The in-your-face over decoration of UI's thankfully hasn't persisted, but instead we're seeing a similar kind of decadence among our supposedly minimal and flat interfaces. The misuse of space and screen real-estate has gotten pretty bad as of late, and I'm all for an appropriate amount of whitespace (I keep railing against certain linux DE's for not getting this right) but modern software seems to be devoid of any kind of efficiency with layout or a sensible information density.
Windows 2000 was also one of the most consistently designed versions of Windows. XP also introduced tons of design language chaos as they only migrated some of the UI over to the new controls and left big chunks of the OS to languish. I think Control Panel had widget rot well into Windows 10 (Maybe still has this issue?).
I only grudgingly moved to XP and shortly after switched to Desktop Linux full time.
> I'm still rather baffled about how people look back fondly on XP
XP was the first consumer version of adult (non-w95 based) Windows. Relatively few people used Windows NT or Windows 2000. If you are one of the many people who's Windows use either started with XP or you went from W95 to XP, then XP was clearly the best Windows you've ever seen.
It's been 15+ years? since I regularly used Windows so maybe I'm mis-remembering this, but I definitely remember there being quite a few WTF moments working with the Windows XP Control Panel. Lots of changes for no apparent reason, and many weird/ jarring things. Its definitely not a Windows 10 thing because I've spent roughly 15 minutes using Windows 10.
Even in Classic View, there are admittedly some items that have user interface styles that date back to Windows 3.1 (one example being part of the Fonts area), so there are some oddities. But switching to Classic View takes care of a lot of them.
For example, the German version of Windows XP renamed the entry for "Software" to "Programme und Funktionen"/"Programs and functions".
It's something that even over a decade later keeps catching me off-guard because for the longest time I was so used to look for "S like software".
And Windows 10 did it again with the whole "App" thing where I'm still somewhat confused if that's the new name for software, or if I'm installing some kind of integrated gadget from the Windows store or what the actual difference between these two is supposed to be.
I had a machine that refused to sync NTP until I went into Control Panel, even though everything looked fine in the new Settings
After growing up with Amiga and then MacOS, I only really encountered Windows XP when I started my first proper job.
Couldn’t believe that that was the default OS for professionals and businesses. With all the chunky graphics and bright colours it looked so childish - like it was designed for preschoolers, not 98% of the world’s computing.
There was even a puppy animation when doing a search.
You could easily switch it to look like earlier versions of Windows, however. I miss that ability in 8.1 and 10; up through Window 7, I could make my desktop look like Windows 95 if I wanted to, and sometimes I did. Nothing like having a colleague walk up to you in 2017 and asking you, "is that Windows 2000?"
Control Panel: win 3.0 lineage
Computer Management/device manager: WinNT lineage
Settings: Win8 lineage
It's all a big mess. You want to configure your audio settings or printer? You'll find options in all three areas, all with slightly different UI controls.
If anything slowly rendering the older stuff obsolete and moving settings into the new unified settings system makes the most sense to move forward without people freaking out.
Your only options, for windows users is to do things very slowly or just don't move forward or innovate at all and as of today there is very little reason to dig into the older versions apart from very esoteric settings.
There are a few examples of things that are now much harder than they need to be because the settings have been spread over several different places, and you have to know the correct route to them or you get an incomplete settings menu.
Some Dell laptops will use a generic Windows driver for a mouse device, instead of installing the correct drivers for the trackpoint / Pointstick and touchpad. This is a suboptimal experience, and installing the correct drivers is harder than it needs to be.
But once you've installed the correct drivers where do you find the settings?
Start > Settings > Touchpad will give some settings, but not for the pointstick.
Device manager doesn't give you the settings.
Search > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Dell Touchpad > Launch Mouse Control Panel will give you a window that then allows you to open the Dell settings.
The easier way is to open the hidden icons in the notification area, right click Dell Touchpad, and open the settings from there.
I find it interesting that during the past 15 years the industry has switched away from 4:3 displays to 16:9 displays (which seem to provide more horizontal space at the expense of vertical space), yet Microsoft's designs seem to consume more vertical space as opposed to horizontal space. Instead of ribbons, I prefer the horizontal inspectors that are found in macOS applications.
On Hacker News I'm seeing more interest lately in the desktop UIs from the 1990s and 2000s. For example, the latest beta release of Haiku, an operating system inspired by BeOS, garnered a lot of attention. What I like about Windows 2000, macOS (both the classic Mac OS and Mac OS X), BeOS, GNOME 2, and other classic desktops is their utilitarian focus on design, where form and function are intertwined. UI design isn't about "the bling"; it's about providing a good experience to the user. Mac OS X's Aqua interface did a good job providing a compelling interface to users that was also beautiful. Unfortunately, some people only saw the "bling" and not the functionality behind the Aqua theming, and thus we've been suffering from fashion-driven UIs for nearly 20 years, a trend that has been made worse by the advent of mobile computing. Hopefully the pendulum will swing back to how things were in the 1990s; we can learn a lot from the human interface guidelines Microsoft and Apple published in that era.
I still have to think when I look at the control center on my phone, uh.. moon == Do not disturb, and is it on or not??
The faux-3d let you know. I also wish there was text under the controls.
I've resorted to turning on some of the contrast accessibility stuff to make it a little more usable.
And don't even get me started on the hamburger menu.
Vs code. How many seconds does it take to figure out the active code tab?
I think it traces transition from power users to casual. It makes sense, but there was no alternative. Screen become cluttered so much that most applications run on full screen only. And web become spoiled too - sticky headers everywhere (uBlock fixes this), wide content (media queries kicks in much narrower windows, Stylus to the rescue).
Explorer (shell) decorations is much to blame. Do we actually need task bar, title bar, menu bar, tool bar, status bar, scroll bar? I do not think so - plenty of space and distraction free . There are a lot of tiling managers on Linux, but Windows has its share too. Like dwm port  (never tried on Windows) though I prefer wmii and xmonad with wmii layout.
 Windows Explorer Through the Years https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23487698
Windows 1.0 tiling https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Microsof...
 Windows 10 tiling https://i2.wp.com/www.nextofwindows.com/wp-content/uploads/2...
 No decorations http://sergeykish.com/side-by-side-no-decorations.png
 DWM on Windows https://www.brain-dump.org/projects/dwm-win32/
While we've been thrown a few bones like start menu search, most of the gratuitous changes have been for the worse. Sleeker but harder to use for professionals. Gnome 2 was approaching Win2k but then made a hard turn into tablet/novice land. XFCE is in the neighborhood but never got to the level of Win2k.
I didn't care for skinz in the 90's and instead of going away, every app now is a unpredictable skinned mess.
Beyond that... the system appearance used prior to Platinum was, simply put, crude. It was an outgrowth of a UI design which had originally been constructed for black-and-white systems with limited CPU power, and it wasn't especially consistent. It lacked standard UI elements for many controls which had become common, like dropdown menus, utility windows, disclosure triangles, or tristate checkboxes, forcing many applications to implement their own inconsistent versions of these items. Even for the UI elements it implemented, like buttons and checkboxes, its appearance was simplistic in the extreme -- buttons were black outlined round-rects; checkboxes were black outlined squares, etc. There was very little use of color or shading outside of window chrome -- most of the UI was black and white, just as it had been from the start.
Hard disagree, Gnome 3 is like i3 except without the legacy cruft.
Agreed, yet somehow its Start menu is still better than what you get on Windows 10 these days: https://i.stack.imgur.com/rwZqf.jpg
> ...installing the Zune theme was the first thing I did after a fresh install to try and tone it down.
Everyone knows the best XP theme was Royale Noir! https://www.istartedsomething.com/20061029/royale-noir/
Or, maybe the Win8 one was better. It's a bit hard to be sure about this, but the first half of the comment stands.
I actually came to like the 8.1 Start screen, though it took awhile. Basically my most-used programs are pinned to the start screen, so I can tap Windows, and use the mouse to select one, with a large margin for error. Or I can search based on the name of the program, and unlike Windows 10, it's only to match local items, and not include any web results.
I think a big part of this is a combination of two factors: First, most non-tech people never ran Win2k. They went straight from 98/ME to XP. Second, no one remembers WinXP before SP2. (You know, when it was a complete trainwreck.)
FWIW, when I was doing software development in the latter days of XP, I found that I actually liked the style of the UI widgets from the default theme. Its just the titlebar and taskbar styles that I couldn't stand. However, some size tweaks made them more tolerable.
Oh well, who cares now, it lies in its well deserved grave, I guess.
Other people I know couldn't get past a VxD error on the first install, others couldn't get faster K6 or PIII's to be stable with it.
It was a love it or hate it thing--my opinion of Vista and 8.0 are similar.
It was an almost undeniable local maximum in Windows releases from the consumer side, which does make some of the fond memories make sense.
It often feels like the biggest difference between Vista and 7 was actually time. As such, the cheap computers 7 shipped on were much better than the cheap underpowered computers Vista shipped on (despite both OSes likely having similar realistic requirements).
Win7 kinda was the SP2 of Vista more than a major version.
This is probably a very unpopular opinion but I rather liked Windows Vista's design. It was still very compact compared with later designs, and it had a certain charm from its prevalent use of translucency. I disliked XP for the same reason you cited, and upgraded to Vista almost as soon as it came out, despite early Vista's instability.
I find flatUI far more brutalist in the way it disorients by removing and humane clues as to its structure and use.
Win7 had a fairly decent balance of shiny chrome and usability by reducing both of those, while still retaining enough visual cues to e.g. clearly highlight buttons.
>the classic theme was a lot leaner on system resources
maybe, but it probably also made things run slower because it forces everything to be done in software rather than hardware.
>Starting in Windows Vista, a lot of visual effects were offloaded to the graphics card. Consequently, the impact on system performance for those visual effects is negligible, and sometimes turning off the effect actually makes your system run slower because you disabled hardware acceleration, forcing operations to be performed in software.
Weirder, MDI windows use Win7's classic\b\b\b\b\b\b aero basic styling, so apparently some of the Win7 styling is also still available.
Another major annoyance: the resize area for a window is seemingly 1 pixel wide. You used to be able to specify a width and all windows would be bordered with it. I get that Win10 looks sleeker but did they really have to take that control away
What really bothered me was that back in XP days it seemed that .theme files seemed really interchangeable save for MS signing. I remember downloading numerous theme files, placing them in the right spot, and installing a cracked themes dll, and they'd just work.
I wouldn't call them "classic". They're closer to the "aero basic" theme from vista/7 than the "classic" theme that was available from windows xp to windows 7.
It's really a bit of a mistake, maybe a limitation(?) of the Windows UI system.
I mean the border on OS X is 1px too but the resize area is about 8 pixels.
Would love it if MS could do another spin on the deep details and just make it all work nice.
> It's really a bit of a mistake, maybe a limitation(?)
> of the Windows UI system.
> I mean the border on OS X is 1px too
> but the resize area is about 8 pixels.
Is it? My impression is that Windows behaves the same there, i.e. the border is drawn 1 px wide, but the full width of it is still available for grabbing, only it's being drawn invisible. If I hover my mouse over a window border, the cursor certainly switches into resize mode for more than just 1 pixel's worth of distance.
You could in theory design a modern UI that resembles the classic UI, but it wouldn't really be "the classic UI". A large part of what makes the classic UI have the particular look it does is that it has custom constraint-layout logic for each control, the outputs of which are fed as parameters into the arbitrary hand-written GDI draw-call logic used to draw each control.
Some of the more interesting controls have Turing-hard constraint logic, which just can't be replicated in non-Turing-complete constraint-layout systems like XAML or CSS. (You can get close, but it requires using huge hierarchies of layout nodes with tons of overhead, where the Windows UI actually got by with very few.)
The classic theme supports arbitrary sizes (in px or "device-independent" units) for both text and widgets, which addresses HiDPI and touch readiness. What it might have trouble with however is mixed DPI, where moving a window across two screens requires rendering it with different pixel densities. But that was not on the horizon in the Windows 8.x days.
It doesn't always produce the most beautiful results, but it's serviceable. And to be fair, it's taken a long time for high-DPI to consistently look beautiful even on recent versions of Windows. I shudder to remember looking at Device Manager on a display set to 125% in the DPI settings.
This claim is entirely baseless. The "classic theme" is just a gray background plus some light/dark borders. There's absolutely zero difficulty doing that in hi-DPI, or any other environment for that matter.
Stop making excuses for Microsoft. Windows XP was a panicked and half baked response to the shinny Mac OS X Aqua interface, because that's what Microsoft had always done: following Apple's lead. I can't really blame them either, as following Apple's lead had led to great success for Microsoft.
Actually I lied, I do blame Microsoft for blindly chasing Apple's new shinny. Having established themselves as a pioneer and authority in UI design/usability with the revolutionary Windows 95 GUI, they should've had the confidence to stick to their guns and iterate their GUI without too much influence from the competition.
I bet this would look awesome. Especially in high DPI.
Disable transparency and windows animations (Settings > Display > Show transparency on Windows, Show animations in windows). Also disable "Fade or slide menus into view". Much better experience and not much to offload.
* Disabled transparency
* Disabled animations
* Disabled scroll-bars being auto-hidden
Unfortunately, I couldn't find "Fade or slide menus into view", but the rest of the settings are night and day! Thank you.
* My Computer
* Right click
* System properties
* Uncheck "Fade or slide menus into view"
* Apply / OK
If I recall correctly, Win2K was a lot slower than NT 4.0 on the same hardware, and it featured some really bad UI ideas, like menus that auto-hide advanced menu items.
By the time XP was released I gave up the fight.
The initial XP theme was just awful; clearly a knee-jerk reaction to the OS X Aqua. It's too bad. The MS Whistler prototype screenshots looked great.
The later XP theme (Powerpack?) was half decent.
Nowadays I only run Windows 2000 in a VM, and CRT refresh rate is no longer a concern, it may be worth considering going backing to NT4, as I'm pretty sure I can set the background to the warmer W2K gray in NT4. Thanks for the idea!
It was an interesting idea about how to combat the problem of having too many menu items, but it wasn't great for discoverability. I can understand why it faded out.
Title bar, menubar and toolbar nicely muted down on background windows. Very professional look. And taskbar - so clean. Thank you, I like it even more than Classic theme.
BeOS was a deliberately “vapourwave chiselled look with 90s cartoon icons” that screamed F.R.E.N.D.S and Melrose Place and edgy or avant-garde typography in nineties magazines.
NeXT on the other hand was austere, alabaster, eminently workable, but... so regular, so regular, so well thought-out, so utterly restrained and so internally consistent.
Those were wonderful GUIs. They had no pretence of disappearing into the background. They had to be clear signage for generations educated in the age of text-mode (and sometimes even still coming from the tail-end of the “typographic age”).
The late 90's screamed "workplace", "multimedia" and the information exchange era. Brutalist and futurism.
OFC Helvetica was mimicked from press, the media and press were HUGE back in the day, they had the same power as MS, Amazon, FB, Google and Netflix today. So we tried to clone magazines, VCRs, TV's, cubicles and stereos/radios in our computers. We succeeded.
Trying to explain the 90's with "vaporwave" is ridiculous. Those could be maybe for the early 90's demoscene for PC/Amiga. They were as obsolete in late 90's as Windows 98 today.
The late 90's were about replicating the mainstream media in your computer.
To get the best of both worlds I ran a spare copy of Windows Server 2003 as my "daily driver" on a Thinkpad back in the early 2000's. It had the Windows 2000 UI with the behind-the-scenes updates that came with Windows XP. Most software that installed on XP installed fine on Server 2003. It was nice.
I don't mind XP's look so much, but I always switched back to classic style. I loved the ability to customize every color, font, etc. The rainy day theme is still my favorite.
I see this all the time. A great deal of whitespace, and the "meat" of the display is confined to a small subsection with scroll bars.
One thing I like about HN is the focus on using the display for content, rather than decoration.
Imho that's probably based on Windows Vista setting the bar so low that, in contrast, XP looked like something rather good.
Best if run on a DEC Alpha chip
I turned 18 midway through 1999 and since I was deeply interested in multiprocessor OSes (chiefly, BeOS) I asked for (and was lucky enough to get) a dual PIII-450 system as an 18th birthday/high-school graduation gift.
I dual booted BeOS 5.5 and Windows NT 4.0. Windows 98SE would work, but it didn’t have support for SMP, so one of the processors would be deactivated. On the other hand, it NT 4.0 didn’t support USB, and I had several USB peripherals (my very first digital camera, a Canon IXUS, and a flatbed scanner).
That’s why in June 1999 I joined the Windows 2000 beta programme. It was amazing to have the full power of the dual processors, the “interesting” new GUI, and USB support all rolled into one system. I remember being quite smitten with Windows from just about then until a couple of years after the release of XP (the fabled “XP SP2” being when I jumped ship and switched to Mac OS X 10.2).
Anyway, yes, Windows 2000 (or “Win 2k” as it was affectionately known in those millennial years) was a true monument, a watershed, a massive accomplishment when compared technically to its immediate predecessor Windows NT 4.0 (SP6a) and an immense effort bring the NT line to “functional parity” with the Windows 9x line. I was stunned that it was replaced so soon by Windows XP (and also, stunned that XP endured for so long thereafter, but that’s another story).
I went to university at 17 in 2001 with a Dell notebook and a self built Duron (IIRC) tower. Instead of partying, I used my new found freedom (and decent internet connection) to try every OS and piece of software I could get my hands on (though I never stumbled across BeOS). I spent the most time with Windows 2000 Server on the notebook (as a "client") and Redhat on the tower (as a "server").
It was a different time then. Lot's of free time, huge explosion in open source software, basically no network security or limitations.
Linux desktops/laptops finally seem to work out of the box (as opposed to hunting for a WiFi driver to sneakernet over, or reinstalling the OS yet again due to some unidentifiable issue), gaming is finally viable on Linux, Microsoft has multiple compelling open source offerings like PowerShell (for Linux!), .NET core, and VSCode (regardless of my latent skepticism from the EEE era.)
For the past 5 years, I've used Linux exclusively for my main driver (dev, gaming, tinkering, etc.,) something I simply wouldn't have had the patience to do even a decade ago due to the lack of maturity of these systems on the desktop. Browsing distrowatch and just installing whatever interests you feels more viable than it ever has been. This year, I am using Pop!_OS primarily, which just works out of the box. It includes a built-in, robust tiling manager, and I have access to incredible free, open source IDEs and text editors that feel more powerful than what I paid for in the past. It's a good time to be a "techie" in the world.
The past couple years, I've been using Windows 10 with WSL2 for personal stuff. It is ok, but I think I'll go back to some Linux flavor once the mood strikes me.
All that said, I've been using OS X for work for a decade and it has gone down hill in the most depressing way...
As far as the golden age of open source? Some of my friends agree with you. Some think it ended as open source came to be dominated by big corporations. I actually think it is yet to come as the whole of humanity gains access and becomes involved. I guess time will tell.
Windows 2000 is still the only version of Windows I truly enjoyed using. Just seeing the screenshots brought me back to using my beige tower in my dorm room with Winamp, Half Life, and Napster shortcuts on my desktop.
XP stuck around because Vista simply wasn't compelling. A technical failure by MS, released too early, for no good reason; it never had the things we were promised like the database filesystem, and offered really no reason for a normal consumer to want to upgrade. So around it stuck, just like 7 did while 8 floundered.
Things are different with 10, the Eternal Windows, and so who knows what will happen next in regards to this tick-tock cadence of OS progress?
2. Xp capable systems weren't powerful enough to run the new generation of operating systems.
Vista was the scapegoat to force hardware upgrade.
Samething happened with windows 8 forcing upgrade to touch screen.
This is key, and also shows why, at least at release, the technical failures of Vista were what drove its commercial failure.
Part of it was the jump in specs - the infamous Intel chipsets that were Windows Vista certified, but couldn't run Aero, and in general the huge boost in requirements from XP.
Part of it was changes with in the OS, such as protecting the Program Files folder(s), and Vista's Shadow Copy system, which wrecked havoc with programs that stored user-modifiable configuration files (and more) in their install directory. Yes, Microsoft had been recommending against that for awhile, but it still broke a lot.
But as much of it was ecosystem readiness due to changes to changes to the driver model. There was some support for XP drivers, but it was still painful. I used Vista without service packs. It was bad, bad enough that I switched back to XP. Let's just say there's a reason that I didn't buy another nVIDIA graphics card for another decade.
There is something nice about a bug free operating system that "just works" as intended. No problems, no hassles. No load times, even back then. Back then it was common to have a computer with 128MB+ of ram but Windows 2000 ran on 64MB of that, so it was the first non page file heavy OS that just snapped. In comparison, a year later Windows XP could use over 256MB of ram before getting to the same speed, and this was when computer magazines were recommending less than 512MB of ram, because it was overkill.
Today computers are fast, but Catalina feels quite a bit slower than Windows 2000 did when it came out, and Catalina is quite a bit more buggy.
Extreme system stability is nice, but I question if most people even know what that is like.
But I've compared how long it takes to start Word on my Pentium II 450 MHz running Windows 98, with Word 2000, to my Core i5 2500 K (3.3 GHz) running Windows 8.1, with Word 2010. The Pentium II wins.
I don't how much of the difference was Windows versus Office, but it's a sad indication of the slowdown in software outpacing the speedup in hardware.
Though 95 was pretty revolutionary when it came out.
Windows 2000 was very good, but I'm also fond of Windows for Workgroups 3.11. It had a certain simplicity and directness that they lost in the move to Windows 95. (And WfWG could run both 32-bit drivers and 32-bit software, as long as Win32s was installed.)
The way it did this was to hook into the executable loader to add support for the PE binary format used by Windows NT. It also provided a set of shim libraries that took the existing 16-bit Windows API and projected it into the 32-bit address space. The underlying implementation was still 16-bit, but it could now be called from 32-bit code. This essentially meant that Win32s was the subset of Win32 that was in common with Win16 (and so was missing lots of features from Windows NT).
So think about where this puts WfWG3.11:
* So Win32s added a 32-bit executable loader and shim Win32 API libraries.
* Down in the foundation of Windows (since Windows/386) was VMM, which provided 32-bit OS services
* WfWG 3.11 introduced something called "32 Bit File Access", which was a natively 32-bit implementation of the file system running in VMM.
So the original line of Windows development has already made major strides towards being a 32-bit OS, even before Windows 95. What Windows 95 does is build out that 32-bit shim layer, so there are more full fledged 32-bit implementations of more of the Win32 API, and to do that, it also expands VMM to provide the necessary 32-bit services. (For threading and the like). So far more evolutionary than the 'full 32-bit rewrite that it was once viewed to be.
One easy way to see the impact of all this is in Notepad. Notepad is essentially a wrapper around the standard Windows edit control, which stayed implemented in 16-bit code through all of what I've described above. This is why Notepad was always limited to 32K (IIRC) files on these older versions of Windows, and does not have that limitation on versions of Windows that were fully implemented in 32-bit code.
I also tend to think this is a good engineering solution to a tricky problem. Windows 95 was originally intended to run on very small machines... think 8MB or so in a world where you needed 32MB to run Windows NT. Even if they'd had the engineering resources to fully rebuild consumer Windows as 32-bit, there's no way they'd have come close to meeting their memory budget (or their sales targets).
Actually the power on behavior is bad too, without the chime you can never really tell if the thing is working or not.
Somebody at Disney seems to have had a different experience:
If you had beefy enough hardware, which we all eventually did years after XP came out, it ran as fast and almost as stable as 2000.
If you didn't mind the bland theme, and wanted higher FPS while gaming, with more responsiveness (less of a delay when double clicking on a window, for example) then running Windows 2000 over XP was a no brainer. In competitive first person shooter circles at the time, people preferred Win2k to XP for these reasons.
I have a soft spot for Windows 2000 because I was very impressed with it when it first came out (coming from Win9x), but there wasn't much point to using it over XP after XP came out. Windows XP is just an improved version of 2000, and it was updated for much longer. Windows 2000 doesn't even support wi-fi without third-party utilities.
Microsoft: we're giving everyone the NT Kernel
Geeks: No, we want 9x Kernel
Microsoft: Fine, here's Windows ME
Microsoft: Releases Windows 2000
Geeks: We want Windows 2000
And as sibling mentioned, ME was before 2000. I remember this because at one point the actively marketed versions were Windows ME, NT and of course CE for those ARM devices. Some people, complaining Windows was slow, pointed out that if you rearrange those version identifiers you get Windows CE-ME-NT (cement).
I always got a giggle out of that. It's the only Windows OS I've ever professionally developed for and I have to say I found it surprisingly pleasant when I could avoid the legacy APIs. Jeffrey Richter's book was a great resource and helped me to appreciate the OS.
Love the expression 'over powered terminals' that's sooo true!
Quite right; the vast majority of "actual work" that one would do locally on the machine, requires a lot less power than booting up a web browser and surfing to a random "modern" website. Funny how that works.
We're all forgetting about the 'real' work that we routinely do on our computers, because that kind of thing has gotten so rock-solid and doesn't even measurably tax compute resources - even as browsing the web, of all things, has only become increasingly fiddly and heavy on our systems.
It probably would have been even better if I'd been using a native AIM client instead of Meebo, but I'm amazed by how inefficient some modern websites are.
The upshot was a 16-bit utility that would crash or corrupt an unrelated app (or the entire machine) in 3.1 or 95 would only crash itself in 2000. The driver model was also completely redesigned, but I don't know much about that.
Any time you hear the old meme about Linux being more stable than Windows, it's important to realize it dates back 20 years when Linux had per-process virtual memory and Windows did not.
House of cards literally and figuratively -- I have fond memories of fighting with QEMM386 and PROTOCOL.INI/NET.CFG and IRQs to get both my network card _and_ sound card working at the same time, only to then have to then get that all to work with Windows!
Win 2000 just shook it off and kept going, that alone was worth the upgrade.
It's being used by some pick & place machines and ovens. The machines are rented with a 30-year lease. Changing the software will void the warranty.
They're not connected to the Internet. My task was to parse the binary data to log machine usage and yield, and post that to a SQL database.
There's no .NET framework. I went back to Visual Studio 2005, and coded it all in C++. It was an interesting challenge! I was left with a good impression of how reliable Win2k is though, especially compared to newer OSes (even macOS > 10.9). I hope that some flavour of Linux will break into the mainstream this decade, probably taking cues from the Win2k/OS9 user experience.
Also not connected to internet and working standalone.
Under Windows NT, each process runs w/ its own LDT (Local Descriptor Table). Process memory bounds are enforced by the processor MMU.
Windows 95, 98, Me, used a single shared LDT, for better backwards compatibility, but with far less protection. I believe I've got this right, but happy to be corrected.
The sad thing about this, is just how long Windows users had to suck it up (5 years!?), until 2K finally came along, pushed as a consumer OS.
Next to BeOS (#1), it's on my top list of favorite OS's
On both OS's ATI's TV Wonder ran like a dream!
Now, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
It's too bad that Microsoft no longer sells a good desktop OS. Windows 10 is a warmed-over tablet GUI forced onto a desktop. With ads. With terrible updates which break things. Do not want.
... as a Service.
I'm stuck with it, but God, I miss Win2k and Win2k3.
Microsoft had to apply heavy pressure to get companies and individuals to upgrade to Windows 10. It was "an offer you can't refuse", not an improved product. That's different from previous versions, where there was real forward progress.
Yes, "as a Service", and with built-in spyware, er, "telemetry".
You can't really tell from the static screenshots, but Apple put a lot of effort into making brushed metal windows look good -- it wasn't just a static texture, but instead a composition of multiple layered elements that scaled in different ways as you resized the window. I remember seeing "brushed metal" themes on Linux and Windows at the time, and none of them could come close to 10.3's level of polish.
I used it until about 2005, when running 2000 instead of XP didn't make sense anymore.
I think if I remember correctly, Win2k was meant to replace the Windows 98/DOS kernel but they couldn't get it to work in time. That's when WinXP came out instead. WinXP felt like the result of a much bigger org. Am I correct to speculate that in Microsoft, the NT teams and the DOS teams merged to create WinXP?
If so, that would explain XP and that probably created all kind of tonal and structural shifts, a result that was a massive eyesore of an OS. Plus their attempt to come up with a cute theme-able UI like OS X's Aqua was seriously half baked.
Did nobody ever change the theme back to Windows Classic? It was really simple to switch over (like, ten clicks at most) and then you could get comfortable with the 2000 interface again.
It was a big improvement over the default.
KDE plasma with the windows like menu is just better in every way. I use to have a dual boot into Windows 10 but even that has been gone for a year or two.
Still remember the day my last w2k machine booted - an ex was on myspace and just had to have the added benefits of 'zwinky' - foggy memory, but I think it was some kind of cartoon emoji thing you could use around myspace - well it apparently came with crapware installer that also loaded some malware that killed the machine on the next upgrade.
what a terrible way to lose my favorite machine at the time.
I actually lost the installation due to a lightning strike that damaged the system board. The surge protector wasn't enough it seems.
133 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible CPU.
64 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum; more memory generally improves responsiveness.
2 GB hard disk with a minimum of 650 MB of free space."
My guess is that with any reasonable speed SSD and a swap file -- you could have a responsive system at as little as 32 megabytes (MB) of RAM -- or possibly even less...
I updated my drivers for everything and spent hours looking for a solution. No dice. Went back to 98 till XP dropped.
Its a good thing MacOSX came along right before Windows XP.
> Overall, there are more than 65,000 "potential issues" that could emerge as problems, as discovered by Microsoft's Prefix tool. Microsoft is estimating that 28,000 of these are likely to be "real" problems.
And now I'm curious about what this Prefix tool was.
I've used it a lot in my younger years, it only was manageable after SP4. God those updates took forever
PS. That network monitor icon in the taskbar was quite brilliant!
XP was a bit more stable again, but also contained more cruft.
IMO the key was drivers:
> While the press criticized some of Windows 2000’s driver support at launch, the OS actually supported far more hardware configurations than Windows NT 4.0.
I ran NT 4 as a desktop and it was quite the chore with a mix of hacks and repurposing other drivers for similar hardware.
This reminds me of the Linux desktop experience now. With comprehensive driver support and an intuitive UX, Linux can be dominant as a desktop alternative to Win/Mac.
The litmus test is if Mom and Dad can manage it themselves, it's attained equal status to the above.
Disk speed has been holding back computing for 25 years.
Luxury. Back in the '95 days you were lucky if you had 4 MB RAM.