Friday, 3 November 2000

Newsletter Issue 14, November 2000


Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 14, November 2000
Hi guys,
I attended Microsoft's Business Solutions Seminar, looking at Windows 2000. So in this issue I am looking at Windows 2000 and Windows ME, determining which of the two operating systems is best for what uses. Check out Windows 2000 vs Windows ME below.
TLAs for SMEs        Short & Hot Keys        Hot Linx
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Windows 2000 vs Windows ME

No doubt you have all heard about the new windows operating systems released this earlier year by Microsoft.

And no doubt, those of you who are thinking of upgrading, are confused as to which system is the right one for you. I know that I was! 

I attended Microsoft's Business Solutions Seminar held here in Nelson early November, to find out what the differences were....

It depends on what you want to use your system for. As you can see from the table below, Windows ME is designed for the home user, and 2000 for the business user. The focus and the uses are quite different. 
WINDOWS 2000
WINDOWS ME
Internet enable your business
  • Web application services
  • Internet scalability
  • Secure
PC Health
  • Support automation
  • Centralised help centre
  • System safeguards
Reliable
  • High system uptime
  • Resilient to application failures
  • Dynamic system configuration
Digital Media
  • Digital photos
  • Digital music
  • Digital video
Manageable
  • Centralised management
  • Desktop management
  • Easy to deploy
Home Networking
  • Home Networking Wizard
  • Simple connectivity between PCs, peripherals and intelligent devices
 
Internet Experience
  • Faster browsing, easier printing
  • Online product support
  • Enhanced communication

Based on Windows NT, an operating system intended for use in corporate or academic settings, Windows 2000 takes advantage of that technology and stability. And basically it boils down to reliability. Windows 2000 is much more reliable than Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows NT. eTesting (who used to be ZdLabs. Still found on the ZD.com site though), an independent testing company, have tested MS products since 95 came out. In their tests, 95 lasted 2.1 days before a crash, 98 lasted only 1.8 days (!) and NT lasted 5.2 days before a crash. Windows 2000 is out at 90 days. 

My disenchantment with Windows 98, 2000's predecessor, is growing. Windows 98 suffers from an odd disease: the longer it is used on a computer, the more sluggish the PC gets, and the more crash-prone it becomes. Microsoft Officials privately acknowledge the problem but have neither an explanation nor a cure for it. I've never had this problem with NT.

Windows ME, billed as a consumer system, focuses on enhanced features such as video editing and digital music. But Windows 98 (9x) needs a dramatic renovation of its rickety foundation much more than it needs new toys. So ME fails to address the basic problems.

Networking, especially dialing in to the Internet or business networks, is another huge plus. Windows 2000 makes it easy to have one dial-up networking setup for calling the office from home and another for dialing in to an Internet service provider. Windows 95 and 98 don't do multiple setups very well (understatement of the century!).

However. There are some major differences between 98 and 2000, mainly the result of new system security provisions. If you set up accounts for different users, they may not have access to each other's files. This should be worked around by a common storage area and editing each user profile. Also, if the computer goes into sleep mode, you have to enter a password to wake it (just like NT).

In addition, some old Windows programs (generally those dating back to Windows 3.1!) will not run on Windows 2000, nor will many DOS programs and most arcade-type games. Support for hardware accessories is growing quickly, but many devices that attach using the universal serial bus still lack software for 2000. The Readiness Analyser, downloadable from www.microsoft.com/windows2000/upgrade, will check your system and tell you what peripherals or software may glitch.

With ME you are buying Windows 98's heredity of 1.8 days between crashes. But if you are playing games on your PC, especially over the internet, then perhaps you should go for ME. And if you have a lot of programmes that are DOS-based and won't work with 2000 (because you checked with the Readiness Analyser), you can either stay with what you have or give ME a crack.

Windows 2000 was named Operating System of the Year by PC World in their annual awards, stating "You can't make the plays without the basic PC products. Microsoft's Windows 2000 Professional is our top choice among operating systems; it combines Windows 9x user-friendliness with NT management and security. It's a natural fit for office systems and business-oriented notebooks, but home users can stay with Win 98 (or 95) for now".

So. I don't know if this has helped any of you, but I want stability in my business systems. I will be upgrading to Windows 2000 early in the New Year. 

And the reason for my delay? I want to get Windows 2000 SE. The "SE"? Second Edition. That way most of the bugs are already winkled out... I don't fancy being a beta tester for Microsoft on my business machine!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs for you;

  • VPN, Virtual Private Networking. You use this connection when dialing into your organisation's network from home
  • ASDL, Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. A method for moving data over regular phone lines. Commonly seen in Enzed as "Jetstream".
  • ASP, Application Service Providers. A server-based approach to delivering software applications to users PCs. The application runs on the server and only the user interface is transmitted across a network to the user's PC. Makes network software management easier, enables all network users to access applications whenever they need them, provides bandwidth-independent performance and improves security 
  • CITRIX. This is not a TLA - this is the name of the company. Citrix solutions enable ASPs to reach users, with more applications, in more locations with greater predictability and lower costs. If trying to run DOS, UNIX and Mac systems together on the same network, you need to use CITRIX with a terminal server so that the system will run
  • SE, Second Edition. The only software to buy!!

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Short & Hot Keys... and now tips
This time we have some easy shortcuts for formatting in MS Excel & Access using the control key and [ or ];

  • Word & Publisher "Decrease font size by 1.0 point" Ctrl & [ 
  • Excel "Select only cells that are directly referred to by formulas in the selection" Ctrl & [ 
  • Publisher "Decrease space between letters in a word (kerning)" Ctrl & Shift  & [ 
  • Word & Publisher "Increase font size by 1.0 point" Ctrl & ] 
  • Excel "Select only cells with formulas that refer directly to the active cell" Ctrl & ] 
  • Publisher "Increase space between letters in a word (kerning)" Ctrl & Shift  & ]
Hot Linx
John Pilger; award-winning journalist, has a site containing many of his thought-provoking articles available online. DEFINITELY check it out at: http://pilger.carlton.com/ 

Did you know that there were two types of cows in Enzed? And had you heard about the correlation between milk and child diabetes and heart disease from one type of cow? Check it out at http://tvone.nzoom.com/programmes/60minutes/story.html?story_nov12_01.inc 

Update on the Napster lawsuit. Napster have struck a deal with BMG. Check it out at the New York Times; http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/01/technology/01MUSI.html

Member of the Chamber of Commerce and want to know what Biz courses there are on in your area? Check it out at www.bizinfo.co.nz

 Check out Microsoft's Operating Systems performance at www.ZDnet.com. Check out other companies software etc when it goes through the testing process at www.ZDnet.com

Wanting to know what that word is? Try http://yourdictionary.com/. Don't know what language a phrase is from? Check out this page http://yourdictionary.com/morph.html

Got a latin word that you want to know the meaning of? Check out http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/morphindex?lang=Latin

Want to get a simple overview of your personality type? Check out http://www.personalitytype.com/quiz/quiz.html 


                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here