[Lvlug] Win XP review
Sun, 16 Jun 2002 18:12:39 -0400
You are not going to believe I'm saying this, but...
I've spent the afternoon playing with a new machine that I bought for
PCEXPO next week (next week! SH*T!). It's a 1.2GHz HP laptop with 256 Meg of
RAM and Windows XP Home Edition.
You know something? Microsoft listened when we Linux geeks said "We
have this and you don't! Nyah Nyah!". XP is a decent OS. As a
matter of fact, except for cost, speed and marketing crap, I'm going to
have one devil of a time recommending Linux (Red Hat, Mandrake, etc.)
over XP. Yes, it's that good.
>From what I've seen so far, XP reminds me of using KDE with iMac
themes/icons and NT4 admintools.
The command prompt has tab-completion. :-!!
There is a recovery-mode, IOW a single user rescue mode. One drawback
to MS' version is that it has to login to one of the partitions, hence
you can't delete partitions (which is what I'm trying to do at the
moment). Other than that, if you remember your DOS, you can fix the
system. Recovery mode is even password protected!
While the C: drive still exists underneath, it's hidden via the GUI,
giving the impression that everything is in one directory tree (sound
familiar?). Strangely enough, there is no "My Computer" icon on the
desktop by default. When you try to enter any area other than "My
Documents" and "My Some-other-thing", you are told that you shouldn't go
there because there's nothing there for you to change. This includes
goingto C: and to "Program Files"! Since I'm logged in as "owner"
(read: root) I can bypass that and it doesn't ask me again.
It is truly multi-user since it is NT underneath. The setup didn't ask
me to set up any users like it does in Red Hat, which means the
installer defaults to being root (and will probably be the only user on
the system allowing the newbies to destroy things).
I want to install Win2k server and a few other things, so I went looking
in the help for a way to repartition the HDs. The Help is actually
helpful! MS recognizes that people may/will want to install several OSes
on the machine and gives you enough information to figure out how to do
it, albeit they only mention MS OSes. (My complaint is that I need the
Windows Setup CD to repartirion and %^&%# HP didn't provide me with one!
I have no floppy and I must repartition!)
The downsides (fortunately, there are some :-).
Speed: The machine is a 1.2 GHz Pentium III with 256 Meg of RAM and a 20
gig HD and XP is slow. Not intolerably slow, mind you, but my PIII 750
is noticeably snappier. (Maybe it's because the 750 has twice as much
Server use: You can't use this version (the home version) of XP as a
server, of course. According to the EULA, only five connections are
allowed to the machine and even then those connections aren't allowed to
run the software or GUI (I don't quite understand what that means
Default desktop: The default desktop has loads of marketing crap on it.
And it seems to be geared for Internet use first, business second, and
hacking third. Understandable since it's a Home version, I guess.
Command-line power: Most things in the OS are still hidden away from
you, of course, but most people won't notice. This is the biggest
drawback to me, since I'm a command-line bigot, but even most Linux
people I know favour the GUI over the command-line (well, most new Linux
people :-), so for them I would have to agree that XP would be a better
Say what you will about the Borg, they are good at dealing with
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