Weekly Snap: OSDC Specials, Printing & VirtualBox Tips for Xmas

20 – 24 December embraced the spirit of Christmas, giving OSDC specials, printing tips and VirtualBox hints, not to mention the warmest festive wishes from the entire team at NETWAYS.
Manuela reminded early birds to get their tickets to the OSDC 2011 coming up on 6 -7 April in Nuremberg. She gave a sneak peek into the program, featuring ‘Puppet Advanced’ and ‘ITSM Reporting with Jasper’ workshops and speeches on: ‘Automatic Natwork Documentation with NetDot & RANCID’,’Email Marketing, Spam, Email Filtering & Data Protection-What‘s Allowed & What’s Not?’, ‘Icinga – Enterprise Monitoring’, ‘High Availability Virtualization Clusters with iSCSI, Cluster LVM & Xen/KVM’, ‘NoSQL in the Cloud: Patterns, Architecture & Experiences’, and ‘FAI – Fully Automatic Installation’. Interested speakers a still welcome to submit their ideas to the Call for Papers and registrations before 28 February will enjoy early bird specials. For an impression of the event format and style, Manuela shared two speeches from the recent monitoring conference courtesy of Linux Magazine: ‘Monitoring with Icinga’, ‘Java Monitoring & Troubleshooting’.
Marcus then taught us how to send print jobs to two printers simultaneously, using a combination of Foxit-PDF reader, CutePDF and an AutoIT 3 script. Referencing the AutoIT forum which offered example code, he recommended it as an alternative to PrintMulti (also available for free) for its relative configuration simplicity. First the document to be printed is exported in PDF format and saved in a specific place with CutePDF. Once the AutoIT script registers the new file, it is moved to an archive and renamed (date and time) to finally be sent off to the printers with FoxitPDF.
Lastly, Bernd shared his own tip by taking a peek under the VirtualBox 4.0 hood. The recently released major version of the virtualization solution features a refurbished interface and changes to the architecture. With certain features migrated to expansion packs, he couldn’t quite say whether they are a precursor to commercialized packages or just more freedom combining features. The expansion pack currently available offers ISB 2.0, PXE-Boot and VirtualBox RDP support. Bernd’s favourite feature was its support of Async-IO and local disk resource limitations for guests. Through VBoxManage, resource groups are created and individual disks are assigned to optimize resource use and meet the configured limits. More on the new release can be found in VirtualBox’s changelog, and Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris suitable versions are also available for free download.