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Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Category Archives: Home Office

Make Your own Offline Windows Update CD/DVD

What a handy tool; if you download the app you can select which Microsoft OS/Applications you need patches for and it will download them all via the Windows online catalog to a source directory and then compile a script to auto install them all – it will even generate a .ISO file and handle dependencies and reboots – v.handy (and more efficient) if you need to quickly present it to a bunch of virtual machines with no Internet access or are on a site with slow internet access.

Excellent; now as far as I know Microsoft have no mechanism for doing this other than downloading all the patches manually… even with the Vista RTM images I built last week it had nearly 100Mb of OS patches alone!

Screenshot of the available options in the app – download it here here (updated 14th Sept’09)

OS Updates – multi-language too

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Office Suite Updates too

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You can even get all the patches for everything and it will compile it into a DVD .ISO image – I’ll definitely be using this – hopefully you can use the info it downloads to slipstream update a vista .WIM image – will have to try that in a couple of weeks.

(original link from a post on slashdot)

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Performance Update on Cheap ESX PC

 

I’ve not done anything with my home ESX server this week as I’ve been busy with work; so this will be interesting – it’s been powered up all the time with all the VM’s spinning; but not doing very much.

CPU Utilisation

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Memory Utilisation

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Disk Utilisation

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Whist running this set of VMs.. (the CPU stats for VMEX01 and VMEX02 are a bit skewed as I added this bit after the original post and they are both running seti@home (hence increased CPU)

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So, nothing interesting to see here – but might be worth bearing in mind for some kind of sizing estimate; this is a single core CPU (HT enabled) PC with 4Gb RAM and a single 500Gb SATA disk

Hopefully I will get some time this week to load up SETI@Home or Folding@Home and see what that does 🙂 it should be a good test to see how well the hypervisor manages CPU timesharing between hosts.

Split Screen Browsing with Firefox

 

My home office setup has a 20″ widescreen Dell TFT which I use with my laptop an elevated docking station – my laptop has a rather low screen resolution as it’s quite small so this is a great dual monitor setup. The widescreen is handy for keeping a web browser open for referring to online documentation or and working on documents or large Visio diagrams.

The only gripe is that a lot of web pages (like the BBC) waste a lot of the widescreen real-estate as they format (or don’t re-format) for different screen resolutions.

The Split Browser Plugin for Firefox (my favourite browser) that allows you to essentially have multiple browser sessions and sub-tabs in one full-screen Window.

it has load of options – if the screen layout gets a bit confusing you can bring all the split pages back to one window with multiple tabs and vice-versa.

Screenshot

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The (also useful) IETab plug in means some of those sub-pages can also be rendered using IE – but all within Firefox.

Firefox has such a good community of developers and I have always been able to find a plug-in that does exactly the odd-feature I “need”.

Brilliant.