Developing with VPC

Peter blogged on my laptop dev config. I used to have two machines, my “production” machine for email and other office productivity and the my “development” machine that I wouldn’t mind paving at a moments notice, if needed. Now, I only have one machine so I can’t afford to be able to pave with extreme prejudice. Since I have a honkin’ laptop (2.4 GHz P4, 1GB RAM, 85GB HD) I decided to go the VPC approach. All I have installed in my host is Office 2003, SharpReader and VPC 2004 (it went gold today, so I upgraded). However, I have six VPC’s I’m managing. I can’t run them all at the same time of course, but it does give me a lot of flexibility. I run two primary VPC’s – one for WinXP and one for WS03. I’m actually running the WinXP VPC in the background as I blog – I’m installing the VSIP SDK (with the VSIP Extras Beta on deck). Then I have three dogfood VPCs – Longhorn, Whidbey and Indigo. Finally, I have a WS03 VPC running WSS. I need to upgrade my SharePoint Syndication project to support WSS RTM, but I just haven’t had the time.

Internally, we have a group that produces demo images and VPC’s for the technical field. So if I’m going to demo BTS 2004, I don’t have to go thru all the install process – I can either run a VPC or image my machine. Typically, I just use their base image VPC’s and install what I need.

Only downside to this approach – chews battery life like there is no tomorrow. I have two spare batteries and was completely drained of power going coast-to-coast a few weeks ago.