I’m preparing a few demos for my talk at TechEd in Orlando the week after next. Some of these show the differences on Internet Explorer between Windows XP SP1 and Windows XP SP2 so I need to show both Operating Systems side by side. Virtual PC is a remarkable piece of software and it works very well for doing these demos and is frequently what I use. However for TechEd I think I’m going to take an old Laptop I have to run the Windows XP SP1 set of demos. The performance differences are fairly small compared to running VPC which still amazes me every time I use it but having two machines means I can be very clear to the audience which version of Windows XP I’m showing them. I’ve seen a few demonstrations where people have used VPC and it’s been difficult to follow which version is in current use. If I place the two laptops at different ends of the table then it’ll be a very clear and obvious switch between machines and versions of Windows XP. I recently had a training session on my presentation skills it became obvious I have a tendency like a lot of presenters to talk a little too quickly and rush through my demos because I’m excited to show people the next thing. Having to physically switch between machines should also help to slow me down and let the points I’m trying to convey sink in a little. There’s also the advantage that if something goes wrong with the demos for whatever reason (and demos always have a tendency to do the unexpected) I have a backup plan and can go to VPC. I continue to be stunned by VPC and how it performs but for TechEd I’ll have two machines.