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UI Improvements that VMware Needs to Get Closer to Perfection

Dave Aiello wrote, "Many of you know that CTDATA is now running Linux wherever possible. I personally use a laptop that runs VA Linux's 6.23 distribution (a slightly modified version of RedHat 6.2). To do my pure PC work, I run virtual Microsoft Windows sessions on VMware."

"I decided I wanted two different configurations, a 'state-of-the-art' Windows 2000 workstation, and a Windows NT 4 instance to emulate our last Windows NT production server."

"Building and operating two different virtual machines under VMware gave me some ideas of how to make some slight improvements in VMware's performance. Read on for my ideas and let me know if you agree or disagree."

Dave Aiello continues:

Better Handling of the CD-ROM

It's great that VMware makes using the CD-ROM in the client operating systems so smooth. But, there has to be a better way to manage the process of loading and ejecting CDs. I find myself configuring the CD-ROM drive (aka device ide0) to start up disconnected.

I don't know if this is the best approach or not. But, when I start the virtual machine with the CD-ROM connected, I usually must escape the virtual machine and use the VMware session controls to disconnect the ide0 device before I can eject the disk.

Of course this is the way UNIX operating systems typically handle the CD-ROM device (first unmount it, then eject it), but VMware needs something that is less violative of a Windows user's expectations.

Single Keystroke Method to Put Focus on Virtual Machine and Resume Full Screen Mode

It's great to be able to operate a Windows virtual machine in Full Screen mode. On my 650mHz Pentium III with half a gigabyte of RAM, you absolutely cannot tell the virtual machine is not the primary OS if the it's in Full Screen mode.

Exiting the Full Screen mode is easy, just hit [Ctrl][Alt][Esc]. But there is no equivalent keystroke to put you back into the VM and zoom it. There should be. It would make user context switching a lot faster and smoother.

These are problems that most users would consider minor. Perhaps this shows how well VMware is already implemented.

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For more information, contact Dave Aiello by email at dave [at] daveaiello.com or call him at +1-267-352-4420.
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