Sunday, 1 March 2009

Virtual Machines Year 12

One of the exercises that i do with my year 12 programming students is get them to use an unlocked down version of windows xp, this means that get the right click and all the features, not the managed version that we use on our desktops. We use Virtual PC 2004 to allow us to do this. It means that we can get a better compare and contrast from the students as they use two operating systems, it also means that they can have the two operating systems running at the same time. the other operating system that I get them to use is Ubuntu 7.04, I know it is an old version but that is what I had available to me this time last year, Students are able to play, have fun and destroy the copy is needed.

This year I also require to get it running in a second room, the copy and paste method from one computer to the network share on the others caused me a great deal of suffering this year with errors popping up all over the place, this was solved by copying the folders to two servers, to balance out the load. It then required that I log into every machine and do the copy and paste on it. This has also revealed that the other classroom has some issues with network points not working, yet another email to the helpdesk to come and sort it out.

It is a good way to get students looking at various operating systems, i just wish I had mac OS running in a virtual environment. Then we can compare and contrast three operating systems which is required at level 3 in Unit Standard 2783.

Bring on Tuesday when I use this with my class, and bring on tomorrow when it is used in the other room.

Just some figures now, the two Virtual Hard Drives come in at around 8-9 G, that means that I am moving approx 660gig around the network and it is still holding strong, though I would like to put this on a server that is in this block rather than taking it down the fibre from another area of the school (Like the furthest end of the school). Which is what I just realised I am doing... Whoops.

I have to now look at pushing out vmware player to be able to handle usb support so we can push out the software required to run the xbox controllers. Next step will be XNA with C# to run the development. Also needed is an virtual hard drive to run visual basic. Though i would like to run a terminal service environment such as what was running at a school a number of years ago that I was involved with. In their situation that had fat client machines running that linked into the terminal services environment and also had citrix thin clients running. Only problem was that the programming students learning delphi would develop application that would loop infinite and crash the entire system causing everyone that had logged in to lose their work.

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