Another use for virtualisation

One of the unexpected features of VMware is that you are left to set the virtual machine to use resolutions above and beyond that allowed by your own monitor and graphics card combinations. From a web development or design point of view, this is incredibly useful when you consider the sizes of the screens that come with PC’s these days: some of them make my 17′ Iiyama ProLite E431S take on the appearance of having proportions close to that of a postage stamp. While getting a bigger screen sounds a very nice idea and 24′ models are supposed to allow for excellent productivity, I plan to stick with what I have and VMware facilitates this with a top resolution of 2360 pixels by 1770 pixels when you get VMware tools set up on your guest OS; Windows XP is what I have been using with these higher resolutions. You do have to pan about a bit because you can only see part of the screen when the resolutions climb beyond your own monitor settings and it does exercise your hardware but being able to see how things look in resolutions larger than anything that you can access (1600 by 1200 is as high as it goes for me for a real machine and that belongs to my workplace) is very much worth it. It certainly allowed me to fine tune my online photo gallery, something that makes me relax a little more now that I have done the required optimisation for different screen heights.