Returning back to work mode. Holiday season for me now finally over this year (I’ve been whizzing, well as much as you can at 3 knots max, up and down the canal networks in the UK). Fantastic time, can’t wait to go again. While at the helm though, I’ve pondered a few times about what to use for my replacement virtual dev/test environment, both for work and home. The trouble is, my work laptop at the end of the day just doesn’t have it when you want to push virtualisation – generally most are limited to 2GB Ram and slow-ish disks, and the home budget is, well – you can probably guess. I’d consider building my own shuttle box with a RAID disk subsystem and a couple of dual-core 64-bit processors thrown in. Trouble is, they max out at 2GB too from what I can see, and I need something still reasonably portable. It would do, but I’m still going to need more RAM mid to longer term. But, do I just get one now and deal with the future later? Speaking of the future, what about the forthcoming Pacifica/VT processor? Now they will be seriously cool (with a price tag to match I expect initially). So, what I need to do is find some nice friendly contacts internally here at Microsoft who can put me in touch with one of the processor manufacturers or OEM builders who would like a machine with a stack of ram, a couple of dual-core processors with the additional virtualisation instructions, and a few fast disks “evaluated” on a semi-permanent basis :-). Nah! Even working at Microsoft, I don’t think I’ll get that lucky. Never mind, I’ll just have to make my own decision the old fashion way for the work machine – value for money. For home, the decisions probably already made for me – same old kit for a while….