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RE: Windows 98

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-----Original Message-----
From:	Bill Allen, S.E. [SMTP:billallen(--nospam--at)]
Sent:	Monday, May 04, 1998 3:55 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)
Subject:	Re: Windows 98

I'm still confused. The cluster size is "constant" in Win95. The problem is
that, in Win95, only one file can be in a cluster. So, if the cluster size
is 16kb or 32kb, a 2kb file actually takes up 16kb or 32kb (depending on the
cluster size). A 40kb file takes up 48kb or 32kb (again, depending on the
cluster size). Prior to Win95B, you had to partition large drives to get
down to 16kb clusters, otherwise you automatically had 32kb clusters.

Is your point that, by using the NTFS, you can put more than one file in a

[Bill Polhemus]  

No, but the cluster size is "extremely small."  I am not suggesting that I am an expert in this matter, but it is a long-documented fact, that NTFS (and it's predecessor HPFS, which is still used by OS/2 today), is able to intelligently manage the "stuffing" of the files on the disk in such a way that a very small "wastage" is experienced (usually less than 5%).

In addition, NTFS/HPFS partitions seldom need to be "defragmented" as this intelligent management, as an ongoing process, alleviates this phenomenon as well.

Another notable aspect of the high-performance file systems, is that the "INDEX" sector is placed at the MIDDLE of the drive partition, rather than at the beginning, as in FAT, so that the disk heads over time move about the same distance from that sector forward or back.  This adds speed and saves on wear-and-tear on the hardware.

Despite these and many other benefits, MS decided to continue to keep the mushrooms "in the dark", reasoning that the average computer user was unable to comprehend how to effect these changes (as Bill Gates once put it "If you don't understand how Windows NT can help you, you don't need it...")

[Bill Allen, S.E.]  

What about if you only "upgrade" to NT and your HDD was formatted under
Win95A or earlier?

[Bill Polhemus]  

You would have to reformat unless you want to continue to use FAT (NT uses FAT as well, in fact).

[Bill Allen, S.E.]  

I have NT4.0 on the shelf, but I haven't installed it since I saw more
problems (device drivers, etc.) than it was worth.

[Bill Polhemus]  

I am the opposite:  We have used NT at work for two years.  I used OS/2 at home for four years, until it became obvious that I was never going to be able to use the "new" software that kept being promised.  I then went to Windows 95 only three months ago on the home machine.

I admit that the device driver situation for NT is still pretty bad.  Ironically, OS/2 was very, very well-suited in that department.  It even had "Plug-n-Play" in it's V. 3 release (1994) a year before Windows 95 made the scene.  But alas...

Windows, whatever flavor, is Okay, I guess.  But I really miss the intelligence and flexibility of my OS/2 system.  In comparison, Windows interface is very, very limited, to the point that it is frustrating for me.

I vow to use OS/2 again when and if Java finally becomes the de facto standard, and assuming that MS is not able to co-opt it, as I'm sure they will try to do.  OS/2 is the best Java platform in existence, although I admit to never having used SunOS.

It seems that MS has been the spoiler whenever I've found something I really like.  For example, I love my PalmPilot Pro, but MS has vowed to capture the market for palmtops, and I'm sure the day will come when no one will use anything but a machine with MS' palm OS.

Too bad.  Whatever the debate regarding MS "unfair tactics," I don't think anyone can deny that, with them as the 900-lb. Gorilla, there is no such thing as choice in computing of any size any more.

Just ask the Mac and OS/2 folks.