Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Demo PC rebuild

It seems this happens to me periodically that I have to rebuild my demo laptop. Usually I play around with my laptop with different OS options, different attempts to optimise all of the dependant apps and ensure that I get my email and other apps working on it without interfering with my demo.

This time I have gone through about 3 iterations, and ended up with 3 options.

  1. Windows 7
  2. Windows Vista
  3. Mac OS X( !?) - maybe not, my Macbook is ancient...

Right now I am leaning towards Windows 7, but I have a bit of work to make the actual demo work quicker on that platform. If I can't succeed, I will have to fall back to Vista or XP, as much as I like the look and feel of Windows 7.  The other advantage is of course the wow factor that Windows 7 has at the moment, but I also don't want this to detract from the actual presentation.

My standard platform for demo is running a VM as Windows Server. When I run the demo, I have a kill button that gets rid of everything unimportant to the demo to conserve resources. I fit the laptop with as much RAM, the fastest storage and go through all the possible OS hacks I can find to speed it up. I basically want to get to a demo that only has what I want the customer to see. I think of this as the Zen of Demo systems ;-)

I am sure some other options exist such as using UBUNTU and VMware, but I am not convinced that my customers would be distracted by less usual platforms, and it would probably raise more questions than I want. I want the demo system to not distract but to appeal to the general product audience.

1 comment:

Murray Fife said...

I am just going through the same process for my demo system. I decided to have a 2 teir approach, and create my main demo system running under VMWare - which is a Server 2003 system. Then I reformatted my laptop to run Windows 7 - with very little unneccessary software loaded on it.

This has allowed me to put my demo server out there in the "Cloud" and access it from the Windows 7 client, which seems to work really well.

If you want to compare notes, drop me a line.

On a more philosophical approach to demo systems, I made 3 posts a while back on Demo Systems :-)