To contrast my earlier article on trying to setup a more custom system, this one is focused on getting started quickly.
After signing up you will want to focus on some key subjects:
Navigation -> Load Balancers = DNS name to one or many instances (should be identical services).
Instance = virtual computer from Amazon
The "Launch Instance Wizard" allows a 10GB (which is still part of "free"*)
Basic 64-bit Amazon Linux AMI 1.0 (AMI Id: ami-d40e5e91) Amazon Linux AMI Base 1.0, EBS boot, 64-bit architecture with Amazon EC2 AMI Tools. Root Device Size: 10 GiB
EBS = Elastic Block Store (cheaper than S3 but more "hard disk" like Amazon storage)
Ensure that you choose MICRO (the dropdown is "large" by default) to stay in the Free Tier.
You don't need "tags" (strangely in the form of key & value) if you're only running 1 instance.
Key Pair = symmetric public key encryption is the default global security standard for connectivity the filename.pem allows ONLY YOU to quickly remotely access your Instance.
Firewall = Security Group = SSH TCP port 22 is ok for 5 mins but you'll want to move it to a non standard port (and maybe even limit where from the internet you'll accept connections!)
No custom ports?
Navigation (on the left) -> Instances shows you your linux machine running...
Navigation -> Load Balancers ... Double Click -> Green Plus sign to add the running instance.
hurry, SSH in before the script kiddie hackers get it! (note ping won't work unless you've enabled it)
OR right click on the instance and choose "Connect"
Instructions tell you how to use Putty and your new filename.pem (key)...
ssh -i myprogram.pem email@example.com
Putty Portable -> enter the hostname (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org ) Then enter a text name in "Saved Sessions" and click on SAVE
Now we need to convert our .PEM into a .PPK by downloading/double clicking puttygen.exe http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html
puttygen -> Conversions -> Import Key (browse to your .pem) ... Save Private Key (into .ppk) (You can ignore the prompt about leaving the passphrase blank)
Now on the left you can use Category -> Connection -> SSH -> Auth ... Authentication Parameters Browse and import your .PPK key (this will only be stored for this Saved Connection)
Go back up to Category -> Session and CLICK SAVE!!! Now when you click open you'll be prompted to save the remote system's key (no man in the middle!)
If you use "root" it will ask you to use ec2-user instead of root and kick you off.
login as: ec2-user
Authenticating with public key "imported-openssh-key" ...
Now you're on Amazon AWS (virtual micro instance) for free...
AWS Free Usage Tier (Per Month): 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) - enough hours to run continuously each month 750 hours of an Elastic Load Balancer plus 15 GB data processing 10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, plus 1 million I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10,000 snapshot Get Requests and 1,000 snapshot Put Requests 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests 30 GB per of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer "in" and 15 GB of data transfer "out" across all services except Amazon CloudFront) 25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB of Storage 100,000 Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service 100,000 Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service 10 Amazon Cloudwatch alarms