May 30 2008

Large Downloads From Microsoft

Published by at 4:10 pm under General

This is an old article and the information contained within it may be out of date, not reflect my current views and/or contain broken links. If you feel this article is still valid and requires updating, you can use the contact form to let me know. However, I make no guarantee that it will get updated.

For my new job, which I’ll be starting in a little over three weeks, I’m going to be working heavily with Microsoft SharePoint (MOSS 2007 – I’ll leave the versions for another post) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 (again a guide to version can wait for another post).  Whilst there is loads of information out there about development with these two platforms, what someone starting out with these needs to some hands-on experience.  

It’s wonderful reading about creating custom workflows in CRM but right now I’m suffering from serious information overflow because I’ve got all these theoretical concepts flying around in my head without being able to see how they work in reality – a picture is worth a thousand words but an hours hands-on experience is worth a thousand pictures.

Microsoft has been kind enough to provide free pre-configured demonstration Virtual PC disk images for free that allow you experiment and test without the cost or time spent in setting up your own server.  The images themselves are about 4Gb to download.  Considering all the software installed on them that isn’t too bad.  The trouble is that Microsoft has split these images into 700Mb self-extracting rar files that have to downloaded separately and extracted, which requires upwards of 8Gb of free space.

Over the past couple of weeks I have made several attempts to download the files but I have yet to get a working copy on my machine.  I have had problems with disconnection’s, running out of disk space (my bootcamp partition was too small) and corrupted files when they did download.  The fact that I have to download multiple files is a serious pain in the ass.  Why can’t Microsoft provide the disk images as a single file and embrace BitTorrent for distribution.   I’m sure it would be a lot quicker and less error prone.

In the meantime my new employer is sending over a portable hard drive with the disk images on it for me to use.

No responses yet