One of the interesting things about using Release Candidate, Beta, Alpha, Pre-Alpha, Developer Preview, Community Technology Preview and – since I’ve joined Microsoft – the famous "Dogfood" builds of products is the frequent reformatting of the ole’ hard drive to put a clean version of the OS on it. I’ve come to think of this like a mini-Christmas in some ways, because the "clean" laptop that you get at the end has that exciting feel of opening those first presents on Christmas morning. I’m doing that refresh work now since I’ve got a little time between presentations, my second machine came in, and I’ll be spending lots of time in front of Outlook and Excel for Email and Budget Forecast Updating (don’t even go there…)
I used to dread the "Scrape and Load Marathon" as I used to call it, because it took for-freaking-ever, and invariably something went wrong (usually because I forgot to do something) but now I see it almost as a Zen moment, similar to the scene when Kirk and his former-scientist-girlfriend-and-mother-of-his-illegitimate-son-who-tries-to-kill-him-but-ultimately-becomes-his-friend-until-he’s-killed-by-a-klingon-working-for-christopher-lloyd survey the Genesis Planet at the end of Star Trek II – the Wrath Of Khan. The cleansing of the computer’s soul brings new life to the old machine, and gives me a fresh start at running the perfect development laptop.
Until, of course, the next XYZ CTP comes out, which causes me to uninstall the old one, and – since the install/uninstall process isn’t completely foolproof (hello – it’s a CTP) screws something else up and now every time I try to compile something I get this weird error…
Ah well – I’ll enjoy it as long as I can 🙂