Exercise – getting a jump on the new year

Over the weekend I finally went for a bike ride: just over 12 miles, averaging only 17 mph. And I thought I was going to die. It was overcast, cold (for here, anyway), and windy.

When I got back home I felt like I’d just finished a marathon. What happened to 43 miles @ 17 mph from this summer? Not much riding lately, that’s what.

So today, on another windy (but sunny and not too cold) day, I decided to go for a brisk 30-minute walk. No special clothes required (other than my running shoes), no painful rump after 30 minutes, easy to see cars and get out of the way if necessary. . .

It was fun.

And I got to see stuff I would have missed on the bike.

When I ride my bike I’m always trying to keep the pace up, even when I’m tired. Which means my head is pointed straight ahead and I’m focused on the road in front of me; no time to look around.

On my walk I

  • saw a horse that looked like she was trying to give birth (she was too far away and not far enough along to tell for sure);
  • said Hello to the garbage men;
  • discovered the “executive home site” down the road is actually 336 feet across, not 334 as described on the sign; (the property is over 600 feet deep according to the sign – imagine, they could build a few soccer fields, or tons of tennis courts there);
  • heard a gate alarm whining away to nobody (except me), complaining that it couldn’t close.

On my bike I wouldn’t have seen, said, discovered, or heard any of that.

OK. Back to prepping demos.

VHDTool – special sauce for VHDs

Have you ever wished you could resize – grow – a fixed-sized VHD disk?

Earlier today I sure did. A couple of months ago I created a smallish fixed-size VHD file that I boot native into, to use as the “host” for running Hyper-V images. That’s all I used it for. Just to boot into it, then launch a Hyper-V image.

Worked great.

But, recently I thought, For my demos, wouldn’t it be great to run VS 2010 beta2 with SharePoint 2010 Beta in the boot native VHD host, and connect to the TFS server in the Hyper-V image?

Which meant installing Office 2007, VS 2010 beta 2, SharePoint 2010 Beta, etc, into my little bitty fixed VHD disk. It all installed, but there wasn’t room for anything else. Let’s say the VHD was busting at the seams.

Fixed size VHD = super fast. But, Fixed means FIXED, right? Can’t grow it.

Not necessarily. Ben Armstrong and his VHD team to the rescue. They’ve created a sweet utility called VHDTool that will allow you to manipulate a VHD file. One of the things it does is it allows you to expand a fixed-size VHD disk.

Insanely perfect!!!

I  made a backup of the VHD, downloaded the utility, ran it with fingers crossed, and gave my VHD an extra 10GB. It finished within seconds. Lightning fast!

And it worked as advertised. Sweetness!

What else can it do? Create, convert, extend, and repair. Neat-o.

Check out Ben’s blog post about it: http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2009/03/25/quick-fixed-vhd-creation-tool.aspx