VMware complained that the gcc C compiler delivered with Ubuntu 8.4.1 did not match the one used to compile that kernel
That does always happen when you do a system update and exclude the kernel from it, or don't reboot after the system upgrade.
This is a security feature, but not in terms of avoiding break ins or something like that, but just because different compiler versions produce different code and when the main system component (the kernel) is compiled with gcc 4.0 and a kernel module gets compiled with gcc 4.1, that may cause serious trouble on your system.
So if you use the distirbution kernel from ubuntu, upgraded gcc and the kernel to the most recent version, rebooted and still get this problem, it's a fault in Ubuntu's packages where they did not recompile the kernel image with the latest available gcc version before shipping it along with the new gcc version.
Other combinations of Ubuntu/VMware/patches did not compile for me.
I do provide quite some updates for the VMware tools package on [http://projects.tuxx-home.at
] and if you ever happen to need a specific VMware Tools version on any recent or older kernels, just post your request in here and I'll have a look.
If the compilation of the VMware workstation/server whatever host modules did not succeed on your running kernel, you need to google for the vmware-any-any updates, IIRC, they can be found at: [http://http://knihovny.cvut.cz/ftp/pub/vmware/
Thanks for the heads up on this topic, though (and many, many thanks for your great donation, it's very much appreciated!!).