Thursday, June 07, 2007

VMWare and NAT

In my effort to make Ubuntu my single boot desktop, I have VMWare Server to run my Windows applications which I need to use for work. I initially set up the network for the VM to run as "Bridged" where the VM takes on the same network address as my host machine. This is good to start of with, but eventually it becomes a problem when I take my laptop back home, where there is no network to join.

So it would be better if the VM resided in one of the virtual networks within VMWare. When you install VMWare, there are two vmnets:

# ifconfig
Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:50:56:C0:00:01
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::250:56ff:fec0:1/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:168 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:50:56:C0:00:08
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::250:56ff:fec0:8/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:7105 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:20943 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:0 (0.0 b) TX bytes:0 (0.0 b)

I chose the VM to have the 192.168.221.x network, and manually fixed the IP in the Windows XP VM, with the gateway as (the linux host). Also configure the "VMware Settings / Hardware / Ethernet 1 / Network Connection" to "NAT: Used to share the host's IP address"

The next part is to allow network traffic to flow freely from the VM through the linux host. To do so forwarding and iptables need to be configured. This page explains the commands quite well.

Ensure that Forwarding is enabled (if not already):
# echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward

Masquerade all traffic
# iptables --table nat --append POSTROUTING -j MASQUERADE

(I purposely left out --out-interface eth0 because I want it to pass through all devices; if connected to work, via eth0, connected at home via wifi at eth1 and remote via bluetooth dialup at ppp0)

And only forward from the vmnet8 device
# iptables --append FORWARD --in-interface vmnet8 -j ACCEPT

This should allow all traffic from the virtual machines and use the linux host as a gateway.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ops Tulen 2007 - The "promo" continues

This year's Ops Tulen was not as big as last years. Almost no flyers sent via regular mail. Very little threats and scams via emails. I hoped that it was because of the market's backlash against the blatant threats just to push sales.

However today I received the latest, and probably the most brutally honest ad campaign run in this series. No subtle marketing messages here. Just the basics. Scary imagery. Offer of way out. Sell stuff. What a bargain!

Save n' be Safe. Is not a good enough tagline...
... it really should read: Threaten 'n Profit!

Thats right. They used an image of a handcuff. Is it a double-entendre? Are they suggesting that I am engaged in criminal acts ( ... is S&M outlawed)? Or is it a hidden warning against the advertised Microsoft products, which will inevitably handcuff or lock you into the vendor's treadmill of constant upgrades and limited CALs?

Can't they see how insulting it is to receive an "offer" like this? Do you think the advertisers customers would react positively towards this mailer? Is the offer so poor (purchase 6 licenses, get 1 free = a mere 14% discount) that you have to resort to criminal threats? Is Malaysia's reputation in piracy so bad that sending out threats like these are justifiable? Is this how the ICT industry in Malaysia should grow?

Perhaps it was just a rogue Microsoft reseller? Well, judge for yourself. Here is the official June "Shout out" from Microsoft sent yesterday:
Snitches are paid well ...

Microsoft and their resellers should run more constructive campaigns. Educational campaigns on Copyright which educates users on the "ownership" software, benefits of software with support, the importance of a vendor/distributor/reseller channel. Or just proper promotional activities with better bargains adjusted to the Malaysian buying power. Perhaps the piracy rate in Malaysia is higher than in the US because we pay the same amount (if not more) and are less likely to afford the software?

Shame on them for taking advantage of the BSA and Ministry of Domestic Trade, as another excuse to push more licenses. These strongarm tactics are taking its toll on the Microsoft brand, and when the Malaysian public finally realise that there are valid alternatives to these products, there will be very little goodwill or brand loyalty left in to keep us from switching.

Tell your marketeers to grow up!