Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2006 19:50 UTC, submitted by Nalle
Windows "I've been looking at the 'My desktop OS'-articles, and found that I'll have to be the one writing one for Windows XP. To be honest, Windowx XP is very close to being usable on the desktop. I say very close, because it's not so out of the box. There is a few issues, however and many of them arises when you need to reinstall. You do need to reinstall Windows from time to time - it's just a fact of life!"
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I'm happy for you
by The Baron on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:28 UTC
The Baron
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm happy that you found an OS that you are happy with. Personally, I couldn't care less what OS people use. I just want the content to be able to be used by everyone.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I'm happy for you
by ma_d on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:37 UTC in reply to "I'm happy for you"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Then why are you happy he's using software shipped by the DRM loving Microsoft? Seriously, they've not exactly been champions of interoperability thus far; so why would you want users to support a company which is against what you seek?
Maybe you're simply agnostic about this?

Reply Score: 0

RE: I'm happy for you
by Nalle on Sat 18th Feb 2006 07:59 UTC in reply to "I'm happy for you"
Nalle Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows XP is not my OS of choice. Ubuntu Linux is. I wrote this article only to show that you can use Windows XP as a working desktop system, without spending more money than for the computer and the Windows licence.

I'm not talking politics here. I dislike Microsofts politics as much as the next guy (or gal) here.
I hate the DRM-shit they are introducing and even the concept of not buying the program, but only a licence to use it.

However, the DRM isn't all that much of a problem in XP - as I understand Vista will be a different story. And face it, PC more often than not gets shipped with an OEM license of Windows XP allready installed and configured and most people won't be bothered with even repartitoning to dual boot, much less wiping it out to install Linux or BSD! That's for those that has this as a hobby or job (read nerds/geeks if you want to). They run Windows 'cos that's what's on the box - and it works - somehow. And why shouldn't they? Even if I am not to happy with XP - I use it because I have to at work, people happily run Windows. Both in and out of office.

I am not a gamer. I don't play games at all except Minesweeper from time to time. Since that game is in both Windows and Linux (most distros in general and Ubuntu specially), Windows has nothing to give me.

Also, I like the ability to change virtual screens and the copying function that allways works - even on the CLI (using gpm). Even if XP SP2 is quite stable, I still find Linux more stable. And a big plus is that it is possible and easy to run as a regular user in Linux (any distro). And last but not least, I like a command line interface that actually works! It's actually quite fun programming Bash.

And naturally, there's also the warm cozy feeling of being more than just close to immune of viruses/malware/spyware.

So all in all, Windows (any version) is not my OS of choise. But an OS is a tool, nothing more, and I can work with it if I have to. I still hate Microsoft policy and I still think DRM is an offencive invasion of privacy!

Oh, and one more thing. Didn't you catch the sarcasm between the lines? I tell you about the hard work (it'll take you a day or so) to get Windows XP to work well for an experienced user, while I used 45 minutes to install Ubuntu with all wistles and bells - support for Windows Media files included - and secure enough for the novice!

As a side note I can tell you that I sendt an old Dell (700Mhz, 128MB RAM and 10 GB HDD) to my sister, installed with Ubuntu. It took about an hour and the machine is safe enough that I sleep well at night, even if my sister only has used Windows at work before, has has mild datafobia, and have never started a box with Linux installed. She is happily talking with me with aMSN, browsing the net with Firefox and reading her mail with Evolution. She doesn't miss Windows at home at all adn she's named her PC Magda as she would a pet. She loves the games in Ubuntu too.

Nalle Berg
./nalle.

Reply Score: 4

Not for morons
by agentj on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:32 UTC
agentj
Member since:
2005-08-19

Windows and computers are not for morons (In the perfect world where there wouldn't be idiots writing exploits & viruses even monkeys could use it). I run WinXP SP2, and I have never had any virus since I had C64 in 1993 ;) My brother's PC gets viruses all the time, and it has the same OS installed.
I just don't open all those "get free porn" or "your computer is infected" emails/popups, I don't download & run warez.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not for morons
by cfrankb on Fri 17th Feb 2006 23:07 UTC in reply to "Not for morons"
cfrankb Member since:
2006-01-03

> C64 in 1993

You mean 1983?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not for morons
by agentj on Fri 17th Feb 2006 23:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Not for morons"
agentj Member since:
2005-08-19

I was born in 1984 ;) C64 was still expensive in Poland at that time (1993).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not for morons
by MORB on Sat 18th Feb 2006 09:47 UTC in reply to "Not for morons"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

There are a lot of ways to get infected by a virus without opening any mail or visiting any site that are obviously of a shady nature.

Windows may not be for morons (aka "computer illiterate"), but it is sold and widely accepted as such.
Then people like you and me have to provide tech support for their family members, which is something that I hate. Why should I waste my time because microsoft cannot meet any reasonable expectation of stability and security ?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Not for morons
by Caspian on Sat 18th Feb 2006 15:39 UTC in reply to "Not for morons"
Caspian Member since:
2006-01-01

yes, because we all know that downloading warez will cause your system to crash because it will install tons of horrible spyware.

Reply Score: 1

Not a fact of life
by Yamin on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:33 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

I've never had to reinstall windows XP on my laptop and I don't think I ever will. It's not a fact of life ;)

Even many people who get malware infected PCs and everything. THey don't reinstall anymore. They just clean up.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Not a fact of life
by JLF65 on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:03 UTC in reply to "Not a fact of life"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, it IS a fact of life. Even if you never install ANYTHING else on it, some MS updates have left the system in a state that requires a reinstall. MS had one like that just a month or two ago.

Now add commercial programs. Even if you stick to major publishers and purchase only from reputable software dealers, many programs install dlls which conflict with some Windows dlls. Some will require you to update certain parts of Windows (most notably DirectX). All those can leave the system unbootable under certain circumstances.

Then add third-party hardware driver updates that may crash the system, and exploits that can corrupt the system just from visiting a webpage, and hackers who might break into your box just because you have an active internet connection.

Not reinstalling Windows is the oddity - a rare occurence to be celebrated. You have managed to avoid a fate the average person has to deal with all too often. Don't get cocky. You're just lucky, not special, and certainly not the average user.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Not a fact of life
by gpierce on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Not a fact of life"
gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

You can avoid infections and worms, and yet, still, over time it seems, to me at least, that performance--speed of bootup, time for applications to start and stop, time for the computer to shutdown--progressively degrades. It's not so much the computer freezing and blue screening--just getting slower and slower. Why is this? I am not at all certain. In my experience, though somehwat limited as I do not regularly use Windows anyomore, except at work, a Windows install will run pretty well for up to two years, and then there is a slowdown. The good news is that a fresh re-install of Windows XP is usually pretty easy though time consuming. After a re-install things run much more briskly! :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not a fact of life
by xrobertcmx on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fact of life"
xrobertcmx Member since:
2005-09-21

I've found that on my old Dell Laptop and my desktop that over time if you add and remove a fair amount of software it will degrade the systems performance, even with frequent defrags.
My desktop will on average survive about 6 months between reinstalls. Boot time starts to get excessive around then. It does however manage to stay up and speedy for about a week at a stretch before needing to be restarted and I've not seen a BSOD since I pulled the netgear NIC out.
The laptop with light use by the girlfriend has lasted about a year. But boot time is still climbing, around ~30 after grub.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Not a fact of life
by ma_d on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not a fact of life"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

You might try a registry cleaner. Do a backup first, and be careful with whose cleaning software you use. But I've heard this can do wonders for old broken Windows installs.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Not a fact of life
by hal2k1 on Sat 18th Feb 2006 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not a fact of life"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

"You might try a registry cleaner."

I have found that a Windows cleaner works much better.

Here is a free one that can be highly recommended:
http://www.pclinuxos.com/

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not a fact of life
by jessta on Sat 18th Feb 2006 03:59 UTC in reply to "Not a fact of life"
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

lulz
and I'm sure they know exactly what the malware changed on their systems(I guess using some kind of remote system log or something like tripwire) and now are confident that they can do their online banking without any trouble.

- Jesse McNelis

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not a fact of life
by EmmEff on Sun 19th Feb 2006 00:53 UTC in reply to "Not a fact of life"
EmmEff Member since:
2005-09-16

I'm running the same two year old installation of Windows XP that was installed when I built the machine. I have not had any problems with spyware or viruses. I agree that regular reinstalls are not a fact of life.

I've a developer and software has been installed/uninstalled many many many times over. I don't install warez or other questionnable apps either.

Some people have bad luck, I guess...

Reply Score: 1

Out of the box experience ...
by WorknMan on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:34 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I actually like it that Windows comes with very minimal apps. What's the alternative anyway? A Linux distro that comes with 10,000 apps out of the box, half of which are out of date a month after it is release, and 90% of which I will never use anyway? Sure, you can pick and choose which you want to install, but with 10,000 of them, that's a PITA. Just give me the OS and a handful of essential apps and let me choose what I want. I'm sure some distros do that, and that's the right way to go, IMHO.

As for needing to re-install from time-to-time, I ran Windows 2K at work for 2 years, until they gave me a new machine. The new install has been going almost that long with no major problems to speak of so far. Windows is just like Linux - it becomes a perfectly usable tool once you lean how to it.

Edited 2006-02-17 20:35

Reply Score: 3

RE: Out of the box experience ...
by ThawkTH on Fri 17th Feb 2006 22:08 UTC in reply to "Out of the box experience ..."
ThawkTH Member since:
2005-07-06

First:

No, Linux is merely a kernel. Certain distros package different tools, applications, et cetera.

For a very minimal system, see Kubutnu Breezy or something of the sort. This is NOT a Linux disadvantage. With Mandrake, Fedora, etc you're entitled to a large level of choice and flexibility.

As for out of date, apt-get dist-upgrade, yum, urpmi, etc etc etc.


Second, yes for the most part once you figure it out reinstalls are largely uneccessary. Thanks to the Windows Registry in particular, slowdowns and instability over time are almost inevitable and will affect most users. (Linux can also have similar issues over time, of course).

Reply Score: 1

Snooks Member since:
2006-01-10

"Thanks to the Windows Registry in particular, slowdowns and instability over time are almost inevitable and will affect most users."

The registry is just a mess. I can't believe it's being carried over into Vista but then Vista at this point is nothing more than transparent windows. yawn.

Amazing that XP is so outdated you have to do manual defragmenting.

Reply Score: 0

mono Member since:
2005-10-19

"Vista at this point is nothing more than transparent windows. yawn."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_new_to_Windows_Vista

Reply Score: 1

RE: Out of the box experience ...
by CoYoT on Fri 17th Feb 2006 23:13 UTC in reply to "Out of the box experience ..."
CoYoT Member since:
2006-02-17

Yep, you're of course completely right. 1 text editor and 1 shitty browser are much better, than 3 browsers from which you can choose. Why choose? Just use the 'one and only' program. 10,000? Who cares? You don't have to install them all. With a standard installation you get 1 or 2 programs of every type. Can't you live with that? You can use dices to choose the one you will use.
You won't be using 90% of the programs, but you neighbor won't be using the 10% you are using, but some other 10%. Got it?
You want a handful of essential apps and you want to choose. Are you sure we're talking about the same system? XP SP2? What do you want to choose there? "Will I use Notepad today, or maybe I surf the net with IE". Is that your definition of a choice?
About programs which are out of date after a month of using - right, and tell me, how often do you update your Windows soft? For example - Office Suite. Oh, sorry, I forgot. You have to pay for an update. Hm, maybe Notepad with new features? Oh dear, forgot again, the new versions come only with the new OS (wow, nice move MS). I know, you can download other software from the Web. But isn't it more comfortable to just start your packet manager and click 'install'? There's no searching for. Ok, most people use the same software. Not because it's the best piece of soft, but because 'Timmy's got the same program and he likes it'. But I don't think that's the way it should be...

You didn't have to reinstall Windows, fine. Not often maybe. You can live with it and not get any trojans or viruses if used properly. Try to tell a 10 years old not to open every attachment... Linux has REAL user privileges. What does Windows have?
And honestly - if you use IE, OE and surf the net often (not 2 times a week) getting a virus is only a matter of time. And where's the information in the EULA that you need to pay a Third-party software company for a firewall and antivirus, because without that the OS is simply crap?

Have a nice day.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Out of the box experience ...
by helf on Sat 18th Feb 2006 15:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Out of the box experience ..."
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

ok, his argument didn't make a lot of sense, but you are just being an asshole.

He can simply install a lot of FOSS that he likes in windows. he doesnt have to use MS software like Office or what not.

I use debian a lot and like it, but I also use windows 2k. You CAN explain stuff to people without coming off as a fanboy jerkoff. People like you are what give "linux" a bad rap. You scare people away or make them mad. Its NOT a good thing.

Reply Score: 1

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Unlike the other guy who replied to your post, I won't resort to namecalling, because I don't do that.

You want a handful of essential apps and you want to choose. Are you sure we're talking about the same system? XP SP2? What do you want to choose there? "Will I use Notepad today, or maybe I surf the net with IE". Is that your definition of a choice?

When I say essential, I'm talking about the bare miinimum to get me on the web and to download whatever I want. Ok, so a couple of the apps are really not essential, but I can live with that.

bout programs which are out of date after a month of using - right, and tell me, how often do you update your Windows soft?

If the app is commercial, the update costs money, and there's no new features I'm interested in, I'll stick with the curent version. Otherwise, I usually update as soon as a new version is released.

I know, you can download other software from the Web. But isn't it more comfortable to just start your packet manager and click 'install'? There's no searching for.

I really don't like the concept of package managers myself. Or at least, not the way they're current implemented, because there's no standard for packages (similar to the open document format),s o you've got different package managers using their own format and many distros using different package managers. What this means is that in order to use the package manager, unless you wanna jump through hoops, you're pretty much limited to whatever your distro repository has to offer. And it is my experience that the distro repository usually has every app under the sun, except for the one I happen to be looking for at any given time.

Try to tell a 10 years old not to open every attachment... Linux has REAL user privileges. What does Windows have?

There are email programs to which you can disable certain kinds of attachments if you would like Anyway, if there was no way to prevent a 10-year old from opening attachments, and I had a 10-year old who did that after I told him not to, I'd beat his ass. He wouldn't do it again.

And honestly - if you use IE, OE and surf the net often (not 2 times a week) getting a virus is only a matter of time.

I don't use IE or OE, but you're probably right.

And where's the information in the EULA that you need to pay a Third-party software company for a firewall and antivirus, because without that the OS is simply crap?

I use a free firewall and anti-virus program .. both are quite capable.

Edited 2006-02-18 15:51

Reply Score: 1

Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

Yep, you're of course completely right. 1 text editor and 1 shitty browser are much better, than 3 browsers from which you can choose. Why choose? Just use the 'one and only' program.

technically its two text editors if you want to count wordpad ;)

How about I use the one browser thats installed to download and install firefox or another browser of my choice ?

About programs which are out of date after a month of using - right, and tell me, how often do you update your Windows soft? For example - Office Suite. Oh, sorry, I forgot. You have to pay for an update.

It depends on the new functionality of the release. I myself skipped Office XP (office 2002) but did purchase office 2003.

Hm, maybe Notepad with new features? Oh dear, forgot again, the new versions come only with the new OS (wow, nice move MS).

WTF is your fixation with notepad ? The best thing about notepad is that it IS NOT UPDATED and there are no *new* features. Its dirt simple and it f*cking works the same on every version of windows in existance. End of story.

Try to tell a 10 years old not to open every attachment... Linux has REAL user privileges. What does Windows have?

Well if you don't know maybe you shouldn't even bring it up. Heres a tip though since you seem to well versed on this shit, try turning on the guest account for starters.

And honestly - if you use IE, OE and surf the net often (not 2 times a week) getting a virus is only a matter of time. And where's the information in the EULA that you need to pay a Third-party software company for a firewall and antivirus, because without that the OS is simply crap?

I don't think its in the EULA because you don't need a firewall, a basic one is included if you really want it, and antivirus software is free (if you even want to run that 24/7)

Seriously its so obvious you don't even know much about windows why even bother posting about it ?

Reply Score: 1

2003
by PipoDeClown on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:40 UTC
PipoDeClown
Member since:
2005-07-19

My Desktop OS: nLiteOS - Windows Server 2003
My Server OS: ArchLinux
My Sister's OS: OSX 10.4
My Uncle's OS: HPUX
My Rabbit's OS: Windows 2000
My Favourite OS: OS/2 Warp

and all will be reinstalled when i feel bored, so i have something to do...

Edited 2006-02-17 20:41

Reply Score: 1

Was, not is
by moleskine on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:45 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

My experience is pretty similar to the writer's, and I use open source things like Firefox, Thunderbird and so forth. I really just use WinXP for gaming, since Cedega on Linux just isn't good enough, imho (though it's quite a feat all the same). I have found WinXP very, very stable though. I have had blue screens, but only when a memory module went bad.

My impression is that the whole Windows XP "user experience" (as Microsoft might put it) has been hopelessly, ruinously compromised by the spyware and malware explosion of the past couple of years. For an ordinary nontechical user, meaning most folks, it's become very hard to avoid horrid infestations of bad stuff and equally hard to get rid of them. And things aren't helped by running nightmares like Symantec Internet Security which take over and slow things to a crawl.

I guess the combination of running as the admin in most cases and the open nature of the registry (a huge mistake, in retrospect) has done for XP in many ways. So I'd say that XP was close to being OK at one time, but not any more. These days it's become something of a liability unless you know what you're doing. Microsoft had better have got things cleaned up big time in Vista. For myself, if asked what to get I suggest Apple Mac these days among friends and family.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Was, not is
by agentj on Fri 17th Feb 2006 20:55 UTC in reply to "Was, not is"
agentj Member since:
2005-08-19

Wine is out of the question for gaming. If I want to play PS2 games, I'll buy PS2 instead of using crappy emulators.
I actually run WinXP using only the admin account. I've just set up external firewall that won't accept any incoming connection from the outer world.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Was, not is
by archiesteel on Fri 17th Feb 2006 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Was, not is"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Hmmm...what about a connection that "phones home" from the inside? All it would take is a single Trojan, and your system would be compromised.

Don't get me wrong, and external firewall that refuses incoming connection is a very good idea (one that sends them to a non-existent computer is also good, just to slow down scanning tools). It's just that running as Admin is still a dangerous thing to do...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Was, not is
by jessta on Sat 18th Feb 2006 04:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Was, not is"
jessta Member since:
2005-08-17

hmmm...you seem confused as to what a 'firewall' actually does.
technically a desktop OS shouldn't need to run any externally accessable network services, so if you disable all those services then you won't need a firewall.

The effects of running as Admin all the time or not are not effected by having a firewall. Generally the sort of expolits you'll come across on a desktop OS are expoilts in network applications where you are actually making the outgoing connection. i.e expoilts in internet explorer.

But if useless antivirus and firewall software make you 'feel safer' then go ahead waste your CPU cycles.

- Jesse McNelis

Reply Score: 1

RE: Was, not is
by xrobertcmx on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:29 UTC in reply to "Was, not is"
xrobertcmx Member since:
2005-09-21

Funny you say that, I just bought my first MAC. A 12in Powerbook. I really can't say enough good things about it.

Reply Score: 2

Reinstall.
by philicorda on Fri 17th Feb 2006 21:38 UTC
philicorda
Member since:
2005-12-31

There is a strange phenomena I have noticed.
It's that after I've used another OS like Linux for a year or so, then come back to a Windows machine, the Windows machine seems unreliable.

What's strange is that the Windows OS has not become less reliable, but I'm so used to thinking in Linux terms that I trigger problems that never normally appear.

For instance, I needed a touchscreen driver for an XP box, but could only find a 2K one. Installing the 2K one made the machine blue screen on boot, safe mode or not. Now, in Linux I would have booted to a terminal and prevented the driver for being modprobed. In Windows, it was a monumentally stupid thing to install, as I have no idea how to remove a driver by hand. As it turned out, the 'driver' had replaced a few XP system files with old versions when I clicked on the installer, something a kernel module would not do. I'd been so long away from using Windows though, that this eventuality did not even cross my mind.

I also had forgotten the habit of unchecking the 'fill my computer with spyware' boxes when installing some shareware, which did not help. In the end a re-install was in order, and it was no fault of the OS.

Now, those are not a great examples really, but I hope it goes some way to explaining why Linux users sometimes have terrible problems with Windows. There is as much of a cultural difference as a technical one. It's easy to forget how much you unconciously have learnt about the best way to use Windows until you live without it for a while.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Reinstall.
by boredofthesane on Sat 18th Feb 2006 23:25 UTC in reply to "Reinstall."
boredofthesane Member since:
2005-07-06

philicorda:

Well, you hit F8 before windows start to get to a special menu. Then do a selective start. You can pick and choose what drivers you want to load. Then go into safe mode and revert back to a previous configuration via system restore. Like another poster said, you just need to learn how to use Windows to enjoy it. I'm no fanboy, personally I use both, but these "Is windows ready for the desktop?" articles are absurd.

Reply Score: 1

Survival
by Matt24 on Fri 17th Feb 2006 22:38 UTC
Matt24
Member since:
2005-07-23

I admire those people who are willing to find all the quarks in Windows and work around them, true survivors of the fittest.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Survival
by sappyvcv on Fri 17th Feb 2006 23:21 UTC in reply to "Survival"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah.. finding all the quarks would take forever. They must have a ton of patience.

Face it, every system has quirks. Some quirks piss some people off more than others. It's simply a matter of what quirks you're willing to live with the most.

Reply Score: 2

Some reinstall, others don't
by JustThinkIt on Fri 17th Feb 2006 23:39 UTC
JustThinkIt
Member since:
2005-09-04

I'm in the "never reinstall" category and this includes Windows 3.x that almost everyone would reinstall on a regular basis. This is really more a personal style/decision than a need. A co-worker in the 3.x era would always reinstall -- it is noteable that he is much less techie than myself. The reinstall mindset is a lazy one and stops the learning process.

My systems never slow down over time. I would love to see a benchmark that proves that this happens. Note that I don't let crap (like Real or QuickTime) run in the background. I bet that people complaining of slowdowns have too little RAM and gradually do more and more with their systems to the point where they get major disk thrashing.

The single main issue I have with XP is the onerous copy protection. Change components, call Microsoft. Hard drive crashes, fork out money to Microsoft strictly because they are greedy expletives. I think that since most people are running XP legally, Microsoft should back off on these offensive copy protection tactics -- it gains them very very little extra cash and makes me hate their greedy little guts.

Floyd
http://www.just-think-it.com

Reply Score: 3

RE: Some reinstall, others don't
by helf on Sat 18th Feb 2006 15:30 UTC in reply to "Some reinstall, others don't"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I've had the same windows 2k install going for around 4 years now. And thats even with two motherboard swaps! ;) you are right, the reinstall mentality is for the lazy ones.

My grandad has a 386 he refuses to stop using and it has had the same windows 3.1 installation running on it since he bought the thing in ~92... i did a few minor upgrades to the computer and added a few things to windows about a year ago and it is still chugging along ;) (upped the ram to 8mb instead of 4 and added calmira and a svga trident isa card...)


And the whole "windows slows down" is just as much the users fault as the OSes.

Edited 2006-02-18 15:40

Reply Score: 2

Nonsense
by stare on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:13 UTC
stare
Member since:
2005-07-06

Computers arent driven by magic. If your OS is starting to run slowly - use task manager to analyze which processes slow down the system. Look at the cpu/memory/VM usage. Check startup entries and services, remove crap. No need to reinstall. No need to write the "You do need to reinstall Windows from time to time" "articles".

Reply Score: 3

RE: Nonsense
by situation on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:28 UTC in reply to "Nonsense"
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

I find the main slowdown is the registry. Not startup items, not CPU or RAM usage, but installing and uninstalling 20+ apps (perfectly logical over a 1 year span) means tons of crap left in the registry. I try to manually clean it after an uninstall by doing a search for what I just uninstalled. Sometimes I find 10-20 keys, even though it _says_ it uninstalled cleanly. *sigh*, if only the registry was plain text, so you could take a snapshot before and after, and do a diff of the two (I really like Wine installs for this).

Reply Score: 1

I am no Windows fan...
by Tuishimi on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:37 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...but I've been using the same XP system for 2 years at work. I'm a developer, so the system remains relatively stable, but I do install a lot of 3rd party apps that are useful to me (like TurtleCVS, BeyondCompare, etc.)...

Haven't had to do any reinstalls. System hasn't slowed down. I think partitioning out the system from all my development stuff helps, but I don't know. I just don't have any probs with it.

This from an Apple/Mac OS X zealot. Well, almost a zealot. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: I am no Windows fan...
by Snooks on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:58 UTC in reply to "I am no Windows fan..."
Snooks Member since:
2006-01-10

"Haven't had to do any reinstalls. System hasn't slowed down."

I bet if you did a reinstall you would be surprised at how much faster XP i.

Reply Score: 1

XP
by Snooks on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:56 UTC
Snooks
Member since:
2006-01-10

I'll say one thing for XP and PC Hardware, with alot of tuning it's pretty fast. But not very reliable and lousy at multitasking. Requires constant care and feeding as well. With a new PC you need a clean install, then you have to kill all the services that aren't useful and suck up cpu/ram, then do an interface makeover to get around the cartoonish and clumsy XP interface. So now you've got a fast PC but better have anti-virus, firewall, and at last two anti-spyware apps running (all of which suck up lots of ram/cpu). Also defrag and run a registry cleaner and compacter about once a week. After all that reinstall completely about every 6 months. Or you could just buy a Mac.

Edited 2006-02-18 01:57

Reply Score: 1

RE: XP
by sappyvcv on Sun 19th Feb 2006 01:28 UTC in reply to "XP"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

Not reliable how?
Not good at multi-tasking how?

It does require some maintanence and initial cleaning up though, that's for sure. You don't need all those programs running if you know what you're doing though.

Reply Score: 1

Sense of Security
by SmallPotato on Sat 18th Feb 2006 01:58 UTC
SmallPotato
Member since:
2006-01-16

I use Windows XP SP2 as the primary OS at work and at home. At home I share the PC with my sister. I use Firefox and she uses IE (she does not know Firefox at all). To my surprise, my machine does not have a single virus and spyware installed after more than 1 year of usage. I am a system administrator at office and have some knowledge regarding computer security and privacy. But my sister is merely a receptionist in her office, and have virtually no computer knowledge other than Microsoft Office. It is possibly because I taught her some sense of security in the past, as we both don't open untrusted links, don't visit malicious web site, and don't run unknown programs. Currently, I have no reason to format and reinstall my PC.

Reply Score: 2

Actualy...
by gothicknight on Sat 18th Feb 2006 02:04 UTC
gothicknight
Member since:
2005-07-06

Actualy i think i've never reinstaled windows just because i feel so confortable using all GNU apps that i never use it. The usage of windows as became a need to be equal to others and not by a reason of usability.
Many use it just because they need's for work, like a student that need's to programm (as professor request) in Borland C++ Builder and many just to play games.
Win XP is a good SO for desktop when well used, it has it's errors (a lots of them) but the experience of using it's quite simple.
Nevertheless i've found my mom using my laptop (KDE3.5.1) like was nothing at all, and sayed that what she wanted was simply in front of here (firefox that had in tooltip web browser) and just used it.
The thing is, MS is going for the youth and teatching from begining to use windows, that was the reason for me to had stuck with windows for 10 years, and all it was needed was a blue screen of death, a RedHat9 CD and a coffee to get it done.
To get this clear... I use winXP when i need that in the past month's has become to never, but it is a very user friendly desktop SO.
I don't want to get this on the political thing of the problem because if I did that this was going to be very down rated ;)

Reply Score: 2

Spellcheck?
by asusanator on Sat 18th Feb 2006 02:27 UTC
asusanator
Member since:
2006-02-18

I don't mean to be rude, but 'windowx' would be picked up if you passed it through any spellchecker. A proof read would reveal 'loose' instead of lose and many more simple to correct mistakes.

You had a lot of your article as the kerio link. I wondered why you had Kerio, a firewall, listed as your prefered antivirus ;)

I'm sure there are other mistakes, but i can't be bothered looking at them. The point is please proof read your articles.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Spellcheck?
by Nalle on Sat 18th Feb 2006 08:13 UTC in reply to "Spellcheck?"
Nalle Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh, yeah, you're right There is no 'x' at the end of Windows.

And it seems i forgot a " at the end of the HREF to Avast, truncating the text and making it appear as if Kerio was my prefered AV, sorry about that - I wrote it maybe a bit to late yesterday.

It's fixed now - thanks for making me aware of it.

Nalle Berg
./nalle.

Reply Score: 1

Reinstall? I think not
by jayson.knight on Sat 18th Feb 2006 02:31 UTC
jayson.knight
Member since:
2005-07-06

Before doing any major (or minor for that matter) updates, just set a system restore point. Better yet, XP does this automatically during software installs/system updates/etc. Reinstalling an OS is so 20th century (unless you really feel like flattening your machine).

Reply Score: 2

Just what I needed
by Varg Vikernes on Sat 18th Feb 2006 05:02 UTC
Varg Vikernes
Member since:
2005-07-06

Another article discussing how Windows isn't usable on the desktop. How the f--k cares? Nevertheless I decided to spare 5 minutes for your 'article'.

but do I really have to reboot my computer every other day - even if I'm writing an important document at the time?

No you don't. Because a) updates come only every Tuesday (very rarely on other days) and b) Windows will apply patches when you reboot or shut down. You aren't forced anything.

Applications runs smoothly, but the OS itself seem to lag from time to time - or maybe it's the desktop app, explorer? I upgraded from 512MB to 1280MB RAM, thinking it was a memory problem, but no. It still happens - not that often, so a RAM update helped, but the lag's still there from time to time.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

As for your 'Usabillity apps' section, I can only laugh.

Java

You _don't_ need Java. I have an insane amount of apps installed and none of them needs Java. And since I first installed XP in 2001 the only Java application I can remember instaling was Azureus. Now you try to tell me that an average user needs Java.

Print screen enhancer

I belive I speak for all of us when I say WTF?

Notepad is not all that good. I also prefer color coding, since I program from time to time.

That's because you program from time to time. An average user doesn't code at all and if he will, he will find a free alternative out of those 12376476 free text editors. Notepad isn't a great text editor, but for what it was made, it's good enough.

It's difficult to tweak Windows XP. You can find a lot by seartching the net, but it's not easy accessible.

First of all why would an average user need to tweak Windows besides of what is available to tweak in XP? And second, you can download Powertoys from Microsoft's website if you do want to.

Image manipulation application

mspaint.exe ownz. Sure it's complete crap and doesn't have any usefull functions at all, but I have yet to find an application that would start so fast and let me do some extremely basic manipulations (prt sc -> mspaint - paste - save as jpg in 3 seconds).
There's a great alternative for MS Paint (I'm guessing this will be the new mspaint) called Paint .NET (or something like that).

Although I wasted 15 minutes of my time reading this article (and additional 10 writing this comment) I somehow agree with it. Windows is pretty much useless out of the box for a power user and semi-useless for Joe Average.

But that's a double edged sword; on one side, Microsoft can't bundle too many apps or apps that are actually usefull, because they can be charged with abusing their monopoly status or it could scare away developers writing for Windows. A perfect example is the anti virus software which many thought would be bundled with Vista. Of course Symantec started bitching...
And on the other side it keeps the economy working. If everything was bundled in Windows, third party developers wouldn't worry about writing the same software, because the targeted audience would already have that software. It's kind of like with IE vs Firefox today; you really have to write a better software to even get a small % of users to "buy" it.

Reply Score: 5

Some quality please
by Blikkie on Sat 18th Feb 2006 08:31 UTC
Blikkie
Member since:
2005-08-16

I am terribly sorry, but I can't see how an article that completely screws up the simple verb "to have" can reach the frontpage of OSNews. I am Dutch myself and even I can find a spelling mistake for almost every line.

As far as I am concerned the rest of the article states the obvious at est, and states complete nonsense at worst, but others have vented that already in this thread.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Some quality please
by Nalle on Sat 18th Feb 2006 08:47 UTC in reply to "Some quality please"
Nalle Member since:
2005-07-06

Eh, shouldn't "front page" be two words?
And shouldn't it be "....mistake at almost every line."?
Oh, and I think "best" starts with a "b".

I do not say that to bash in any kind, but I am Norwegian, English is not my native language, so there is bound to be errors in spelling and grammar in it. You are Dutch and make the same kind of errors. Let's hope that doesn't stop any of us from posting and hoping people read what we want to say, not that we don't say it perfect, even though they notice it.

And, yeah, it is kind of obvious, isn't it? Still people use tons of money to get their Windows installation usable. All the applications you'd need are out there free (as in beer and speech). People just don't know it and will have to use pirated software or a lot of money to make their Windows installation do what they need.

Nalle Berg
./nalle.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Some quality please
by raver31 on Sat 18th Feb 2006 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Some quality please"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

All the applications you'd need are out there free (as in beer and speech). People just don't know it and will have to use pirated software or a lot of money to make their Windows installation do what they need.


I sort of agree with that statement, but I will add another....

Some people would prefer to use pirated software than to use free software, because they are stupid and believe things that are free cannot be any good.

It is called the "brand mentality"

People would prefer Coca-Cola or Pepsi over "local-brand cola", because "local-brand cola" tastes like piss and Coca-Cola and Pepse are "PROPER" drinks..

People wear Nike and Adidas, because they are "PROPER" sportswear that sports people wear. No other sports gear comes close.

I am sure you all know when you are buying copied brands, and un-official copies... same thing with your pirated software.

Reply Score: 1

riha
Member since:
2006-01-24

It has run on the same installation (except for the patches that has been released) since i installed my new computer 2 years ago.
If poeple have problems with their CP installation, such as viruses, trojans and even configuration problems, then the problems is very oftehn the user him/herself.

Reply Score: 1

Reinstalling Operating Systems
by Dave_K on Sat 18th Feb 2006 17:35 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

I've been running Windows 2000 on a laptop for over 4 years, and Windows XP on a couple of heavily used desktops for 2-3 years. So far none of them have required the operating system to be reinstalled and they're all working fine. I'm sure there are some circumstances where problems such as viruses damage the OS so much that it has to be reinstalled, but it's a myth that it's a fact of life for Windows users.

Of course many people reinstall the OS rather than trying to solve a fixable problem. I've never had a problem that severe with Windows, but I can certainly understand why people would find reinstallation a quicker option in some circumstances. After all it's a pretty quick and easy procedure compared with reading masses of documentation, or trying to use tech support forums to get a solution.

After installing drivers for my ATI graphics card in Linux, X started crashing every few minutes. I spent an hour or two reading some documentation and trying a few things, but in the end I reinstalled. I'm sure it was possible to fix the problem with enough time and effort, but it wasn't worth my time when it's just an OS that I play around with. The point is that problems like that exist in all operating systems, but that doesn't mean that reinstalling the OS is a fact of life in either Windows or Linux.

If you are someone who reinstalls Windows every time there's a problem, why not use something like Norton Ghost to create an image of the drive? That way you can quickly restore the system to a working state without having to reinstall all the drivers and apps. That saved me a lot of time the last time I had a hard disk failure.

Reply Score: 2

10 years
by Mellin on Sun 19th Feb 2006 00:40 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

10 years of no viruses or other malware

Reply Score: 1