Subject: Re: Operating System Reccomendation Sought
From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 18:50:20 -0500 (EST)
My recommendation...switch to Macs!! OK, sorry, I could not help myself
(bad Scott). <grin>
Seriously mode back on...
You have already gotten some good advice from others. My sugesstion would
be to goto either Windoze 2000 or Windoze XP, even though it pains me to
suggest things that give M$ more money.
Windoze 2000 and Windoze XP should be quite a bit more stable than Windoze
98 (sorry Stan, I have to disagree with you). Both are based of of the NT
kernel and have gotten rid of most that DOS crap (sorry Roger...I likely
DOS, but it just doesn't work too well when it is still smushed in a
Windoze OS like 95, 98, or Me). If your Windoze 98 systems were humming
along with few problems, then I would likely suggest sticking with them
(my Windoze Me machince at home doesn't cause me too much problems so I
will have no plans to upgrade to XP at this time...if it ain't broke,
then don't fix it). But since you do notice stability problems with 98,
then I would suggest that a switch to either XP or 2000 might fit the
This is not to say that you will not have some crashes with 2000 or XP. I
have mainly used Windoze NT 4.0 on computers when I have worked at AE
firms and they still crashed. The problem, however, was usually that
a program crashed, not the OS. Since XP and 2000 are both built off of
the NT kernel, it should be similar...that is you may still have programs
that crash, but the OS itself should crash less.
The potential downside that you may encounter is worse compatibility with
some software or pieces of hardware. Of the two, you will likely have
more problems of this nature with 2000. Based upon the list of the
typicaly software that you run, it would seem that you should not have any
problems with compatibility for the software. All should run fine on
either 2000 or XP. Drivers for hardware devices is where you may
encounter some problems. If you are close to deciding to switch or do
decide to switch, then I suggest that you first check to make sure that
drivers are available for either 2000 or XP (which ever you decide) for
ALL your hardware. This includes things like video cards, CD-ROM/DVD
drives, digital cameras, scanners, printers, etc. Don't forget about
hardware pieces that are "part" of the computer (CD drives, video cards,
etc). Of the two, XP should be easier regarding compatibility for both
hardware and software (but there still may be problems).
Overall, both XP and 2000 should be more robust, stable, and secure
(although M$ left their "fly" open on XP...again...seems they have a
weird idea of "secure") OSs than 98.
As much as I hate to say it, I would probably suggest XP. I strongly
dislike the "activation" crap that M$ has built into it, but then I can
certainly understand why they would do it...it is just a pain in the butt
to deal with. With XP, you should get better stability and in theory more
security (their theory not mine). And supposedly, according to some
pundits, it is faster than 2000, Me, or 98.
On Tue, 15 Jan 2002, Keith De Lapp wrote:
> So, I have this non-engineering question. I am desperately calling upon my fellow engineering brethren to help me out.
> I recently had a computer hard drive die on me and had to start over. That being the case, I asked a couple of people whether I should stay with Widows 98 or change to Windows 2000 or XP in hopes of stabilizing the platform. I was amazed at the lack of consensus among the response I received.
> So here I go. Firstly, I do not wish to create a kind of LORD vs. ASD debate. I am simply at a crossroads, and sincerely want to improve the stability of this silly box my life seems to be so dependent upon.
> 3 computers - 1 server & 2 work stations - with potential to add two more over the next 18 months.
> Windows 98 - Server, P3-350 w/ 256 megs of ram
> Windows 98se - Work Station #1, P3-733 w/ 256 megs of ram
> Windows 98se - Work Station #2, P3-650 w/ 256 megs of ram
> planned new work station, P4-2000 w/ 512 megs of ram
> Data is kept on Work Station #1 and the server is used for print sharing and backup.
> My question. #1) Do I change to Windows 2000 on all machines. #2) Do I change to XP on all machines. #3) Or, do I stick with Window 98 and upgrade the server to 98se.
> The goal is to stabilize each individual machine. The network seems to work just fine. It's the annoying little hang-ups, lock-ups and crashes that bug the day-lights out of me. I don't know for sure if it is the software that creates these problems or the operating system. I am lucky that I haven't lost any data (yet). The machines do not handle opening and closing several applications at the same time without noticeable memory leak and we have to occasional reboot to get 'em humming again.
> The software I'm running seems to be fairly standard for our industry. AutoCAD LT2000, Office 2000, Visual Analysis 4, Quick Books 99, Backup Exec, Outlook, Internet Explorer, Digital Camera stuff, 3 different printers (all HP) and "plug and play" stuff (yeah, right).
> I of course don't want to trade stability for conflicts. Seems to me that in the era of the P4, I should be able to have both.
> The former Microsoft employee programmer next door says 2000 all the way.
> The owner of the computer store where I buy my stuff says 98se, but he likes XP the more he plays with it and don't even think of 2000.
> The kid who cleans my office and is a self proclaimed guru (he actually fixed a major crash and showed me that even though my computer would not boot up because it couldn't find my hard drive that it was actually not my hard drive, so he has earned some credibility bucks with me, and he is only 16 year old, amazing!) recommends XP and staying away from 98se and says even 95 would be better than 98se.
> Please help!! I am pretty good at tinkering with hardware and drivers for peripherals and loading software without blowing things up. But, I am no means an expert. Also, since the system is so small, I would rather administer it myself than hire it out.
> Thanks in advance for your input.
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