Early Windows 2000 Experiences

Wholly satisfactory computing experiences are rare things to be treasured and shared.

I still hadn’t got over the warm feeling I got when my system crashed a few weeks ago just after I had made a complete backup. I thought that that was my luck for year but Dame Fortune smiled on me again. 

I was in Johannesburg on a mission to completely redo a small office server which was doing very poorly. I managed to back up the essential data and reformatted the hard drive easily enough but Windows NT Workstation 4.0 decided that there was no way it was going to go back onto that machine. 

The stress levels were through the roof with the time when I would have to leave for the airport, job done or no, was growing ever closer. I was already in plenty of trouble so I thought I’d go for broke and try the recently released Windows 2000 Professional to see if that would work. 

A quick trip to Makro and about R1700 bucks later, for the upgrade, I plugged the CD into the drive, crossed my fingers, and ran the install program. I had already played with a Beta-test version of W2K Professional but I was still incredibly impressed with the speed and ease with which it installed. 

An hour and five minutes after I began I had a machine which was talking fluently to the Internet and which could see and be seen by the other machines on the network. A pleasurable feeling started percolating through me as I installed the necessary software, including pcAnywhere and Mdaemon mail server. 

Since then the machine has been on permanently and has flawlessly performed its functions as a mail server and repository for the office databases. No crashes or glitches yet. 

Windows 2000 is Professional the successor to Windows NT 4.0 Workstation which, as the name implies, is intended for use on computer workstations. There are also a number of versions meant to run computer servers and which are the successors to Windows NT Server. 

Windows NT was extremely fussy about the hardware and software that it required and many users with unusual hardware and software just could not use it. W2K, although not really intended for home users, is quite a different kettle of fish and supports a far wider selection of hardware.  
It has all the stability and power of NT but it has a lot of the user-friendliness and features of Windows 95 and 98 which make installing them comparatively easy. In the coming months more and more hardware and software vendors will ensure that their products become compatible with W2K. 

I’m personally very keen to upgrade but I’m playing a bit of a waiting game until the manufacturers of my peripherals upgrade their drivers. I’m also interested in first having a look at Windows Millennium, the successor to Windows 98, which is due out in the next few months. 

More when I get my evaluation copies of W2K and have a chance to really play.


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