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The Imitation Game: Introduction to Administering Virtual Machine Systems

Nov 23, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm


The Tech Learning Collective invites you to join us for The Imitation Game: Introduction to Administering Virtual Machine Systems. This two-hour workshop is a practical introduction to creating, using, and administering virtual machine (VM) systems. Even if you’ve never heard of a virtual machine before, you probably already use the underlying technology. And you can get a lot out of using a virtual machine even if you aren’t a software developer because they can help secure your Web browsing activity, give you a sandbox in which to try out new software, and much more!

Virtualization and containerization are concepts almost as old as computing itself so, no matter what you’re doing on your computer, you’re probably using one form of it or another. For example, partitioning a hard disk chunks its total capacity into smaller units useful for specific purposes, much like the individual drawers in a dresser might separate undergarments from outerwear. Organizing, or “containerizing,” your closet this way is useful in its own right because it helps you keep things neat and orderly. But this organizing method also offers dramatic security enhancements because a misbehaving program (or dirty sock) will be confined to its own container.

Today, virtualization has become integral to how desktop computers, servers, and global data networks work, and cross-platform, Free Software virtualization programs have never been easier to use. Storage virtualization makes it possible for a single file on your computer to appear to be an entire hard disk drive (such as provided by VeraCrypt), network virtualization makes it possible to simulate different networks (e.g., using VLANs) or even the whole Internet (using INetSim), processor virtualization makes it possible to run programs built for one microchip architecture on computers running a completely different one (e.g., in QEMU), and fully-fledged virtual machine monitors (VMMs) or hypervisors can construct and modify entire hardware environments complete with virtual video monitors and other peripherals on the fly (as is offered by Proxmox). Virtualization is even the bedrock of numerous Operating System and Web browser security features, such as in the Qubes Operating System, macOS’s App Sandbox, and Firefox Containers.

Whether you’re using your computer for fun or for profit, this workshop will get you up and running with Virtual Machines using the VirtualBox type-2 hypervisor so you can experiment with unfamiliar software more boldly, browse the Web more safely, and play games you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. By learning how to take advantage of the virtualization capabilities your computer already offers, you can revive your love of that long-lost DOS point-and-click adventure, reliably build and test single- and multi-machine networked software systems, or simply create an almost unlimited number of purpose-built virtual machines that all exist, like inception, inside your existing laptop or other personal computer.

Tickets to this workshop are offered on a first-come, first-served basis and are only available in advance via our online storefront:

Class space is limited to 15 students! Purchase your ticket now to reserve your seat.

You do not need to bring a laptop to class, but may want to do so to follow along with the exercises.

As with all Tech Learning Collective events, racism, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism, “brogrammer,” “manarchist,” or any kind of similarly awful behavior will result in immediate removal from class without a refund. Please refer to our lightweight social rules for details on our strictly enforced no-tolerance policy against bigotry of any kind.

About the Tech Learning Collective

Tech Learning Collective is an apprenticeship-based technology school that trains politically self-motivated individuals in the arts of hypermedia, Information Technology, and radical political practice. We offer unparalleled free, by-donation, and low-cost computer classes on topics ranging from fundamental computer literacy to the same offensive computer hacking techniques used by national intelligence agencies and military powers (cyber armies). For more information and to enroll, visit TechLearningCollective.com.


Tech Learning Collective


Triangle Arts Association
20 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201 United States
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