Configuring GNS3 for Internet Access

GNS3 is a great tool for simulating network environments for training or experimentation. It lets you diagram and build virtual networks – and even lets you use real virtual machines and emulates actual CISCO routers. It’s awesome!

Somehow, I’ve always had trouble getting my virtual networks connected to the outside world. I’ve wasted hours futzing around with loopback adapters and bridges — always fruitlessly. My little virtual networks have always been stuck in their own virtual world with no way to get outside.

Until now! I stumbled on an excellent tutorial on Jesin’s Blog that really breaks the process down step-by-stop. It’s surprisingly easy once you actually know what you’re doing!

Lightweight Option for Ubuntu Users

The Unity desktop that comes with Ubuntu is cool and good looking – but like many of my cool, good looking friends it can sometimes be a bit of an attention hog.

I notice this particularly when I’m playing a game on my laptop. It’s a nice machine, but it doesn’t have a fancy graphics chip and occasionally a game like (ahem) Minecraft will stutter.

Fortunately, Ubuntu is Linux, which means we can use more than one desktop. I want to keep Unity installed, because I like using it for day-to-day stuff, but I want to provide something more lightweight for gaming sessions where I need all the performance I can get.

LXDE Screenshot

LXDE’s desktop is simple and familiar.

LXDE is one of many lightweight solutions you can choose from to run alongside Unity. Installing it is as simple as:

  1. Open the Software Center
  2. Search for LXDE
  3. Click the install button.

When you’re done you’ll have to log out. At the login screen notice the little “gearbox” icon next to your name. Click on that to choose either the standard Unity or the lightweight LXDE when you log in to Ubuntu.

Breaking the Code

Tonight I’m popping some popcorn and curling up on the couch with this:

Breaking the Code

Alan Turing is my favorite figure from early computing history. Perhaps it is because he has the soul of a philosopher — he’s really the first theorist to ask questions about what machine intelligence would mean. Can a computer really think? Will a computer be able to feel? Will a computer ever be able to understand concepts like beauty?

That and the fact that he helped the Allies win World War II and was afterwards persecuted and eventually martyred by the same government that  he had rendered such amazing service to.