but first

Virtual Box system settings
Time to back up a moment, and take it from the top.

If you've already got Virtual Box downloaded and installed, you may just want to take a pass on this one.

Or if your preference for having a virtual machine up and running is VMWare® that is perfectly fine as well.

VMWare® is a fine product, and quite popular as well. At work we have quite a few virtual servers hosted on VMWare® and it works fine, lasts a long time.

The business end of that deal falls under another team's responsibility area so professionally, my dealings with that particular program are quite limited. Last time I really gave it half an effort at a "kick the tires" check out from a system administrator perspective, it was quite a long time ago. The offerings have changed so I'd be fairly certain its quite a bit different now. Was trying out the free workstation (?) version, and it was OK but the admin console was not fond of working in Firefox so there were a few glitches.

Anyways, time to move along.

If the Virtual Box software has been downloaded, but not installed, go ahead and fire up the installer. There will be gripes about the software not being a Microsoft© certified program, but for me and my desktop that is no big thing to be concerned about. Not really up on the details of whats required to get a passing mark on that deal but I'd be fairly certain that its not a task that could be qualified as quick, nor would it be an easy one by any stretch of the imagination.

The installer will also pop your network hardware and/or drivers a few times during the install as well, it adds its own network adapter, with a DHCP setup, and a few other things, to give out IP addresses to the virtual guest machines.

For Windows 7, it will probably need a startup via the right click/run as Administrator trail as well. Can't tell for sure, have not installed virtual box on the Boss' (She Whom Must Be Obeyed) desktop just yet, and not certain that it would be a good idea, or not, to do so. And when Mama's Not Happy, No Body's Happy. 'Nuff said.

I'm still stuck with XP. As are many of the work mates, we can all be quite stubborn (or maybe just lazy) at times. Find something to use, like it, or not, but get used to it and drive it 'till the wheels fall off. A couple things with the Windows 7 changes annoy me, like for a program used often, drop it onto the task bar short cuts. Fine.

But if you want another instance of that same program up and running, now one must right click, and navigate that menu. Arrrrgh. And what happened to the show desktop shortcut? Oh, its still there, some where ... but different. Arrrrgh. Just when you get used to something, maybe even like it a bit, the powers that be decide it needs to be changed. But first ...

Get used to working the command line. A CUI can be your friend, as good keyboarding skills are usually quite a good thing to have handy. Especially for unix and linux systems, there are many ways and means around a command line interface that can be so much more efficient. A graphical user interface might be familiar, and easy to navigate (if you know where to start digging) but there are some places where command line is much more efficient with tasks, given a bit of experience and knowledge, than a GUI interface.

cmd.exe properties dialog box
cmd.exe Properties dialog
So fire up your cmd.exe box.

One way, click Start/run and just type in cmd and press enter. Or cmd.exe and press enter.

Or dig through the Programs then Accessories program group, its not too much different for Win7.

Bring up the Properties dialog box by doing a click, left or right, on the drive:backslash icon in the top left corner, hit the Properties item.

You might like cmd.exe a bit better after enabling QuickEdit mode. And there just might be one or two things in that old school ms-dos QuickEdit mode that I like even better than Linux. Really.

Be sure to visit the Layout tab, bump up the Height and Width values, and when it comes to width, just like Pontiac™, Wider Is Better. On the Font tab, Lucida Console is nice, if available, set a happy font size for your comfort, here smaller can be better. As long as its legible, try 10. Back at the Layout tab, go for at least 120 on Width. Wider, Better. Also change the Window Size Width same as the width in the Screen Buffer section, and Window Size Height at 25 or so. And the Screen Buffer, Height, more is much more better. 9000 works.

One chore in dealing with a Windows host is finding out who are the folks that have administrator rights on the box. If you know the short cut using the run box, no big deal, its just a Start / Run / lusrmgr.msc and you're there- no hunting around in control panel, nor the Administration program group, or the My Computer icon, what ever the current GUI trail is to get to that particular system item.

But if you have a command box open try this one ...

net localgroup administrators
  domain\Domain Admins
  domain\Local Admins
  The command completed successfully.

So you want to save this for later? Perhaps drop it into a spreadsheet? Or paste the results into an email? Just left click and drag to highlight the desired text bits, and ... arrrrgh, tap the Enter key to get the text into the clipboard.

The enter keystroke is somewhat annoying, but overall, the ms-dos QuickEdit does a slightly better job of selecting just the desired text bits. At a linux (or unix too) command line, text copy and paste is available too, just click and drag, or depending on the text content, just a double left click might highlight the one desired line with a <return> character added in for good measure, click the center mouse button to paste. But when it comes to grabbing multiple lines of text, e.g. just a column of text items, the linux/unix select, copy, paste routine pretty much keeps you limited to full lines. No other options with picking out the desired text. Arrrrgh. Or not, maybe there's another way, just might figure that out some day. Later. But first ...

So command line stuff can really be your friend. Really. I might be able to hit sixty or 70wpm typing, but only if the backspace gets counted. Arrrrgh.

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