A few weeks ago, my laptop went on the blink. It stopped booting to Windows 98. Sometimes you could boot it to ‘safe mode,’ sometimes you could boot it to DOS. I was too busy with the rest of my life to mess with it, so I let it sit. Last night I finally got around to messing with it and discovered that the problem had zero to do with my hard drive (nice little IBM Travelstar) and 100% to do with what a crappy OS Windows 98 happens to be. I’ve thought about going with Linux on that laptop, but I’m fairly happy with my Windows 2000 install at work, so I decided to go with that at home too.
So I installed Win2k w/o deleting any of my Win98 stuff, the idea being that now I can back all the Win98 stuff off to CD and then do a clean install of Win2k. So that’s where I am now, in the middle of the CD archiving process. And I have to say that I’m already enjoying Win2k more than Win98. For one thing, it hasn’t crashed on me yet (imagine that, a whole evening w/o a crash). And I was really happy at how quickly it picked up my PCMCIA USB2 hub and my external USB2 CD-R/W (which was always sketchy with Win98).
I’ve probably mentioned it before, but EnZip is a great freeware zip utility for Windows. Nice contextual menus make it easy to right-click-and-zip any file. Fast and clean. Worth a look.
Educators would do well to remember that kids have first amendment rights, too.