Of Virtual PC differencing disks

People know I LOVE me some Virtual PC. But what I don’t love is the amount of disk space each image takes up.

I have a lot of virtual pc images on my main box “newton”. Now, I have tons of disc space, but that’s not the point. The point is that for each image, by default, there is 2+ GB of wasted space for the OS install.

Well, waste space no more. I found a great feature in Virtual PC call differencing disks. Basically, it allows you to define a parent hard drive for another hard drive. So, in my case, I have a windows xp default install as a parent hard drive. I can use that as the base for all my other windows xp installations, so as not to deuplicate the original OS install.

Aside form saving 2+ GB of disk space with every vm I create, I also avoid the while installation / activation of windows xp. I install it once, and that’s it. It’s very nice.

One of the downsides is that if you make any changes to the parent hard drive, it invalidated all the children of that parent. So it’s best to mark the parent hard drive as read only and go from there.

All in all, a nice way to save a TON of space.

MS Indexing Service: The Silent Killer

One of the strangest .NET bugs to hit me.

Ever seen this message:

Configuration Error
Description: An error occurred during the processing of a configuration file required to service this request. Please review the specific error details below and modify your configuration file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Access is denied: ‘Microsoft.ApplicationBlocks.Data’.

Source Error:

Line 196: <add assembly=”System.EnterpriseServices, Version=1.0.5000.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a”/>
Line 197: <add assembly=”System.Web.Mobile, Version=1.0.5000.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a”/>
Line 198: <add assembly=”*”/>
Line 199: </assemblies>
Line 200: </compilation>

Well, it actually has nothing to do with the MS app block assembly. It is actually a problem with MS Indexing Service & ASP.NET. Apparently, MS Indexing Service likes to lock files that ASP.NET might be using.

The solution is to STOP the Indexing Service, or exclude the temp ASP.NET directory from its’ scan.

MS KB article here.

Of speedos and naked Ferrari man…..

Walking up and down Michigan Ave., you are prepared to see a lot of things. But not this…

As readers of this blog know, I like to comment on the stange and obscure things that people do on Michigan Ave. to get tourists’ attention.

Well, today, for the first time in a long time, I saw one of my favorite Michigan Ave. attractions: Naked Ferrari Man. Allow me to explain.

On the weekends, there is a middle aged guy with a perm, who drives up and down and up and down Michigan Ave…. most of the times, he is shirtless and in speedos…. with the top down on his car.

Now, this, in and of itself is strange enough. But today it reached a new level of strange-ness. While getting a bite to eat, and doing a bit of shopping, my friend and I saw him, in a matter of 1 hour, 3 times. This by itself is bad enough, but then, when waiting for the bus, I saw it.

He actually makes sure to drive in the lane closest to the sidewalk. How do I know? Well I saw his pass a stopped taxi in his lane, only to wait in the middle lane until he could get back over. Yup, he held up traffic and everything. Just kinda sat there in the middle of Michigan Ave. as cars began to line up behind him.

As soon as he could, he moved back into the lane closest to the sidewalk, and onwared he went.

You just don’t get this stuff in the ‘burbs….