Arthur S. Alexion on Sat, 12 Jul 2003 11:06:09 -0400

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Re: [PLUG] Obsolesence (was Community Service Project)

Jeffrey J. Nonken wrote:

Knowledge is what you have coming out, not going in. It's an opportunity, not a guarantee. Some kids will learn a lot, others will learn very little, but I doubt the OS is going to change those proportions by much. Kids are information sponges and will soak up whatever they can. And certainly if Windows is easier to operate, getting them started on a more complex OS will ultimately be doing them more of a favor than spoon feeding them the easy stuff. If they're required to use Windows later in their lives, it surely won't be as much of a learning curve as trying to go the other way.

Windows 98 is already obsolete by Microsoft standards, and they've been trying to coerce a phase-out of existing installations. Older versions of Linux have problems and are less likely to be directly supported, but I can still grab an old Linux distro and get it running on an old 486 and have a working, usable machine.


Can you even get Windows 98 any more? I mean legally. I haven't kept track, but I gather that only 2k and XP are available now, and while 2k is pretty stable as Microsoft products go, it requires a more modern machine to get any performance out of it. ...


Since Microsoft is on a deliberate campaign to require upgrades every few years, and since the newer versions are so bloated as to require hardware upgrades every few years, I don't think trying to teach them Win98 is going to work.

Caught an article in the business pages about the plight of hardware manufacturers because software demands have not kept up with hardware power upgrades. The idea was that the business upgrade cycle was 2-3 years, but is getting more like 4 years because the old machines still run the software fine. Ironically, two things were cited as applying counter-pressure against this trend. One was that cheaper hard drives were failing sooner, so upgrades were necessary for data preservation, and the other was the MS OS. The one piece of hardware that was absolutely requiring more powerful hardware was Win XP itself, more than the apps that were running on it.

Practically speaking, I think I have to keep a copy of windows around. The kids need it for some school stuff with teachers who can't conceive that we'd be running anything else, and there is some Clie stuff that does not yet have a Linux alternative. I thought that Win 95 would be the *last* MS OS I would have to buy, but then stuff needed Win 98se. Now I am hoping that is my last, but I doubt it. I just can't see myself using XP. I am hoping Mac OS X will fill in to save me.


Art Alexion
Arthur S. Alexion LLC

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