I use VMWare on my Linux system.  It lets me create virtual machines any time I want to.

Of course, it’s very much like having free long distance. Having the resource available is one thing.  Actually using it is another.

But yesterday I cranked up a new virtual machine.  Microsoft is giving away a beta version of their new Windows 7 operating system.  The beta will expire sometime in August, I think, but the buzz is that MS is getting this one right.  They have to, really, after the Vista fiasco.  I’ve helped some people get Vista machines, and I have not liked what I saw.

I downloaded the ISO but didn’t burn it.  VMWare lets you point to an ISO file that it uses as if it was on a physical CD/DVD.  Cool technology.

The install was pretty smooth.  Answer a few questions and let it roll.  Looks clean, without all the junk that Vista had in it (“You pressed the Z key.  You currently have permission to press the key.  Are you certain that Z is the key you want to press?  Enter Y or N.  You pressed the Y key.  You currently . . .”).  I went with the business install instead of the home ultimate – that’s proably how I’d use it.  Got some anti-virus protection from Kaspersky and grabbed updates from Microsoft.  Put VMWare tools on it, and set the resolution to 1600 x 1200.  Aaaah – now we’re starting to live!

(side note – I like the 1600 x 1200 enough that if/when I go with a wide screen, I’m going to hit the 1920 x 1200 or whatever the numbers are.  1600 x 1024 seems like I’m just covering up the bottom inch or so of my current system.  Give me more, not less!)

The system seemed pretty good, so I wanted to stress it a little bit by playing music.  I have no doubts that Win7 can play music just fine – but can it do it on my setup?  I found a free MP3 on the web, some band giving away their songs.  Have the speakers turned on, open it up in Windows Media player,


Next thing you know, my physical machine is rebooting.  Whatever went wrong, it blew through Windows 7, VMWare Workstation (freshly updated!), and Ubuntu 8.10 to do something so ucky-gucky that the box restarted itself.

I haven’t restarted VMWare or Win7 enough to try anything.  For a while, I’m going to let sleeping dogs lie.

And I keep wondering if I got what I paid for.