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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Netscape's Avatar
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    WIN XP vs. WIN 2000

    Hi There,

    I am a happy WIN 2000 Pro user and I wonder if I should update to new WIN. I did not see any major advanced reading various reports on WIN XP expect the sale lines like "WIN XP - the best WIN ever".

    So, I am asking, is there any comparison test done on this subject somewhere?

    Best Regards,

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot pnathan's Avatar
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    I got this from a buddy of mine who works in MS:

    September 6, 2001

    CIRCUITS

    Windows XP: Microsoft's New Look for Fall, in Size XXL

    By DAVID POGUE

    F you could choose only one word to sum up Windows XP, "big" would come
    to mind. Microsoft's new operating system is physically big,
    requiring two gigabytes of hard-drive space and more than an hour to
    install. It's big in scope, too: XP is Microsoft's attempt to
    merge its home line (the friendly but cranky Windows 95, 98 and Me) with
    its corporate line (the unattractive but rock-solid Windows
    NT and 2000) into a unified operating system that offers the best of
    both.

    But above all, Windows XP is big for computer companies. It is designed
    for very young, high-octane PC's - 128 megabytes of memory
    and up, less than two years old - and if it's a hit, the net effect is
    likely to be a wave of PC buying and upgrading. No wonder
    that executives at PC makers are walking around with dilated pupils and
    moist palms, hailing Windows XP as the savior that will
    deliver us from the tech slump, the recession and probably world hunger.

    Windows XP goes on sale Oct. 25, and it will begin showing up on some
    new computers this month. But Microsoft has been supplying
    test versions for evaluation for several months, and last week it
    delivered the final product. It turns out that even the good news
    is big: Windows XP is very attractive and extremely stable.

    Rugged at the Core

    At the core of Windows XP is the same stress-tested, highly secure
    engine that drives Windows 2000, which has been the system of
    choice in corporations, where rebooting crashed PC's is an unacceptable
    waste of time. Sure enough, it looks as though Windows XP
    may go months without locking up. That's not to say that individual
    programs won't still bomb now and then - they will - but they'll
    no longer take down your whole computer.

    The implications of a truly stable Windows are staggering. Think about
    how much time, emotion and money has been expended over the
    years on unhelpful error messages, "blue screens of death" and frozen
    PC's. Windows XP could be the dawn of a new, error-free era.

    The trouble with Windows 2000, of course, is that it is incompatible
    with many hardware and software add-ons, including such
    essential titles as Tomb Raider and Barney the Dinosaur CD's.
    Fortunately, Microsoft knocked itself out in its efforts to improve
    XP's compatibility quotient; where Windows 2000 worked with 6,000
    hardware add-ons, Microsoft boasts that XP works with 12,000. As
    with any Windows upgrade, this one will most likely require updates for
    utility programs like virus checkers and disk formatters.
    But otherwise, a vast majority of programs, including games and even
    most elderly DOS programs, run smoothly. And if the
    unfamiliarity of Windows XP chokes a particular program, a clever
    "compatibility mode" menu in the Properties window of each program
    lets you trick it into thinking it's running on Windows 95, Windows NT
    4, or whatever.

    As with Windows 2000, Windows XP is also designed to keep the files and
    settings of everyone who uses a particular PC separate and
    secure. Every time you use the computer, you must log in with a name and
    a password, so that Windows will know whose desktop to
    bring up; it even returns you to whatever programs and documents you had
    open the last time you used the machine.

    That's great in offices, schools and computer labs. But if you don't
    regularly share your PC, it seems silly and even annoying to
    have to log in to your own machine. By declining to set up a password,
    you can reduce the inconvenience to a single click on your
    name. But even so, for the home user, Windows XP is like a spouse who
    won't let you into your house each night until you show some
    ID.

    Cosmetic Surgery

    The stability of XP will take you some time to appreciate, but the
    cosmetic changes will hit you instantly. The emphasis on good
    looks represents a huge reversal for Microsoft, whose earlier design
    attempts are unlikely to wind up under glass at the Louvre.

    The XP taskbar and window borders are now a shimmering backlighted blue;
    the redesigned icons have a 3-D shadowed look; tiny
    animations liven up the desktop; and the Recycle Bin is now in the lower
    right corner. In these and many other ways, Windows XP
    couldn't look much more like Apple's Mac OS X if you ran it through a
    copying machine.

    Even so, design surprises, most of the pleasant sort, await at every
    turn. For example, the taskbar automatically consolidates the
    window buttons of each program when conditions become too crowded. If
    you're working on six Word documents, you might see a single
    Microsoft Word button on the taskbar, which you can use as a pop-up menu
    to switch to a specific document.

    The Start menu is now a better organized, two-column affair: recently
    used programs are listed in the left column, and everything
    else (My Documents, My Computer, Control Panel, Search and so on) is in
    the right. The one misfire here is the All Programs menu
    (the equivalent of the old Programs listing); it superimposes itself
    awkwardly on top of the Start menu. Fortunately, if you can't
    stand this change - or, for that matter, any of the XP cosmetic changes
    - you can turn it off, which makes your desktop look and
    work just as it did in previous versions of Windows.

    Someone at a Microsoft focus group must have complained about clutter,
    because when it comes to obsessive clean-freak tendencies,
    Windows XP makes Jack Nicholson in "As Good as It Gets" look like a
    slob. A new installation of Windows XP presents you with an
    immaculate desktop - filled with the photo of a gentle sunlit hillside
    resembling the set of "Teletubbies" - graced by only a single
    icon, the Recycle Bin. (Of course, computer companies may still install
    desktop icons on new PC's.)

    The software even interrupts you every few weeks, offering to sweep away
    rarely used desktop icons into a special folder. You can
    almost hear it muttering, "And for heaven's sake, tuck in your shirt."

    New Tricks

    If you had a dollar for every new feature in Windows XP, well, Bill
    Gates would still be richer than you. But there's still enough
    to keep you busy for months.

    Some of the enhancements are useful everyday timesavers. For example,
    you can burn a CD just by dragging folders and files onto your
    CD burner's icon. A new "E-mail this file" button offers to shrink
    digital photos to a reasonable size (like 640 by 480 pixels) as
    you send them, so that you don't clog your hapless recipient's phone
    line and In box. A Remote Assistance feature lets invited PC
    gurus or help-desk technicians see and even manipulate what's on your
    screen over the Internet.

    Windows XP comes with Internet Explorer 6, whose subtle enhancements
    include an XP-like cosmetic makeover, along with improved
    security and reliability. (Anyone can download this new Web browser at
    www
    .microsoft.com.) And frightened Web users can take some comfort in the
    built-in automatic firewall software that blocks hacker
    invasions from the Internet. (Unfortunately, it's only a one-way
    firewall; if you worry about software and viruses that send
    information from your PC to the Internet, keep worrying.)

    Every desktop window now has a left-side panel that offers one-click
    access to functions and windows you might want. These commands
    are sometimes extremely useful ("Set as desktop background" when you
    click on a picture file); other times, they're nothing more
    than commercials ("Shop for music online," "Order prints online").
    Either way, it's too bad that you can't adjust the width of this
    window panel or hide it selectively.

    But not all of the new features have such universal appeal. For example,
    the features that Microsoft is most likely to promote in
    its $1 billion marketing campaign for XP are aimed at a certain kind of
    customer: young electronics fans who have digital cameras,
    MP3 music players and time to spend in online chats.

    If you fall into that category, get psyched: XP offers spectacular
    features for managing photo and music files. In any folder
    containing photo or music files, window controls appear that let you
    conduct a slide show, or a concert of your MP3 files, right
    there on the desktop. Indeed, the simple act of plugging a modern
    digital camera into your PC produces a dialogue box that offers to
    copy the pictures to the PC, print them or display them as a slide show.

    Equally showy is Windows Messenger, a new program that lets you exchange
    instant messages with people on your MSN, Hotmail or
    Windows Messenger "buddy list" over the Internet. If your PC has a
    microphone and speakers, you can also talk to your pals,
    toll-free; if it has a video camera, Windows Messenger even turns your
    PC into a videophone.

    Politics of a Product

    If technical and design merit were the only criteria for judging an
    operating system, the release of Windows XP would be cause for
    jubilation. Unfortunately, the inability to separate Microsoft's
    products from its business practices tarnishes what could have been
    an exhilarating release.

    For example, this is the first Windows version that's copy-protected. If
    you try to install your copy onto a second computer - say,
    your laptop - you'll find yourself locked out of the second machine
    after 30 days. News of this feature alone has driven many
    enraged PC owners to consider moving to the Macintosh, Linux or Amish
    country.

    Furthermore, in the wake of Microsoft's legal squabbles with Sun
    Microsystems (news/quote), Windows XP omits support for the Java
    programming language, which Sun created. To use Web sites that require
    Java, like online banking and investment sites, you must
    download and install Java yourself. And although Windows Media Player 8
    looks better than ever, it still can't play QuickTime or
    RealPlayer files. (Microsoft says Apple and RealNetworks (news/quote),
    respectively, denied it the necessary rights.)

    There are privacy questions, too; at every turn, Windows XP tries to
    send information about you back to the mother ship. During
    installation, you're first asked if you're ready to "activate" your copy
    of XP (send information about your PC's configuration to
    Microsoft), and then if you'd like to register it (send your address and
    phone number to Microsoft). If you try to use the Windows
    Messenger program, you're told you must sign up for a Passport (send
    your e-mail address, city and ZIP code to Microsoft).

    Microsoft swears that it will use your information only to serve you
    better, but it's easy to be alarmed by the notion that a single
    company's database may soon list 90 percent of the world's computers.

    The Upgrade Question

    The best way to get Windows XP is on a new PC. That way, you're spared
    the hassle of upgrading and the $100 cost of the Windows XP
    Home Edition upgrade kit. (Another $100 buys you the Professional
    Edition, which adds corporate security and network features as
    well as Remote Desktop, which lets you control your home PC remotely
    over the Internet.)

    But if a new PC isn't in your immediate future, you can upgrade your
    current copy of Windows 98, Me or 2000 (but not Windows 95).
    The good news is that the Windows XP upgrade installer neatly preserves
    all of your settings, desktop icons and so on.

    The bad news is that XP is power-mad. Microsoft's official minimum
    requirements are a 300-megahertz processor and 64 megabytes of
    memory. But that's like saying that the minimum requirements for
    marriage are two adults and a blood test; in real life, there's
    more to it than that.

    Without at least 400 megahertz and 128 megabytes of RAM, Windows XP
    exhibits all the spunk of tomato paste. Note, too, that if your
    computer is more than about 18 months old, you may have to update its
    BIOS (a core nugget of computer code) before installing XP, a
    procedure about as user-friendly as a wet cat.

    To get a feeling for what the masses are in for, last week I assumed my
    secret identity as the Upgrade Fairy, flitting from
    volunteer to volunteer in my neighborhood. My victims were the owners of
    laptops and desktops running every upgradable version of
    Windows, including the technical staff at Quintet Systems, a multimedia
    production company in Connecticut.

    Each time, the installer claimed to find incompatible hardware or
    software; each time, we ignored the warning and wound up having no
    problems, other than having to upgrade virus checkers. When the hourlong
    process was complete, we found only tiny glitches here and
    there. A copy of Outlook now asks for the Microsoft Office CD each time
    it's opened; a computer's name was inexplicably changed from
    "Dell 4100" to "DEFAULT-COMP"; an Internet connection icon had to be
    recreated.

    Had my guinea pigs reported more severe compatibility problems, they
    could have used XP's system-restore function, which can undo
    the upgrade and reinstate the earlier Windows version. Fortunately, they
    generally expressed delight with the new system.

    The XP Experience

    Microsoft says that XP stands for experience, the good one that you're
    about to have using your PC. (Why does XP stand for
    experience? "Windows EX" must have sounded too much like a glass
    cleaner.)

    True, the consolidation of Microsoft's home and corporate versions of
    Windows results in some curious juxtapositions: most home
    users will be baffled by the need to log in every day, and corporate
    users may wonder about XP's emphasis on chatting and music
    functions. And you may hear plenty of grousing about the policies and
    politics of Windows XP.

    But you'll hear few complaints about the operating system itself,
    especially when it's compared with previous versions. No matter
    what you think of Microsoft, using Windows XP on a new or very recent PC
    feels sure, swift and satisfying. And that's a big deal.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard Aes's Avatar
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    I'm going to get myself a copy of XP professional as soon as I can. However, has anyone tried Linux at all? Microsoft, as well as others, are slowly integrating the features Linux has had (speaking of Linux-Mandrake specifically) for a while (amazing GUI interfaces, stability, functionality, speed, etc.); I don't blame them either. Sure XP is probably extremely stable if it is built on 2000 code, but I'm going to have the latest version of Linux-Mandrake running on my computer as well.
    Colin Anderson
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    sense enough to be lazy.

  4. #4
    Digital Warrior Renegade's Avatar
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    Bleck, XP.

    I have heard that it is little more than a service pack for win2k.

    Do you remember what they said about ME when it came out? "Its like 98 third edition" That is what some ppl are saying about XP

    That, and the way its gonna make you get a code from MS, will ensure that I will stick with win2k until Linux is ripe enough for the picking.

    Yes Aes, I have tried Red Hat 6.2. I do like it, but it is just too dificult to perform some of the most elementary things. Like program installation. I got tired of compiling this, and linking that. The instructions are writen for people who know what they are doing, not the newbie. I just want to double click setup.exe, answer some questions, and be done with it.

    So as soon as Linux figures out how to do that, I will make the switch.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Aes
    However, has anyone tried Linux at all?
    I have a dual boot system with Red Hat Linux 7.1. I must say that I am very pleased with it. Like you said, it knocks the pants off of Windows with its stunning GUIs, as well as the level of customization you have at your fingertips. You're also hard pressed to beat its reliability.

    The only problems with most Linux distributions (when compared to Windows) are that they lack the software to make them attractive and they are simply not very user friendly. The former can be blamed on the MS brainwashed software developers, but the latter truly lies with Linux.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard wdmny's Avatar
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    Better than dual boot, have you tried either BOCHS (open source and free) or VMWare? I think that its cool how you can run OSes within OSes like that. I used it to test compatability of a program I wrote in Windows 2000 on Windows NT 4 (For some reason it didn't work on NT 4 at first).

    On the topic of XP, I probably won't upgrade till I see that it's actually worth it. I currently like Windows 2000 and could really care less about user-friendly updates.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard dominique's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Wes DeMoney
    Better than dual boot, have you tried either BOCHS (open source and free) or VMWare?
    BOCHS has little support for recent OSes (No Win98 or Win2k support), VMware Express is reasonable in price but is limiting, it won't let me use my existing Windows partition, and VMware Workstation, which does, costs $300! Yikes!

    Not to mention they're both virtual machines, I can't imagine that the performance is very good.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard
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    At first I didn't see the point in making the move to XP, especially after I reverted to the Classic theme and classic start menu while using Beta 2. A few weeks ago I installed RC2 and now it is starting to warm up on me. Rather than thinking of it as a cartoony interface it looks nice and elegant, almost as good as MacOS. And while I don't like the newbie-ish feeling, there are a lot of nifty things that I have grown to like in XP.

    For example, when you have many windows open and your taskbar gets cluttered, XP will take groups of a certain program and have them occupy one taskbar button which you can click to reveal all windows of that type.

    Also, the system tray is kept clutter-free, as are many other parts of the OS.

    The new start menu is very handy...it automatically shows you the most common programs you use.

    There is quite a bit more configuration options available, although they aren't apparent at first.

    XP looks to be very stable. It hasn't come down on me since I started using it...although individual programs aren't as stable as they are in Windows 2000.

    If you are fine with Windows 2000 and don't want to spend $100 or $200 on XP, stick with it. It is leaps and bounds ahead of 9x/Me, but not worth the extra money for many win2k users. I am not sure if I will upgrade or not...I'll probably stick with RC2 until my evaluation period has expired.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I upgraded to XP RC 2 a couple of weeks ago, and I've been extremely impressed. It's fast, stable, powerful, and just about everything else that the other OSes aren't.

    I will be buying a full copy as soon as I can get my hands on one..IMO it's well worth the money.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard
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    i have gotten my hands on a Full Version of Win XP pro, and it has a lot of thoughtful additions to it. As the long article above says, it's very clean, you could almost say its has great customer service, down to hiding the icons in the taskbar tray that you don't use very often. I found the default "computer Theme" a little bright for me, so I changed to the "Classic Look". But even with that you can tell you are not in Windows 2000 land anymore. About 95% of the System Icons have been redone with greater detail.
    One of my grips is that my Printer that worked in Win 2k doesn't work in Win Xp and My Favorite Game (Tribes 2) doesn't work in Win Xp .. That really sucks.

    If you are a neat/Control freak, then Win XP is for you, if you just want a stable system and could careless about the little things then stick wiht what you have.

    Chuck
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Sorry I'm late for the WinXP Review, but I just registered yesterday.

    I picked up WinXP when it was in Beta, and have a hard drive with the Candidate Release 2 on it.

    One Word... "STABLE"

    I think it has a better version of IIS5 than Win2kPro It certainly has more security than the Win2K one had out of the box. The version I have still has a few quirks though and I imagine it will be a bit different when the full version appears on the shelf. I'll get it for sure when it's released.

    It is stable on the test box I'm running Pentium (don't laugh) 233 MMX with 256Megs Ram. If it runs on that it'll probably run on anything. I'm running win2kpro on a PIII 850 and the XP box boots a little faster.

    Anyway, that's my 2 bits.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    I don't know if the increased stability is worth some of the things that MS is changing/adding.

    Based on the listing above, here are some of my likes/dislikes

    Likes:
    1) Combining taskbar windows
    2) More Stable
    3) Easier to use features


    Dislikes:
    1) The whole send your info to MS to register. Let me say that I'm NOT one of those MS haters, but I think this is ludicrous. Like the review said, MS would then have personal information on almost every computer user on earth.
    2) The "Every desktop window now has a left-side panel" thingy. Unless of course they allow me to change it. But if they don't then I would be pissed. i don't want to look at ads for film and/or film development on my computer. Especially when it's built into my OS.
    3)
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    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Yup I have to agree I don't exactly like the idea of anyone having all of my info, but the registration can be fairly uninformative, and I think they only id your computer by the nic card so you can change your system completely (upgrade) and as long as you still connect with the same nic card you're still able to re-install and register the S/W.

    That's the latest info I heard the other day, but it's still unconfirmed. I was just having another look at it and it's definitely a step better than 2k in a number of areas.

    The left hand thing.... hmmmmmm I haven't seen any advertising but I'd punt the OS and go back to 98 or 2k if I did.

    Personally, I'll be using the Win machines as long as they allow me to easily network with Mac, and Linux as well as run a development server and share 1 ip for internet.

    So far so good except for the nimda virus recently it's been ok. Now as soon as I can get PHP running on the Win2k box I'll be happy.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    As for the registration, the way I understand it works is that the Install chooses 2-3 random pieces of hardware so come up with your registration code. Then it sends that to MS. So, if you upgrade your computer frequently, you will quickly run out of your allowed reinstalls and will have to call MS every time you add a new component.
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    Digital Warrior Renegade's Avatar
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    Originally posted by creole
    As for the registration, the way I understand it works is that the Install chooses 2-3 random pieces of hardware so come up with your registration code. Then it sends that to MS. So, if you upgrade your computer frequently, you will quickly run out of your allowed reinstalls and will have to call MS every time you add a new component.
    Very true. This is especially bad for gamers or hardware enthusiasts who like to upgrade and upgrade often. I detest the thought of calling or contacting MS for another key, to use on MY computer, on an Os the I bought.

    Do I have to call DMV and get re-registered everytime I want to give my truck a tune up? Maybe I should call Dodge and get a special number in order to rotate my tires.

    hog wash

    win2k for me, till linux becomes a little easier to use, oh and when they port homesite to linux

    Think MS is trying to take over the world now? Wait until Windows Blackcomb comes out. *shudders*

    I am not usually an MS basher. But I feel very strongly against the direction MS has been traveling lately.
    Last edited by Renegade; Oct 2, 2001 at 16:43.
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    SitePoint Addict Seer's Avatar
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    This sounded really good until the registration and installation issues. If I buy it for home use, and I have several computers in the house i'm certainly not going out and buying 3 copies of a $200 program. I'm also always changing hardware around, I can't keep the cover on my computer.

    No matter what is stated in a privacy policy, if a company is requesting personal information it's going to be used in some way or another. When you register this product i'm betting you're subscribing yourself to all sorts of offers for multimedia products, games and electronics. Basically whatever the OS is hailed to increase sales in.

    I really like the idea of a more organized OS and those taskbar features, but I think i'll just stick with Windows 2000. It's been nice to me.
    Everything has been figured out, except how to live. - Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I don't think I'll be getting Windows XP. Not only does it have a prohibitive price tag ($100 upgrade?), I don't want to waste my time jumping through hoops Microsoft designed to stop "piracy" (not that it will stop it at all).

    It doesn't really offer new features. Sure, it can group taskbar entries, has a new theme, and eats up more of my hard drive and RAM.

    The thought of me having to prove to MS that I'm not a criminal is astounding. Treating your customers like criminals is not a winning strategy, unless you're a monopoly.

    Not only that, but they want my personal information! I am not going to spend 1 hour waiting for the installer, then 20 minutes on the phone revealing my address, phone number, zip code, etc. to an over-enthusiastic customer service rep, just to get a new, disorienting interface and more efficient taskbar grouping.

    Just my 2 cents

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    "eats up more of my hard drive and RAM"

    *L* That's funny.

    Try running something on Win 3.11. Then run it on XP. Guess which will be faster

    Though the OS requires more memory it also manages it 400% more efficiently then 98/95 did and 20% more effectively then even 2K does.

    Here's the gist in my opinion.

    Businesses: Get 2K
    Home users: Get XP

    Simple. Sure there are some problems and concerns (I'm with the party line on the hogwash about information. If they weren't going to use it, will they spend 250K on servers and database techs?).
    SVP Marketing, SoCast SRM
    Personal blog: Strategerize
    Twitter: @jeremywright

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Wow.... Tough room.

    I think your right re the win2k at work and xp at home. I'll also have to go along with the xp working more efficiently than 95/98/2k/me..... It does work faster. It eats huge chunks of Hard Drive. Cost hmmmm Win2kPro costs about $400.00 Canadian (that's a couple of bucks US) The upgrade price of $100.00 isn't all that bad as far as I can see

    Can I get php and mysql to run on it.... not quite sure. I hope so.

    Registration... That is quite prohibitive, but I had to register the pre release ones after 15 days otherwise it doesn't work anymore. I'm not really that happy about it, but I did want to give it a go.

    And yes.... when I'm better at Linux I'll run all my server needs on Red Hat with Apache, but I'll still have some sort of window os machines. They're just too fast and easy to use.

    Andrew

  20. #20
    Making a better wheel silver trophy DR_LaRRY_PEpPeR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by awasson
    Can I get php and mysql to run on it.... not quite sure. I hope so.
    sure, they'll work fine.
    - Matt ** Ignore old signature for now... **
    Dr.BB - Highly optimized to be 2-3x faster than the "Big 3."
    "Do not enclose numeric values in quotes -- that is very non-standard and will only work on MySQL." - MattR

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Can I get php and mysql to run on it.... not quite sure. I hope so.
    I'll give it a try.... I am having some problems with Win2kPro. (IIS) Tried the cgi, and the binaries.... Still not parsing correctly but I found a few threads on the forum that have enlightened me.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy redemption's Avatar
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    from someone who uses winXP on campus i'd say one thing for sure: "it's a looker"

    those of you who'd used windowblinds b4 should know how a good skin makes your desktop sooo much nicer than the plain old windows... now you've that kind of feature built-into the OS!

    well, beyond that i can't say much as i've only been using it for a few days...


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