One PC, many virtual machines
Try to go virtual. If you want to try things out first, there are two free products from VMware’s website at www.vmware.com- VMware Serve. They allow you to play and create virtual machines on your PC. There are many flavours of operating system platforms out there- Windows, Linux, even MacOS and Solaris. Naturally, people would want to have more than one operating system- for instance, Windows for games, and Linux for secure Web browsing. Why not go a step further ? And run these different operating systems at the same time, each having its own illusion of a “Virtual machine” belonging to it, on a single PC? VMware, as the leading virtualisation software vendor, has a matching application to enable exactly this- the VMware Workstation, for the past seven years. It provides a low-level software layer that resides below the operating system layer, enabling control and execution of several OS environments under it. Besides obvious use by software developers and testers, it also targets the many end users who need multiple OS environments on the same PC.
Now, in the newest update to the VMware Workstation 5, the hardware virtualisation capabilities of new Intel PC CPUs are used to the fullest. Tested the VMware Workstation 5 on a suitable test system- a 4.27 GHz dual- core Intel Pentium XE PC with hardware virtualisation, as well as 1GB memory and Window XP Professional SP1 already installed. Which means the windows installation was the host OS, within which installed VMware-and in just 10 minutes! It did not even required a system restart , yet was able to set up new virtual PCs right away. Within each of the virtual PCs, install and run its own operating system ( window Xp64, Windows Vista, Linux and Solaris included ). And in the end, flip between each operating system with just a hot key.