Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Demos using VirtualPC without a LAN Connection

Typically, when delivering a demo for a server-based product, I create a VirtualPC or VMWare instance of the server product and then show the VirtualPC instance full-screen. I recently developed a demo for Team Foundation Server and Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite. I used a Rosario VPC instance for the TFS server but because VSTS 2008 released RTM, I went ahead and installed it directly to my laptop. So, VSTS 2008 on the laptop connecting to the Rosario VPC instance. Lovely.

About 18 hours prior to my demo, I realized I wouldn't have IP connectivity and that I had been relying on my home network's NAT capabilities for divvying out IP addresses. Rhut rhoe, Raggie.

Fortunately, the folks at Microsoft foresaw this and created the Loopback Adapter. If you need to configure your machine similarly (IP "connectivity" while disconnected) and you wish to avoid the ever-embarassing "Media Disconnected" status message from an IPCONFIG call, just use the "How to install the Microsoft Loopback Adapter" instructions.

Afterwards, within the VPC instance, select Edit...Settings...Networking. Choose "Microsoft Loopback Adapter", wait for the adapter to acquire the simulated IP address (169.x.x.x), and wala, you're "networking".

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