The VM Life

I don’t boot into my Windows VMs as often as I used to — I now have Office 2008 natively installed on my Mac, and the two things that I need that I can’t get on the Mac are Visio and CardSpace.

It turns out that there is an interesting performance hit on Virtual Machines when you don’t use them very often — all of the security maintenance functionality that usually takes place in the background is forced to run at the same time, and all while you’re actually trying to use the computer to do actual work.

Defender starts to scan.  AVG starts to scan.  AVG attempts to download virus signatures.  Windows attempts to download updates.  Java checks for updates. Firefox checks for updates. And you wonder why things are slow?  The memory is at minimum requirements, which doesn’t help either. Half the time, I’m instructed to restart right away.

I suppose I need to institute a VM care-and-feeding regime…  for some reason I’m reminded of a tamagotchi, tamiguchi, eh you know what I mean.  I need a little reminder on Mac that pops up on behalf of the VM and screams FEED ME so that I can let all the security stuff work while I’m not using the machine, instead of right at that moment that something needs to be done.  Maybe I could link it to Google calendar such that I get my reminder while on con-calls, a perfect time to be doing routine tasks.

Of course, my ubuntu server VM requires no such care and feeding.  It’s been running beautifully ever since I turned off default password aging 2 years ago, prior to that I had a rather more serious issue – enough time would elapse between boots that my only account password would expire, and that recovery takes enough time to really be a PITA, especially if you can’t get on the internet to look up the details…