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From the Mouth of Madness:
loonyboi 2000

By Jason "loonyboi" Bergman
Vol. 2, Issue 13
February 22, 2000

 

 

If you’ve never actually seen the Windows 2000 CD-ROM, it’s quite silly, but no doubt about it, it’s as pirate-proof as it’s gonna get. Previous Microsoft releases have had holograms, and CD-Keys, and Windows 2000 is no different. Except this time around, the entire CD is a friggin’ hologram. Yowza. A little overboard.

Okay, so anyway, I decided to do a full reboot. Oddly enough, the OS doesn’t come with a boot disk (although the CD-ROM is bootable) so I used the startup disk from Windows 98, which basically drops you at a DOS prompt with CD-ROM access (and contains the Fdisk and Format programs). I reformatted my hard drive using the FAT 32 file system instead of NTFS, because I wanted to allow the Windows 9x machines on my network to access the Win 2k computer’s hard drive. The other reason, is I figured that should I decide to go with NTFS in the future, I can always just reformat. The nice thing about doing regular backups of my important files is that I have this luxury.

So, I installed Windows 2000. The installation went off without a hitch, and was problem free. If you’ve ever installed Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition, you’ll recognize this setup – it’s pretty much the same thing. I was asked if I wanted to convert my drive to NTFS, which is a nice feature for those upgrading I suppose, but I decided to pass. If NTFS is really more stable, I’d rather do a clean reformat than risk conversion errors. One nice thing is the “network setup wizard” that runs during installation. It’s sort of silly if you know all about your network, but for end users who run a workstation and aren’t that familiar with the inner-workings of their network, I’m sure it’s quite useful.

So, I restarted, and began my full Windows 2000 experience. I installed all my programs, and took a look at how well they ran. For the most part, I had no problems. I use a few programs religiously – Macromedia Dreamweaver, Eudora Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Word. Dreamweaver ran like a dream. I use the recently released version 3, so no doubt it was checked for Win 2k compatibility early in its development cycle. I use Photoshop 5.1, not 5.5 (what can I say - I can’t justify that upgrade price) and while it ran comparably well, if not a little faster than Windows 98, it did crash a couple of times on startup. I chalk this up to using a slightly out of date version – I’m sure 5.5 works flawlessly. Eudora proved yet again that it is one of the greatest programs around. Not only was I able to copy my Eudora Pro directory from my backup files and start running it immediately (read: no setup) but it had zero problems, and in fact ran much better since it wasn’t tying up my system resources (woo hoo!). Microsoft Word, as expected, ran noticeably faster. This was not exactly a surprise, as Excel was always one of the test programs for NT 5, and no doubt a simultaneous release of Office 2000 with Win 2k was at one time in the cards at Microsoft. Other miscellaneous programs that I use, like Winamp, LeapFTP and ICQ all ran just peachy.

My first problem came when I decided to connect to the Internet for the first time. Windows 2000 had automatically detected my ISDN modem on install, so I figured I was good to go. I set up my dial-up networking just like I did in Windows 98, and proceeded to connect to my ISP. No problem, easy connect. Life is good. I tested out the Internet Connection Sharing feature of the OS, and was amazed when it worked with literally just a single click. Unlike Windows 98 SE, which was a bit of a pain in the ass to install and configure, Windows 2000 allows you to click a checkbox and share your internet connection. It works really well, and for those with small networks, I highly recommend it (although I also suggest looking into a decent firewall program if you’re going to go this route).

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Credits: Illustration © 2000 Dan Zalkus. From the Mouth of Madness is © 2000 Jason Bergman. All other content is © 2000 loonyboi productions. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited, you strange, strange lad you.