I just bought a new computer to replace my ailing water-'cooled' one. I say 'cooled' because the otherwise very quiet pc is currently being cooled by a large noisy window fan, while warm water swishes throughout ineffectually. I *could* debug this problem, but the lure of dual core Athlon's (pin-compatible with next year's on-board virtualization cpu's) proved too much.
Anyway, last time I did this, I did a byte-wise copy of my old computer into a VMWare virtual machine using the open source g4u, so I would have access to all my old data + the applications needed to run them.
This time, most of my real work stuff is already in VM's on a detachable hard drive, so that migration took as long as downloading+installing VMWare 5.5 RC1. For the non-virtual apps+data, I'd like to attempt something a litte more fine-grained for my desktop. This will keep my VM size down, and allow me to shed the older versions of SW which I really don't need.
As it turns out, Laplink is seeding the pc migration market with free copies of their PCMover product, which promises to allow exactly this kind of fine-grained, application-specific migration. I've downloaded it to my old computer but haven't set up the target VM yet.
I wanted to write about it now because the Laplink promo is supposed to last for another few weeks (til 10/15). Grab your copy now, just in case.
As an aside, my other learning project related to my new desktop is to use a Ubuntu VM for more of my desktop needs, instead of the perennially crippled cygwin+ntemacs+activestateperl+msc++compiler setup that I can never get really happy.
Jeremy Z is migrating off desktop apps to try it out, and I was thinking that migrating from an installed-to-hardware desktop to a svelte desktop VM would actually be a much more likely migration path, given pacifica + U3 etc.