Windows XP Strengths and Weaknesses

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Scoggins, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    I just installed XP this past Friday and I must say this is the most robust software to come from Microsoft in some time (wow - never thought I would say that!?!)
    This is what I like:
    Fast boot - around 20 seconds on my Thinkpad
    Great user interface - very intuitive, a bit dumbed down in trying to help newbies, but not annoyingly so, improved font types, larger exit buttons on boxes
    Good hardware wizard
    Better cookie management, but I still use Cookie Pal for sites not trusted
    Excellent color and graphic design
    Seems much faster all around
    Very stable - no crashes so far in spite of my attempts
    Very tidy desktop - good for neat freaks like myself
    This is what I don't like:
    Bit pricey for slow economy - no deals seem available
    Slow shutdown speed
    Many HP printer drivers not available (shame on you HP! where is my K80 driver?)
    Required new version of Norton security software (after only 3 months on 2001 version [​IMG] )
    On balance, I have to say I'm impressed...highly recommended. And I'm not one to tout Microsoft. Just be sure to check your hardware compatibility issues and think seriously about doing a clean install.
    Let me know your thoughts!
    Lee
     
  2. John Thomas

    John Thomas Cinematographer

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    If you don't mind me asking, what flavor of OS were you running previously? Was it Win9x? As far as the meat of your likes, I believe Win2K addresses those well, especially the stability issue.
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  3. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    John,
    I was using Windows 98SE. The Windows 2000 version of my Thinkpad was sold out at the time of order.
    I have heard 2000 is more stable but not quite as stable as XP. 98SE was very unstable. 2000 users may be wise to wait at least until driver issues and first service pack is out for XP.
    Still, you do get a nice interface and faster boot....
    [​IMG]
    Lee
     
  4. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    XP more stable than 2000? Not in a million years...
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I've had all the MS OS's and of all of them I really like XP. 2000 was very stable for me also but graphically XP is much nicer.
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  6. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  7. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    quote: considering it's the same kernel...[/quote]
    I'm not sure why everyone keeps thinking that just because the kernel is the same, that the entire OS is pretty much the same.
    The major difference between the NT kernel and the 9598ME kernel is that the 9598ME kernel allows programmers to access memory in either user-mode or kernel-mode (its more advanced than that, but I'm striving for simplicity here). NT on the other hand, only allows programmers to access memory is user-mode.
    Kernel mode gives the programmer alot more access to the system and to hardware. This is why alot of your graphics cards, sound cards, etc... only work on 9598ME. The drivers that were written for said product need to have very low level access, which it cannot do in NT2K. Unfortunately, this flexibility also causes a great deal of instability.
    Now, XP has an emulator of sorts that lets hardwaresoftware have access to this kernel memory. So yes, it does use the NT kernel. But, it allows (to some degree) the same level of access as ME if said componentapplication requests it.
    So yes, XP does use the NT kernel. But is it "basically the same as 2000...?"
    No.
    [Edited last by Steven K on November 02, 2001 at 01:19 PM]
     
  8. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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    Fair enough. In that case, I amend my statement to "XP is better than 2000".
    I haven't been able to crash it yet, and it's handled every program I've thrown at it...
    I once tried to install Win2K (clean, mind you), and had nothing but problems with it.
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  9. Jesse Leonard

    Jesse Leonard Second Unit

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    Here is my list of things that I like about Windows XP:
    • ID3v2 tags (MP3 tags) are supported inside Windows Explorer. You can view and edit right inside Winodows Explorer. I like that it is built-in and no longer need to launch a 3rd party app for this.
    • EXIF support is also built in. This allows you to view embeded details on pictures taken with a digital camera. You can view/sort-by things like the date the picture was taken, the image size, the model of camera used.... And this is all built in to Windows Explorer. (View--->Choose Details).
    • I really like the ability to be able to lock the taskbar and the toolbars. Many times I get crazy with the mouse and end up resizing/moving around a toolbar/taskbar. This is a small feature, but something I've been wanting for quite sometime.
    • Clear type! If you are running a laptop or flat panel, this is reason enough to upgrade.
    • A useable Start Menu. I am one of those people that hate having icons all over my desktop. I like it clean so most of my apps are launched via the Quick Launch toolbar or the start menu. I really like the way the Start Menu is set up, displaying recently launched apps in one panel and the "normal" Start Menu in the adjacent panel. And this menu is highly tweakable.
    • I also really like the grouping of open applications in the taskbar. You can also set the number of taskbar buttons you want to see and any number above that are "combined" with an already open button of the same application. Again, I am a taskbar neat freak, so this is a feature (however small) that is right up my alley.
    • You can rename multiple files at once! Just highlight all the files you want to rename and choose "rename". It will automatically rename them all (ie. 'rename.doc' 'rename(1).doc' rename(2).doc'.....)
    • File manipulation is also much faster inside Windows XP. In Win2000 when you deleted a file, it kinda sat there for a second an then deleted. In WinXP the file is blown out of there!
    • I highly recommend everyone download PowerToys for Windows XP . Tweak UI will allow you tweak XP easier without having to hack the registry.
    But the thing I hate about Windows XP is that damn Search Assistant! God that thing sucks! I like the old way of searching! If you download PowerToys, you can get rid of it a change it back to the original way.
    Overall Windows XP is an OS that is done right.
     
  10. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    From the limited experience I have so far, here's my list:

    Good:
    [*]Games support - I can run games that wont even install in 2K. I still think 98 runs them slighty faster/smoother, but it's still good.[*]Boot-up time is considerably improved over 2000.[*]Hardware detection on installation - huge improvement.[*]My Computer has been expanded into something altogether more useful, but it gets in the way a little.[*]Windows Explorer has some nice little extras, such as the multiple rename Jesse mentioned. Lock taskbar is cool too.

    Bad, or just plain annoying:
    [*]Too pretty. Even with the theme set to Classic Windows, I still find everything is a bit too colourful and cutesy. The palette on 2000 looked professional. This doesn't. Some people like this, and that's fine, but Rob doesn't.[*]It's slower. Even with all the fancy sliding/scrolling/fading/shadow things turned off, there is still a noticeable drop in desktop performance compared to 2000 on the same machine (PIII 600E)[*]Drivers: WTF? If XP thinks the driver it already has is more suitable it will not let you try something else. Bad decision, Bill. Some people like to experiment without having our hands held.[*]They've done 'something' to the XP version of NTFS because Ghost 2001 will not even touch the physical drive where XP resides. Yes, I said drive. XP is on one partition, but it means I can no longer Ghost anything on that physical drive without buying Ghost 2002. Very odd considering XP NTFS is completely compatible with 2000.[*]I really disklike the way Control Panel has been 'grouped'. The older method worked perfectly well and it now takes me longer to get to where I want (yes, I know I can expand it in the Start Menu like in 2000). The new Search blows goats too.[*]Overall 'helpful' things that really do nothing but get in the way of someone like me who likes to mess about with PCs/Operating Systems rather than actually use them for any practical purpose [​IMG]

    It's a good effort, but I just think they tried a little too hard. I really like 2000. It's powerful as an F15 but it doesn't try to cuddle up to you and kiss your ass like XP does. 'Windows for dummies' is what I kept thinking of. There are some very nice improvements to XP, but I wonder how hard it would be to release an add-on to previous incarnations of Windows to get similar results. Probably not that hard, I would think.

    I'll keep XP around but 2000 is still the main man.

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  11. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

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    My main gripe is game support. I have 3 games that I played often(Episode 1 Racer, B-17 Flying Fortress and Sudden Strike) and none of them will even load under XP Pro. As far everything else goes I love it. I for one am glad that they finally changed the GUI, it was getting old looking at the same thing all the time. Overall I give it a 8/10.
     
  12. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Ash, I got Ep. 1 Racer installed and running fine in XP Pro.
     
  13. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Gee, you guys are making me think about changing my mind!
    As for any Norton product, you do have to buy the new one whenever MS comes out with a new version. I experienced that with the change over from 98 to ME. Norton and MS are pretty good friends with each other.
    I'm not sure about the start bar, but I wanted a clean desktop too, and put 5 folders into the Quick Launch Bar, and moved all of the shortcuts from the program menu over to it. It makes it much easier for me.
    Rob, I am concerned about not being able to change drivers. Can you go into a little more detail? If I had a better driver, I'd find the MS driver and go into DOS and remove it if I had to. Can you do that?
    Glenn
     
  14. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    I haven't tried that Glenn, but I don't see why not. If you've got a driver already installed and want to try another, XP will not let you change if it thinks the new one isn't as good as the one it already has. Booting into another OS and removing the file manually would probably work, I just haven't tried it.
     
  15. Ash Williams

    Ash Williams Second Unit

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  16. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Nope, no cracks. I just installed it and ran. Worked fine.
    Sounds like the installation of Ep.1 Racer didn't go through properly.
     
  17. Joel Mack

    Joel Mack Cinematographer

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  18. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    That's good news, Joel. Another point up. It is just that some things you don't need and try to erase come back on the next boot when Windows sees that they are missing. One good example is the favorite/links in IE.
    Glenn
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Rob,
    Thorough response on your views on XP, thanks.
    But I am perplexed. I have had both 98SE and 2000 on my Thinkpad T23 (1.13ghz) and desktop speed is materially faster with XP.
    I remember that PC Magazine said different speed chips may perform differently - perhaps hardware is important as well. In other words, we may both be right.
    In any event, I continue to love it. No crashes yet.
    Lee
     
  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Print driver issues:
    One more thing about XP that may save some of you some headaches. HP does not offer many "full version" drivers, meaning you can install some of their printers and print but lose functionality on other things like scanning and faxing. I spent two hours with HP customer rep before we figured this one out.
    I have a K80 and I can print but only through the USB port, no option for parallel at this time (no problem really, but users with USB limits may be out of luck). The HP website also states full driver won't be out until April 2002 - that's a long way off for a print driver!
    Still, this is the only problem I have had and anyway it's an HP issue.
    Lesson: Check your hardware compatibility first. [​IMG]
    Lee
     

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