One year blogging anniversary

One year blogging anniversary

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Well - exactly one year ago today I wrote my first post to this blog.  52 weeks and 227 posts later (at an average of 4.365 posts per week) we find ourselves here.  I thought that this would be a good chance to answer some of the common questions I get about this blog:

Q) Wow - do you really get paid to just play old games and run weird operating systems?

A) Uh... No.  Actually, as a program manager I do many things (like writing far too much documentation, doing project management, etc).  Part of being a program manager is that I need to be an advocate for the customer to the development and test teams.  I run this blog as part of getting know all of you and learn what you do and don't care about.  Having said that - the vast majority of work that I do on my blog is done after hours, on my own personal time.

Q) How do you come up with all the stuff that you post about?

A) I really do not know - and there have been many times when I have sat staring at my computer blankly, thinking "What the heck can I post about today..."  But some how I always manage to think of something to post about.

Q) Can you do more posts about "X"? (where "X" is the topic of your choice)

A) Uh... Maybe.  Generally speaking - I blog what I know.  This means that there are many things that I am not going to post a lot about simply because I would have no idea where to start.  Having said that - I love to receive suggestions for stuff to post about - just don't be upset if my response is to look like an animal stuck in the head lights of an oncoming car – and to then run away screaming :-)

Q) Why do you run a blog anyway?

A) Prior to working as a program manager at Microsoft, I worked as a tester at Connectix, and then as an Application Engineer (somewhat of a hybrid between a program manager and a consultant).  In both of these roles I was constantly using Virtual PC and tweaking the heck out of it.  When I became a program manager I soon made a disturbing realization - it was entirely possible to do my job without ever using my product.  In fact - there is nothing about my position that actually requires that I use my products (sadly enough the two programs that I use 99% of the time are Outlook and Word).  This realization was actually quite depressing for me - as I *love* to play around with virtual machines.  So to this end - maintaining a blog forces me to use my products for at least half an hour a day in order to have something to post about.

Q) When is Virtual PC / Virtual Server going to support feature "X"? (where "X" is the feature of your choice)

A) Sorry all - but I have a personal policy of not discussing future releases.  The reality of software development is that you never can be 100% sure of when (if ever) a feature will ship.  I have been involved in situations where I was 99% certain that a feature would be available to customers by the end of the month - but a critical bug was found at the last moment which delayed its release.  This is not a fun position to be in - so my lips are sealed.

Q) Hey – do you know that you can also do that on the native operating system / under “X”? (where “X” is the name of a competitive product)

A) Yeah… See – this blog is about Virtual PC / Virtual Server – so that is all I am going to post about.  Doubtless there are many posts I have made where there are simpler / better solutions – but they do not involve Virtual PC / Virtual Server so you will not hear about it here.

Q) What posts are most popular?

A) You know - I can never pick what people are going to get excited about.  The top 3 posts (per web-hit) at the moment are:

Anyway - it has been a fun year and we will return to our regularly scheduled blog posts next week.


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  • Congratulations on the anniversary.

    What do you call a year of blogging? "blear", perhaps? :)

    Of course that makes you "bleary"! (Now didn't I work that one in rather deftly?)
  • Congrats Ben,

    You've done a terrific job with this blog. I'm it's very neat to see especially for an OS enthusiast like myself. I can't wait to see your next installment of running another operating system under VPC!
  • I think your doing a great job.
    I have run Dos and WFWG 3.11, w98, w2k, xp
    and Kbuntu linux on both my VPC for the PC and VPC for the mac.

    Sure blows a lot of minds seeing the DOS prompt full screen on my toshiba laptop. As well as running Qmodem and dialing out to a bbs.

  • "As well as running Qmodem and dialing out to a bbs."

    They still have BBS's? Wow. Lots of memories there.

  • Wonderful blog - have enjoyed. VPC is a great product - used it to recreate my first leap forward into Windows - the Packard Bell from a System Restore Disk - and your blog was invaluable. Disliked Win3.1/WFW so I stayed with my ancient 8088 XT until Win95 came out - then obtained a P75 from Packard Bell. VPC with your help faithfully recreates the Packard Bell on my P4 now. Great Job - Happy Times!!
  • Thanks for the effort on an informative blog. Interesting how virtualization products get better by testing a wide range of products, even games. Suggestion for the future; more info on the new hypervisor stuff ... are there performance enhancements to be gained still? Perhaps more of the virtualization will go into the Windows kernel?
  • James,

    I think that would fall under "...but I have a personal policy of not discussing future releases" from Ben's initial post.
  • Congratulations on keeping this fantastic tech-focused, readable, personable and useful blog running for its first year.
  • Well done Ben,

    Aurion is using Virtual PC and Server for pre-release testing across a range of O/S. We love it. Thanks for all the great info on the blog.
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