VMWare Server

Made a big OOPS tonight, something that could/should have been avoided by a slightly better UI/usability design on the part of VMWare Server.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, I have started running my web server (the 0ne hosting this blog among other things) in a virtual machine, using VMWare Server.  I happily got everything installed and up and running, but then noticed what appeared to be a bug in the version of Apache I was using that caused some hiccups with mod_proxy.   I looked it up and it appeared that the next point release of Apache took care of the problem – but I’m running Debian stable and it wasn’t available.

I read up on running mixed stable/testing packages in Debian, and thought I was ready to go.  My plan was to take a VMWare Snapshot before the upgrade and if something messed up I could quickly roll it back.

Well, something went wrong and apache wouldn’t start after upgrading it to Testing.  Getting annoyed, I decided to rollback to the snapshot and deal with it another night.  Here’s where the OOPS comes in….

I click Snapshot…Take Snapshot instead of Revert to Snapshot (they’re right next to each other on the menu).  CRAP, my safe snapshot was now being overwritten without any prompting and I was effectively hosed.  A nice little confirmation prompt would have been great to have, VMWare.  Thanks.

This reminded me of the great UI design I ran into once when dealing with an HP server’s RAID controller.  At one point you’re prompted to confirm a delete action.   Every time we hit clicked to confirm the action (we did it 2-3 times), nothing would happen but the prompt disappearing.  Upon further inspection, HP had swapped the OK and Cancel buttons so you wouldn’t easily and accidentally destroy your data.