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Installing Orcas Beta 1 with VMware Style Virtualization

In the past, I have downloaded the behemoth Virtual PC images that Microsoft provides for the Orcas CTPs

Kevin Hoffman's Blog

In the past, I have downloaded the behemoth Virtual PC images that Microsoft provides for the Orcas CTPs. When I was confronted with the choice of whether I wanted to download the Orcas image (which is a 5.3GB dual-layer DVD image) or whether I wanted to download the Virtual PC image (which I think is 8 gargantuan files, and must also download the base image, also over 1GB) I decided to download the DVD image.

Here's where it got interesting. I started poking around for installation instructions and I found all kinds of complaints about how bad the installation process was. Apparently Virtual PC makes it hideously difficult to work with the DVD image. You can't mount it directly, and it treats shared directories are networked file shares and that apparently causes the installation to fail. One blogger posted that his workaround was to use Daemon Tools to mount the DVD image and read from that.

Here's what I did:

  1. Created a new Virtual Machine based on the Windows XP Pro template in VMware
  2. Started it.
  3. Mounted the 5.3GB DVD image directly through VMware
  4. Installed Orcas
  5. Ran Orcas
  6. Smiled

So, once it was installed, I thought I might give it a try. Basically I wanted a smoke test to see the out-of-the-box support within the IDE for LINQ. If you've read many of my posts, you may know that in previous CTP's of Orcas, including the May 2006 CTP of LINQ (not associated with Orcas at that time...), the IDE had terrible support for the LINQ query syntax.

So I created a new Console application. I was pleasantly surprised when the using System.Linq statement was already in my application. To start with, the Console application references System.Core (not seen prior to Orcas), System.Data, System.Xml, and System.Xml.Linq. Again, if you've been reading my posts, you know that one of the most amazingly powerful features of LINQ is its ability to generate XML using the LINQ syntax - its magically delicious.

So, I typed in a quick couple lines of code to see if my Orcas install was working:

Dictionary<string,int> months = 
new Dictionary<string,int>();
months.Add("January", 31);
...
months.Add("December", 31);

List<string> shortMonths = (
    from dictEntry in months
    where dictEntry.Value < 31
    orderby dictEntry.Key
    select dictEntry.Key
).ToList();

foreach (string s in shortMonths)
    Console.WriteLine(s);

I wasn't too surprised that this ran - this code has been working for nearly a year now in LINQ (holy crap, has it really been that long??). What I thoroughly enjoyed was the fact that the intellisense supported this query, syntax highlighting hit all my keywords in blue and well, things just worked. So far, this is the version version of anything Orcas-related that has worked on the first try, out of the box, with no meddling or tweaking.

Now I get to go write some real code and see how it holds up to my stress testing :)

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More Stories By Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

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Most Recent Comments
.NET News 04/23/07 04:22:49 PM EDT

In the past, I have downloaded the behemoth Virtual PC images that Microsoft provides for the Orcas CTPs. When I was confronted with the choice of whether I wanted to download the Orcas image (which is a 5.3GB dual-layer DVD image) or whether I wanted to download the Virtual PC image (which I think is 8 gargantuan files, and must also download the base image, also over 1GB) I decided to download the DVD image.