How many machines does it take to make a Microsoft employee happy?

It's late, I'm sorry I can't of anything more clever to play with 'how many foo does it take for bar'-types of joke.

Anyway, this was about machine setups. Typically we start out with three machines: there's the "mail" machine, the "dev" machine and a "test" machine. The "mail" machine is the slow, stable one where you'll keep all sorts of work-related files, and that you'll use to interact with the world. The "dev" machine is usually the fastest, baddest, meanest machine you've got, and you'll use it to write code, debug and the like. Finally, your "test" machine is the one you'll wipe clean the most often, to try a new build, to debug remotely from your dev machine, to ensure that code change submissions are clean, etc.

And then, of course, there are people that will have more machines. Managers and people who run around in meetings a lot will carry a laptop. Some will have a Tablet instead of a laptop, or a Tablet on top of the laptop. Some people like to dedicate a machine to run stress tests all day long. And some people will have multiple test machines, to have different environments immediately available. For the latter, I personally like to use Virtual PC when I can get away with it (that is, when I don't mind the perf hit).

And yes, it's possible to have too many machines. But that's something for another post, if anyone is interested.


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Comments (2)

  1. Paul Crownover says:

    At one point I had 3 compters in my office along wth my Pocket PC. With the introduction of the Tablet PC I have been able to reduce it down to 1 computer and my Pocket PC for times that I don’t need my Tablet. Especially for my calendar!!

    Now I just need a Media Center PC in my office and this MS employee would be happy!

  2. Marcelo says:

    Well, I could trade one or two computers for an XBox as well, but I don’t think the increase in happiness would be a reasonable tradeoff with the productivity hit in my case 😉

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