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Would it be worth upgrading from 95 to 2000?

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#1
Andrew T.

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For the better part of two decades, I've run Windows 95 OSR2 on my main home computer. Windows 95 was the last operating system that I felt I truly owned: The user had full and unfettered control of the computer, and IE wasn't welded to the UI.

In spite of my affection for it (and the satisfaction of using it for over a dozen years after its maker tried to wish it goodbye), the difficulties of using Windows 95 in the modern world have reached a breaking point. I've long gotten acclimated to the idea of not using any new hardware or peripherals...but by now, the same goes for peripherals of the last 12 years. There are no compatible Office 2007 file convertors available. The newest browsers I've run reliably are Opera 9.64 and Firefox 2/Seamonkey 1.1 forks, and all of them balk at the JavaScript-soaked, HTML5-tinged kludges that these days, unfortunately, include a number of important job-seeking and social networking sites. I simply can't use my Win95 computer for everything I want and need to do anymore...so, I've started pondering ideas of where to go next.

Would it be worth simply upgrading the system to Windows 2000, though? I've run Win2000 on my secondary laptop for four years, so I'm fairly familiar with it...and since there's no product activation like there is in XP, the ability to use it can't be revoked by its maker's whim years after the fact.

But it wouldn't be without tradeoffs. I hate the IE-integrated help system and shell, and there's not much of a way around that. I also hate Windows 2000's search sidebar: 9x's tabbed dialogue was much more friendly, and I wish I could retain it. I'd kiss native DOS support and "security through obscurity" goodbye.

Moreover, it may simply be exchanging one popularly-deprecated, obsolesced OS for another. What new software titles haven't artificially broken Win2000 compatibility through developer arrogance or MSVC 2010 DLLs by now? If being 100% contemporary was an imperative, I might be forced to think about a new computer and a fourteen-year jump to Windows 7. :(

Has anyone tried ironing the Win2000 upgrade over a 9x system? Was it reversible, à la the 3.1-to-95 upgrade? Was it an unstable mess?
Andrew T.
"Now crush your computer into small chunks, add flour, and bake one hour."


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#2
LostInSpace2012

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I gave Windows 2000 a shot last year, since I was feeling the same way about Windows ME. However, there weren't really enough improvements to get me to stay with Windows 2000. So, I'm back with Windows ME.

Windows 95 would be my first choice for any old computer with, say, 128 Mb or less for a maximum amount of RAM. And anything from a 486 CPU to Pentium 1 or Pentium 2. I think it's optimal for that hardware.

I didn't like Windows 98 when I had it back in the day, it was the most bug ridden OS of all time, IMO. I've been content with Windows ME's improvements such as System File Protection, the elimination of Autoexec.bat and all that DOS bootup stuff. Seems like spyware, viruses, malware, and half the installation programs for games and such, always tried to alter the autoexec.bat without permission. Windows ME completely got rid of that, which I think was a great idea.

Furthermore, you can still run any DOS programs on ME, but you don't have to fuss with config.sys, autoexec.bat, and other stuff by yourself. (I didn't mind doing that with just plain DOS, or Windows 3.1) Windows 95 was great because it was like a WAY better version of Windows 3.1. I saw no point installing Windows 3.1 on anything, when Windows 95 will run on the same hardware, but work 100% better, faster, and it's more usefull. Not to mention a plethora of better software is available on 95.

Windows 2000 I figured would be great because, like you said, there's no product activation. However, it opened up new cans of worms... like digital signatures, more fuss with installing and upgrading components. It has a way slower boot time then Windows ME, and as far as web browsers go, they are both pretty much equal, as long as you install KernelEx for Windows ME. Because as far as I know, theren't aren't any modern browsers that are still being updated for Windows 2000.

As you mentioned, the "security through obsolescence" will probably cease with Windows 2000.

Does KernelEx even work on Windows 95??

If you "upgraded" to Win98 or ME, you could at least install slighly newer versions of Firefox, Opera, Foxit Reader, AbiWord, Microsoft Office XP/2002, and you could install ClamWin Antivirus, to name a few.

The way I look at it, Windows 95 is great for 486's, Pentium 1's and such. Might as well get the most bang out of Win9x by using Windows ME.I'm crossing my fingers that Windows XP will someday be released with a patch that eliminates activation. I LIKE Windows XP. The fact that you could still run DOS programs full screen in XP is big plus to me.I've had a second Ubuntu 12 computer for the last year... it's okay, the fact that it's free is awesome. The fact that it's harder to find Internet Service Providers who support Linux is not so great.

Moreover, it may simply be exchanging one popularly-deprecated, obsolesced OS for another.

^This. I didn't notice anything better compared to Windows ME. In fact, Win2000 was more annoying. I went back to Windows ME post haste :-)

Edited by LostInSpace2012, 17 December 2014 - 06:33 AM.


#3
cyberformer

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Hellow Andrew!

I feel for you--coming across the same things you mention when using my own Win 95 ancient Dell.

I have an old Win 2000 PC that I've removed Internet Explorer from using that IEradicator program,

most use to yank it out of 9x machines.  I think the IEradicator program only works if only service pack 1

or just up to SP2 has been installed.; someone would have to check out what the read-me says,

And as would be expected, 2K is appreciable faster once IE has been removed! 



#4
jaclaz

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Well, for the record, you can use FdV's files/tools/methods to remove IE from 2K *any* service pack.

 

With a little bit of Wayback Machine tricks, they can be found alright :yes:

https://web.archive....dows/about.html

http://web.archive.o.../remove-ie.html

 

And thanks to the unofficial SP5, HF_slip updates and what not (mainly but not only due to the efforts by Tomasz86 and Blackwingcat :)) Windows 2000 is still alive an kicking :thumbup:

 

jaclaz


Edited by jaclaz, 17 December 2014 - 01:48 PM.


#5
cyberformer

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Thanks for that info jaclaz--!

If I ever have to reinstall 2K (for me it's so stable it is scary) --I will give that method a try.



#6
Andrew T.

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Thanks for the responses so far!

Windows 95 would be my first choice for any old computer with, say, 128 Mb or less for a maximum amount of RAM. And anything from a 486 CPU to Pentium 1 or Pentium 2. I think it's optimal for that hardware.

I wouldn't run Windows post-95 on a Pentium I, that's for sure (though I have bad memories of being asked to troubleshoot the systems of too many people who ignored that advice!). My own hardware has a bit more oomph, though: It's a Compaq Pentium III with 256MB of RAM; enough to even handle XP in a pinch.

I didn't like Windows 98 when I had it back in the day, it was the most bug ridden OS of all time, IMO. I've been content with Windows ME's improvements such as System File Protection, the elimination of Autoexec.bat and all that DOS bootup stuff. Seems like spyware, viruses, malware, and half the installation programs for games and such, always tried to alter the autoexec.bat without permission. Windows ME completely got rid of that, which I think was a great idea.

As far as I'm concerned, Windows 98 was nothing more than a transparent effort to skirt anti-trust mandates...which is why I've had a grudge against it since it first appeared, and think it should never have been released. I viewed ME's file restrictions and other changes as deficiencies, not features, so I resisted that release as well. But I digress...

Windows 2000 I figured would be great because, like you said, there's no product activation. However, it opened up new cans of worms... like digital signatures, more fuss with installing and upgrading components. It has a way slower boot time then Windows ME, and as far as web browsers go, they are both pretty much equal, as long as you install KernelEx for Windows ME. Because as far as I know, theren't aren't any modern browsers that are still being updated for Windows 2000.

As you mentioned, the "security through obsolescence" will probably cease with Windows 2000.

Does KernelEx even work on Windows 95??

No KernelEx on Windows 95.

I'm crossing my fingers that Windows XP will someday be released with a patch that eliminates activation. I LIKE Windows XP. The fact that you could still run DOS programs full screen in XP is big plus to me.I've had a second Ubuntu 12 computer for the last year... it's okay, the fact that it's free is awesome. The fact that it's harder to find Internet Service Providers who support Linux is not so great.

I like the fantasy of an official patch to remove the activation cancer from Windows XP as much as anyone else, but Microsoft have absolutely no incentive whatsoever to produce one. On the contrary, the idea of denying activation to "unsupported products" and forcing XP users to buy new hardware with Windows 10 instead is probably Bill Gates' and Steve Ballmer's pipe dream come true.

Moreover, it may simply be exchanging one popularly-deprecated, obsolesced OS for another.

^This. I didn't notice anything better compared to Windows ME. In fact, Win2000 was more annoying. I went back to Windows ME post haste :-)

Incidentally, this is the reason why I never switched from Windows 95 to NT4: The pluses weren't compelling enough to outweigh the draws and minuses.

Hellow Andrew!
I feel for you--coming across the same things you mention when using my own Win 95 ancient Dell.
I have an old Win 2000 PC that I've removed Internet Explorer from using that IEradicator program,
most use to yank it out of 9x machines. I think the IEradicator program only works if only service pack 1
or just up to SP2 has been installed.; someone would have to check out what the read-me says,
And as would be expected, 2K is appreciable faster once IE has been removed!

When I first tested Win2000 on my laptop, I tried a number of compound tricks to disable and hide IE ex post facto; including this procedure. I thought I had swept it away...but type a word into the Windows Explorer address bar, press Enter, and BOOM! It turned into an MSN search query in an unsecure IE 5 window! I eventually went whole hog and tore out MSHTML.DLL itself...which broke some things I expected (Windows Help) and some things I didn't (Add/Remove Windows Components, Google Earth).

And thanks to the unofficial SP5, HF_slip updates and what not (mainly but not only due to the efforts by Tomasz86 and Blackwingcat :)) Windows 2000 is still alive an kicking :thumbup:


Any way to coax SeaMonkey 2.31 into working on 2000, by chance? (It's the only current browser left standing that I'm willing to touch.)
Andrew T.
"Now crush your computer into small chunks, add flour, and bake one hour."

#7
dencorso

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It's a Compaq Pentium III with 256MB of RAM; enough to even handle XP in a pinch.


Maybe. But non-SSE2. As it is, I'd advise you to go up a little, and move on to an SSE2 capable processor. Any Pentium 4 or later will do, as well as will any Athlon 64 X2 or later.
I'm about to decommision two perfecly good Athlon XP machines, because I envisage more and more software, which otherwise still supports 2k/XP, becoming inviable because of lack of SSE2 support, since MS decided to make compilation for SSE2 the default for MSVS 2012 and later. While everybody thinks about software activation, MS is undercutting users from the other side (and Intel relishes on it, because AMD started to support SSE2 much later than Intel).



#8
Tommy

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I've been using Windows 2000 for the better of 12 years. I'm still running on my main home computer to this day and I think it's quite stable and using the unofficial updates by blackwingcat and tomasz86 turn it into one hell of a good machine. Along with that, it doesn't take a lot of resources like Windows NT 6 does. I really never use XP anymore simply because I think with unofficial updates, Windows 2000 is far superior to Windows XP as far as extensions and support goes, except for a few programs and some drivers. But if you want something that's solid, stable, and works well even in today's world without the headaches of activation and the new themes, Windows 2000 is definitely worth it. I've given Windwos 7 a spin the last few days and honestly....I really don't like it. I hate how it handles updates for one thing, especially when the computer needs to reboot once or twice each time you start up the computer, that just plain sucks. That and the fact that it looks fuzzy on this monitor. I don't run it at the native resolution because I can't see it that well, but I run the next one under it so I run at 1440x900 and under 2000, it looks very good. But under Windows 7, it looks a bit like garbage, it's unclear and icky. Aero is kinda cool but too resource hungry for me to care about the eye candy. But before I rattle on too much about Windows 7, I'll just say that it's still my favorite and I still prefer it over XP, Vista, 7....and I'm not even going to say 8....


Daily running Windows 2000 Pro SP4 and Windows 98 Second Edition

2dtzy51.png
stillwin9xmsfnbt0.png


#9
bpalone

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Andrew,

 

It sounds like the only reason you are considering an upgrade is to have better internet access to a handful of sites.  It also appears that your hardware is OK but somewhat limited.

 

First thing is, all any of them are is a vehicle to run your software on your hardware.  It is only an Operating System.  Now, with that said, have you given any thought to trying a light weight Linux distro to access the Internet with?  You could either dual boot or run Linux from a live CD/DVD.  That way you could keep using the OS of your choice for your tasks and use Linux for the Internet.  I saw where someone made a comment about having trouble finding an ISP that supports Linux.  I have only had one issue one time and that was aboard a cruise ship a few years ago. 

 

I believe that a person should have the freedom to use the OS and software of their choice.  We also have to recognize that things do sometimes improve over time and that what meets our needs is not what is currently available.  However, with some thought and effort one can adapt and modify some parts of their work flow to work around the vendor/society upgrades (or possibly downgrades, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

 

Just wanted ot throw it out as a thought for you to consider.  I came into the GUI kingdom kicking and screaming.  Win95 warmed me up to the GUI, Win98 won me over, Win2K Cemented me in and XP shattered the concrete.  2K is the last good OS they made and is my preference for Windows.  However, these days Linux is my primary OS.  However, I use my 2K in a virtual machine almost daily, so I guess I'm still a Windows user.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide. 



#10
Andrew T.

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bpalone, on 18 Dec 2014 - 10:29 AM, said:
First thing is, all any of them are is a vehicle to run your software on your hardware.&nbsp; It is only an Operating System. Now, with that said, have you given any thought to trying a light weight Linux distro to access the Internet with? You could either dual boot or run Linux from a live CD/DVD. That way you could keep using the OS of your choice for your tasks and use Linux for the Internet. I saw where someone made a comment about having trouble finding an ISP that supports Linux. I have only had one issue one time and that was aboard a cruise ship a few years ago.


I've experimented with Linux distros, off and on, for more than ten years. None of them stuck (though I dual-booted Ubuntu 5 for a time). I have little interest in tinkering with computers for their own sake; I want to use them productively...which pretty much means I won't be using Linux again.
Andrew T.
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#11
jaclaz

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Well, what about Colinux and/or andlinux? :whistle:

http://www.colinux.org/

http://andlinux.org/

 

jaclaz



#12
LostInSpace2012

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There are various adjustments you can make to Windows ME, which might make it more appealing to you:

Real-Mode DOS Patch (restore Autoexec.bat usage)
http://www.majorgeek...tch_for_me.html

IE Eradictaor
http://www.litepc.com/ieradicator.html

98Lite Professional
http://www.litepc.com/98lite.html

Windows ME Tweaks
http://www.blackvipe...supertweaks.htm

And of course, KernelEx
http://kernelex.sourceforge.net/

Windows ME/98 Add-ons
http://erpman1.tripo...m/w9xmeupd.html

Windows ME Secrets (book)
http://www.amazon.co...dows me secrets

A lot of the features people hate about Windows ME (System Restore, for example) can be turned off very easily. I always turn that off when I do a fresh install. Doing that solves about 95% of the reboot problems, crashing, and freezing. (System restore shouldn't be confused with the more helpful System File Protection feature, I might add).

Edited by LostInSpace2012, Yesterday, 02:16 PM.


#13
dencorso

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There is also OPPCOMME, of course, to allow uninstallation of ME's "ununinstallable" components.  :D






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