Sunday, March 8, 2009

VMWare Fusion Shared Printer Fun (or three hours to print a single page)

So, this should be simple right? I have my main Mac (some 8 core mainframe thing) where I run multiple development environments and a whole host of virtual machines running various Oracle version on lots of flavors of Windows, Linix and Solaris. I have a second machine where the shared printer is connected that I wanted to print to. Yes, I could have simply moved the printer, but where is the fun in that?

So I need to print from Windows. Well this is easy right... Errr wrong. The culprit was VMware's lack of documentation and working examples. Even the web did not prove useful.

So this is what I did, your mileage may vary

  1. Ensure that your Mac can print to the shared machine. Simply try printing a page from Safari. If that does not work, then Google way to fix a "regular" printing problem.
  2. Set the Network mode on the VM to "Bridged"
  3. Reboot the VM
  4. Install the right Printer Drivers (mine was an Epson RX500)
  5. Install Apple's "Bonjour for Windows"
  6. Follow the install directions for Bonjour for Windows, accepting all the defaults
  7. ... and if you are lucky if works
I then found a video, looks like somebody at VMWare put together but its not linked from their main site. Oh, and can I have my three hours back please?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Write it down stupid!

So I have just paid the price, lets say conservatively at 2.5 hours. The simple solution would have been to write everything down. But you never know when. As is always obvious, "when" should not been 14 months *after* you have last done something but that 20:20 hindsight for you.

The challenge? Reboot the system. Why? Well after 14 months it needed a minor refresh for Google Analytics. I guess that I have at least proved that I built something reliable! All of this took a zero downtime from the users perspective, other than a need to log in again.

So after I figured out (again) how to start and stop on instances on EC2, kick started with the right parameters and remembered all the DNS tricks I got it up and running again.

Oh, and I then took 20 minutes to write it all up with the rest of the documentation on Google Docs...