One of the features of NTFS is its self-healing capacity. That is, it can
detect and repair single-bit errors. That's completely unnecessary with
thumb drives inasmuch as they're gonna fail after a few thousand cycles
One tremendous advantage W2K has over later versions is that it doesn't
phone home for authentication every time you fuss with the machine. I am
surprised no one has hijacked that mechanism and shut down all the machines
running "authentic" versions of XP, Vista and W7 with a virus. If Stuxnet
could screw with Iran's process control machinery in their nuke program, it
would seem to be trivial to spoof Windows into believing it's been stolen
and to shut it down, blocking access to the WGL "approval" site the way many
viruses block visiting site that could explain or help clean the infection.
I guess the bad guys are too busy spearfishing to worry about clobbering
PC's. Spearfishers *want* your PC to work.
more should read:
<<More than a million URLs have been compromised by a cyberattack that's
suddenly ramped up in the last 24 hours to become one of the biggest
mass-injection attacks ever seen. The Trojan, dubbed Lizamoon, redirects Web
into web pages. >>
I'd no sooner surf with JavaCrap on by default than I would recommend
someone's teenage daughter enter a darkened locker room postgame without her
panties on, sitting on every naked player's lap in turn to see if it was
"safe" to sit there. You're just asking to get screwed. No, wait, you're
just BEGGING for it.
All it takes is one click-jacking and you're likely to land on a site that
had malicious code embedded in it. What happens from there could be any one
of a dozen different "bad things" like a drive-by download or a root kit or
a keylogger or some other sort of malware, virus, spyware, etc. that finds
its way onto your machine.
With NoScript I get to look around a site BEFORE I let JavaCrap run. When I
click the NoScript "Options" button I can review all the other sites that
page will be sending me to or drawing content from and also be made aware of
cross-scripting and click-jacking attempts. I can give them all permanent,
temporary or NO permission, all with a click or two of the mouse.
If you land on such a site (with X-scripting or click-jacking "traps") you
can THINK you are doing something benign, like refusing to download software
by clicking cancel, but in reality you've actually just given the site
permission to do just the opposite; you've given the site full permission
to screw you. The worst part? You can't tell what you're agreeing to
because with click-jacking, the selection you just thought that you made was
really a charade. The real selection was hidden by an overlay.
Comparing W2K to W95? Oh, lord. W2K became XP, There are many XP boxes
out there. I am using more and more Linux(Debian), Just finished mod'ing
my wireless router OS. The router runs almost 2 times faster. There are
many routers with Linux OS all with GPL source code. Fun to lay with.
I never had that much trouble with Win2K and after all the bugs were
worked out of XP, it's all that most of my customers use now and I
don't really have much trouble with XP. Vista is the modern Windows
Millennium and a similar horror story but what I've seen of Win7 seems
to be OK but I don't own and run a copy yet. I'll take Win2K over Win95
any time. :-)
I setup and ran small business networks with Win2K and QuickBooks
accounting software. The setup was fairly reliable and like anything
that's properly implemented, is virtually trouble free. You must put
the fear of God into any secretary who plugs an electric heater under
her desk into the same power as the computer and make sure a customer
knows that the computer is to never be set directly on the carpet under
or beside a desk and to never have file folders or papers stuffed around
the thing blocking the airflow. It's the little details that
keep business systems running. I have some horror stories about computer
abuse and their eventual rescue from tormentors. I'm going
to look at a catering outfit tomorrow and recommend thin clients using
a server installed a protected air conditioned location. We'll put
all the main electronic gear in the same room.
It's only important if you want quicker browsing, less chance of the
browser being exploited, browsing options you don't find on the memory
hogs, and a true developer tool. Other than those reasons, stick to FF &
Speaking from experience (I own a small software company), if you have 4
Gigs of memory available, you'd be a poor programmer to not take advantage
of it. You tables can be accessed at RAM speed or you can save memory (so
you can collect it and trade it with your friends) by putting the table on
disk and do a disk look-up every time you need a price.
That's NOT to say you can be a sloppy programmer, but with the price of
memory today, there's really no defense in coding for micro-efficiency
I reworked an AR system for a large hospital. Each patient record had a code
for the service rendered. When it came time to print invoices or statements,
the program originally did a disk look-up for each billing code. With
thousands of patients, each having from five to five hundred line items, you
can imagine how much disk thrash was involved.
Simple analysis showed virtually every patient had a collection of identical
charges: semi-private room, telephone, etc. By hardwiring these into the
program (at some memory cost), the nightly AR run went from four hours to 35
My God. What vintage software/hardware are we talking about? You couldn't
get modern SATA drives with huge onboard caches (standard in contemporary
PC's) to thrash that much even if you were deliberately alternately writing
one byte to an innermost track and then one to the outermost track. What
sort of language/IDE and hardware (and century) are we talking about?
This was dual DEC-10s running the entire medical care system, via CICS, for
the largest hospital in Houston. It served over 700 terminals and processed
over 10,000 transactions per hour - everything from doctor's notes to
For example, a doctor would order a test. The lab would be notified and a
list of equipment would be printed (how many test tubes containing what
reagents) the tech would need, along with specimen labels, etc. At the
conclusion of the test, the results would be entered on the patient's chart,
the doctor notified, and appropriate charges forwarded to the accounting
'Course this was back in the day of "Big Iron." The whole thing, today,
could probably run on the computer in a watch.
The DEC PDP-10 "died" (no more were made) right around the same time as the
IBM PC was born - sometime in the early 80's. In 1986 I switched over an
application in Dbase II or III (CRS!) from XT's to AT's that had their 6MHz
clock limiters in BIOS replaced with hand-modified BIOS chips based on
something I'd read in Byte magazine. Got hold of a PROM burner and speeded
it up with no ill effects. Apparently IBM had throttled the early AT's,
hoping to charge more for the same product without the artificial speed
limitation. Now THAT was a increase in speed. Reports from a 40,000
document database that took all night to run would run in under an hour.
Part of that increase came from a huge full size Seagate 40MB hard disk that
would shake the desk when it did wide-ranging seeks. Cost $800!!!!! ($20
Now, $800 can (on sale!) buy you 16 TERABYTES of drive space.
Let's see $50 per terabyte, 5 cents per gigabyte, .0005 cents per megabyte.
I assume that was 25 to 30 years ago. I just couldn't imagine any new
hardware thrashing for hours. New machines get where they are going in a
hurry; even if it's just the BSOD. They go so fast that old programs that
relied on timing loops (bad idea anyway) would just hang when they landed on
a much newer machine than they were written for. The new CPU's were so fast
that timing loops didn't actually delay anything. Mostly games were
affected by that, but some serious programs as well IIRC. On the other
hand, some stuff I wrote for 386/16's still runs (Pascal, Access, Foxpro &
DbaseII/III/IV) on newer machines and so quickly that screens pop up almost
Each version of MS's OS are more or less mated to the hardware that was
available at the time. Win95 wouldn't know what to do with a SATA drive or,
IIRC, a fast IDE drive. It was born when drives were connected using twin
ribbon cables with MFM encoding via the ST-506 protocol.
I've come to learn that OS's are so dependent on their hardware that people
can end up thinking W2K is a POS because their hardware didn't support it
well enough. When I bought out a whole medical group's old Fujitsu
3400/3500 tablets, I began to realize how well they were optimized and
debugged for both Win98SE and W2K. They just never crash. Really. Lockups
on any of the 15 machines I have are incredibly rare. Much rarer than any
desktop I ever ran W2K on. From what I know, Fujitsu and MS worked very
closely as these were the first *serious* touchscreen tablets and were meant
to revolutionize the medical industry (they didn't). Best part about them
is they draw 17W max compared to the nearly 200W that my newer desktops
draw. All configurations the same, all Ghost images are interchangeable,
very, very sweet deal considering I was paying less than 10 cents on the
dollar for them. The I-Pad 10 years before Apple "invented it." (-:
That's a side benefit of a tablet or laptop. They are all much likely to be
of the same configuration as one another and that makes eliminating bad
OS/HW interactions much easier, especially if the HW manufacturer works
closely with the OS maker. None of the desktops I've owned or worked on
showed any of the stability that the Fujitsu tablets. Given how much I
despise MS, it pains me to praise them but they got it right that time.
I suspect the troubles lots of people experience with W2K is because the
desktops could have wildly varying configurations. Lots of desktops have
high-end graphics cards (a real challenge for OS writers) or some other
specialized hardware that caused problems. I remember thinking the
"Hardware Acceleration" slider should have been named "Likelihood of
Crashing Unexpectedly" slider.
With laptops/tablets, there are no slots (to speak of) so the hardware
always initializes in the same order (unless you override it in BIOS).
You're stuck with the video card that's in there (not 100%, but mostly - I
just bought an external video card that works via USB). However, the
manufacturer usually gets the video drivers in such machines right a lot
sooner than add-in card makers like ATI.
Since I was a big fan of their All-in-Wonder TV/Video cards, I got a real
education in "the driver of the month" and which upgrades giveth and which
taketh away. You'd get to like one of their often very clever features,
load the latest drivers and "POOF" away that feature would go. One machine
that had one of the first Digital Audio Labs digital audio cards
(interfacing directly with Sony DAT recorders) NEVER worked right with
anything other than a plain vanilla ISA video card.
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