×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Win2000 Still Performs on 8-year-old Hardware

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the probably-on-some-8-year-olds'-hardware-too dept.

Windows 688

Daniel Iversen writes "Still 95% compatible with Windows XP, The Windows 2000 OS still runs very well on very old hardware - hardware with low specs it was never even meant to run on (tech setup guide - not a review). The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

688 comments

That's bullshit (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096027)

Everybody knows Microsoft makes each iteration of their software incompatible with the previous in order to force upgrades.

I've read it here on Slashdot dozens of times.

What the heck? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096057)

A slashdot article that praises the durability of a microsoft product? Is the world coming to an end?

*looks outside*

Four horsemen of the apocalypse... check! Carry on then...

Re:What the heck? (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096226)

A slashdot article that praises the durability of a microsoft product? Is the world coming to an end?

Well, you know, Unix folks are used to being able to recompile/reuse almost anything that was produced for the past 30+ years, but they take that for granted, so nobody talks about it.

And while I do appreciate that the Windows developers have been able to maintain binary compatibility with a majority of old software, nobody seems to be discussing (1) the speed impact those legacy portions of Windows OS on modern programs, (2) the poor speed of old programs run on modern Windows and (3) the security problems those legacy routines impose on modern Windows.

This said, kudos to the Windows developers who manage to maintain compatibility throughout the years, even with programs that do dirty tricks with the win32 API and, well, DOS programs. It's quite a feat, and it's probably a major reason for Windows users not ditching the hateful OS, since they don't want to lose their investment.

Duh (0)

Perekrestok (900710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096033)

does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?

Uhh... no?

Re:Duh (2, Interesting)

InfectedSector (811549) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096214)

Stated slightly more eloquently, there is definitely a demand for newer computers throughout the market. On the low end, you have people who know little about computers who are swayed by advertising, buying newer computers because their computer is "too old" or "worn out" (see http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/07/16/180 221&tid=126&tid=172&tid=98 [slashdot.org] earlier spyware article). On the high end, you have not only gamers, who require pricey hardware, but also those who are tech-savvy, trying to stay on the forefront of technology. In the middle of this, you have some users who have a basic grasp of the technology, and are willing to keep their computer around longer. If by "impede" PC sales, you mean show a percentage drop in sales, then no, because using older technology has been happening for years. The real determining factor in PC sales is going to be the naive user who needs a 2.8Ghz processor to run Outlook, and it is the PC industry's advertising pressure that will determine this, not the middle ground user who has an older computer.

Re:Duh (5, Interesting)

epiphani (254981) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096274)

Uhh.. yes?

My fastest machine is an AMD Athlon 800Mhz. I dont do the gaming thing very often, and I honestly feel like the machine performs quite sufficiently for me. I have the money to upgrade, but its simply not a priority for me.

The fact that I can do everything I need to (I dont do video editing or photoshop type stuff) without excessive latency makes that 800Mhz quite sufficient.

That being said, I've also avoided going to heavier OS's. I ran W2k for many years, and recently went to XP. Turn off all that eye candy and it performs just as fast.

Hate to say it, but if I were running linux, I'd probably want something with a little more beef, because the eye candy with some of the X.org window managers is accually functional eye candy, and I would make use of it. As it stands, I dont need it.

I'd like to point to Gates Law - which I think Longhorn is specifically designed to achieve: The speed of software halves every 18 months. We've got machines now quite capable of running most everyday purposes. The only way to get people to buy the newest and greatest is to introduce overhead in the OS. Under the guise of "perty!" and "search!" M$ is throwing massive amounts of unnessecary crap into OS overhead. Relational database for filesystem? Completely unnessecary.

Re:Duh (2, Insightful)

rking (32070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096318)

My fastest machine is an AMD Athlon 800Mhz. I dont do the gaming thing very often, and I honestly feel like the machine performs quite sufficiently for me. I have the money to upgrade, but its simply not a priority for me.

Sure, but is it really reasonable to say that that is "impeding" sales?

You could say the same about old television sets continuing to function or old books still being readable or old doors still allowing, or restricting, access to buildings.

It just seems a weird way of looking at things to say that older stuff continuing to work is "impeding sales" of new stuff. Is a lack of earthquakes impeding sales of new homes? I guess you can say it does but... I wouldn't.

Re:Duh (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096299)

"The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?" Is that a bad thing?

The Answer Is... (4, Funny)

lucabrasi999 (585141) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096036)

The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?"

No! I mean, Yes! Wait....No!

Re:The Answer Is... (1)

Zone-MR (631588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096163)

It depends...

Users doing the occassional word-processing, checking email, and web surfing will be perfectly happy with an 8 year old PC.

Users who wish to use their PCs for CPU-intensive tasks like video editing, or just playing the latest games will NOT be content with an 8 year old PC. My 3 year old PC was more than adequate for coding, but hopeless for editing HD video.

Re:The Answer Is... (4, Informative)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096287)

Users doing the occassional word-processing, checking email, and web surfing will be perfectly happy with an 8 year old PC.

Actually, you know what's funny? I keep a win98 box around for a ham radio program I want to use occasionally, and for casual browsing in the shed: it's connected to the net, and it's almost never impacted by viruses and winnukes anymore. I have a feeling that, now that win95/98/ME aren't the most common Windows revisions anymore, virus and worm writers focus their attention on more modern Windows and as a result, my silly old Windows box is left alone now :-)

Making Up Lost Ground (0, Flamebait)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096038)

The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?

Of course. Why do you think Windows XP is designed to make people throw their computers away [slashdot.org] ? Microsoft has to make up lost ground after the Windows 2000 debacle.

Re:Making Up Lost Ground (0, Flamebait)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096125)

Of course. Why do you think Windows XP is designed to make people throw their computers away?


They were just following Apple's lead, yet again?

Re:Making Up Lost Ground (3, Funny)

TPIRman (142895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096192)

Wow. Whoever modded this "Interesting" reeeeeeeeally thinks Microsoft is evil.

"Microsoft is encouraging people to throw away computers, huh? [stroking chin] Interesting... but how does this relate to their involvement in the JFK assassination? More research is needed..."

Re:Making Up Lost Ground (1)

EiZei (848645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096230)

XP is as suspectible to spyware as Win2K. The only thing that probably makes even a bit of difference is XP firewall.

Re:Making Up Lost Ground (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096313)

Interesting and helpful page! Weird posting though -- I don't look at the longevity of old products as impeding the sales of new ones. That's like saying healthy people who live longer "impede" sales of drugs and coffins.

So what? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096047)

The two points learned from this article:

1) A previous version of Windows, with less bloat, runs better on hardware with less resources to accomodate the bloat of future versions.

2) If you turn off practically everything, it'll use up a whole lot less memory.

Well, anyone with even a shred of common sense regarding computers should already be aware of those facts...so what purpose does the article serve, other than the rather mediocre instructional value?

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096219)

The point is that Win2K, unlike perhaps 98 or definitely 3.1, is compatible with almost all applications and things, so the bloat in XP is not merely unnecessary but serves no purpose whatsoever. It seems to have just been added on to sell new computers. <flamebait>Kinda like the whole Java language</flamebait>.

Re:So what? (1)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096294)

that's really interesting point you make. a lot of my friends work in financial services, and their laptops all run win2k professional. I thought it odd when somebody would boot up and i'd see the win 2k screen as opposed to xp professional. but different friends, different companies, different hardware vendors, all running win2k.

Re:So what? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096251)

Seriously, is memory even an issue? We like to say "wow my computer is zippy with 1Gb of RAM" but Win2k runs pretty well with it's recommended 64Mb - and still runable on whatever ammount is the minimum. Which doesn't matter either because you can't buy sticks of RAM that small anyway (mainstream).

Where I work not all of the 8 year old computers make it, but the RAM is almost always good. So I just canibalize RAM and other components. Stuffing a computer with RAM isn't that hard if you had the forsight to build the computers with only one stick of ram in the first place.

When you use older computers the thing that sucks more than anything else is the boot time, but seriously the less frequent reboots pretty much negate that as well. Anything from 300-450Mhz is perfectly good. Less than that I cant say, since 300Mhz is now my cutoff point (up from 233 Last year and 133 the year before).

Sales.. (1)

jimmyCarter (56088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096050)

The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?

Yep. My dad and many other *average* pc shoppers don't know that W2K can run on 8 year old hardware.

What kind of question is this? (1)

xxdinkxx (560434) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096061)

I would argue that if anything this if anything helps pc sales. Why? because if you don't like xp for what ever reason and have to go with a windows enviorment, you can always fall back on windows 2k.

Re:What kind of question is this? (1)

UCFFool (832674) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096186)

That doesn't help sales, because as long as you can get a copy of Win2K, your WinXP license is M$ valid for Win2K...
1. Format Drive
2. Install Win2K
3. Use WinXP Key
4. Profi... wait. FREE!

I am not obsolete..... (2, Insightful)

Daedala (819156) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096065)

Planned obsolescence is not a virtue. Why is not buying new hardware a bad thing? That's what the question implies.

Re:I am not obsolete..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096253)

Planned obsolescence is not a virtue. Why is not buying new hardware a bad thing? That's what the question implies.

Because this could have a severe impact on the job market in Asia...

Oh, wait...I don't care.

I have, and still use, a desktop computer from 1999. I've added a second HD (for storing music) and added RAM (up to 512MB from 128MB), and that's about it. No, it isn't a gaming box, but for anything but gaming it works quite well.

And that's even running XP...

Re:I am not obsolete..... (2, Interesting)

mslinux (570958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096263)

Why is not buying new hardware a bad thing?

Because big companies don't like it... how are they gonna keep under-funding pension plans, raising health insurance premiums 25% annually and stealing 401K money if we don't buy their latest and greatest crap?

patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096066)

without patches (or firewall), the box wouldn't be online very long. DCOM, LSASS, GDI+, lots of bugs.

Obligatory... (4, Funny)

utopicillusion (843168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096069)

Well, Linux runs well on older hardware too. Infact, the older...the better!

Btw, Linux also runs on toasters, coffee machines, ipod's etc.

Re:Obligatory... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096176)

Toasters? You're thinking of NetBSD.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Xeeble2 (781620) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096208)

Well, Linux runs well on older hardware too. Infact, the older...the better!
That's funny, when I mention to linux users how long it takes me to compile a kernel and then tell them my machine specs, I get laughed at. Actually compiling Hello World takes a depressing length of time.

Well then (3, Interesting)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096071)

Well then, forget this silly AMD64 system with this waste of 1M L2 Cache! I'm digging out my Pentium 133 system out of the basement!

Just because someone can drag themselves through a decathalon with a broken leg doesn't mean they're going to be fast, effective or ejoy doing so. I don't see Pentium scaling back their development teams because Win2k was a smooth OS that brought life to the unwieldly Win95-capable hardware.

Sure. (5, Insightful)

tyroney (645227) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096076)

I'd think it impedes sales just about as much as making hardware that keeps working longer than six months.

Legacy Support (2, Insightful)

Mad-Mage1 (235582) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096082)

The Compatibility w/ older HW/SW is a good thing from a marketing standpoint, but all of the older drivers and antiquated forms of data access to/from these legacy devices does put restrictions on what the OS can do TODAY. In short, the need to support such a wide, disparate spectrum of devices and technologies hampers the OS to be as fast and efficient as it COULD be, if support for these older devices and formats were removed.

I just use my turbo button! (5, Funny)

Static-MT (727400) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096083)

Whenever I need a little extra juice for a new fangled Win2k app I just hit my turbo button. I should get a few more good years out of this old PC...

Hardware, no. OS? Absolutely. (5, Interesting)

_Hiro_ (151911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096085)

No, but it does impede XP sales.

At work we just bought a rather sizable chunk of Win2K licenses so that we could upgrade older systems from Win98 without taking the performance hit that we were expecting from XP. Plus since I'm more familiar with Win2K than XP, managing the network is easier for me without having to re-learn where they hid all the settings AGAIN.

Re:Hardware, no. OS? Absolutely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096128)

I don't see a big performance hit on XP, but it IS nice to be able to upgrade a Win2K box without worrying about it refusing to run until it phones home to the mothership.

Mod me "obvious" but... (4, Informative)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096088)

I don't think today's typical applications would run too well on 8-year-old hardware. It may be possible, but I think it would be generally more cost-efficient to just upgrade just a little bit. It would be more efficient in time and power consumption, not to mention better at preserving your sanity.

Re:Mod me "obvious" but... (1)

Idealius (688975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096281)

It's not so much today's applications won't run too well on 8 year old hardware, but that most of today's applications that are created aren't tested thoroughly (if at all) on Windows 2000.

They are much different from a QA standpoint, even a few years ago I could take some random piece of software that worked fine on XP, throw it on 2K and watch these little creeper bugs crash the program even though the two OS's have the same kernel.

Besides, I would like to see the huge performance increase people say 2K has over XP. In my experience those two different OS's on the same hardware run very much the same performance if you make one small change: Turn off themes on XP.

Can't you fit Linux on a floppy? (2, Interesting)

CSMastermind (847625) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096091)

Well I am impressed that it worked but I don't think it's going to imped PC sales at all. I get a new computer about once every year and a half. I still have my old computers, right back to the my frist one from 1993. I still use them all. It's amazing what you can do with old hardware. As long as technology keeps increasing I'll be buying new computers because to be honest, the current ones still don't run fast enough for me.

Re:Can't you fit Linux on a floppy? (1)

matth (22742) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096267)

That's because you keep upgrading.. run w2k on TODAYs computer and it will run nice and fast.

Fact is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096093)

People are not hip to upgrading nearly as often as OEMs would like. Most people (non-power users) keep a system for 5-7 years. Gamers are the exception to this, as are Mac people. Marketing only affects those who can see it. Most people are not reading Slashdot or computer sites. They are busy getting spyware from the porn and fantasy football sites.
If Windows runs well on 10-year-old hardware, more power to it.

Still very compatible (1)

daviq (888445) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096094)

Still very compatible with Mac OS X, OS 9 still runs very well on very old hardware - hardware with low specs it was never even meant to run on. The broad question hasn't stopped Macintosh sales.

Not a problem. (1)

Shadez666 (736779) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096096)

Microsoft is placing Windows 2000 on the lost species list so in a couple of years you will have 2 seconds from you boot a fresh install of Windows 2000 with all the latest patches until it bombs when hit by 100 new vulnerability xploits. Server hardware is no longer becoming useless after 2 years so we make sure the operating systems are. Next OS will require multicore and 3GB memory, Keep the industry going you know...

Short answer no (3, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096100)


Nerds won't have to buy new PCs. People in the mainstream will have to throw their PCs away as they would rather upgrade than spend money on virus removal.

Also, expect some sort of "super-virus" to force everyone to upgrade to the next version of windows. The purpose behind this is to make sure that everyone has DRM enabled(i.e. crippled) computers.

Not at all (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096102)

This is a machine that has everything stripped out of it, including service releases and associated security patches, networking code, etc.
As Gates knows so well, feature competition on new systems is just as much related to security as bells-and-whistles. As long as hackers are breaking OSs, you'll need more and more code to plug the leaks. In fact, you'll probably end up with ten times as much security code as feature code. It shouldn't be that way, but there it is.

Politics: More Annoying Than Commercials? [whattofix.com]

Answer (2)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096106)

The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?

Yes, it does. Hence Longhorn's ridiculous recommendations for 3Ghz and 512 MB of RAM to display windows on the screen. What exactly is it doing that requires 3Ghz? It's a ploy to push people to buy new computers. Microsoft is even recommending simply purchasing new computers to run Longhorn instead of upgrading on older machines. Uh-huh.

Linux and OS X, with few exceptions, get faster with each release. It's a nice feeling that OS X Tiger made my iBook 1Ghz faster.

The bigger question is, with all of Longhorn's technologies being backported to XP, in addition to its ludicrous system requirements, what's the point of upgrading to Longhorn at all? A new Direct3D shell that finally got OS X's translucence and window warp effects?

Old does not mean useless (5, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096107)

Until the hard drive crashed last month I was running Win 2K on this old Fujitsu Lifebook D765X Pentium Laptop [cgi.ebay.ca] . My sig other took the "good" laptop to Nova Scotia, so I travelled to San Francisco with this one.

Although slow, the machine actually ran quite OK, even logging into wireless networks and surfing the 'net. Office '97 ran just dandy, as did everything else that I usually have installed.

Pentium 166, 48 megs RAM. Stable as a rock.

I doubt very much that XP would even install on this machine, but 2K was happy as a clam.

Not at all (1)

mfloy (899187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096108)

I don't think this will impede hardware sales at all. People always want what is new, fast and flashy. Most users aren't looking for the most productivity for their dollar, and hence buy systems with much more power then they will ever need. It is like this in all areas, thats why people tend to buy new cars even when their rusty car still runs fine.

WTF? (2, Funny)

illtron (722358) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096110)

My employer thankfully just bought us new 3.2 GHz PCs to replace our 1 GHz machines with Win 2K from 2001.

Screw compatible, I need to get my work done today. Those old PCs were painfully slow running Win2K. Even just simple resizing of photos in Photoshop was asking a lot.

Combine that with the fact that the interface on XP is still inconsistent crap compared to OS X, and things still take too long to accomplish.

Yes. (2, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096111)

does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?

Yes, it does impede sales. However, that's just part of the equation. PC hardware seems to walked into the Land of Diminishing Returns. The extra cost of new hardware doesn't seem justified when the systems that people have work fast enough them. If your computer does everything you want it to, why upgrade?

It depends on the individual.... (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096112)

and what they want to do with the computer and what they want to use it for. You bet you can get away with doing your email and typing up your resume with an older PC..

But I dont think alot of people doing graphic work want to be on an older slower PC, as well the gamers certainly dont want to be fraggin at 5 FPS.

You cant really make a blanket statement about it hurting sales since people have different uses for computers.

Umm... (1)

Fungus King (860489) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096113)

I have the latest Slackware release running on 10-year old hardware. I also have the latest Ubuntu release running on 2-year old hardware... one runs pretty horribly slow and the other blisteringly fast. Given the choice and the increasing inexpensiveness of hardware... I'm going to hazard a guess and say it probably doesn't impede sales too much. Besides, when Longhorn's released it'll probably give consumers an incentive to upgrade (don't hurt me, just going by trends!) :)

The real question is... (1)

betelgeuse68 (230611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096120)

Who cares?

Namely who cares about the question posed to start this thread... I sure as hell don't have 8 year old hardware... or want to waste time experimenting by running an OS that wasn't meant to be run on there.

I'm not fond of MS but I'm not sure how this all fits into anything for justifying that position.

Who cares... waste of time, typing, browsing (this thrad).

-M

Yes, and? So does Windows XP. (3, Insightful)

Zerbey (15536) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096122)

The writer of this article is a little strange if he considers a P233 old hardware. Back when Windows 2000 came out (1999, kids) I was using a P233 as my primary machine.

He makes one excellent point at the end: memory. Memory is what Windows needs more than anything. Once you remove all the cuddly crap, Windows 2000 and XP runs perfectly well on a classic Pentium so long as it has 128Mb or more. Preferably 256 with XP.

I've never tried XP or 2000 on a 486, but I would be willing to bet it'd run fine (NT certainly did). Anyone else tested this?

Re:Yes, and? So does Windows XP. (1)

Xeeble2 (781620) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096290)

I'm curious how XP performs relative to 2k if you turn off all the extra crud 2k doesn't have, has anyone tried this?

2000? Not Surprising! (5, Insightful)

atteSmythe (874236) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096124)

Is it surprising that a 5-year-old operating system still runs 8-year-old hardware? That's the hardware for which the operating system was designed!

A more pertinent question, I think, would be whether 2000 still runs with full support for new hardware devices, and whether that forward-compatibility hampers new OS sales.

Re:2000? Not Surprising! (1)

Alternate Interior (725192) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096249)

2000 is still compatible with every piece of new hardware I've thrown at it. The driver model might as well be identical to XP's. To be fair, I've found some virtual device drivers that aren't 2k compatible (and likewise with 2k virtual devices that aren't XP compatible) but those are the exception. For the vast majority of what I do, I pick 2000 over XP even still. I eventually gave in and upgraded my laptop to take advantage of clear type and the other supposed power enhancements, but the preformance hit is big enough that I'll eventually roll it back.

But yeah, every XP hardware driver I've ever tried works in 2k.

extremely old pc for win2k? (1)

guardiangod (880192) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096126)

and I installed Win2k P on a cyrix P166 w/ 24mb edo ram :/ last week.

where is my slashdot article.

Nothing to see here, move along now.

No.... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096127)

Not when the software runs like shit. You ever try running a current version of AIM on hardware a decade old on Windows 98? It's not pleasant. I'd say they have more to fear from linux, since a Redhat 8.0 installer has everything you'd need, and runs great on older hardware.

The greater question is... (1)

mcmediaman (900722) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096132)

Will it run on my Apple IIe? I know that sounds ridiculous, but I had someone ask me just the other day if the new Apple PowerBooks ran Windows...

95% (2, Interesting)

onion2k (203094) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096133)

Compatible with 95% of things.. so 1 in every 20 applications won't work.

Sounds like rather a lot to me.

I see no reason why, if you design your API correctly and extensibly in the first place, with good modularisation, your OS shouldn't be compatible with code in 50 or 100 years time, let alone 5. Backwards compatibility is useful. Especially in computing where projects are rarely maintained beyond the second or third stable release. I don't quite see why moving forward should necessarily leave old applications broken.

Not really (1)

TechHSV (864317) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096140)

I think real innovation is what hurts PC sales. I use a Win 2k machine w/ 233 Mhz and 128 mb of RAM at home for wireless web surfing, and it does everything I need to do (I'm not a gamer). Nothing that really matters to me has come out lately that makes me need to upgrade my home machine. Win 2000 is a fine OS, and works well for normal use. If they come up with something truely new and innovative I may upgrade, but not until then.

Here's your answer (2, Informative)

BaudKarma (868193) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096142)

does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?

Sure it does. Are we looking for someone to blame? How about the hardware industry, for spending all that money to make speedy whizbang processors and huge warehouselike hard drives that hardly anybody needs?

slow as a snail in comparison to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096143)

I have compared several versions of Windows and several Linux distros including Debian and Gentoo on various old computers including Pentium IIs. Both Linux distros are significantly outperforming all Windows versions including Win2000 across more or less comparable applications e.g. Gimp and Photoshop. In fact I would describe Windows 2000 on anything older than a Pentium III slow as a snail while Debian is still quite snappy and responsive.

Why do people buy new PCs? (1)

B11 (894359) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096147)

From the TFA: How to use the computer on a daily basis
Don't install a lot of application
Only have 1 application open at a time if possible
Don't work with big (1MB+) files (documents, images etc)
Don't apply O/S patches for security stability or other things.
Don't envy people who has newer software than yours or desktop wallpapers for that matter ;) it's not going to happen on your computer!
Gee, I wonder why people buy new PCs? You could of course run Linux on your old machine and have some choices, applications-wise, and not run vulrunable to security breaches, but who want that when you can have a bare-bones Win 2K system?

233mhz? WTF? (1)

Internet_Communist (592634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096155)

I've installed windows 2000 on a pentium 90 before, this article is ridiculous. 233mhz is plenty to run Win2k.

It wouldn't boot off the CD so I had to make 6 floppy boot discs just to get into the setup, but my friend and I finally got it intalled. That same install lasted on there for quite some time before the computer was finally replaced (it was business-use running old dos programs and word, essentially)

Yes; That's Why Macs' Market Share Numbers Are Low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096156)

Since so many people keep Macs for so long, that's why the ~15% "installed base" number only translates into a ~3% "market share" number.

If people needed to buy new machines more frequently, the market "churn" would be higher.

It sounds like this is applicable to both Wintels and Macs now....

An interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096157)

I've often wondered if in five years we'll be at a point where Windows XP gets to the same point as Windows 2000, where we'll have 6GHZ P5s in the new computers and they'll be running Longhorn, and companies will keep XP on their computers because it *just works* and the cycle will be complete.

I use XP right now just because SP2 has a better wireless configuration tool and because it has more bug fixes (and yes, I would probably upgrade from SP1 to try the new IE, just because I'm a browser whore.

A quick google search [google.com] shows that I'm not alone in this endeavor.

Re:An interesting question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096248)

I've often wondered if in five years we'll be at a point where Windows XP gets to the same point as Windows 2000, where we'll have 6GHZ P5s in the new computers and they'll be running Longhorn, and companies will keep XP on their computers because it *just works* and the cycle will be complete.

Actually, Microsoft can shut down XP anytime they like, by refusing to grant product-activation requests. When your motherboard or hard drive dies, so will your Windows XP license.

This, alone, is enough of an incentive to keep installing and running Windows 2000 until the Last Trumpet sounds.

A ray of light? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096158)

Could this open some eyes and increase interest in alternative (Linux, Mac) offerings?

Full article here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096165)

Making Windows 2000 run (rather well) on only 32MB RAM
- By Daniel Iversen, 16 July 2005

People say it cannot be done... others say it should not be done...

The fact is that it can and should (sometimes) be done... installing Windows 2000 on very old computers with only 32 megabytes (MB) of memory (RAM). I've seen 64 and 96 MB RAM computers struggling with Windows 2000 but if you configure the system correctly it can run fast and well. Note though that there is no "magic bullet". Although your old computer can run faster it will never compete with modern hardware in terms of performance.

This is a short guide to show you how to run Windows 2000 on such old computers and maintain a fast perfroming system.

The computer I installed Windows 2000 on was a Toshiba Libretto 110 sub-notebook with 233 Mhz and 32 MB RAM.

Why would you do that?
I had an old but very leight-weight small subnotebook that I needed for after hours support for one of my clients... I needed to install Windows 2000 to use my mobile phone as a modem to access the high speed 3G data network. Your reason might be that you have an old PC you don't want to throw away and Windows 95/98/Me might not give you the features you are looking for... be aware though that if Windows 98 meets your needs it is stupid to upgrade because you have lots less memory to work with when installing Windows 2000.

FACTS
Before the tweaks in this document
Windows 2000 would startup/boot in 30 seconds and you would have between 3-4 MB RAM left for your applications. The system responsiveness is sluggish.

AFTER the tweaks in this document
Windows 2000 would startup/boot in 10 seconds (using hibernation) - which is faster than my 2.4Ghz/400MB laptop .. and you would have more than 10 MB RAM left for your applications. The system responsiveness is rather fast.
Performance post tweaks in this guide
Figure 1: The performance of my old subnotebook after tweaks

THE GUIDE
Install the plain Windows 2000 operating system oin the computer.
Keep in mind:

* DONT install an extra service pack (they can offer perfromance and reliability improvements on faster computers but on old computers with few tasks they are just a bloat). Make sure your Windows installation CD isn't already "slipstreamed" with a service pack.
* Don't install multiple languages (i.e. no multiple keyboard layouts) as it takes up precious resources... just stick with U.S. layout.
* DON'T upgrade from another version of windows. Lots of stuff will be left hanging over and the performance will suffer
* Keep (or choose) the (very fast for old computers) FAT file system during installation as opposed to the heavier and more secure NTFS filesystem

Removed cursor shadow
I know... maybe not the biggest resource saver (especially because the graphics card probablky handles this one.

Disable display effects incl color icons
You can run with 16bit color on the desktop (if that is what you graphics card supports best natively. Be aware though that some computers can run with higher color depth but the copmuter processor/CPU (as opposed to the graphics CPU) may have to do more... but usually 16bit is fine.
Then you disbale high-color icons, you disable fading effects, smooth fonts and "show window contents" when dragging - in other words, disable anything fancy ;)

removed sound theme and sound card
Playing sound takes CPU resources and getting sound files takes memory.. disable sound effects, and even disable the sound card... When you run on 32MB there are sacrifices that have to be made... I use my 32MB subnotebook for non-sound things so disabling sound card makes sense because the drivers take up resources.

Disabled (by setting them to "manual" (in case windows needs them)) unneeded services
This is probably the single-most important step after the installation. Windows loads lots of services you might not need and they take up LOTS of memory and CPU (considering we only have 32MB).

Disabling following services in the "Control Panel -> Administration -> Services" makes your computer able to act on the network, internet and other things while freeing up lots of memory;

* Remote Registry Service
* Task Scheduler
* RunAs Service
* TCP/IP NetBios Helper Service
* Print Spooler
* Event Log
* Computer Browser
* IPSEC Policy Agent
* Messenger
* Distributed Link Tracking Client
* System Event Notification
* Alerter
* Protected Storage
* Server

You can also remove these services

* Infrared Monitor
* Removable Storage (for USB drives, attachable CD drives etc.)
I use the 2 services above but have them disabled. I just created 2 shortcuts on the desktop to start them... the command to start a service is net start ""

Install and use X-Setup from X-teq
This is probably the second most important step after installing windows and disabling the services.... This little tool can remove lots of hidden (and for you unneeded) applications and settings embedded deep inside windows.

Following changes has to be made using the X-Setup tool (trial version will do)

* disabke activedesktop
* use "Classic" Explorer style
(as opposed to only turn off the obvious win2k UI niceties this actually reduces the win2k memory footprint further by also removing quick launch, right-click on start menu and other features)
* disallow file and printer sharing
* Shutdown can auto-end programs
* Service timout when system shutdown decreasde to 10sec
* Disable group policy objects (GPO)
* Disable dr. watson just-in-time debugging
* Disable "last access" attribute of files (this is important for drive/processor speed)
* disable "secure desktop" patch
* Disable windows file protection (this is VERY important for speed)

Remove LPT/printer port
Chances are that you won't have a printer connected to the computer.. Removing the LPT port (in the control panel -> system -> device manager ) is a good idea ... you can still print over the network, albeit a bit slower (since we disabled the print spooler earlier).. thats o.k. - it is all for the greater good.

Disable printer and file sharing
again - its about cutting down on whats running.. do this and connect to other computers instead of letting them connect to you.

Install and use Tweak UI
Tweak UI is an old but good fere application from Microsoft to tweak certain windows saettings.

Install it and use it as follows;

* remove all UI effects of windows
* remove active desktop
* remove "new documents added to documents on startmenu"
* renmove "beep on error"
* reomove most of the icons from the "new" tab

Use hibernation feature
Hibernation allows you to start your computer very fast. A typical boot process can take 40 seconds.. .resuming from hibernation only takes 10-15 seconds - very much worth doing! (just remember to do a real reboot/restart every few days to make sure everything gets "cleaned up")

Install network card
Install the network card in your computer... let windows detecdt the card and use the "browse" button to find the driver on your CD/floppy/folder... do NOT run the installation program that came with your netwoirk card as that will most likely install some resident helper application (that you don't really need)

How to use the computer on a daily basis

* Don't install a lot of application
* Only have 1 application open at a time if possible
* Don't work with big (1MB+) files (documents, images etc)
* Don't apply O/S patches for security stability or other things.
* Don't envy people who has newer software than yours or desktop wallpapers for that matter ;) it's not going to happen on your computer!

What now?
Next thing is to install office or whatever.. Office 2000 can run on this computer... make sure though you don't run a "pure/normal" install but just copy the files over from anbother installation... this limits bloat and drivers decreasing overall performance of your system.

Upgrade to 64, 96 or even 128 MB RAM..... ;) (much more RAM that this might not make sense if you have a very old CPU)

Other interesting links
having 3.x shell in NT 5.x
Running the NT4 Explorer in Windows 2000
Windows 2000 Memory Tweaks
Disable File Protection
not related - Ad Free TV - The Digital Television revolution - today! (just thought I'd throw it in there..)

(c) Copyright 2005, Daniel Iversen

StatCounter - Free Web Tracker and Counter

Stats? (1)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096171)

I would really like to see the basis for the '95% compatible with Windows XP' statement.

Half the stuff I have will run on XP but not Windows 2000. That's the whole reason I got the XP "pay-for upgrade" in the first place.

Games? (1)

maidhc (795249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096182)

I would have thought the requirments of many new computer games are driving PC sales. I used to use windows 95 on an 11yr old thinkpad for college work until last year. Its hardly news that Windows 2000 is good for ordinary everyday mundane tasks. I dont think many people buy retail versions on windows anyway. So it may well be that people use 2k on old machines because its good for what they want to do.

Technically.... (1)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096196)

Ye, you can use older machines to run Windows 2000. You can tweak the hell out of services and effects and it'll run smooth as butter.

Would I follow this guy's advice? Hell no. He doesn't want to patch or update anything. His setup would be a good for a person who never needed internet access.

It's like saying "Hay guyz, Redhat 4 runs on old systems great if you don't patch to the latest version!@!!"

Well... (1)

d3m057h3n35 (695460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096198)

It's been said that "Running Windows on a Pentium is like having a brand new Porsche but only be able to drive backwards with the handbrake on." This guy has taken it a step further, comparable to having a '94 Camry which is missing its handbrake lever and can't even go into reverse.

5 yr old software on 8 yr old hardware!?!?!?!? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096199)

Now there's a stretch.

Of course it will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096201)

There will always be a certain percentage of the population that doesn't need anything newer than what was available in 1999. The "older hardware" in the article was relatively current at the time Win2K was introduced. The problem is that our needs have changed. Back then, the average image may have been 100K or so, maybe 500K. Now, the "same" picture requires 10M. Processors need to work with a lot more bits and the older hardware, though it works fine for email and text processing, are close to useless with bigger files.

Just buy a faster one. Why? because we said so! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096204)

It is true that the average user (grandma and co.) only know that 1. XP is newest, therefore best (thanks to microsoft media hype) 2. Their current pc won't run XP. For most, win2k doesn't even factor in... plus low low closeout prices at the corner electronics store means the microsoft planned obsolescence machine is running smoothly year after year.

tell me about it (1)

museumpeace (735109) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096206)

my formerly computerphobic daughter had to go mobile and on a shoestring budget...she got an ancient Toshiba 8500 series laptop. By adding a bit of memory, and downloading a BIOS patch from Toshiba, she got it to run win2k. 6 months later, its still a happy laptop. We will have to upgrade from win2k someday...

...to Linux.

Ignorant article (4, Insightful)

Helevius (456392) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096207)

"DONT install an extra service pack (they can offer perfromance and reliability improvements on faster computers but on old computers with few tasks they are just a bloat). Make sure your Windows installation CD isn't already 'slipstreamed' with a service pack."

and

"How to use the computer on a daily basis...Don't apply O/S patches for security stability or other things."

This is advice from an idiot for other idiots. I'm sure the worms and other malware you invite onto this system will make great use of the "more than 10 MB RAM left for your applications."

make better reasons for upgrading (1)

Stevix (861756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096213)

The broad question is, does the fact that you can remain compatible with today's applications and data on hardware that is almost a decade old, impede PC sales?"


Perhaps if there were greater incentives for new computers besides "your computer only has n of x, now you can get n+1 for x!" Im not buying a new plasma TV until my 8 year old projection tv kicks the bucket, likewise if i can make due with old PC tech, why should i shell out more of my money?

Lets be thankful M$ didn't impose arbitrary blocks against what the FA quotes as 'specs it was never even meant to run on' with clippy saying "your computer is too slow, would you like directions to best buy to get a better computer?"

maybe i'll upgrade when that VR technology i heard about in the 80's gets here

Naw (1)

Devistater (593822) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096222)

Doesnt seem to matter. People are buying the latest OS in droves, mostly because its included with new PC. Same thing will happen when longhorn comes out. People said the same thing when XP first came out "tons of ppl have win9x surely no one will upgrade to XP right?" Turns out most ppl did.

Most people could use 10-year old computers... (2, Insightful)

loggia (309962) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096256)

...with a little technical TLC every now-and-then. Like the Times article about how people buy new PCs because of spyware, most consumers cannot figure out the insanity of Windows. They certainly can't figure out that their new computer does almost nothing more for them then their old computer -- the only difference is that the old one "stopped working."

Old hardware/New Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096262)

I don't think it's necessarily that Win2k can operate fine on decade old hardware, I think it's that the hardware is fit to perform to the degree that Win2k will have it perform. New software demands better hardware and today's capabilitys aren't going to work for 10 year old hardware.

Until my laptop purchased in 2003, I was running Win98 on a crappy computer from 2000. In 2000, that computer was probably midlevel. It was pretty much what we could afford. It wasn't bad, but times changed and it just couldn't keep up anymore with the constraints of new software. If you start upgrading it to keep up with new technology then you're no longer running old hardware so the point is moot.

Win2k is great for those who prefer it over XP cause XP has its fair share of problems but most software companies are phasing out their software for 2000 and developing it specifically for XP.

Just as long as no one decides to bring back WinME, I'm fine.

But Win2k won't run (properly) on NEW hardware (1)

hirschma (187820) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096264)

Win2k is my favorite Windows. It runs everything that XP does (don't know where the OP got 95% from), doesn't have the activation bullshit, and is just more stable and less resource hungry than XP.

That being said, I've come across multiple new or newer hardwares that don't support Win2k properly.

Examples:

I bought a Dell 4550 years ago, perhaps circa 2002 or 2003. It would not run Win2k out of the box - audio hardware was unsupported, and drives only ran in DMA mode under XP. Same with Linux. Much complaining to Dell, and a three month wait resulted in replacement audio hardware and a new BIOS that did the trick.

No Nvidia based motherboards allow all features to run with Win2k. I've tried two, and neither allows bootable RAID or any other RAID functionality - the drivers are there, but they just don't work.

MS has tentacles into everything, and you WILL upgrade eventually. I guess I'll move on to XP once Longhorn is truly threatening :)

jh

Windows Server 2003 is the new Windows 2000 (5, Informative)

sabNetwork (416076) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096269)

Windows 2000 is amazing-- blazing fast and solid as a rock. I tried XP for a couple months and quickly switched back to 2000. Unfortunately, as Microsoft slowly discontinues updates, patches, and support for Windows 2000, you will eventually have to migrate to XP, 2k3, or Longhorn.

I installed Windows Server 2003 a year or two ago and haven't looked back. It has all of the stability and speed of 2000, except with the improved compatibility and features of XP. Subjectively, I can tell you that it doesn't "deteriorate" like XP does. (Your mileage may vary.) And did I mention it was blazing fast on my dated hardware?

It uses a newer kernel than XP, for the record. One of the major differences I've noticed is that windows redraw more smoothly with less flickering, especially in Explorer. It includes XP's WiFi connectivity features, too.

There's an excellent site [msfn.org] dedicated to using Server 2003 as a workstation, including instructions on how to disable unnecessary services and processes.

What is this supposed to be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13096300)

Oh man that's it. I'm deleting the bookmark toolbar link to /.

It just doesn't get more boring that it's been the last couple of months, and this article is the most stupid shit I have read since the State of the Union speech from your mentally challenged president "Dubya". This website sucks even more than Private Pile.

Too bad, it used to be good at some point in the past. Or maybe I've just gotten older and don't enjoy bullshit as much anymore.

computer == tool (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096315)

So long as what the computer vendors and hardware manufacturers produce are things people can use and not just buy for the frills of it you'll have sales.

Like yeah, I *could* do my development on a 25Mhz 386 with 16M of ram...

However, I also like 19 second build times, the ability to run more indepth simulations for testing, etc...

So yes, there are needs for things like dual core multiple Ghz processors even if they seem excessive for "word processing".

Unfortunately, the amount of people on earth who truly can benefit from [say] a dual core AMD64 probably can't fill a baseball stadium.

The vast majority of home users are not developers and could easily get away with much smaller computers had their software they chose to run been so crippled.

But what do I care? All these yuppy idiots buying AMD64s to run winxp32 drive the cost down for me. So it's win win ;-)

Tom

Dell Insprion 3500 (1)

spoonyfork (23307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13096316)

For anecdotal evidence, Windows 2000 is the most modern OS that runs on my old 1998 Dell Inspiron 3500 with 100% functionality. All linux distros choke on the NeoMagic sound card, 2 out of 3 choke on the NeoMagic video card. I hate to give it up because it still works.. even the battery still holds a couple hour charge.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...