So it seems the "time to post" stat is pretty good. This is a MIS course fallout that I have taken this semester. It keeps talking about "time to market" and stuff :P
In another course we had a paper on Virtual Machines. The concepts mentioned in there are so very relevant even now. In fact many of the suggestions/ideas in that still remain to be implemented. This is probably because the VM related research grew with IBM taking plunge into it years ago...they had systems to handle DOS, OS/(whatever) virtual machines, they even had a firmware to assist in virtualization ! And then somehow the research dwindled.
And its back with a bang...after a long time. As our prof says, in CS things keep moving in circles. Right now its VMs and multi-cores. The virtual machine monitor that was planned, which ran on the hardware and presented an illusion of multiple copies is nowhere to be seen, even after these many years. All we have is a host OS hack, VMWare, Xen, VPC, Qemu anything right now does not run on raw hardware. If somebody manages to do that, I think the best possible performance can be expected out of a VM.
With this all VM thing around, I tried using VMWare Player, its a gem of a VMM. It looks like a Acrobat Reader for the VM appliances, but beware it isn't. Playing with the .vmx file can give you anything you want, right from creation of new appliances. In fact there are online .vmx generators that "manufacture" the hardware you want ! And offcourse since it is meant to be Acrobat Reader type thing its absolutely free!