Windows XP vs. ME

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark Leiter, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. Mark Leiter

    Mark Leiter Second Unit

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    I've been out of the computer scene for a while(my last one was a 486-100), but alas I purchased a Digital Camera this last weekend and i'm afraid I can't delay it any longer.

    I've pretty much got the system I want ready, my only question is the operating software. I've heard some real funny things about XP not allowing you to make more than a few upgrades before it crashes.

    So my question is, what are the real differences between XP and ME? Will I be taking a big step backward just sticking with ME for the now?

    Thanks all
     
  2. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    From what I have heard from friends, ME is the buggiest and most unstable OS that Microsoft has ever put out. On the other hand, I know people that have been using XP for months without problems.

    You are the second person I heard mention this update crash thing, but I have not heard about it from anywhere else. Couldn't find anything on winoscentral.com about it either.
     
  3. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Actually, it's not an upgrade "crash" thing, it's called "activation". When you first install XP, it inventories key hardware in your system and uses it to generate a unique identifier, which is stored and sent to Microsoft when you "activate" XP. If you replace 6 or 7 components (it depends on various factors), XP will make you call Microsoft to "reactivate" your installation.

    The purpose behind it is to prevent installing the same copy of XP on more than one computer. But since it's a form of copy protection, I'm avoiding XP at this time, until/unless Microsoft ditches this ridiculous scheme.

    KJP
     
  4. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Just get XP Pro-only the home edition has the stupid activation thing.
     
  5. Uchendu Nwachukwu

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    Oh, this is not even a valid question.
    XP all the way. In a heartbeat. Without even thinking about it. It's just so much more stable, feature-rich and easy to use.
    Windows Product Activation is overblown. I've detailed it in this thread. It's a two-minute operation to activate, and then you forget about it for the most part.
    Also, all retail versions of Windows XP contain product activation (both Home and Professional).
    The only ones that have activation disabled are versions purchased using one of Microsoft's business licensing programs.
     
  6. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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  7. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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  8. Michael Silla

    Michael Silla Second Unit

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    I'll throw my thumbs up into the XP camp as well. It has been my best Windows experience so far. My system seems to respond quicker with this OS. I have had my computer on for a week straight now. It's the first time EVER that I've been able to do that.

    Michael.
     
  9. Mark Leiter

    Mark Leiter Second Unit

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    I can understand MS trying to implement some kind of copright protection into its software, but the idea of XP taking an inventory of my system compoments (and who knows what else) has such a creepy "big brother" feel to it.

    But putting that aside for the moment, what specificly is better (or just different) aboout XP over Me or 2000 other than some vague notion of XP being more "stable"?
     
  10. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    I ran ME for about 8 months. It was great for the first 4, then got progressively worse the last 4. I then switched over to 2000 and have been stable for the last 8 months. No freezes, crashes, dumps, etc. I'm going to be moving to XP Pro because my office has a Corporate Edition and I do a lot of work from home. I am also going with XP because of the better games compatibility (hey, I don't work 24/7!). I'll post what I think of it later this month.

    But also keep in mind that since I have the corporate edition, I won't have to deal with the WPA feature (we have hundreds of licenses, we are a large organization with a large MS license agreement).

    I would recommend going with 2000 over ME, and if you game a lot, I don't think you have much to lose with trying out XP.
     
  11. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    There are lots of nifty features if you have digital still or video cameras. It automatically dumps the pictures from my camera into a preset directory. The interface is more intuitive (though I changed it to emulate older Windows versions).

    But stability and usage are the biggest factors. If you are not for playing games, go with 2k. If you like ggames, go with XP (even has more preloaded card games).

    If you are thinking about ME, do yourself a favor and use Win98 instead. I'm not kidding. ME should never have been released.
     
  12. Samuel Des

    Samuel Des Supporting Actor

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  13. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    The major issue is stability. I skipped over ME, but I had some friends who weren't so lucky. Some were pre-installs on new machines, others were upgrades. It got to the point that they couldn't keep their machines up for more than a few hours at a time. They have all since either gone back to 98 or done fresh installs of 2k and XP.

    I can get weeks of uptime with either 2k or XP.

    One word of advice on 2k. Don't use the defrag utility that it comes with. It'll do bad things. Use Norton Utilities instead. I made that mistake once (and used the opportunity to switch to XP).
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Again, to reiterate, if you're on 98 and want to upgrade, go to 2000 for stability or XP for stability and game compatibility. If XP isn't already as stable as 2000 SP2, it will be. XP is obviously MS's OS for the near future, and their best programmers will be working on future patches for it (for what that's worth).
     
  15. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    Just wanted to add my bit. Stay away from ME.
    If you're going for a new OS, then I'd say go with XP. I'm currently on Win2000 since making the leap from 98 a long time ago. Never looked back since.
     
  16. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I've spent the past few months doing telephone tech support for home users of PCs made by a Major PC Manufacturer. (Trust me, you've seen their TV commercials.)
    Based on what I've heard the only thing worse than ME is ME installed as an upgrade on top of an earlier version of Windows. (Of course, that applies to most Windows upgrades. If you want to change operating systems do yourself a favor: backup all your data, repartition and reformat the drive and reinstall from scratch. You'll save yourself endless problems.)
    The only real problems I've seen with XP are legacy hardware and software that aren't on the compatibility list. (Or odd-ball things like "Click Radio" - an internet music program. The company that provides the service went out of business, so its server isn't there anymore. But the program will continually try to connect to the vanished server and slow the system way down. Uninstalling the thing fixes the problem.) If you've got a five year old printer that you want to use with the new system there is a better than even chance that there aren't drivers for it yet - and in some cases there never will be. (Although the Windows 2000 drivers for many periperhals work just fine, XP being largely based on 2000.)
    Some of the drivers for the new OS aren't quite there yet as well, and several programs don't work properly with XP and will need patches or upgrades. (Roxio's EZ CD Creator and Direct CD conflict with each other under XP. Roxio is supposed to be working on a fix, but the work around for now is to disable Direct CD. [​IMG])
    There are also some minor oddities in default settings. For certain digital sound card and digital speaker combinations the system will set the digital/analog flag to "autosense" - which won't work. You have to go in and manually set it to "digital only" to get sound. USB printers that are connected (properly) after the intial OS setup won't be set as the default printer if there is a fax/modem installed in the PC - the fax/modem installs as a printer driver, and automatically becomes the default printer because it is the only print device on the machine at that point. Again, you have to manually set the printer as the default device in order to get it to print.
    XP upgrades on top of earlier OSes are another matter - see note above. Actually one of the nice things about the XP upgrade is that it will refuse to install if you have critical hardware that it isn't compatible with. It will give you a (printable) report detailing what problems its found, then uninstall itself and restore your system to its previous OS. Still, I've had a few users who went ahead and installed it and only later connected an old peripheral or installed an old program, and who then had problems.
    These minor glitches aside, XP seems to be a much better performer than ME. It is as stable as 2000, adds many of the features of other versions of the OS, handles memory better (few or no system resources issues.) The "Fisher Price" interface can be annoying, but you do have the option of going with the "classic" Win95/98/ME interface if you prefer. (A typical call from someone who has just bought an XP machine is, "My new PC is broken. There aren't any icons on the screen.")
    Personally I haven't seen any compelling reason to replace 2000 Professional on my primary home machine, but then, I haven't had that much time to play around with XP. I'll probably install it on the second PC I'm building and really get into it next week. But my impression is that I'd rather have either 2000 or XP on my systems than any other version of Windows, including 98SE, which was my favorite for awhile. (And which virtually never locked up on my system - and when it did always did so because of something some cheap piece of software was doing wrong. As long as I used quality programs, configure them properly and don't download every new application and patch just for the sake of having it, I've had very few problems with any version of Windows I've run - at least since the first release of 95. [​IMG]) But with 2000 everything - including my DSL service - just seems to run better and even faster.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  17. John Besse

    John Besse Supporting Actor

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    Win XP = good

    Win Me = Crap

    That's my thoughts!!!
     
  18. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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  19. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    XP/2000 is many light years ahead of 98/Me in terms of stability and all-around system management. Unless you're a major gamehead, there's no contest between the two, assuming you have the horsepower to run 2000/XP. (About a 300MHz processor with at least 128MB of RAM ought to do it as a baseline. 256MB is RAM or more is ideal -- memory's cheap, so why not?)

    As far as the choice between XP and 2000, XP doesn't really give you anything important that 2000 didn't in terms of the operating system itself. The main difference is in the interface and the included software.

    The new interface is actually an improvement once you get used to it (and tone down the Playskool color scheme). It's very flexible and can speed you up considerably once you tweak it a bit to your preferences.

    The new Media Player is quite a bit more capable than previous version, though you do have to pay extra (about 20 bucks) for DVD playback and MP3 encoding. (It'll rip to WMA format out of the box.)

    And contrary to rumor, the good old command line is still there, and there are even some new CLI utilities.

    The big news, though, is new card backs for Solitaire!

    Ryan
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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