My Windows Environment

I’m not running a dedicated Windows box; I’ve installed (legal) copies of Windows in various releases in VMWare Fusion on my phat Mac Pro. I set up a big RAM disk from which to run everything, and have all the third-party stuff installed on a disk that I mount in the virtual machine. For the most part, I’m working in Windows 7.


I didn’t choose VMWare for any particular reason. I had it, but Virtual Box and several other options might have worked too. It hasn’t caused me any problems and it’s a lot faster than the dedicated hardware that’s sitting unplugged under my desk. But then, I am storing everything directly on RAM. The virtual environment is important so I can easily start from scratch and retry any instructions I develop without missing something because I forgot to remove a dependency.

For work, I use Sublime Text (although I’ve listed most of the other editors). I’m not doing anything that fancy, and I also do quite a bit of editing on my Mac with my normal development process. There’s good integration between both in Fusion so it works out nicely. I only feel slightly guilty about that since I’m not teaching Windows, just Perl on Windows.

I have many Perls installed. Most of the things I’m working on so far are standard Perl and don’t need anything fancy. Once you can install modules, the rest is mostly just regular Perl.

2018 Update

I moved everything to VirtualBox. I’m not entirely happy about it because it lacks certain host OS features on macOS (folder sharing most annoyingly absent), but my demands aren’t that high. I tend to git push and git pull to share files since I’m keeping them around anyway. If I did more in virtual environments for work projects I’d probably not care about paying for VMWare every time it updates.

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