access it via telnet, but there is nothing on it at this time. I originally started messing with this software as a prop for my Cyberpunk game, but as time went on, I never really used it for that. During the process of researching old BBS software, I came across an blog post that discussed the future if BBSing.

http://www.bbscorner.com/future/

Let me be very specific about his, BBSing has not future outside of being a niche hobby. BBS’s have already been replaced with better software, better interfaces, and better methods of access. The BBS scene died not because it was particularly bad, it had just become obsolete. The only reason there are still telnet BBS in existence, is for the same reason there are still Commodore 64 hobbyists. They don’t do it because it is better, they do it because it gives a feeling of nostalgia, it gives them a little piece of “The Good Old Days” back. There is nothing wrong with this, but it needs to be kept in perspective.

The Headless Horsemen

Today, I finally got around to figuring out how to run my VMs at startup, rather than having to start them manually each time. This allows me to run the server completely headless now, with no keyboard, mouse or monitor. I control the system using either secure shell for a command line or VNC if I happen to need the desktop for something. I suppose at this point, I could remove X Windows (Xorg) from the server and manage it purely from the command line, but frankly, I am old and I do not like to mess around with stuff that much anymore. So there you go, a server as god intended it to be.

server0

As you can see, I am nowhere near putting a decent load on it. I originally thought I would need 32 GB of RAM, but looking at this, I think 16 GB is maybe a bit overkill. I may set it up to run my Windows 7 VM automatically so it is always available, but frankly, I use Windows so little, I am not sure its worth the effort.

Things my Grand Niece Learned Last Week

My Niece brought out an ice cream sandwich and told me it would cost me $5, I offered her $1, I was perfectly willing to go to $3, she held fast at $5, I went and got my own ice cream sandwich, I then offered her 50 cents for the  ice cream sandwich she had.

The lesson learned; “Never refuse to negotiate with an Italian.”