I read quite a few trade magazines, and every so often I read a segment on mobile workers and telecommuting. While VPN has made it more easy to stay connected with the office, there are a couple of “best friends” that have worked well for me.
The first one is Remote Desktop Connection. Once I have the VPN established, I often use Remote Desktop Connection to access my PC at work. This is great because it’s like being in the office. I have access to all my applications and data in one easy step.
The other “best friend” I have developed lately is my Western Digital 250 GB 2.5″ external hard drive. Using Virtual PC 2007, I created a virtual hard disk on my external HD. I then built my virtual machine like I would a physical. The advantage is that I can carry my virtual machine in my pocket and fire it up from any computer that has Virtual PC 2007 and a USB 2.0 port. At one point, I was pursuing having a bootable thumb drive; having a Virtual PC hard disk on my external HD has turned out to be quite a welcome substitute.