Win98SE = Debian 2.1 (Slink)

Story: 10 Days as a Windows XP User: A GNU Perspective on ThingsTotal Replies: 14
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Sep 27, 2005
4:58 PM EDT
Win98SE was released May, 1999. Thus, if you wanted to write an article about Debian 2.1 (Slink) and the subsequent upgrade troubles to Ubuntu I would give it about the same amount of credence.

You compare your fine tuned Ubuntu install first to Win98SE, then to an in-place upgrade to XP? How do you feel qualified in commenting on this particular subject?

Sep 27, 2005
6:10 PM EDT
Normally, I don't feed trolls. But you obviously didn't read the article or you wouldn't have made the comments you did. I didn't write an article about Win 98SE.

Sep 27, 2005
7:25 PM EDT
Hey Bucky...

Not to rain on your fact parade, but Win98SE was used for a long time after May, 1999, even in the corporate world.

It was only last year, in fact, that I upgraded my wife's notebook from Win98SE to Win XP Pro.

If you will recall, XP Home was the first NT-based Windows to be offered as a "user" OS. That means that, prior to XP, Win98SE was a contemporary Windows installation, unless, of course, you really want to compare anything to the execrable Windows ME.

You do offer one interesting thought...

While windows users were stuck all those years, Linux users could move forward. Could do it for free if they wanted to.

Not a bad deal.


Sep 27, 2005
10:33 PM EDT
I don't understand why people keep complaining about Windows ME. The first (and only) computer I ever bought that had Windows on it had Windows ME, and after four years it still runs, without ever reinstalling! Of course it's had its problems, trojan horses, viruses, spyware, etc... but that's not as if Windows 2000 or XP don't have those. And it's true that the first thing I did when I started the computer was to uninstall MSN (what a piece of crap software!). But at least when I want to change a setting in ME it doesn't try to hide where to do that like XP does (I've seen that), nor does it turn back the setting whenever it wants to (I've seen XP do that too). And it doesn't claim to do things that it cannot do (my pet peeve with XP is that it cannot even get a background image right! I have to use Windows XP Pro SP1 at work and if you give a JPG as background it gets lost each time you log out and log back in! The background image doesn't disappear when you use a BMP though. Yet XP claims to handle JPGs for backgrounds! At least ME doesn't claim that. And if it can't get a background image right, how can I trust it with anything valuable?).

In other words I wish people would stop complaining about Windows ME. It's not any worse than other Windows offerings. It's not (true) multi-user, doesn't have much security to begin with, but you can't trust XP security anyway do you?

And before someone asks, yes I've used Windows 98SE in the past (and not so long ago. A sister-in-law of mine had a Windows 98SE computer until a few months ago), and in my opinion ME is a big improvement. Yes, ME is still crap, but not worse crap than Windows XP (which, besides being crap, seems to think it knows better than me what I want to do with my computer).

Sep 27, 2005
11:14 PM EDT
Tsela --

Maybe it's one of those "Your mileage may vary" things. I've had only a little experience with ME, pretty much all bad.

Sep 27, 2005
11:23 PM EDT

You're probably right. I just find it strange that I would be the only one whose experience hasn't been catastrophic. I'm not a computer guru by any sense of the word. So how have I been able to get ME to keep working for four years when people with much better technical knowledge than me (even of Windows) complain it's so awful?

I feel the same when people tell me Debian Sarge is difficult to install and administrate. It was a breeze to me! (and I don't even have any formal IT education...)

Can anyone tell me what's wrong with me?!! ;)

Sep 28, 2005
12:08 AM EDT
Tsela -

Quoting:Can anyone tell me what's wrong with me?!! ;)

If you have to ask, you can't afford it!!

Seriously, though, I think there's something to YMMV, especially in the OS of vendor responsibility for drivers and DLL hell. I'm guessing the mix of hardware and applications makes a big difference in the user experience.

Sep 28, 2005
12:56 AM EDT
Windows98 SE is absolutely brilliant


Sep 28, 2005
7:00 AM EDT
"I decided to try Windows 98 SE..." "Then without warning, my Internet connection stopped working. No matter how many times I tried to reconnect, I could not..." "Later, I discovered that Windows 98 SE had a problem..."

"My IBM Thinkpad originally came with Windows 2000 Pro. I have the OEM disk. IBM affixed the Certificate of Authority on the bottom of the case. But as mentioned above, I installed Windows 98 SE."

Tell me again this isn't about Win98SE.

"When I started the upgrade process, Windows XP took over two hours to finish"

Yes, the in-place upgrades don't work all that well. I agree this is something Microsoft could have spent more time on. I've never seen a recommendation to run an in-place upgrade. I have however seen recommendations on how to do a clean install from upgrade media.

"To connect to Netscape, I had to download their dialer"

Let me get this straight, you pick an ISP that requires a dialer, then complain about the dialer?

"I agreed to the IBM's end user license and began to download something called Thinkpad Software Installer, which said it would download the drivers I needed"

The Thinkpad Software Installer is a great utility. No, it is not bandwidth sensitive, but is far better than hunting for exactly what IBM drivers you need (which would have been a legitimate complaint for this article).

"So, I ended day two installing the XP drivers for the Thinkpad, Java and configuring the laptop for use functionality"

You've never had to load/hunt for drivers for your Thinkpad running Linux? You then complain yet again about your poor choice of ISP and that you did OS updating over dial-up?

"I burned a CD on my Linux box and loaded the files from there to Windows. It was sneakerware all over again"

You mention a LAN, but didn't use samba, ftp, or http for transferring files?

"I discovered I had inadvertently allowed some Spyware to come through Internet Explorer"

You used IE as a local admin, most likely browsed sites beyond your email, and complain you have spyware? Self-inflicted yet again.

"I still had a security suite left over from my previous ISP that I never needed previously, so I decided to try that"

You install random software, then complain when you system doesn't work correctly?

"I soon, discovered more problems with the registry that resulted from my upgrade from Windows 98SE to XP"

What!?!? Your comment was "Normally, I don't feed trolls. But you obviously didn't read the article or you wouldn't have made the comments you did. I didn't write an article about Win 98SE.", yet what are you writing about here? your issues from an in-place upgrade!

"Then I read an on-line article critical of Microsoft's firewall. A friend told me about ZoneAlarm's free firewall and suggested I install. So I did."

The XP firewall works quite well. No, it isn't verbose, but yes, it does defend a default install on the net.

"I felt stunned when my DSL modem arrived and discovered that a customer had to have a Windows PC available to activate SBC/Yahoo DSL service"

The technicians they send out are familiar with Windows, the current install base leader for desktops, which is unfortunately Windows.

"That caused me to wonder why everyone up to that point said I had to have Windows"

The default stance is to specify a specific OS they can pay people to know and support, and refuse official support for all other types.

"My Assessment

I do not consider Windows ready for the desktop. I found it difficult to use, buggy and lacking in security. I also found technical support lacking."

My Assessment

I do not consider your article ready for publishing. I found it difficult to read and lacking in useful information. I also found your technical support skills lacking.

Sincerely, Bucky

Sep 28, 2005
7:14 AM EDT
Bucky -

I don't know if you intended this or not, but your response makes an excellent mirror, just as Tom's article is a mirror of a billion "Linux ain't ready" articles.

Linux folk aren't always good at admitting to warts.

If someone writes about a difficult experience, you are likely to see a litany of "Well, you should have checked to see that the hardware was supported; Why did you choose that hardware?; It's not Linux's fault if the vendor doesn't cooperate; What do you need that for, couldn't you kind of do something similar with XYZ?; Someone as stupid as you shouldn't go near a computer in the first place, etc,etc,etc."

My response tends to be that desktop users don't care about most of that. They want it to work. That's all. It does or it doesn't.

Same applies to Windows. Windows users are isolated to some extent because Windows usually comes pre-installed and working.

Sep 28, 2005
7:35 AM EDT
Bucky: Great response. Very funny. LOL :)

Sorry if I offended you.

I responded to a fellow who wanted to know if this was a parody.

Here's the response:

Parody or Not?

10 Days as a Linux User: A GNU Perspective on things

We did a rebuttal, however, a real life experience seemed a more appropriate response. I developed extensively on Windows until late 2002 and hold a bunch of Certs from Microsoft. My product was a replacement for Exchange which has a plugin for Outlook. I don't think Bill Gates would consider me a novice because I broke his code. But that's another story, documented at:

Understanding and Replacing Microsoft Exchange


Wonderful points :)

Writing should always be this much fun eh.


Sep 28, 2005
7:56 AM EDT
Tom -

Yes, but it gets scary.

Every now and then, I hear Toadie asking to be set free. Mind you, I love Toadie, almost as much as I loved the honorable Judge Buford I. Motion, but he messes with my mind.

Sep 28, 2005
8:01 AM EDT
Keep that toad under lock and key ;D

Oct 01, 2005
4:20 AM EDT
Windows 98 SE is great (Sorry I forgot to mention the under Win4Lin bit)

Oct 01, 2005
6:18 AM EDT
If you are a twenty two year old astroturfer, then it's like so over.

OMG, I was like in junior high school. I mean, how could it be great? I could even drive a car like. I mean boring.

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