David Allen's Getting Things Done struck a chord with compulsive organizers as well as people struggling to bring order to their lives. The book was written at a time when Day Planners, paper and index cards were still common business tools. However, its principles haven't become obsolete. Just google "
VirtualBox has gained a following as an alternative to VMware. Although the binaries are proprietary, they're free for non-commercial use. VirtualBox has some compelling features for desktop users: Automated installer that runs under Windows, Linux, and OSX. For Linux users, there are official versions for Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, Fedora, Red
Virtualization platforms have drawbacks for light home use, although they're often free for single server installation. They may only be supported on specific hardware (VmWare ESXi, their configuration isn't simple (Xen, or they chew up a significant amount of CPU even when they're idle (VirtualBox. Often, they force you to