I have some time to blog about this while in the background, my hard disk is spinning like crazy: I'm re-installing my system, which is a ThinkPad currently running Windows XP. I plan to wipe the disk, install Linux (SuSE Linux Professional 8.2 in my case), and then install VMware and do my Windows-related work in there.
The reason is that after something like 12 years of running Windows as my primary OS, I'm finally sick and tired of the rotting effect &mdash i.e. the fact that every Windows installation I ever had used to grow worse each month so that after 6-12 months I had to do a re-install just to get the machine to run at a decent speed again. (With portable computers, another symptom of this rot apart from the performance loss is that strange effects in connection with suspend and/or hibernate start to appear). I don't blame Microsoft for this, at least not directly — it's the plethora of applications that I tend to install that don't remove themselves correctly, drivers and services that keep on running for no particular reason, disk fragmentation ... if you're like me, you'll know what I'm talking about. With the Linux/VMware combination, I hope to be able to maintain different installations simultaneously, a stable one for Office and Lotus Notes, a multimedia partition, one for playing around with .NET, etc.
And since today I got my hands on a nice external 250GB hard drive that connects via USB (sadly, no FireWire on my TP), I finally have the space ... and that's why the hard drive is spinning, and that's why I'm unlikely to go to bed early today. I love the sense of tabula rasa you get from formatting your main system.
Yeah, I know, sometimes I'm amazed at how brave I am myself ;-)