The ColdFusion blog entry that I revisit the most

Of the countless quality posts that I have read from the ColdFusion community over the past several years, one sticks out as an entry that I find myself needing to come back to time and time again, as I apparently can’t seem to ever commit it to memory!

Last April, Mark Kruger made a really great post on configuring multiserver instances in ColdFusion with their own custom JVM settings, and adding them as Windows services.  I find that I use that post as a cheat sheet over and over again, and just wanted to point it out as a good reference to bookmark for anyone who may not have seen it.  Thanks Mark!

link: Configuring CF 7 Multiserver Instances – Including Custom JVM Settings

Mounting drives in Windows… just like Linux!

Before continuing I must concede to the fact that I am *not* a fan of Windows. I use it where I have to, but by and large I feel that Linux, specifically Ubuntu, is just a more pleasant experience and is a better tool for the kind of jobs that *I* need a computer to do. I must also admit that I was Microsoft certified about 9 years ago (the NT4 track!), so what I “discovered” last night might not be entirely new to many people, but it was certainly new to me so I thought I would share. Plus, considering how rarely I have compliments for Windows, I feel obligated to share this so that my steadfast Microsoft fanboy friends will quit saying “Why do you hate Bill Gates?”, which incidentally I do not.

Now that I have gotten that out, let me tell you about a cool feature I found within Windows last night. It actually does something the way that Linux does!

One of the Windows web servers that we interact with has its webroot on the D: drive, with a path D:inetpubwwwroot. At the time that this application was created, hard drives were not the size they are today and 8GB seemed like a reasonable partition for a data drive. However the application has grown, as has its need for hard drive consumption and it finally reached a level which needed to be addressed.

I originally set out to add a new drive (E:), then move the wwwroot over to the new drive, update all mappings in IIS, including virtual directories, and update any mappings within ColdFusion. This was not a very exciting prospect considering this is a live production server. However, this seemed like a fairly logical approach so I began.

First I added the new drive and initialized it in the Disk Manager. I now had this 80GB empty partition which I planned on turning into E: After choosing to to make it a “Primary Partition” and selecting the size, I got to the point for choosing the drive letter. This is where an option jumped out at me that I had never noticed before, which is a testament to both my lack of observance and to how fast I normally cruise through this section! I was presented with the following:

WHAT??? “Mount”???

The solution became abundantly clear immediately. Rather than have to re-map paths and risk blowing up whatever buried physical paths might lurk under the covers of this legacy application, I would simply mount the new drive as: d:inetpubwwwroot – just like Linux but with backwards slashes and the funny letter/colon thing on the front!

So, I renamed the existing wwwroot folder to wwwroot.old, mounted the drive to that position, and copied over all files from the old wwwroot to the new wwwroot. I restarted ColdFusion and IIS and the application picked up right where it had left off without a hitch!

So (get ready to write this down, because you won’t hear it often from me)…. YAY for Windows!

Problem installing VMWare Tools

In the past year I have “discovered” how cool VMWare is.  This virtual machine software allows you to run a huge variety of operating systems as guests under your host operating system.  On my laptop, I have run … errrr…. I mean I know someone who as run Mac OSX, a handful of different Linux distributions and even Windows.  For most supported operating systems, VMWare recommends that you click a menu option to install the VMWare tools on the guest operating system.  I have tried this repetitively but I always have the same result.  It acts like it is going to start doing some type of installation but just never advances.  If you look in the menu the option changes from “Install VMWare tools” to “Cancel Installation of VMWare Toos” so it thinks it is doing something.  Inevitably after 10 minutes or so, I give up and cancel.

Tonight, however, I was a bit more curious.  I noticed that when I began the install the CD icon on the task bar flashed a bit.  After logging into the guest Windows operating system, I saw that the virtual CD was labeled VMWare.  When I clicked into it, I found the setup program for  VMWare tools.  It ran it without issue!

I just thought I better document this in case anyone ran across the same situation.