This is not at all related to the end of my Lenovo tablet, but last week I got a new HP machine and spent a few days setting it up.  From time to time we get updated machines for different reasons, and my old “dev box” was starting to show its age.

This took longer than normal for 2 reasons.

  1. Out IT department installs Windows on all new machines, along with Office and some other utilities like Adobe Reader. Since I needed Windows server on this machine, I had to wipe that and start over.  This approach of having IT install Windows helps most people at Microsoft, but does not leave the machine “clean” for those of us in product groups.
  2. Once I got Windows 2012 Server installed, I had to get the hard drives in the machine set up for virtual machines. After a week of setting it up, I now have 8 different configurations in virtual machines which I can use to test.

The longest of these to set up was actually getting a virtual machine created that can build (compile) older versions of OneNote. For instance, our new modern client - the free version in the Windows store - requires the latest version of the Windows SDK to be installed so it can be run. Older desktop builds each required older builds of Windows to be used, so I spent 2 days installing Windows 2008 server. The first day was lost due to a mistake I made. I had created a fixed size virtual hard drive which was far too small to be usable. By the time I realized my mistake, I had run out of time so redid the work correctly the second day.

Even though it took 2 days to get all this set up, it only took a few minutes of my time. I just logged into machine remotely, started setup and then went back to other work.

Now I have this machine created, building multiple versions of OneNote and am ready to use it for lots of testing.

And because I know someone will ask, it is an 8 core i7 machine with 32GB of RAM and 4 total hard drives. Pretty nice compared to today's standards.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,

John