I spent a large part of my day today patching various machines, creating a new VM, and installing/updating software. It felt pretty time consuming at the time, but at the end of it I stopped and realised that it was a great reminder of how far computing has come lately. Patching a whole load of systems, installing a new development environment, installing a new Windows and SQL Server into a VM still takes a bit of time, but nowhere near the time or hassle it would have taken a few years ago.
While I’m struggling to like using Windows 8 with the user interface formerly known as Metro, there are some elements of Windows 8 I like very much – built in Hyper-V support and the ability to mount Virtual Hard Disks and ISO images are features which come in very handy, and that I made good use of today.
Creating a new Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V VM and installing SQL Server on it was also quick and painless, especially given the speed of the install and every reboot due to the main hard disk file being on SSD – very impressive. Hyper-V on the client just works very well, especially in an era when any developer spec PC should have at least 16gb installed. Hyper-V’s VM start up times feel incredibly optimised, as do those for pause and resume operations.
Installing Visual Studio 2012 without needing to burn a DVD or install something like Daemon Tools (which I sometimes felt messed with my system stability) was just so quick and painless, and on a smaller note Visual Studio 2012’s ability to upgrade solution files in a way that leaves them still readable by Visual Studio 2010 is very much appreciated.
None of these things are anything new or revolutionary, but when you’re often spending your day fighting with or against technology it’s nice when features and improvements actually lead to feeling more productive.