www.BlackViper.com: Virtual PC v5.0 Review

Virtual PC v5.0

Virtual PC v5.0 from Connectix.com [link removed, site gone, VPC purchased by MS] is an outstanding software package for the hobbyist, programmer, developer, IT professional, or the geek next door.

The application allows multiple "virtual computers" to be installed and working on a single physical computer system. With support for most all flavors of Windows for the "host" computer and the ability to install most any OS and its associated applications in the "Virtual PC", this tool saves time, money and resources for anyone that loves testing new things without the risk of taking down a production system.

Virtual PC v5.0 takes your physical computer and creates a virtual lab of systems that is only limited by the amount of hard drive space or memory installed!

Here is an example of using Virtual PC with multiple guests running different operating systems at the same time. The upper left has Red Hat 8.0, upper right is Windows 98 and Mozilla displaying blackviper.com, lower right is Windows XP 2003 and the lower left is a thumbnail view of all possible guest systems installed and / or running.

Clicking the thumbnail on the right will load a 226k 1600x1200 jpg of the desktop.

Virtual PC v5.0

Running Virtual PC v5.0 is simple yet so powerful. The "host" computer is the physical system that you are running the Virtual PC software on. The "client" or "guest" system installs in a very controllable environment, including binding the host peripherals to the com ports of the Virtual PC guest.

Most guest operating systems have support, including Windows, DOS, Linux, FreeBSD, OS/2 and more.

Features include the ability to have dynamic disks that are resizable on demand to reduce the amount of hard drive space required for the guest PC, undoable disks for a training environments, and static hard drives that can be mapped to physical drives or partitions on the system or created before the guest OS is installed.Hard Drive Image Options

Something else to consider is since the "virtual hard disks" are actually files created on the host computer or network storage medium, you can have unlimited access to as many Virtual PC's as you wish!

Networking support is outstanding. Including the ability for each virtual PC to configure separately access only the host computer, the other guest systems installed on the computer, or the entire virtual or physical network, just like a real system! With NAT support or the ability for each computer to have a unique MAC address and IP, Virtual PC v5.0 offers many options that you would only get by having multiple physical systems connected to your network. Connectix also includes the ability to connect via VNC client to a guest system. Networking Options
A thumbnail view and name of each Virtual PC displays in a separate window to allow easy access to change all available options, including memory use of the guest system, performance options and access to the host drives, to consist of floppy and CD/DVD disks. Also available is the ability to capture an ISO file on the host computer and have it detected as a CD in the guest system.Guest Settings

If you know Black Viper at all, you would understand that for me to give a high rating to a software package means a lot. I am so fussy about stability, ease of use and functionality that most applications I use are not recommended to the average user. Virtual PC v5.0, however, can bring out the geek in all of us without breaking the bank for "real" computer systems and the electricity to power them.

Final Verdict = 97%

Black Viper
November 2, 2002

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