There are quite a few things I could do in order to get around this limitation, all of which I feel don’t quite meet the specifications of what I’m looking for. Each one of these would be a royal pain to set up, as well as providing unique pitfalls to the approach:
- Separate User Profiles – When first thinking about this, it actually sounds like the best method that would come as close to what I am looking for in a solution.The concept here is that I would create a “Gaming” user, as well as a “General” user on my PC. I would allow certain programs to start up with each individual account, and everything would be hunky dory. But, this would also create an exorbitant amount of time spent switching profiles when needed.The batch scripts are almost instantaneous, and that is what I would really want in a final solution.
- Separate Hardware Profiles – Setting up separate hardware profiles would also serve the purpose of creating two separate systems with certain services actively running. The major drawback with this approach would be the need to completely restart the system in order to switch between workflows.
- Virtualization (Linux as host for “Everything Else” workflow) – This sounds like it would be a good idea, seeing as I prefer to use Linux on a regular basis. The only issue I have with this is that I am currently using a PC with 3.5GB of RAM, and I would not necessarily be able to get great performance out of the virtual machine. I would be using mainly Adobe products in the virtual machine, and the Adobe products are notoriously resource hungry. Along with the performance hit, I would have to take into account the fact that I would need to take the time to restart the PC in order to get into the “Gaming” workflow.
- WINE for “Everything Else” workflow – This would bring the Adobe apps to a more native feel while using Linux for everyday tasks, as well as removing the need to keep a Windows installation secure while running in a virtual machine. But once again, we have to worry about performance and also the fact that WINE might not be fully supportive of the new-ish CS4 programs.
- Separate OS Installs – I use Linux when I’m doing web development. I use Windows when I’m doing graphic design. I use Windows when I’m playing games. Why not have three different installations to satisfy the needs of each? Once again, this would involve restarting the computer every time that I wanted to change profiles.
Each one of these provides me with significant drawbacks, and is not a perfect solution to my problem.
Now that I know the choices I have, what am I going to do? This wouldn’t be a very good thing to argue about if I did not take some action on the subject.