VMWare 5 and productivity
I have just installed VMWare 5 on my main desktop machine (2GB) and my TC1100 Tablet (1.5GB) and I have been very impressed, I have also along the way been very impressed by the latest crop of Microsoft Servers. Here is a quick run through of the last couple of days.
I have been feeling really rotten for the last 48 hours due mainly to a short lived virus that has wrought havoc with my already screwed up immune system. As a result I needed some distractions, playing around with VMWare 5 seemed the ideal solution. Here’s how I spent the worst hours of the last 2 days:
- Installed VMWare 5, that was very easy – my best VMWare experience to date and so much better than my experience with Virtual Server 2005 the day before. I liked the idea of Virtual Server because it would allow me to use its Active X control console to embed live Windows Sessions in my PowerPoint presentations. In the end I hated Virtual Server so much by comparison with the ultra slick VMWare that I gave up on the idea. Later I remembered I could probably do the same thing with the RDP Active X control (I need to try that later)
- VMWare 5 is so sweet, it seems much faster, supports multiple snapshots and makes cloning so easy as you will see below. It really is a great productivity boost and saves loads of disk space. Its well written up in this article.
- Then I decided to build a whole series of demonstrations, but first I needed some machines
- First I installed XP and Windows 2003 Servers from the MSDN ISO images, quick and no problems at all
- Then I service packed and patched them both and installed anti-virus software. After a few more tweaks I cloned them with a few clicks to create 3 Windows 2003 Servers and 2 XP Clients
- Then I renamed all of the clones to fit my demos
- Servers – BizTalk, SharePoint and Exchange
- Clients – Andy and Rikki
- Then I installed BizTalk, slightly more complicated than I had hoped but not too bad
- AD, Exchange 2003, SQL Server 2003, SP3a, Live Communications Server, LCS SP1 and Office Communicator. I was particularly impressed with Exchange 2003 and with LCS both products with potentially complex installs made easy by the step by step work flows that take you through all of the options.
- I took snapshots for each step and a couple of times took wrong turns – who reads manuals! – but could easily just revert to the appropriate snapshot and try another route.
- Then I installed SharePoint Portal 2 and the RSS Syndication Generator
- I then created a Windows SharePoint web site that I am using to store everything pertaining to the workshop I am planning that I will also use to demo some collaboration concepts.
- I then subscribed to the changes on that site in NewsGator.
I have a few more bits of plumbing to do before I work on the demos
- I need to make sure I can transfer all of the VMWare files to my Tablet
- I need to record some of the demos in VMWare as AVI files and see if I can manipulate them in Camtasia Studio, if not I will try recording direct using Camtasia
- I need to add a load of users to AD
- I need to activate a few of those users to LCS and Exchange and add some events to their diaries etc
- I need to sync some data between Office and SharePoint
- I need to sync some data between Outlook/Exchange and WSS
- I need to install the RDP Active X control and see if I can embed it in PowerPoint
- I need to take some WSS data offline in Groove
- Then I can illustrate some important concepts with real examples
- Here’s hoping I don’t improve for a few days so I can keep playing :-), only kidding but I always like to find a silver lining!