Today I was working from home when my friend got peeved that I kept dropping off of IM to VPN in to the office, because the Nortel VPN client shuts down all non-VPN network routes on your computer while you are connected. It’s annoying, but what are you going to do? The answer is VirtualPC, formerly from Connectix, now from Microsoft. I installed the 45 day trial version, loaded Windows98 (blech!) on to it, then the VPN client, Microsoft LookOut and GAIM. Now I can fire up the virtual PC and stay connected to the office all day through the VPN with access to our Exchange server and the Jabber server that I maintain for the team. This is seriously cool since it leaves me free to get to the Internet while connected to the VPN, which I couldn’t do before. I don’t know how much Microsoft is going to charge for it, but whatever it is, I’m willing to pay it. This is going to make my life a whole lot easier.
But wait! There’s more! At this precise moment I am installing Red Hat Linux 9 on another virtual machine. This will save me from needing to buy another computer just for Linux testing of my JRuby work.