Lessons in standby

For laptops, that is. Or at least, for ThinkPads.

It turns out that my video problem was the computer getting confused. As I was in a hurry leaving the Solution Centre, I just put my computer in standby while it was still connected to an external monitor. Afterwards, each time I tried using it only with its own display, I would get these multi-coloured bars on the display, making it unusable – even after a complete shutdown. So when I got back home, I took it to our IT folks to get it repaired. They booted it up, saw the problem, rebooted and wrote up a ticket about it. Then one of them decided to hook it up to an external monitor just in case… Well, it had the same symptoms when booted up, until he logged in to Windows. At that point everything worked!

Our only guess is that the video card got set to a strange mode and could not be reset until an external monitor was connected. Interesting feature!

Can I get a Mac?

How I spent last night

Rebuilding and optimising VMware images…

How glamourous!

I use VMware extensively to prepare demos. It’s just easier to revert to a snapshot after a demo and quickly be ready to run the demo again with a “fresh” installation! This is especially important if running against development code that is not fully tested, as I am doing at the conference.

However, when you have a VMware image that has multiple, branching snapshots (and an older laptop), it can take a while to switch between snapshots. Typically, in a one-on-one customer situation, this is not an issue. I would typically be there to show some specific functionality and do not have to switch snapshot. And if I do, I can always engage them in conversation about other topics. But at a conference pedestal, I do not have that luxury. I need to be able to switch quickly. Well, that meant that I had to clone my image into multiple ones as this is faster than restoring a snapshot.

I was actually surprised at how quickly and painless that was – and I ended up with smaller, faster images! Nice functionality!

On the other hand, producing a small demo movie took close to 2 hours on the laptop… Can I get a Mac?!?