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Which OS is the best for you?

Category: 2001 Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Mike Berman
Dave Berman

I've used 'em all -- Linux, BeOS, DOS and all the various incarna-tions of Windows (including Win-dows 286). And, while I can sympathize with Webmaster Dave wanting to stick with tried and true Win98SE, it may be time for him to get his head out of the sand!

Notice he doesn't tell us how many times he's suffered through the agony of getting "the blue screen of death" using 98SE. That doesn't happen with Windows XP. Nor does he tell us how often he's had to reboot because 98SE has hiccuped on new hardware or software it doesn't like.

I've found XP -- Professional and Home -- to be the most stable operating system to come out of Redmond to date. It's easy to use, set up, configure and, yes, uninstall. In fact, XP reduced the time it took for me to set up my wireless home network from several agonizing hours (using 98SE) to only a few minutes. Plus a forced compatibility module (not available in 98SE) allows me to install older hardware without a glitch.

And, despite the rumours, registering it to work with my computer (which is also a Pentium III/800) only required me to let them know what country I was registering from. No names, addresses or phone numbers (unless you want to give them) required! Result: A veritable picnic without the the fear of spam!

Now, facing reality, with all picnics there have to be a few bugs. And, as has become a tradition with every computer software com-pany, XP is far from bug free. But the Boys from Redmond have been pretty good about posting updates and patches that can be automatically downloaded and installed as soon as you connect to the Internet or can be downloaded from the company's Win XP update website.

If stability is a major concern and you're sick of staring at the "blue screen of death" every time you make a change, this is the answer to your prayers.

As for Linux and those other OS wanabees (here I go enciting those Linux terrorists again), they have a long way to go before they can attract the "home" or "average" PC user.

Linux's big problem is ease of use and versatility. Linux developers are so busy making it an anti-Windows product, they're forgetting about appealing to the main stream. Compatability is the key! And, don't be surprised if some of your Linux software doesn't work with all of the versions of the OS due to "minor changes in code" that makes you opt for RedHat rather than Mandrake, etc.


While it is a new year, some things never change. I'm still running Windows 98SE on my PIII 800mhz system.
Now, despite what Mighty Mike says, I am right when I say that Windows 98SE is the OS of choice for the home user.
If I happen to be wrong then I can always come back and edit the column because I am Webmaster Dave.
Nonetheless, here's why 98SE is the way to go:

  • It's easy to use.
  • It's easy to install.
  • It runs Diablo and Diablo 2 without complaining.
  • It doesn't slow down over time like NT and Windows 2000.

I've tried all the others including several flavors of Linux but Windows 98SE stands strong as being among the best of what's out there.
Windows NT and 2000 are notorious for slowing down after using them for a long time -- even after defragging and doing all that other computer tech stuff you're supposed to do in order to keep your computer running up to snuff.

They also won't run many games because of that enhanced security garbage. To speak somewhat technically, it takes a bit more work for a computer game written for Windows 9x to work on NT or 2000. Neither OS has direct access to the video card. Without this, games won't run unless game makers take the extra time to code this into their games. This hasn't happened last time I looked and I wouldn't expect it to happen anytime soon.

Windows XP hasn't released their first service pack so I don't plan on trying that out anytime soon. And the fact that I'm forced to register it makes it even less appealing. The last thing I need is more spam.

Linux? Well, what can I say about Linux other than the support isn't there and it's too difficult for most. It also doesn't run many of my favorite video games although that Nibbles game is pretty darn neat*.

So, unless Microsoft comes out with a Windows 98TE, I'll sitck with what I've got: A rather speedy PIII 800mhz system with 128mb of RAM, 40GB hard drive with cable modem attached. *insert grunt here*

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