Friday, 12 June 2009

Hamachi Geekness

I was bathed in geekness the other day when I successfully shared my CD-ROM drive across the Internet to solve a little problem…

I was connected to an SBS server doing some application maintenance when the always annoying message ‘CD Required’ popped up. If I was a bit more organised I’d have a copy of the CDs backed up on the local hard drive, but alas I am not.  I didn’t want to drive out to site to insert a CD and my usual contact there was also on holiday.  I had the CDs I needed in our office, so I thought there must be a way to share my local CD-ROM drive with the server.  A quick Google brought up nothing, so I was about to admit defeat and plan a trip to site when I remembered Hamachi.

For those of you who aren’t aware of the product, it’s a small piece of software that will map a VPN between two places without opening any ports. It does this by using a third party to establish the VPN, but after this all data is only sent between the two parties at either end.  The software has the blessing of security guru Steve Gibson, so I’m more than happy to use it on a client site.

In this instance I fired up Hamachi on my laptop and on the server and established a tunnel. After sharing out my CD-ROM drive on my Vista laptop I mapped to it over the tunnel.  In the application I was modifying I pointed it to the newly mapped drive and lo and behold it grabbed the files it needed off the CD! Application updated, job done.

Behold, I am a geek!