ScottGu was on my plane down to the Connections show in NOLA last week. Of course, being who he is, he was banging away on a laptop up until the last second to board the plane. When he went to put his laptop away, I noticed another one in his bag and said "Two machines"? He said, no, he's actually carrying three laptops. Ugh. Sounds like a job for Connectix Virtual PC for Windows, a competitor to VMWare that Microsoft liked so much, they bought the company.

The recent (and ongoing) Windows / VS 2003 launch event utilized the Connectix product for several of the demos, which was the first time I've gotten a chance to use this kind of product. I also used Virtual PC to set up the ASP.NET hands-on-labs for TechEd, and I'm pretty impressed. Of course, it's not perfect: It won't run the PocketPC Emulator so the mobile labs had to go on to a VMWare machine. But it's amazing how painless it is to use.

In fact, a friend of mine who's a developer on the next generation of stuff built around the next version of the .NET Framework (how's that for obfuscation!) is using the Connectix product to develop production code. Rather than repaving his machine when he gets new daily builds, he merely copies an image that he's already built with the base stuff. Now getting up to speed on a new build is a matter of a few minutes.

Another downside to the Connectix product? can't use TermServe (or Remote Desktop Connection) to get to an image.

But for demos, it's hard to beat. There's even an option that allows you to discard changes at the end of a "session", which guarantees you can get back to a "known good" state before doing the demo the next time.

1 Comment

  • Couple of things...

    Did you do anything special to get the PocketPC emulator working on VMWare? I love VMWare, but was never able to use the PocketPC Emulator (or a phone emulator, for that matter) without VMWare crashing hard.

    Also, you may already know this, but VMWare also offers the option of discarding disk changes at the end of a session.

    Since I've been using VMWare for years now, I'll be very interested to see how well Virtual PC competes.

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