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It is a fact of life that laptops fail. Last year the hard drive failed and I had to reinstall. Now my Dell Studio 1558 got a blocked fan and my repair was unsuccessful. My data is intact on the hard drive but the I am going to have to restore to a new device. It will probably be Windows 10 not Windows 7.

It feels like I spend all my time porting applications and configurations between systems which is a complete waste of time and time is money. The obvious solution is to develop on a virtual machine. The virtual machine can be backed up nightly to the cloud and restored to any hardware device.

The old “this is my laptop and I use it to do work” is gone. Now you should be able to use any device to do work. Computers are cheap and ubiquitious. Microsoft has made Office applications ubiqitious and data is always available in the cloud.

The new model is “use any device to work with my data”. With my new cloudy VM for development I can use any reasonably powerful computer (i5, 8 GB RAM) and a virtualisation enviroment (Hyper-V, Virtualbox, VMWare Workstation) to fire up my machine and get working again.

What do you think?

–update 14:28 —

Many thanks to Dave Hodder for pointing me to Vagrant which directly addresses this problem.