Daily Archives: July 11, 2006

Windows 98 and Millennium Edition, RIP

Jason reminds me that today signals the death knell for Windows 98 and Me.

Windows 98 was an evolutionary, not revolutionary, upgrade from Windows 95. It had a lot of great incremental improvements, though! Scanreg (the Registry Checker) saved my bacon a number of times, and MSConfig and Disk Cleanup are still in heavy use to this day. Having IE 4 integrated was a plus, though I was already familiar with the new interface largely due to the Windows Desktop Update that came with IE 4 as an option on Win95. I used 98 for a long time and figured out a lot of great ways to mod it up.

While Windows 98 is still fairly widely used (especially in third-world countries), the same can’t be said about Windows Me, generally considered the worst modern release of Windows known to man. They should have put it down sooner, probably, but they at least wanted to be fair. I’ll always remember being astonished at Windows Me being delivered with beta versions of Media Player 7* and IE 5.5, which were finalized on Me’s release day and made available on Windows Update for immediate download. It was lame during its development, and only saw about a year of mainstream use before it was obsoleted by Windows XP. I remember using Windows Me briefly at my parents’ house back in 2001 and being absolutely stunned at its lack of compatibility with a lot of applications, despite it being a legacy operating system (indeed, the main draw to Windows Me was that it was an alternative to Windows 2000 that supported more hardware and software…right). Needless to say, I was so, so happy to bring Windows XP and its NT kernel home. Since I upgraded to XP at home, I’ve seen Windows Me in the field on exactly two computers. It had no staying power – but then again, was that Microsoft’s intent? I would expound further, but I’m worn out and my stomach (and probably you! :P) are screaming at me. :)

* Thanks beanboy89!

J

On the subject of Windows Vista, some good news

I just caught this (shows how busy things have been lately): Paul Thurrott is reporting that the gray, drab, and downright depressing Windows Vista Basic theme (which displays in the absence of the Aero interface) has been replaced with something…well, much better looking:

New Windows Vista Basic theme
(Image courtesy of the Windows Vista Team Blog)

Way to go, Vista team! And now, a request: How about a few little glassy streaks through the title area? It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, but a couple streaks up there would look real good. ;)

Ballmer: Future Windows to arrive faster

(Hat tip to Neowin)

Steve Ballmer is promising a more lively Windows release cycle, i.e. it won’t take five years for a new release to come out anymore. I remember hearing around the end of the Windows 2000 development cycle, which took a relatively short three years (by comparison) that they were going to stick to more incremental releases. Windows XP is a fantastic example of this strategy gone right: Within a year of Windows 2000′s release, they were able to unveil a well-tuned, faster, and more reliable update to Windows 2000 that has, in my mind, outlasted its lifecycle but still manages to work really well with the right patching and maintenance. Windows Vista is an entirely different story. Continue reading

Sitting here listening to Trammell Starks in the office…

…what a few days it’s been. The impending full moon seemed to bring out all the IT-related problems today. LOL. C’est la vie. I made it though.

I’m getting a little leery of MySpace these days. Seems like I get at least one or two friend requests a day from pornographers who have rigged their spaces to be one giant porn link, or wanting me to go to a dotless URL, or some other scheme that would undoubtedly bring out security problems in IE if I tried to use it. (Nothing like an IP address written entirely in HEX.) Seems like pornographers aren’t the only ones hitting MySpace; in a rather unsurprising turn of events, adware is making its way through MySpace via friend request now. I’m not at all surprised by this; with the amount of people who have enough sense to cram enough things on their space so it scrolls horizontally on my 1680×1050 widescreen, it was only a matter of time before adware peddlers targeted the site.

What else is up? Continue reading