Virtualization is the method by which a “guest” operating system can run within another “host” operating system. The good thing is you can have the best of both worlds.
So I have a dual boot machine with Vista and Linux. But, like many other people, most of the time I use Windows, simply because Linux is difficult with music software; of course I installed the RT-kernel, but until now I didn’t succeed to get Jack working and talking with Rosegarden. Only LMMS works with the Linux RT kernel, but this derivation of Fl Studio isn’t half as good as Fl Studio. Besides: I see not much difference between my (OpenSuse 11.1) Linux installation and Windows.
While the musician in me still prefers Windows, the computer geek wants to learn how things work. As a car driver I’m not interested in what’s under the engine cowl; as a computer user I’m getting bored of clicking those stupid icons. In the beginning was the Command Line but I have never used a non-graphical environment. Now is the time to make up my programming skills. This is where virtualization is of great use. Sun’s VirtualBox lets me run Ubuntu, INX and even Minix3 without any risk under Windows Vista. Only TinHat refuses until now to run in the Virtual Box, but, of course, in the end it will have to obey me :-).
I use Ubuntu for coding (especially the Mono development framework). But for learning good old-fashioned command-lines INX is great. It is console only, without any graphical “X” windows. INX is intended as a tutorial and introduction to the command line, according to the release note. You can run INX as a live-CD, but when running it in your virtual box and you get stuck, you have the possibility of switching back to the host OS (Windows, that is) to look up what you have to do.