Ok, in the last two days, I've had to call the IT department at work TWICE in order to get my network fixed. Turns out BOTH VMWare and Virtual PC BOTH have an annoying habit of killing my network connection so bad that the router port gets locked and my computer keeps thinking the network cable is unplugged. Why in the hell is this happening? I never had this problem with my home network when I installed these programs!
And what are VMWare and Virtual PC exactly? They are programs that allow you to essentially create a 'virtual PC' inside your computer. This allows you to run an entirely different operating system in a window of your current operating system without having to reformat your hard drive. This is very useful for development because it allows you to test your program on multiple operating systems without having to have separate PCs for each OS or having to erase your HD every time. I had originally tried to install these programs because I had a problem with my program at work... The program was actually being run in three entirely different operating systems at the same time - Windows XP on my development machine, Windows 2000 Server on the test machines, and Windows 2003 Server on the production machines. Apparently I was getting an error in Windows 2003, but not on Windows 2000 or XP. So I tried to use these programs to install copies of Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2003 Server on my machine. That way I could test in all 3 environments and make sure my program works everywhere it should.
So much for that idea. Good thing that error I got turned out to be nothing (a bug in Windows!)