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[P]
48 Hours with Win XP Beta 2

By DeadBaby in Technology
Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:30:58 PM EST
Tags: Technology (all tags)
Technology

Much has been made of Microsoft cloning Apple's attempts to release a modern, stable, attractive OS for consumers. In response to the very fine review of Mac OS X posted several days ago, I'm going to detail my first 48 hours with Windows XP Beta 2, the first NT based consumer OS.


For those of you who might not follow Microsoft's products that closely, Microsoft says Windows XP is the most significant upgrade of the consumer Windows operating system since Windows 95 but this time it's actually true. Microsoft has finally eliminated the Windows 9x/DOS based operating systems that consumers have been stuck with for the last 6 years. They have been trying to release a hybrid version of Windows combining the compatibility, hardware & software support of Windows 9x and the stable, secure, portable Windows NT into one code base since early in the NT 5 development cycle.

However, it became clear that compatibility issues, high system requirements and a development cycle that was already delayed several years put this goal off. Until now.

The "New" UI

The first thing you notice with Windows XP is the new visual style that ships by default on Pro and Personal versions. The new UI is mostly made up of minor enhancements to the Windows 2000 UI plus a collection of new high color icons and a dark blue theme Microsoft calls Luna.

The biggest fear people seem to have is that Luna is slow. I have not noticed this at all on my system. (P3-800 / 256MB) Thankfully Microsoft has added a button under system properties called "Best Performance" that turns off all the new eye candy with one click for those of you with older systems or people who would rather not use the eye candy. A big note of credit to Microsoft, virtually every new feature has a one button off switch that's very easy to get to without installing Tweak UI or such.

I am a bit disappointed that Microsoft isn't doing more to help artists with new visual styles (They've said they will not release a theme SDK) but they appear to be helping Stardock create a special version of Windows Blinds for Windows XP (That uses the new theme API directly) Hopefully by the time Windows XP ships Microsoft will have released a less fruity flavored theme, Luna reminds me too much of Mac OSX. I've love to see a more professional looking theme.

Another new UI feature that stands out is the new start menu. I can't say it actually does much more than the classic start menu (which you can turn back on if you wish) but the list of recently used applications it shows is very useful. It's mostly a visual upgrade. One downside is that it often takes 3-5 seconds to open. Microsoft has to get this fixed before the final release. There are also a number of smaller UI features, task bar grouping, desktop clean up wizard, locking toolbars, better wizards, etc. Nothing revolutionary but useful.

The guts

Windows XP is very stable. I've used various builds over the past 6 months and I've yet to have a hard OS crash. (aka, BSOD) The most annoying problems are visual glitches but I'm sure they'll be taken care of by the final release. It's hard to judge just how stable Beta 2 is in a short time of using it but so far so good. The real test will be once Windows XP gets out in the wild and millions of consumers upgrade their Windows 9x installs. Microsoft is pitching XP as they did Windows 95, don't bother upgrading unless you know what you're doing. In a case like this (where you're switching OS's, not upgrading) I think it's a fair warning.

Compatibility in Win XP, similar to Mac OS X, is very important. One of the best new features is the ability to run conflicting DLL versions at the same time. Microsoft calls this "Side-By-Side libraries". For example: The new visual elements are built into ComCtl32.dll version 6. Many programs will not work correctly with this library. Instead of trying to patch together a quick fix within ComCtrl32.dll version 6, Microsoft ships an older version of ComCtrl32.dll (5.8) that is far safer for older programs. If an older program supplies yet an older version, it can also run side-by-side.

Microsoft has also added the ability to trick programs into thinking they're running on your choice of NT4, Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows 2000. You can also create custom compatibility patches using the freely available Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit, which lets you pick many more compatibility options. I've found in most cases these options will fix misbehaving programs but there isn't yet a good description of exactly what all the fixes do, so it's hit and miss. Can you guess what ForceDDRAWemulation.dll does? Me either.

Another much awaited feature for NT users is SB16 emulation in NTVDM (The NT dos emulator) I was able to run Wolf3d and Duke Nukem for the first time under NT with sound and not PC speaker beeps. Almost every game released in the last year will work fine under Win XP (also under Win2k) but Microsoft has done a very nice job trying to bridge the gap between Windows 9x and NT. It's better than nothing, there's always dual booting for old games that just won't work.

Other New Features:
  • Personal Firewall - It might not reach the level of other personal firewalls available freely under Windows but it takes care of the most common internet attack against Windows, open SMB shares accessible via the Internet.
  • Fast User Switching - In the past, Microsoft didn't take advantage of the multi-user nature of Windows NT, even Win2k made switching users painful. It did however introduce the ability to run programs as a different user. (aka, su) The idea with fast user switching is that you can switch to a different user while keeping all your programs running. There's even a keyboard shortcut for it to make it easier. The name, in this case, is accurate. Switching from 2 users, each with 10 programs running took about 2 seconds.
  • Terminal Server - Win XP Pro includes Microsoft's entry into the thin client market for remote administration purposes. While the performance of MSTS is questionable as a thin client server, over a fast link it's very possible to use your applications remotely. You can also use this feature for remote assistance. I'm not exactly sure people are going to like that idea but I know when I'm trying to fix my aunt's computer 600 miles away I'm going to use it.
  • Driver Rollback - Another nice feature in Win XP is driver roll back. How often do you download the latest Nvidia drivers just to find out they're slower than the ones you have? Click rollback and you're all set. Very nice feature. I've already used it a number of times.
  • Clear Type - Clear type is a new system of rendering fonts. Microsoft says it improves font resolution by 300% but in reality all it does is apply a nice touch of anti-aliasing. I've yet to test it out on a LCD display but on my 19 inch CRT it looks wonderful. It's a tad murky but overall much easier to read.
  • System Migration - Another nice feature is a program that backs up all your custom settings, mail, favorites, wallpaper, documents, and any custom files you select to move to another computer or another install of Windows XP. It makes buying a new computer or repairing your old one with a fresh install of Windows XP very easy.
  • Built in CD burning - Microsoft isn't going to be putting any CDR software makers out of business with this feature but it's nice to have very basic burning support within the OS. For simple data/audio it's very competent. Also, you can now read UDF formatted CDR's without the need to install third party software. (Such as Adaptec's DirectCD)
  • My Conclusions:

    I think Microsoft has done a great job on Windows XP. At this stage in development it's already more stable than Windows 9x, looks better, is easier to use and offers more time saving features. I don't want to sound like a Microsoft PR representative but I am very pleasantly surprised with this OS that still has 4-6 months of development left.

    I think Microsoft has finally got ahead of the game. They don't have to spend years working on Windows 9x service pack releases that only seem to make things worse and they don't have to have two separate code bases, many times with overlapping features. They can finally spend the majority of development time working on improving the OS, not patching up the leaky holes with duct tape.

    The only bad things I can say: The system requirements are a bit high, it takes up a hefty chunk of disk space, compatibility is good but obviously not perfect, hardware support (especially for off brand stuff) is hit or miss, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a major OS update. The most serious issue is for Windows 2000 users. If you've just recently deployed Windows 2000 there isn't much of a reason to upgrade to Win XP as it stands now. I honestly haven't rebooted back into Win2k since I installed Windows XP and I don't have much of a reason to do so but I suspect a company that recently rolled out Win2k will want to stick with it for a while.

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    Poll
    Are you interested in upgrading to Windows XP?
    o Yes. 21%
    o No. 14%
    o I'd rather buy a Mac. 10%
    o I'd rather use Linux. 41%
    o Win2k works fine, I'm not interested. 12%

    Votes: 113
    Results | Other Polls

    Related Links
    o Mac OS X
    o Also by DeadBaby


    Display: Sort:
    48 Hours with Win XP Beta 2 | 78 comments (74 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Good review, but still cautious (3.85 / 7) (#3)
    by CheSera on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:41:18 AM EST

    I appreciate the review, and its cleared up a number of questions for me, but I'm still going to hold off installing it on my one microsoft (gaming) box. I tried 2000, saw no performance increase (a drop actually), and went back to 98se. If this is going to be NT for the masses (wait, wasn't that what windows 2000 was supposed to be too?) then thats great and all.

    I'd assume that it will ship with native direct X 8 support, which will make a geforce 3 very happy, but unless they've really shaped up the speed from NT's predecesors, I might just stick with windows 98 se. Anyway, I'm just waiting to be able to run OS X easily on one of my PC's. Then I'll have a sweet looking BSD based OS that'll have some level of gaming support. Best of all worlds, if Mac would just get off their ass and port the damn thing properly. Oh well, good write up.


    ============
    **TATDOMAW**
    ============

    Performance, etc. (4.00 / 4) (#6)
    by blixco on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:47:49 AM EST

    Yes, DirectX 8 is involved, as is IExplore 6.

    The performance is OK. Better than 2000 if you turn off all the eye candy. Mem - to - disk has improved a bit, and memory management is much better.

    But, the only reason I'd bother at first is 1) I have a dual-proc machine (XP Pro supports 2 procs, XP Personal supports only one proc), 2) I have 1.5 gigs of RAM, and 3) I have a burning desire to make my desktop look like a mac.
    -------------------------------------------
    The root of the problem has been isolated.
    [ Parent ]

    W2K Performance (4.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jfpoole on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:41:22 PM EST

    I appreciate the review, and its cleared up a number of questions for me, but I'm still going to hold off installing it on my one microsoft (gaming) box. I tried 2000, saw no performance increase (a drop actually), and went back to 98se. If this is going to be NT for the masses (wait, wasn't that what windows 2000 was supposed to be too?) then thats great and all.

    W2K vs W9x performance is a weird issue at best. W2K will run faster on some systems, and W9x will run faster on others. The primary deciding factor behind this seems to be RAM -- if you've got less than 64-96MB of RAM, then W9x will run faster, otherwise W2K will run faster. The reason behind this seems to be the fact that W2K has a larger footprint than W9x, and it likes to keep a rather large disk cache around at all times.

    -j

    [ Parent ]

    Game engines (2.00 / 1) (#25)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:01:51 PM EST

    It's also been shown that game engines themselves are a major reason for the impact on performence. A nice clean engine like Q3 with Nvidia drivers runs almost exactly the same (within 5fps, Win2k is faster in some tests) whereas a game with a poor engine, like UT, takes a bigger hit.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Game engines (3.00 / 1) (#32)
    by BigNachos on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 06:03:31 PM EST

    And you can make this judgment because you've thoroughly reviewed the source code of both games, right? Didn't think so.

    This comment sucks, and this article sucks.

    [ Parent ]
    Math (none / 0) (#62)
    by DeadBaby on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:29:30 PM EST

    It's a simple theory of benchmarking. If you increase the speed of your machine by X and game A improves by Y% whereas game B only improves by Z% there's a very good chance the game engine that scales at a lower percent of increase has a bottle neck somewhere within the game engine. (either the game engine or the render itself, which might as well count as the same thing) The UT game engine is a perfect example of this. It was written with Glide in mind and subsequent Direct3D & OpenGL renders have never caught up. If you use the above example of rates of increase with a glide render you see the percentages simply don't match up. The rate of increase is far higher for Glide. (by a solid 10-20%) Simple logic says the D3D and OGL renders are very poor.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Please try again (none / 0) (#66)
    by fluffy grue on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:15:47 PM EST

    Unreal was originally written for software rendering (using spanbuffering), not for Glide. It just so happens that Glide and spanbuffers get along VERY well, since the early 3dfx cards were basically just span blitters anyway.

    The thing is, just because Quake3 was written specifically for OpenGL doesn't mean it's any better-architected. At least Unreal is portable to different rendering targets. Granted, Unreal's abstraction could have worked out better (perhaps making the visibility determination pluggable as well, since spanbuffering is great for software and Glide but lousy for D3D and OGL where beamtrees are far superior).

    You are correct in saying that the Unreal engine has a bottleneck in the engine itself - it's specifically in the visibility determination - but that doesn't mean it's a poor architecture, just obsolete, since the bottleneck is a symptom of a time when fillrate was limited compared to vertex rate; D3D and OGL caught on during a time when fillrate was "unlimited" but vertex rate was very limited, and these days, neither is very limited, and the general bottleneck is on the bus between the CPU and video card (which is why there's so much of a push towards pixel shaders and such - there's nothing in pixel shaders which can't be done in multipass OpenGL rendering, but the system bus is just too slow to support that much data going across).

    I'm sure that in a few years, the Quake3 engine will seem "poor" simply because the bottleneck will shift somewhere else. My bets are on the internal texture memory datapath, and it just so happens that Quake3 is extremely hard on the internal texture memory, doing things with it (such as pseudo-dynamic lighting) which are much better-suited to lots of vertex-processing (which requires a much faster system bus at this point). And at that point, the Unreal engine will suddenly seem good again, since with the "limitless" system bus, the rendering speed will scale pretty much linearly with CPU speed and texel rate again. Unreal doesn't have much of a burden on the internal texture memory datapath - most polygons have one texture and one lightmap, unlike Quake3 where every polygon has multiple textures and as many as 6 lightmaps, since John Carmack would rather burn texture memory than do proper lighting. Oh, and Doom 3's dynamic shadowing lights really aren't that impressive when you consider that it's using a rather old and quite limited technique which just happens to be "blessed" by the guys at nVidia, even though it's got a large number of faults in it and isn't as accurate as stencil shadow volumes (but Carmack's too lazy to just learn about subdivision surfaces or any other geometry representation which makes a minimal shadow volume very fast to compute, and would just rather claim that stencil shadows are too inefficient based on his shitty naive implementation).
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    Win2k performance (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by SEAL on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:31:15 PM EST

    Win2k is quite a bit slower when freeing up heap allocations compared to Win9x. I work for a game company and this is something that slowed down our processor quite a bit when it was lighting levels. I timed it at ~360 minutes for a large level on my machine in Win2k vs. ~90 minutes for Win9x.

    A small rewrite of the code to heavily reduce the deletion frequency brought the Win2k performance back to a reasonable time at around 100 minutes.

    - SEAL

    It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
    [ Parent ]
    Re: Win2k performance (none / 0) (#44)
    by BigNachos on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:46:32 PM EST

    Now that *is* interesting. Is this also the case with NT 4? I remember back when I used to run NT, games ran faster than on w95, supposedly because of the better memory management. Why would w2k be so different?

    [ Parent ]
    well (none / 0) (#45)
    by SEAL on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:22:58 PM EST

    I'm guessing that Win2k might be doing either additional safety checks, or some kind of shuffling to help reduce memory fragmentation. I don't know that for sure, though.

    - SEAL

    It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
    [ Parent ]
    Unreal vs. Q3 (none / 0) (#50)
    by fluffy grue on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:45:38 AM EST

    Two things to keep in mind in comparing the Unreal engine vs. Q3 in terms of speed hits... first (and most importantly), Unreal's programmers (unfortunately) focus on the Direct3D target, which traditionally has better drivers under 9x than NT. Secondly, Unreal has vastly different memory-access patterns and bandwidth concerns, as it uses span-buffers for its visibility determination (which requires software transforms and scales linearly with vertical screen resolution) rather than Quake3's engine using PVS - the reason this makes a difference is because Unreal tends to spend more time processing visibility than sending information to the graphics card, and can also benefit from things such as 3DNow/SSE in userspace (which NT might not expose to userspace applications), whereas the Quake3 engine is, for the most part, a polygon pusher, which basically just needs a clear data path to the video card.

    Basically, the Unreal engine has a lot more variables in the mix, due to it having been originally architected for software rendering.

    On a completely offtopic note, I really wish Tim Sweeny would switch from spanbuffers to beamtrees for the visibility determination... they have slightly more accuracy and about the same time complexity as spanbuffers, but they're hardware-T&L friendly and aren't affected by display resolution. Beamtrees are somewhat more difficult to implement correctly and efficiently, unfortunately, but they work very nicely with BSPs, and also lead to neat tricks like being able to do dynamic shadow-casting lights much more efficiently (since they're not limited to a view frustum and can easily have a full field of view with no additional overhead, unlike spanbuffers).

    Meh. Someday I need to fix my own beamtree code and integrate my dynamic octree into my engine and stuff. Not to mention work on more research, like figuring out how to efficiently test potentially-infinite uncapped parallelpipeds against convex polyhedra, so that I can get back to the idea of doing an algorithm for my dissertation (as neat as the HCI aspects of VR are, I don't think that's what I want to end up doing for the rest of my life).
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    It's working! (3.83 / 6) (#5)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:45:39 AM EST

    I note that several of these features (firewall, drivers, user switching, etc) have been LONG overdue. I'm glad that the popularity of Linux, by bringing choice back into the equation, is forcing Microsoft to actually improve the product's base features, rather than the bells and whistles or the marketing thereof.

    Play 囲碁
    So you think. (4.00 / 6) (#8)
    by trhurler on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:11:57 AM EST

    Keep in mind that with security products, which two of your listed features indeed are no matter how you market them, functionality is no guarantee of quality. A firewall that works poorly is worse than none at all, because it lets fools believe they're secure. I will never trust anyone who sells me a firewall and won't let me read the source for it; it doesn't matter so much that I do it as that he has the guts to let me - and without signing any NDAs and so on - just for the asking.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Well... (4.33 / 3) (#15)
    by DesiredUsername on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:08:25 PM EST

    "functionality is no guarantee of quality"

    No, but at least we know that MS knows the names of the features they need to add. Whether they've actually added them is up in the air. 3 years ago MS was still in "why would a single user want to run a webserver" mode.

    Play 囲碁
    [ Parent ]
    Firewall (3.00 / 1) (#20)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:07:25 PM EST

    I'd be shocked to find out Microsoft wrote the firewall included with WinXP. The log output is very similar to various unix firewalls. Just a guess but.. I bet it's a port of a BSD firewall. (due to the license)

    Or I could be totally wrong.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Hey.. good point (3.50 / 2) (#27)
    by Bob Abooey on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:30:53 PM EST

    It's funny, that has to be the biggest impact that Linux has made on the IT industry, IMNSHO. It has raised the bar, as it were, for quality and what people perceive as quality. That's not to say thah Win2K (which I find very slow and klunky) or XP would not be better products if not for Linux, but I really don't think MS would have had to focus on stability as much as they have. True they said NT (which is what 2000 or XP really are) was going to be their Unix killer so they were shooting for a stable scalable platform (slowly but surely they are getting there) but I think that Linux drove them a make quality more and an issue than it had been.

    I have always thought that they could have made the 9x series stable if they wanted to, but why should they devote time and money to do so when they had the world by the proverbial balls anyways. There was no payoff for them to do so. There is a payoff now, because Linux is threatening to make inroads in a lot of niche areas which are becoming less niche every day... like embedded systems, web server, print and file servers, firewalls etc. They are in jepordy of losing real money there so they are now forced to step up to the plate and make a better product. The consumers, including all those annoying blind Windows zealots actually owe Linux a big thank you !

    Anyways, I bought Win 95 back in 1996 and it was such crap that I vowed it would be the last product I will buy from Microsoft so it really doesn't affect me, but it is a good thing for the world as a whole and for those who are forced to use MS products.

    Well then, that said I guess it does affect me because I am forced at times at work to use Win2K.. so THANKS LINUX !!


    -------
    Comments on politics from a man whose life seems to revolve around his lunch menu just do not hold weight. - Casioitan
    [ Parent ]
    I'll be blunt, as per usual. (3.93 / 16) (#7)
    by trhurler on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:58:51 AM EST

    I don't care if it washes my car and blows me; if they can't come up with reasonable licencing terms for it and the software they want you to run with it for people who are not vidiots(ie, who really DON'T want a rental model for their word processor,) that isn't their business license aimed at soaking major bucks out of corporations, then I'd rather buy a damned Mac. To date, Apple has announced no plans to bend their customers over and bore out their rectums using a 15cm diamond tip, and even if I haven't always cared for them, that really is a benefit.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    Two visions (4.50 / 6) (#34)
    by dennis on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 06:41:18 PM EST

    I've never been a big Mac guy before but I'm finding myself agreeing...

    Windows: Building copy-protection into the operating system. Voting for copy protection in hardware (along with Intel). Moving to subscription models. Hoping that Windows Rights Manager will make them the gateway to all media.

    Mac: "Rip. Mix. Burn." "It's your music." Opensource kernel so even if they did put in a "secure channel" someone else could make a patch that takes it out.

    There are two competing visions of the future, and these two companies seem to be on opposite sides of it. In one corner, we have a pay-per-view world where most of us are consumers of corporate content. In the other corner, popular culture is not so much a corporate product as the playground of gifted amateurs, who may or may not make money off tips and so on.

    I make my paycheck doing server-side Microsoft stuff, I'm hardly a kneejerk MS-basher, but as cool as it sounds I don't see XP entering my home.

    [ Parent ]

    Just a different approach to sodomy (4.00 / 1) (#57)
    by ubu on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:38:01 AM EST

    Apple doesn't announce their plans to brutally rape and beat their customers beforehand. As the underdog, Apple gets far better mileage out of promising sweet, tender treatment and only delivering neck chops and ass penetration after their customers have been pacified.

    Case in point, of course, is the sweet string of promises Apple delivered regarding "next-generation" operating systems, compatibility on various machines, release dates, and general features. They won plaudits every year for those promises; they were adored by quivering Mactards itching for their next issue of MacWEEK to hear about Apple's latest sweet nothing. Note to the Mactard reader: I should know, I was that stupid once upon a time.

    And every year, on cue, Apple would respond -- usually over a weekend when trading was closed -- by clubbing the customer over the head, ripping off their pants, stealing their wallet, and shoving a shrinkwrapped copy of Mac OS 7.6.1.3.1415926535 straight up their ass. I still remember going to an Apple presentation and specifically asking the presenter, "When will MacOS let me run AppleTalk over serial and ethernet at the same time? Just wondering when I'll be able to... oh, I don't know, PRINT and MOUNT SHARED DRIVES at the same time." He answered that it would absolutely, positively, be no later than MacOS 7.7.

    Even then I hadn't had enough, apparently. I actually waited for MacOS 7.7 (which Apple shipped as MacOS 8... without the requested feature, of course). The triumphal return of boy-man Jobs and his subsequent customer clubbing in conjunction with the end of cloning was the last time I accepted Apple's salty shaft.

    Ubu


    --
    As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
    [ Parent ]
    Diamond-tipped sodomizin' fun (none / 0) (#75)
    by Caffeine on Wed Apr 11, 2001 at 05:14:59 AM EST

    Granted, the copy-protection features in WinXP blow, and will definitely keep me from upgrading from Win2k. But Microsoft still has a long, long way to go before they match Apple's pure sodomizing might.

    Someone else already mentioned the 18000 version upgrades, at $75 each, released between OS7 and OS8, each one just beating that poor, dying horse that is the MacOS kernel even more than the last. Fun fact: try holding down the mouse on a menu item while you're connected to a network of MacOS7 machines -- you'll take down the whole LAN.

    A big part of my beef with Apple is their propoganda. "Pentium-crushing processors" my ass. Their benchmarks are based on one of about 26 functions of a microprocessor. They cite Byte Magazine's benchmarks in their ads, and Byte had to publish an article chastising Apple for taking these figures out of context. The damage is done, though, and their are legions of people who think their 400mhz G4s are as fast 1ghz or even 500mhz Intel chips. Oh, and how about those ads where they rape history by placing historical characters into the position of product endorsements?

    Let's see, what else... there was the way they released a firmware upgrade whose sole purpose was to disable G4 upgrades on G3 computers. God forbid you break Apple's careful planned obsolescence -- that's what you get when you buy into a proprietary market, after all. And how about that new firmware upgrade that breaks third-party RAM? And best of all, how about OS X, which, despite being FreeBSD (which ought to run on PowerPC processors just fine), not only requires a G3, but a NEW G3? Apple knows damned well that with a limited market, they need each Apple user to buy a new computer every two years or the money will dry up.

    I just remembered one more. Apple doesn't just anally rape their users, they get their business partners too. Go find some ex-employees of Power Computing or BeOS and ask how they feel about Cupertino. Or current employees of retailers whom Apple SWORE TO that they wouldn't directly compete with; not only is the Apple on-line store sweeping their sales, but so will the brick-and-mortar stores opening soon.

    The moral is: Steve Jobs hates you.

    [ Parent ]
    Games (3.50 / 4) (#9)
    by enterfornone on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:16:51 AM EST

    Personally 2000 Pro is fine with me, but I think the main thing XP will need to kill 9x is decent games support. I only play games occasionally, but the majority of games out there are very shakey under 2000.

    --
    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    DirectX? (none / 0) (#36)
    by darthaya on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:23:42 PM EST

    Aren't the majority of windows games nowadays run solely on top of DirectX? I would think if they have a good port of DirectX, the game would run.


    [ Parent ]
    OpenGL (none / 0) (#74)
    by enterfornone on Sun Apr 08, 2001 at 11:15:20 PM EST

    I think the games that crashed on me were opengl and it was probably caused by having crap drivers. DirectX stuff seems to be fine, but many games use opengl (some do both but recommend opengl).

    --
    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    Works for me... :-) (none / 0) (#51)
    by magney on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:12:37 AM EST

    I've run The Sims, Unreal Tournament, Diablo II, and half a dozen other games under Windows 2000 with no noticeable glitches. (And the manual for The Sims specifically warns you that Win2000 isn't supported.) I'm probably just lucky - the particular hardware I've got just happens to avoid the little glitches that you'd otherwise see from running games that haven't been tested under Win2000.

    Do I look like I speak for my employer?
    [ Parent ]

    Two questions: (1.94 / 17) (#10)
    by Zeram on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:18:43 AM EST

    #1 Did you try and hack their gay registration scheme? And if so how successful were/ how easy was it? #2 Did they implment the media copyright controls in beta 2 like they said they would?
    <----^---->
    Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
    Homosexual registration scheme (4.40 / 10) (#49)
    by fluffy grue on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:26:14 AM EST

    I, too, would be interested to see if the homosexual registration scheme has been implemented, and how easily it can be homosexually hacked. I would also like to see if it is just homosexual, or if it encompasses all so-called "alternative lifestyles" such as bisexual, transsexual, and Linuxsexual.

    As far as the homosexual media copyright controls, I wouldn't be too surprised if other homosexual content providers find an easy way around the homosexual Microsoft code. It could possibly be beneficial to instal Back Orifice as a remote homosexual debugger.
    --
    "Is not a quine" is not a quine.
    I have a master's degree in science!

    [ Hug Your Trikuare ]
    [ Parent ]

    Haha (1.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Zeram on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:05:55 PM EST

    Hahahaha


    <----^---->
    Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
    [ Parent ]
    Command prompt? (4.00 / 4) (#11)
    by darthaya on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:33:06 AM EST

    Am I the only person who thinks the good ol' command(dos) prompt is one of the most useful tools windows ever had?
    <skip the frustration I had with the GUI interfaces...>
    So does windows XP by any chance have any command prompt utilities like in NT or 2000?


    That would be suprising, and unlikely... (3.00 / 1) (#16)
    by slaytanic killer on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:13:00 PM EST

    Normal work with DOS was leagues better in Win2000 than Win9x. Would be odd if they suddenly killed it, especially since it loses its entire point for many people if they did.

    [ Parent ]
    RE: Command prompt (3.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Mephistopheles on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:17:18 PM EST

    CMD.EXE is still there, as well as a collection of 'Support Tools'

    [ Parent ]
    Oddly enough, Yes. (4.00 / 1) (#19)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 01:45:23 PM EST

    The current beta's actually include a number of new command line tools. Nothing to great but a few useful programs. Including: Command like disk partitoning, a program to list driver versions, a program to get info from the bios, a program to modify ACL's, a program to check the boot record, a program to modify the boot loader, a ps clone, a kill clone, a program to list open file handles, and a few others.

    I'm not sure the final release will include them or not though.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Already in W2K Resource Kit (3.00 / 1) (#22)
    by coleslaw on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:51:45 PM EST

    These programs are already in the Windows 2000 Resource Kit. A very nice book, and a good bunch of stuff on the CD. If it doesn't go in XP Gold, they'll probably show up in that Resource Kit.

    [ Parent ]
    Windows Resource Kits (2.33 / 3) (#23)
    by matthead on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 02:58:32 PM EST

    Too bad they can't put any useful tools in the regular OS distribution... why the hell should we have to pay extra or resort to third parties for some decent utilities?
    --
    - Matt
    I'm at (0.3, -2.5). Where are you?
    [ Parent ]
    Zsh (4.00 / 1) (#31)
    by costas on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:56:09 PM EST

    I know there are others (4NT is excellent) but you can get Zsh on NT/2k (hopefully XP as well). Recommended.

    memigo is a news weblog run by a robot. It ranks and recommends stories.
    [ Parent ]
    CD Burning? (3.50 / 2) (#13)
    by hardburn on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:48:00 AM EST

    Why is there CD burning software coming with WinXP??? Every CD-R/W I've ever seen being sold, even the cheep ones, came with at least a basic burning program anyway.


    ----
    while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }


    The point was (3.00 / 1) (#14)
    by retinaburn on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:52:20 AM EST

    That those are 3rd party solutions, while this one was designed (or at least packaged) with the MS name. Big difference with support ...not sure which way though ;)

    I think that we are a young species that often fucks with things we don't know how to unfuck. -- Tycho


    [ Parent ]
    A bit of history... (4.00 / 1) (#18)
    by KnightStalker on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 12:25:44 PM EST

    3 years ago, I bought a CD burner, installed it and had no trouble using it. I threw the included software in a box because I was running Linux and I didn't need it. A few months ago, I got a job for which I needed Win2K at home. I couldn't find the software and shareware burning software either didn't work with 2K or just couldn't see the CD. Although I've since quit that job, I never went back to Linux. (No point in the effort to swap one primary HD for another. Besides, I'd lose my stored mail in Outlook and my ICQ history.) So after randomly coming across the software one day, I finally installed it, ignoring dire warnings of "This software will not work with your OS." Win2K will not now boot, and I'm back in Linux happily burning CDs, because it actually comes with burning software and it was easier than reinstalling Windows.

    So if Win2K had come with CD burning software, I'd still be running 'doze without any problems. I'm sure the Justice department thinks that it, like IE, is "not a part of the OS".

    [ Parent ]

    Your fix (3.00 / 1) (#26)
    by ToneHog on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:29:07 PM EST

    Download the upgrade for your software from the manufacturer's web site. Boot Win2k in Safe Mode. Apply the upgrade/patch. You now have a dual-boot system again.

    I'm a big time dual-booter. When there are some applications I can only use on Win2k, I boot into Win2k. I get sick of Win2k's welded-shut hood, I boot into Linux.

    BTW, my gaming is more enjoyable in Linux than in Windows nowadays.
    Breeze,
    TH
    [ Parent ]
    Thanks (2.00 / 1) (#29)
    by KnightStalker on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:05:25 PM EST

    I'll give that a try.

    [ Parent ]
    Not all CD-R/W's come with software. (4.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Hillgiant on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 04:43:52 PM EST

    I got one for christmas that did not even include mounting screws. OEM is cheap, but they don't provide much in the way of frills. Normally this is not a problem. I have a jar-o-misc-computer-parts so not having screws included is no biggie. Not having the necessary software to use the hardware to it's advertized capacity... well, that makes me rant on webboards. I realize that consumer CD-R/W was not something the original CD-ROM designers had in mind. I understand that, due to the limits of the technology, I will not be able to treat it like a harddrive with shiny platters. But, I don't need special software to write to a floppy. I don't need special software to write to my harddrive. So why in the world do I need special software to write to my CD-R/W. This idea of needing separate software to access the all the features of a peice of hardware is alien to me. It's like buying an electric screwdriver that doesn't come with any bits.

    It was worth it to install linux just so I could get the full use out of my hardware.


    -----
    "It is impossible to say what I mean." -johnny
    [ Parent ]

    CD Burners with or without software (none / 0) (#76)
    by cable on Fri Apr 13, 2001 at 01:55:20 PM EST

    The problem came that Windows ME and Windows 2000 broke some Cd Burner software that came with the CD Burner. The result was that owners of CD Burners had to upgrade to new versions of the CD Burning software to use them under a new Windows OS. The problem was that versions that worked with the new OS didn't have a free upgrade, Shazbot! Frell!

    Now at least Microsoft offers a built in CD Burner software, no-frills, but workable.

    Has Linux gotten built in CD Burning software yet? I haven't been paying attention. :)

    ------------------
    Only you, can help prevent Neb Rage!
    [ Parent ]

    Partially (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zeram on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:11:03 PM EST

    because they plan to implement copyright controls, so you can't make illegal copies of stuff. I am 100% serious and not just trolling on that one. I also heard a rumor that they are going to make it next to impossible to install other CD bruning software.
    <----^---->
    Like Anime? In the Philly metro area? Welcome to the machine...
    [ Parent ]
    They're just poking fun at Apple... (none / 0) (#58)
    by ubu on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:51:00 AM EST

    ...where the CD/RW software engineer for Mac OS X forgot to check in his source code before the release build. Yeah, that's what happened...

    Ubu


    --
    As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
    [ Parent ]
    because it's 1 less thing... (none / 0) (#71)
    by taruntius on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:43:22 PM EST

    ...for an OEMs to deal with. If you're Dell or Gateway, you're probably getting bare CD/RW drives in bulk quantities from the manufacturer, with no additional software. So having CD burning in the OS means there's one less thing for you buy, test, and install on your systems before you ship them out. That has obvious benefits to your bottom line. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Dell and/or Gateway (both of whom are pretty tight with MS, I believe) asked MS to add basic CD burning to XP...




    --Believing I had supernatural powers I slammed into a brick wall.
    [ Parent ]
    Compatibility layers (4.85 / 7) (#24)
    by wonko on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 03:46:56 PM EST

    Actually, Windows 2000 SP1 has the ability to run applications in a compatibility layer as well. Create a shortcut to an app, right-click on it, and select "Properties". Then go to the "Compatibility" tab. You can choose to run the app in a Win95, Win98, or WinNT 4 SP5 compatibility layer. Very, very nice feature, especially for certain games.

    Thanks. (3.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Paradocis on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 11:44:08 PM EST

    I didn't know about this, and now I've finally managed to get Vampire: The Redeption to run properly. Thank you.


    -=<Paradocis>=-
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    "El sueño de la razon produce monstruos." -Goya
    +++++++++++++++++++++


    [ Parent ]
    Woot (none / 0) (#56)
    by nobbystyles on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 06:52:50 AM EST

    Thanks for the info I'll try this tonight with some my oldie but goodie games...

    [ Parent ]
    Suspiciously slanted review (3.53 / 15) (#30)
    by bediger on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 05:43:55 PM EST

    I'd have to say that this review is very slanted. Notice the trick wording in places: Microsoft has finally eliminated the Windows 9x/DOS based operating systems that consumers have been stuck with for the last 6 years. The use of passive voice in that sentence makes you think that with Windows XP, Microsoft plays the role of White Knight, relieving consumers of the burden of Freshness Dated DOS based OSes like '95, '98 and ME. This is exactly false to fact, since Microsoft did the sticking. Microsoft has repeatedly fobbed off DOS upgrades like Windows 95 and 98 with assurances that these OSes no longer rely on 16-bit DOS anything.

    This review also tries to slide a bunch of unexamined, unwarranted assumptions past the reader. The reviewer says stable, secure, portable Windows NT, when in fact, it's none of these. Microsoft has dropped all hardware platforms except x86, so NT can no longer claim to be "portable". Besides that, OSes like NetBSD really raise the "portable" bar. Supporing 2 little-endian CPU architectures in 2000 is really nothing remarkable. What is remarkable is narrowing that support to 1 CPU architecture in 2001. NT is definitely not secure: take a look around and you find articles like this. As far as stability goes, Microsoft shills have touted NT stability since 1992: each version is always vastly more stable than the last, but when the next rev comes out, so does the truth about the last one. The last rev was about as stable as a toddler taking its first steps: the miracle isn't that it walks well, but that it walks at all.

    Since Microsoft is still a stifling monopoly, I doubt that I'll have any choice about using Windows XP sooner or later, but on the basis of this cheesy review, I'll try to make it later.


    -- I am Spartacus.
    It Is (none / 0) (#41)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:21:42 PM EST

    It's slanted because it's a positive review. I think they did a great job so far with WinXP. As for people being stuck with Win9x, a lot of people are. They're too scared to make the jump to Win2k due to various well documented reasons.

    Sure, Microsoft created the problem of Win9x but only because consumers wanted every dos program ever made and every 10 year old ISA sound card to work with Windows.

    If there had been an easy way to move everyone to NT and keep everyone happy I'm sure they would have.


    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Slanted! (none / 0) (#52)
    by captain soviet on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:48:25 AM EST

    It's slanted, because this review does not mention the problems of XP, for example, that it wastes a lot of system resources, or that programs for 9x/ME only run in compatibility-mode on XP, - which means a) slower and b) even more buggy.

    Moreover XP's support for old hardware is not the best, - it didn't even recognize my S3 Virge, - it didn't want to install on my K6-II 233 / 192MB RAM anyway.

    Then there is those features I don't give a damn about, - like a personal firewall - I don't really need a firewall, - I have file sharing turned off on win98, I don't use outlook - what would I fear?
    Why would I need user switching, when I'm the only one to use my PC?
    The driver rollback. Q: How often did I download the latest drivers? A: Never.
    [...]

    Microsoft would have done a great job, if it had released a small, stable and fast OS, not one over-loaded with things like clear-type and an even slower start menu, which increase resolution by 300% and CPU-usage by 1000%. I want a highly customizable GUI, not one, that just looks fine...

    [ Parent ]

    Try to read it again (none / 0) (#61)
    by DeadBaby on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:18:04 PM EST

    The only bad things I can say: The system requirements are a bit high, it takes up a hefty chunk of disk space, compatibility is good but obviously not perfect, hardware support (especially for off brand stuff) is hit or miss, but nothing you wouldn't expect from a major OS update.

    Also, you can use Litestep, Winstep, GeoShell, Ice Sphere, etc if you dislike the windows UI.


    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    other way around (none / 0) (#68)
    by ethereal on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:18:43 PM EST

    It's a positive review because it is slanted. If it were not a slanted review, it would not be overwhelmingly positive.

    --

    Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    [ Parent ]

    Slanted? (3.50 / 2) (#42)
    by NightRain on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:31:30 PM EST

    It's a positive review that is based on someone's opinion. I get the feeling that because you are apparently anti Microsoft, you are denegrating the article just because it is not. Of course a review of a produce that the reviewer finds good will use terminology to sway the reader to their side of the fence. It's the whole point of a review.

    Don't vote, it only encourages them!


    [ Parent ]
    Technical nit. (3.50 / 4) (#33)
    by Inoshiro on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 06:34:57 PM EST

    "It did however introduce the ability to run programs as a different user. (aka, su)"

    Not entirely try. They introduced the equivalent of sudo, not su. su provides an entire environment and shell of the specified user, sudo merely changes the euid of a process. The distinction is subtle, but well documented (from the man pages):

    NAME
           su - Change user ID or become super-user
    
    and
    NAME
           sudo - execute a command as another user
    


    --
    [ イノシロ ]
    The funniest part (3.33 / 3) (#38)
    by weirdling on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:32:58 PM EST

    Was when he said MSFT firewall will fix the most obvious and glaring security faults with MS OSs and failed to mention that the primary security fault needful of fixing is Outlook. You can *turn off* your smb shares.
    Well, thinks my little Mac- and linux-addled brain, what idiot would make an os whose default install shares the entire drive to the entire world? Golly, gee. Yet more 'innovation' on the part of MS, to fix such a glaringly idiotic thing as leaving the front door open by putting up a rusty gate at the fence.

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    Wow (2.00 / 1) (#40)
    by DeadBaby on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:17:39 PM EST

    People still use Outlook?

    Seriously though, Outlook Express 6 includes the security patch that MS released a few months ago and is mostly imune to vbs viruses.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Outlook Express (none / 0) (#65)
    by itsbruce on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 01:00:57 PM EST

    Doesn't have the business-oriented features of Outlook, so plenty of people use Outlook. But both OE and Outlook still have glaring bugs in their messaging code, bugs which have been there for years through all the versions. My experience of administering e-mail systems has taught me that MS mail clients are the most error-prone and least error tolerant. The joke is that this means they cause more problems for each other than for people who don't use MS clients.


    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    I hate Outlook (none / 0) (#70)
    by weirdling on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:23:51 PM EST

    What idiot came up with the idea of storing all your personal information on a remote server that is so crash prone that not a week goes by but what it isn't down at least twice and once for an hour or so and so insecure that if the firewall simply didn't let anybody in, anyone could read that info? Storing it on a remote server is bad enough if the server is actually 24/7, but many's the day I've taken a long lunch while waiting for Outlook/Exchange to sort out their differences so I could retrieve a valuable piece of information from email I'd already read and should have been downloaded local. Or, those days when I can't even synch my Visor because Outlook is down...

    I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
    [ Parent ]
    remote mail storage isn't a bad thing (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by dmc on Mon Apr 16, 2001 at 04:48:24 PM EST

    i dunno. i ssh into my mail server, and read my mail with mh. i've never had a problem with it. what you are complaining about is poor implementation. condemning a server/client philosophy because MS can't implement it properly is short-sighted.

    [ Parent ]
    Glaringly Idiotic Things (none / 0) (#43)
    by DCMonkey on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 09:41:29 PM EST

    No default install of Windows I've ever seen shares the drive by default.

    [ Parent ]
    Actually.. (none / 0) (#60)
    by DeadBaby on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:14:59 PM EST

    They're hidden shares. They're very much there. They don't have guest access however. I do believe Win XP doesn't create them by default but I always apply a small reg patch to turn them off when installing NT so I'm not positive I didn't do it myself.
    "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
    [ Parent ]
    Sharing is *NOT* on be default. (none / 0) (#48)
    by vheissu256 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:53:44 AM EST

    Well, thinks my little Mac- and linux-addled brain, what idiot would make an os whose default install shares the entire drive to the entire world?

    Perhaps a bit too addled? I've installed various win9x's probably a dozen times on five or six separate computers, and unpacked 4 of those computers from the box. Win95, 98 and 98SE. Not one of the installations came with file sharing on by "default" Its true that its awfully EASY to turn on without, and once its on, it doesn't have the greatest access control, but what do you expect... It's a very minor feature of windows that is almost never used.

    Looking around the ~400 personal machines on the LAN at my dorm, only about 20 have enabled any kind of Windows file sharing, and almost all of those have only shared one or two directories (usually people's mp3 directories, if you must know,) and evidently done so quite intenionally.

    The fact is, virtually all standard linux distros probably have almost as many holes. But linux people are quick to bury thier problems under the words "an proper install would have disabled that" while trashing MS for even more trivial gaps.

    Now the problems with Outlook, I won't let MS get off so easy, but what are you going to do? :P


    /* this post not warranteed for mission critical applications */
    [ Parent ]
    We're talking about NT, not 9x (none / 0) (#64)
    by itsbruce on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:56:54 PM EST

    And NT defaults to giving all users change permissions on the c: drive. Which makes a mockery of the whole idea of user security. This is how Melissa raped the business world despite the prevalence of NT over 9x in the commercial sector.


    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    We're talking about Network File Sharing ... (none / 0) (#69)
    by vheissu256 on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:23:47 PM EST

    ...not user permissions! And I can't really imagine that anyone could get away without change permission to the users own email directory! The reason the Melissa virus was devastating was because Microsoft allowed email attachments to include VBS scripts... Admittedly, a bad mistake. However, this has nothing to do with the prevailing myth among Linux buffs that Windows enables network file sharing by default!

    *shudders to think he is really having to defend MS*


    /* this post not warranteed for mission critical applications */
    [ Parent ]
    More than that (none / 0) (#72)
    by itsbruce on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 02:45:00 PM EST

    I can't really imagine that anyone could get away without change permission to the users own email directory!

    If that were all, Melissa couldn't spread. The default permissions are change access for the whole system drive, allowing Melissa to install it's own dlls and have them executed. That is incomparably dumb.


    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    Sharing by default (4.00 / 1) (#53)
    by grantfribbens on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 04:12:29 AM EST

    Sharing is on by default in NT4 and Windows 2000. They share out all harddrives as administrative shares. The only protection that they have is that they are hidden shares and are only accessible by the administrators group. I use this all of the time, but I have made sure that I have a nice linux firewall to go through blocking all unwanted traffic.

    [ Parent ]
    Win2k experience (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by lordnibbler on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 08:59:03 PM EST

    Win2k was an huge overall improvement over 9x, it didn't go way above NT 4 in key areas. Here's my gripes about... bugs. Tons are out there and support from MS is poor. Only one service pack has come out. Since day one the graphical UI has been filled with bugs. Anyone else find tray items' right-click menus reluctant to close if clicked accidentally? How about corrupt explorer icons? how about a control panel that, instead of opening, one day decided it was bored with that life and made a new one crashing explorer? My Matrox G400 drivers refuse to upgrade, but i think that is a matrox problem. Stability is decent for this OS--most crashes are my fault, BSOD's are rare and other messings-up and crashings can be fixed with the excellent Task Manager. Internet Security is another story... just check the latest IE scandal. The compatixility has been there since the betas, it's a program caled APCOMPAT.exe or something tucked away in an extra folder on the CD. So as to hoping that XP's issues are resolved, I say good luck because I'm still waiting for them to fix 2000. By the way, i'm running a 2000 pro beta on a machine at work and find it to be no different from 2000 retail...

    Performance problem? (4.00 / 3) (#46)
    by the coose on Thu Apr 05, 2001 at 10:37:49 PM EST

    The biggest fear people seem to have is that Luna is slow. I have not noticed this at all on my system. (P3-800 / 256MB)

    Good lord I hope you don't notice any slow system performance issues with a P3-800. I feel so un-1337 with my lowly K6-350 :(

    Offtopic, but... (1.00 / 2) (#54)
    by spaceon on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 05:13:51 AM EST

    I'm sorry, I know this is offtopic but is anyone else running into problems with memory usage with KuroShin stories. Specifically with IE5.

    With Resource Meter running I can open a story and watch my memory run down into the red as the story loads. The memory is freed when the window is closed or I change to another page.

    I've got 128mb so a simple story shouldn't chew up all of my memory... larger stories from 'other' sites don't seem to do this... just Kuroshin.

    Is anyone else running into this or is it just me? I can reproduce it each time and have re-installed IE just in case I had a stuffed system.

    I had a quick look at the source but can't see anything weird (unclosed tags etc).


    Sigs are highly overrated.
    First, and second (none / 0) (#73)
    by CrayDrygu on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 03:52:55 PM EST

    First, system resources are not memory. I don't care if you have 64mb RAM or 4.2gb RAM, you've got the same amount of system resources.

    Second, I think I can explain. I haven't noticed that myself, since I don't have a resource meter running now, but I did a long time ago, and I've have the exact same problem while reading Slashdot as a moderator. Near as I can tell, the probelm stems from having so many form elements (dropdown box and submit button for every entry) on one page.

    [ Parent ]
    I am not impressed (4.00 / 8) (#55)
    by itsbruce on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 06:15:19 AM EST

    1. I am totally unimpressed by an OS which can be killed stone dead by a dodgy printer driver (HP don't do any other kind these days). Click on Print, BSOD. Way to go.
    2. Once again, I am unimpressed by an OS which defaults to giving all users "change everything" permissions. Yes, competent administrators should change that but we all know that there are many more NT networks than competent NT administrators. It can also cause a headache for the competent admins because users see the loss of rights as having something taken away from them. When the "Power-user" pricks have influence in the organisation and demand to keep Poweruser priveleges it creates an admin nightmare.
    3. Adding plug and play to NT is BAD (ok, that began with 2k but XP has it in spades). With NT4, a device worked or it didn't and the system carried on regardless, leaving you a message in the event log so you knew what to fix. PNP second guesses you all the time, frequently gets it wrong and won't let you turn it off! You should be able to turn PNP off, only Microsoft can't do modularity.
    4. I continue to be unimpressed by the way MS force their UI changes on users. It's bad enough that they reinvent half of the underlying system every other year (with much of it just being different rather than better) without simultaneously forcing users to deal with a new interface. UI "enhancements" should be optional, the UI should be a module so you could genuinely opt for the new or old version. But again, MS can't do modules - as shown by the constant reinvention of the common control dlls etc. There is absolutely no reason (bar incompetence or marketing diktat) why the controls and interface elements can't be backwardly compatible, so that windows 9x (or even 3.1) programs could share the same toolkit.
    5. The remote admin and automation features are still a crude joke.

    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    You forget someting.. (4.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Bigs on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 11:56:28 AM EST

    In reply to point 2: This OS is meant for home users. Say if my father, my brother and I all three worked on the same machine, I would make us all power users (I believe they are called that way). I think that's the case in most domestic environments. And in a company, the only Administrator is the sysop. The rest are all users and they don't care (at least not where I work).
    For point 5 goes the same.. it's sufficient for home use. It would be way too expensive to put Metaframe-like functionality in such a little OS.
    And for point 4.. you can still switch to a basic (Windows 2000-like) GUI.

    I too have been working with WXP for some time, and I think it's ok. They only problem is that it assumes that you are totally stupid and lame. I'd love to have one button to disable all the privacy warnings and give me a normal non-idiot-proof control panel.

    [ Parent ]
    Correction (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by itsbruce on Fri Apr 06, 2001 at 12:35:25 PM EST

    This OS is meant for home users

    It's meant for business and home but the stupid security defaults apply to both. This has been the case all the way through with NT, which is why viruses like Melissa cause so much damage. What was the excuse for NT4 or Win2k, then?

    For point 5 goes the same.. it's sufficient for home use. It would be way too expensive to put Metaframe-like functionality in such a little OS.

    I wasn't talking about Metaframe - it only goes to show how unfamiliar with the concepts of automation many Windows users are, that they are never introduced to it. But since you bring up Metaframe, the ability to run programs - or whole login sessions - on a remote machine and have the graphical output sent to your own screen is a basic, core feature of the Unix desktop and not a monster feature that requires killer servers. Terminal Server is the rip-off of the century and yet another example of how Microsoft get away with charging big money for basic features because their monopoly-tied users have never been given anything different.

    And for point 4.. you can still switch to a basic (Windows 2000-like) GUI.

    In the same way as you could opt for a 95 desktop from 98 - in other words, not really.


    --

    It is impolite to tell a man who is carrying you on his shoulders that his head smells.
    [ Parent ]
    MacOSX is going to be great (1.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Duke Gonzo on Sun Apr 15, 2001 at 03:31:59 PM EST

    trust me I am a doctor of journalism, OSX is going to be big, big big big! Windows XP is the system for pigfvckers and rednecks! I think that Bill Gates should get down on his knees and beg for the forgivness of his customers who bought buggy product after buggy product. Even a group of trained monkeys could do better than the group that tries to pass off betaware for a retail OS. OSX by far beats XP as much as Greorge W. Bush beat Ralph Nader. I mean you don't have to be H. Ross Perot to know that OSX is going to beat the pants off of XP and sell more Macs than ever before. Even the Unix Guys are considering checking out OSX, and got their eyss on an iMac or G4 Cube just to run it. Face it Microsoft, your days are numbered!

    48 Hours with Win XP Beta 2 | 78 comments (74 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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