Years In Business - 30 Years Experience with Computers - 25 Years with
Networks & Security
oldest system builder in the area, maybe in the state!
Labor Rate in the Area, $25 Shop, $40 Outside
Which one to buy?
TRAINS OF THOUGHT (Feb.
Our current licensing with Microsoft
allows you to purchase Windows XP Professional and then have Windows 98
SE or ME or Windows 2000 installed. If later if you wish or have
no choice but use XP Pro then you have already purchased XP.
1. Buy Win 98, save money now ($65),
upgrade later ($145 for XP Pro plus labor costs or $165+ for the
next Win disaster), should Microsoft produce something worth
having. Hope that nothing for the next few years, really obsoletes Win
98. So far Win 95 is running just fine 2 years after non-support. (Note:
Micro$oft stopped distribution of Win 98. We know they are up to
something. This is similar to General Motors dropping the Cadillac. Windows
98 sells were still going strong, last month.)
2. Buy Windows 2000 SP4 FAT 32 and
settle for a compromise on capatiblility, but gain stability over 98.
3. Buy XP Professional, bite the
bullet and hope and pray Microsoft fixes it. Then never buy old software
or old computer equipment again. Plan to stay on the phone long hours
to make some software packages work after installing. Hope the next Blaster
virus doesn't get you.
4. Buy XP Home now and know that
any money saved ($65) will be spent on your time or someone else's restoring
it every time it crashes. (We never sold XP Home, but are fixing about
one a week that crashed, most still under one year old.)
(A couple of definitions "Win 9x" means Windows
95 or 98 or Millennium. Win NTx means all NT platforms NT 4.0, Windows
2000 or Windows XP Home or Professional.)
NOW FOR THE GOOD NTx vs Win 9x:
It this shop we will be using Windows 98 long
after Microsoft denies support because Win 98 SE will work with all hardware
we own and all software we own. It allows us to work on other people's
computers better... etc.
In a computer that has current patches,
bug fixes, no hardware incompatibilities and minimal software and hardware
installed, Windows NT or 2000 in any form is more stable than Windows 98.
XP Professional is barely if at all better than Win 98. That is less "blue
screens of death" less lock ups that require reset or powering the computer
off and then back on. (The phone home messages in XP are actually "blue
screens of death." They are masked by the pretties.) In most cases Windows
ME and 2000 are very close and much better than XP. NT 4.0 is the most
stable or Windows 2000 SP4.
Windows XP is really pretty with that
Win NTx operating systems will allow
you to run two or more operating systems on the same hardrive without special
software. We are running 3 operating systems on one shop computer, NT 4.0
Server, Win 98, Win 2000 and 2 operating systems on one of the other computers,
Win 98 and Win 2003 server. (We do 99.9% of all work here in Windows 98.)
(We had XP Pro but it keeps dying. So far 5 times in the past year.)
Windows XP Professional has added support
for DVDs, CDRWs and remote operation. (Programs that costs on a Win 98
machine about $20, if you don't like the free ones available.)
NOW FOR THE BAD:
Win 9x and NT 4.0 will go into limited
support status in mid - June 2003 till June 2006. DO NOT UPGRADE YOUR WIN
9x JUST TO UPGRADE. We have lots of customers running Win 95 and have no
problems doing anything they need to do on the computers. Win 95 has been
in complete non support for 2 years.
NOTE: Before you buy XP Pro or Home
make sure any software contracts or sub-contracts your company might have
will not be cancelled or violated by XP. Many large US corporations
have banned all XP for all facilities and sub-contractors. Government facilities
and government contractors can not have XP in the buildings!
Microsoft will never admit to it. But
I believe the core of Windows 2000 SP3 and Windows NT 4.0 are the same.
Windows XP Pro has the original Windows 2000 core operating system.
(We loved NT 4.0 and hated W2k when if first came out.) Most of the abilities
of Win NT 4.0 that I loved are back with Windows 2000 SP3. Windows
2000 SP4 is better in every way, compatiblility & stability then XP
Pro. XP Home is by far the worst operating system Microsoft ever did since
the Windows 95a and maybe all the way back to DOS 4. Everything was simpler
in Win 2000 and less Microsoft "knows best" programing than XP. Every
computer person I know hates the thought of Windows "Big Brother" coming
out this year.
Windows 2000 is done 2 years from now
or sooner. If you are thinking about upgrading XP Professional is
your only choice now. Next year, Windows Big Brother and Office MG
is a joke also. It is ridiculous that Microsoft will not fix anything,
but releases new junk years too soon. We are sick of Micro$oft "reinventing
the wheel" every 2 years! Microsoft's new system for 2005 is Longhorn.
M$ claims it will not be an upgrade to Windows but a new operating system.
(That is M$' way of saying nothing will be compatible with the new Longhorn
unless Micro$oft approves!)
If you remove the pretties XP will
run 10-30% faster, almost the speed of Win 2000 overall.
Win 98 is most compatible with all
software & hardware, then Win 2000, then NT, then XP Pro, XP Home is
last place. (Note: NT 4.0 is non for the novice computer business
or IT person and in those instances it would be last on the list.)
About 70% of the world is running Win
9x. This means all hardware produced will first be Windows 98 compatible,
IF at all, Win NTx.
Windows XP Home should never be purchased
for any use but home! It has at best limited network abilities and cannot
connect properly even to NT servers. Even the Microsoft techs always say
"XP Pro" in all their propoganda talks.
Educated guess that 30% of all computer
hardware that exists today is not Win NTx compatible. (Scanners, camera,
video cards, etc.)
What was compatible software and hardware
with Windows NT 4.0 is not compatible with Windows 2000 or even more with
XP in many cases.
If you ever had problems with viruses
in Win 9x, expect 10 times more grief with Win NTx. Many viruses that were
an annoyance in Win 9x are fatal in Win NTx!
Viruses can infect an Win NTx machine
while being logged into a network (included the Internet) and the operator
is at lunch or sleeping. In one building of 82 computers, 4 servers, only
the 3 Win NTx machines were infected by "Fun Love" and "Nimda" viruses.
All future viruses will be designed
primarily to attack XP and Windows servers, then W2k. I doubt any virus
will be directed toward Windows 9x. Also, all of these viruses will be
"Network Aware". That is to say, come in on one NTx machine infect all
NTx machines on the network. Allstate Insurance's NTx network was down
2 weeks because of Nimda.
The new XP virus (not yet made) will
attack the XP registry, lock itself in as a non-removable program and then
remove the registry editing tools ability. The end result is a total reformat
of hardrive and a complete reinstall of everything. Virus programs probably
will not be able to detect incoming Worm viruses and definitely not be
able to repair them. Nimda 2 virus (code made, not a virus yet) will
remove all XP machines from the network.
XP Professional is about $90 per PC
more then Win 9x.
Win NTx can not be cloned easily. Each
Win NTx machine has to be built separate from all other machines. In a
Corp. situation this means hundreds of computer hours as opposed to tens.
Corrupt Windows is far harder to fix
in Win NTx than Win 9x.
Saving personal files in Win 9x is
far easier than Win NT in case of fatal Windows crashes.
If you are running Win NTx .... backup,
backup, backup, backup!!!!
Win 9x updates are easy to download
and are free. Win NTx updates are in the hundred megabyte range and will
more often then not with 56k modems require buying them on CD, $20-40 per
year. In April 2002 downloads for a fresh install of Win XP was in the
260 MB range. That is more than all the Windows 98 updates put together
for the pass 5 years.
Win NTx updates are extensive and can
cause previously working software or hardware to never work again. Win
XP News claimed major problems installing XP Service Pack 1 from surveys.
Win 9x or Win NT 4.0 can run okay on
a 233 with 64 MB of RAM. XP is slow on a 450 MHz with 384 MB of RAM. 1000
MHz AMD or Pentium with Win 9x is a killer machine, with XP adequate.
Personally: If I was not in the
computer business I would run Windows 2000 SP4 with Fat 32. But... I do
not play games; my computer would be used almost completely for word processing
and 99% of that would be in Word Perfect 2003.
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