I have my new notebook at work today, and I’ve been doing far too much playing around with Mandrake 9 again. This new machine is more than powerful enough for the full works, as opposed to my old ThunkPad 560. I’m using Vmware Workstation for the evaluation. This is a product that I’m starting to take for granted, but just a few months ago it seemed miraculous to me to run one OS on top of another, complete with access to external data.
The icing on the Vmware cake is the ability to work with “virtual machines” as complete modules, moving them from system to system and duplicating them if required. If you duplicate a Windows NT/2000/XP installation you can run into problems with Security IDs, but these are easily avoided with a tool called SysPrep, which prepares a system for saving as an image. After you use it, you shut the system down and save an image (with Vmware or other tools such as Symantec Ghost, Altiris RapiDeploy, or PQ DiskImage). When that image is deployed later, it goes through a mini-setup procedure which requests a little information and generates new SIDs. Convenient.