I have 5 monitors and 6 computers in front of me right now

One of the goals of getting a machine set up that has the capability of running many virtual machines is that I would not have as much physical hardware in my office any longer. As I write this, I have my VM server up and running and it is running 5 virtual machines right now (one VM is building OneNote and the other 4 are running automated tests). This machine, and my dogfood machine, are both set up to use dual monitors. From this point of view, I am doing pretty well with minimizing hardware. A few years ago I would have needed 5 machines to do this, and with the mish mash of keyboards, mice and junction boxes, I would have had 2 or 3 keyboards and at least a couple of mice and monitors all hooked together. My office would have been, and often has been, a mini-lab.

Right now, though, I also have my "Dogfood" machine running and that is what I am using to type this article. I also have my ol’ Lenovo x60 tablet – long term readers will remember this tablet came with Windows XP Tablet Edition software and I am now running Windows 8 on it – running. I still use this for meetings and taking notes. The keyboard on it makes up (barely) for all the problems it gave me early on.

I have one other older machine connected to the junction box.  It’s an Intel Celeron based PC (that’s how old it is) and I need to get my data off of it and send it over to the recycling guys.  Even a VM on my server would outperform this bare bones, bottom of the line machine at this point.

I’m also setting up a Lenovo netbook right now to use for testing and sending some automated emails. Once I get everything I need installed and working, this will get moved to below the desk and I will be able to connect to it remotely. But right now it counts as an extra monitor on my desk.

Finally I have my Surface sitting out. Again, a general test machine and it may replace my Lenovo tablet at some point for taking to meetings. I did manage to get one of the nice keyboards with it and just need some time to get used to it.

It is kind of odd to see all these monitors in front of me though. It feels like 2002 all over again with all the hardware floating around. And I did not even count the twitter monitor…

I guess my first work related New Year’s resolution will be to reduce the amount of machines I have set up here.

Questions, comments, concerns and criticisms always welcome,


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