(I apologise in advance for the geeky technical nature of the following post)

Whilst it probably wasn’t what I should have been doing, I finally started learning a bit of Visual Basic 2008 today. It’s not the learning of it that’s stopped me doing it before, more the fact that I’m no expert programmer so I’ll usually steal large chunks of existing code and munge them together to try and get them to work. And all that existing code is VB6. The thought of having to learn to re-write those chunks in VB 2008 and then munge just kept putting me off. Now I’ve finally started, I don’t think there will be any going back though.

The reason I actually mentioned this was more to do with Windows 7 however. If you’d not noticed all the news articles, it’s just been released. I’ve had the Release Candidate (RC) for months on a virtual machine here at home but never used it for more than a few minutes.

Having started using VB 2008 today I (rather sadly) thought I’d come home and stick it on a virtual machine so I can do a bit of coding when I get bored. I like using VMs for that sort of thing as it keeps my actual computer in a much tidier state and in need of rebuilds less often. Then I remembered Windows 7 has a new XP Mode. Basically a virtual XP machine that’s more seamlessly integrated into Windows 7 (heading into MED-V land).

This is mainly aimed at providing a mechanism for people to run old software but that’s not really what I’d want it for. Using it would make it much easier to have a load of software installed that I use occasionally but don’t really want cluttering up my physical machine but with much quicker access directly from the start menu. On top of that, I’d get to poke around the new features of Virtual PC, Windows 7 and MED-V – all of which would be quite handy for work as that’s the direction things are heading. And although I don’t think they have brought in proper snapshotting capabilites (like in VMWare), you can use the slightly more primitive method of just keeping a ‘clean’ copy of the virtual hard disk somewhere else and swap it over when you want to ‘refresh’ your machine.

This may actually be a reason for me to move to Windows 7!

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