Why VMWare over Virtual PC

I just found the reason why I’m going to slap down almost $200 bucks for VMWare Workstation over Virtual PC: Unity.  I am using a coworkers VM to help on a project he’s been working on, but he uses VMWare and I use Virtual PC.  Instead of buy a license I’m using VMWare Player.  Well I found option under VMWare called Unity so of course I clicked it.   Well it’s possibly the coolest thing I’ve seen ever. 

Here is my desktop with VMWare running as normal:

VMWare Normal


and here it is with Unity:


All of the windows/applications that were active inside the VM are now native windows in my host.  Also, when you go down to the start button, a second Start Button with the name of the VM becomes visible that allows you to start other apps in this same mode.  I don’t care what you say, that’s just awesome.

Outlook 2007 does the little things

People give Microsoft Outlook a lot of crap, but if you’re willing to think outside the box, you’ll realize they did all the little things that make life easy.  For instance, I rarely use the calendar popup for creating new appointments.  No, if I have a meeting next Wednesday, I type “next wed” and hit tab.  It’s at 1pm, well, type 1 and hit tab.


New Appt. Screenshot

Awesome Tool of the Day: WorkRave

Countdown to Micro-break, Rest-break, and get-out-of-there-break.I found this tool about 5 years ago and then lost it during a job move.  I’ve been looking for it ever since and finally found it through StumbleUpon today.  Most will find it a little annoying and kind of stupid, but it was great when I stuck with it.

WorkRave is a little status tray application that tells you when to take a break, gives you exercises to do, and locks your computer so you do them.  These aren’t “Pump you up!” exercises, but instead blink every-once-in-a-while, keep-your-body-from-atrophy exercises.

One of many exercises presented during a rest break.

You might feel like your doing less at first, but I guarantee you’ll feel much better throughout the day and, in the end, be more productive.  Over time, I learned to do some of these things on my own, but this is just a gentle tap on the shoulder.