[Update: there's a nice looking FAQ and a Forum devoted to Virtual PC 2004 - though I Don't see this problem mentioned anywhere in there...]
A couple of days ago I gave a talk in the Israeli .Net architects user group about Test Driven Development. The lecture was supposed to heavy with code demos and cool amazing stuff. I was all pumped up. All through the weekend I prepared my new found love, an IBM ThinkPad T41p with 2GB RAM, loading it with an awesome setup:
- The main OS only has office and other standard stuff installed - but no dev tools.
- All the dev tools are installed in separate OSs - on virtual machines.
- I actually have separate virtual machines which currently are (and geeky names too):
- Maggie: win XP, VS 200, SQL server 2000
- Bart: win XP, VS 2005 + SQL 2000
- Homer: win XP, vs.net Whidbey (May CTP - has the Team System which is left out of beta 1...)
- Lisa: Win 2003 + Yukon + vs.net 2005
- Marge: Longhorn + (TBD)
- So - whenever I need to develop something I just open the needed virtual machine and voila - I have it right there. and I can always start fresh with no hassles or re-installs. just keep a clean image backed-up and you'er home free.
Anyway - my plan in the presentation was to show off features both in VS.net 2003 and also on vs 2005.
So - the presentation lies on the host machine - which has a global share that all virtual machines can access. all the code is there too. when I want to show somethi8ng I simply bring up the correct VPC image and that's that. the 2 GB RAM on the machine allows me to run the stuff on the virtual machine very smoothly ans fast.
Things were going well - up to the middle of the lecture. I then moved on to the virtual machine - made it full screen - and started typing some code. to my annoyance - every keystroke on the keyboard seemed to be hitting some random other key on the target OS. I press tab - and I get a "page down" reaction. I press "f" and I get an "enter". imagine this in the middle of a lecture!
Things seemed OK when the VPC was not full screen so I went ahead like that, but it was very frustrating.
Anyway - seems like this is not just my problem. there's actually some bug that appears with non-US keyboard that makes you do that. Read this blog post for a full description of the problem and the very easy way of fixing it (the Right Alt key is "stuck" in pressed mode when you switch and you just need to click it once to unpress it or better yet, change the key you use for switching full-screen on).
God - that was pretty stressful - I have to say. But I came through in the end and people seemed to enjoy it.
darn. For the life of me I can't reproduce this bug again. What the heck was I doing wrong??
In other news - Welcome the new blog from Adlai - a long time acquaintance of mine from the various user group events. Great guy - here's to a great blog with great content!
In even other news - I'm seriously considering forming a new Agile Development and methodologies user group here in Israel with monthly meeting and all that. If you are an Israeli developer - I'd love to know what you think of this idea. would you go to the meetings? would you take part? do you have stories about your own problems and solutions relating to agile methodologies? from the number of people that have been coming to my TDD workshops (5 workshops completed so far!!) and to the lectures where I discusses XP and Test Driven Development - this seems to be one of the most interesting topics no-one in Israel knows a lot about. It feels the right time to begin such a group - because people are starting to catch on - and the subject matter seems too "out there" for the other .Net specific user groups (the .net architects being the next most likely candidate for all the talks - but we can't hog all their time on only agile matters, can we?)
so = chime in. tell me what you think. I'd love to hear it!