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MS 'Whistler' Looks Solid To ZDNET 340

dynoman7 writes: "eWEEK Labs has tested the first public beta release of Whistler, which became available Oct. 31. They think it is 'stable.'" He points to a review at eWEEK, also playing on MSNBC. It's a bit of a mixed review, actually -- the review points out that by "leaving its Windows 9x code base behind, [Microsoft is] creating many potential Windows platform compatibility problems in the process," and notes of the included "remote help" feature, "[G]iven Microsoft's well-documented security gaffes, sites will have to carefully evaluate the potential security risks of such a widely deployed remote-control feature." Whatever its faults, this Windows-to-come is supposed to have improved type handling and other goodies which every other OS will inevitably be scrutinized for, including [your favorite].
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MS ‘Whistler’ Looks Solid To ZDNET

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  • But.. I don't like Linux :( It takes too much thinking (and actually, I'm pretty serious here). I want my computer to do 90% of my work for me. It is isolated from the network (mmm..firewall) and its only purpose in life is to play games and log onto mushes. Occasionally it does word processing and map generation for my DnD3 campaign. Heck, it even auto-logins for me ^.^
    Right now I run Windows ME. It is the greatest thing in the universe. If I loved it anymore, I would probably be required to marry it or something. I have but two issues with it, one serious and one not-so-serious.
    Serious: some DirectX apps don't quit DirectX mode when they quit, meaning I have to restart my machine.
    Not-so-serious: Setting a button to 'Back' on my Intellimouse Explorer goes back /3/.
    It pleases me immensely that DOS mode has gone the way of the Dodo, though.
  • > but on the NT4 CD is something called the HQTool
    DOH. _NOW_ I learn about this util, after I've upgraded to Win2K :)

    > You have to use rawrite.exe to copy an image to a floppy,
    Actually you can use FD144.exe since it has the same functionality as rawrite.exe. (See paragraph below.)

    > and lo and behold, the OS on the floppy is MS DOS 6.22
    On the NT4 CD it can be found in \SUPPORT\HQTOOL\
    Which has these 3 files:

    10,891 FD144.EXE
    1,474,560 NTHQ

    Thx again for the cool NT4 tip!
  • can someone please tell me how this guy got "insightful" and "interesting"? hi? it's none of the above.
  • Please go back and look up what FUD means!
  • Pick one of the following:

    1) A new standard in software!!! More features, more stable, & runs faster!!!

    2) Apple is still dead.

    3) Linux doesn't have a modern interface. And it's too hard to use.

    4) Jesse Berst: ``Hey, the hits on my column are down, so what brain dead thing can I say today?"

    5) There's another operating system out there?


  • You've misunderstood. All it means is that instead of seeing 15 IE buttons in the taskbar, you'll see one. God knows how you're expected to choose which window you want - do they behave like the Start button and pop up a vertical menu?
  • Yes, but Microsoft will probably require you to install MSBalls to run whistler :-p
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @06:33PM (#647152) Homepage Journal

    The whole "task bar" thing in general drives me a little buggy ... I usually end up with a lot of tiny rectangles at the bottom of my screen that say "mozi" "mozi" "mozi" etc. because that's as much room as they have space for text. Which removes all the alleged helpfulness of having those taskbar buttons at all.

    That's one of the reasons why Microsoft's UI Style Guide shifted from "app-centric" to "doc-centric": the browsers give the doc/page's title followed by the app's title. It avoids buttons that read "Micr...", "Micr...", "Micr..."

    I don't know if computer interfaces ever will really achieve data centrism, but I think it's the right way to go. Give me a file, and if I don't have the widget that lets me view or edit it, let me get it.

    Of course, it's exactly this trend that has also put Microsoft's security in the crapper: automatic installations of who-knows-what code.

  • Tried it on 2k, -and- 98.

    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • wonder if it would violate anyone's patent to use it in Gnome, KDE, etc.

    The whole "task bar" thing in general drives me a little buggy ... I usually end up with a lot of tiny rectangles at the bottom of my screen that say "mozi" "mozi" "mozi" etc. because that's as much room as they have space for text. Which removes all the alleged helpfulness of having those taskbar buttons at all. (I must admit I like them better than I used to, though ... when there are just a few windows open, they work ok.)

    If I had open windows subcategorized by application, that would definitely be a plus.

    Thinking broadly , this also seems very similar to what MacOS has done for years (you click on the application menu and get to a list of all the running apps; while it doesn't distinguish between windows of the same application, it also doens't clutter the screen with a list of them). But then, I've been a Mac user for far longer, so maybe it seems "nicer" to me simply for its familiarity ...

  • Not a lie in the slightest. I might direct your attention to the IRC channel #warezguild on EFnet, where I obtained it. :)
  • One important improvement to the Windows task bar is the option of having the operating system group multiple
    iterations of the same application such as multiple Internet Explorer windows into a single task-bar item. The user then clicks on the IE task-bar item to see a vertical list of open IE windows.

    Wow, nice to see that BeOS is getting enough attention from MS that they'll steal their interface ideas(this is the default BeOS behaviour). Not that any OS vendor isn't guilty of stealing interface ideas. Win95 looked remarkably like NeXT in a lot of ways...

  • Option 1: Click start menu. Select 'run' option. Into the resulting dialouge box, type 'telnet myclient.com' where myclient.com is your target host. Hit the enter key, or click the OK button. Boom, done. Option 2: Click start menu. Select 'run' option. Into the resulting dialouge box, type 'cmd' and hit enter key, or click OK button. This dumps you into the WinNT command prompt (as opposed to typing 'command', which would dump you into the Win9x command prompt.) At the prompt, type 'telnet myhost.com'. Or, for that matter, FTP, traceroute, ping, nslookup, and all the other standard TCP/IP apps. Try it for pretty much any app. GUI apps will launch normally. I usually use this to run things like Windows Explorer, etc etc. Also, type the names (and fully qualified paths, if the file isn't in the search path) of documents, to auto-launch the app. For example, typing a fully qualified http://www.mycorp.com URL will launch it in the registered web browser. By the same token, BTW, I don't think there's a 'telnet' option anywhere in my KDE desktop (don't have it handy to check) so I guess it doesn't have a telnet client. :-)
  • Oh come on you HAD to use the microsoft quotes? ?Whistler?
  • Does that make Microsoft Whistler's mother?
  • by TheDullBlade ( 28998 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @06:43PM (#647164)
    Non-firewalled home users run them for a few hours in the evening (if that), connect to the internet for part of that time, then turn them off.

    Linux users, OTOH, tend to spring for high-speed permanent internet connections on the best hardware they can afford, and leave their computers on for months at a time. And, of course, only a minority of Linux home users know anything about security, and plenty of default installations are full of holes. Furthermore, the Linux boxes are full of toys like compilers and network utilities.

    Which sounds more tempting for someone who wants to subvert other people's equipment for their own purposes? An unstable mishmash of proprietary apps, or a perfectly stable long-term hacking platform where every application has the source available so he can control all local displays to hide the fact that he's in there?

    Cable-modem, static IP, default install, Redhat Linux boxes are a cracker's bonanza.

  • Why do I get the feeling this is "stable" as in: "Finally, my house of cards is stable!"
  • by ca1v1n ( 135902 ) <snook@guanotroni[ ]om ['c.c' in gap]> on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:12PM (#647169)
    Didn't Microsoft at one point say that the remote administration capabilities of Unix-based systems constituted a security flaw? They better lock their code down REALLY WELL or else we'll start seeing a surge in Windows exploits. If you thought it was bad with Linux, just imagine what it would be like if every desktop system, run by completely clueless users in a majority of cases, had this kind of remote control built in, without the need for sneaking in BO or Netbus.
  • Unfortunately, Microsoft's telnet client continues to suck rocks through a straw. Try running "pine" using MS Telnet. You'll be hitting ctrl-L a lot. I actually use VNC to connect to an X session on my linux gateway to use telnet.

    You're not running Win2K though, are you?

    telnet xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
    unset LOCAL_ECHO
    set TERM VT100
    set term=vt100

    ... works great for me. What problems are you seeing?

  • Sorry, by the way. Honest ignorance is something to be corrected, not insulted. I tend to assume that everybody has the same skills, knowledge, and experience that I do, and react accordingly. No SSH client, though.
  • This has nothing to do with fonts.

    "Type handling" refers to standard C, Java, C++ etc. language types.

    Badly typed languages allow the programmer to skip out and change types on a whim, causing OS instability. Strongly typed languages force a programmer to specify a long int or double float and stick with it.

    Since Windows has relied on types since Win95's exception (nearly every GUI function call and return variable is typed) it makes sense that the OS would begin to focus more on strong types.

  • Make no mistake about it - M$ will have all whistler users by the balls!

    I'm not planning on running whistler, but if I did, I'd dare them to try to find any to have me by. We are the future; for we are immune to their nefarious ways.
  • Or you can just use Opera... its all MDI child windows. It makes MUCH more sense to have all your open webpages in one application, all your open documents in your Word Processing application, etc.

    I don't know why these browsers weren't made MDI to start ith. Almost every other application out there doesn't spit out a million new tasks for each document, why should your browser?

  • that those without balls, i.e. women and unix (with a good CLI, the only ball on the system, the one in the mouse, is not needed), are the only ones who can stand against the creeping forces of invasion of their personal computers.

    Maybe there's a promotional campaign in this...

    Fight Microsoft! Be more like a woman! You don't really need your balls, so join the ranks of Unix!

    Hmm, I don't think those slogans are going to make Linux much more popular.

  • When I foolishly installed ME, thinking it was like 98 with sprinkles, it pissed all over my system. First I lost some .DLLs that I had to restore by hand. Then I discovered that lo and behold, they had killed off pure DOS mode. So no more old DOS games that can't run in a box. Sure, fine, I'll resurrenct an old P-166 and install DOS. Then I had the !*!*!ing "most recent programs in your Start Menu" feature rear its ugly head, and like Krusty the Klown after viewing the Soviet version of Itchy & Scratchy, "Worker and Parasite", I said "What the hell is that?!" So I turned off pretty much every new feature I could fine to make it work less sucky.

    The point is ... nothing! Windows sucks! +1 insightful! YEAH! Thank you for your pity.
  • by timothy ( 36799 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @05:50PM (#647197) Journal

    (sort of like various distros of Linux with subtle incompatibilities because of differently located libraries etc. ;) ) Hope the LSB will keep hammering those differences so everyone can be happily compatible ...

    I didn't mean to distort the point of that sentence; the review I think is a little glib in accepting that a list of compatibilies for tons of applications will work correctly in all cases it covers.

    It sounds like for many applications (perhaps even all but a handful, but I dunno which ones or how important they are) the built-in database should be sufficient (is it built in? is it internet-available and constantly updated? not clear from article ...) to make them run on Whistler. However, how complete this database is (MS likes to talk about how many thousand Windows apps there are; are they all included in there?) is yet to be seen, and whether the apps that it won't help -- as the article points out -- will require upgrades on the part of Whistler users is also uncertain.

    All versioning does this (at least potentially), but the larger the leap the greater the risk ... Win2k I think is so far the best-acting Windows variant I've seen, and if whistler is similar than it will probably be a hit. (Free software users should watch their back for this upstart, renegade OS called Windows!)


  • Assuming MSFT is able to deliver on what it promises (friendly, relatively easy to use OS, built on top of stable, secure code), we're finally getting somewhere. Fsck MS DOS and all the age old compatibility hierarchy, build something that makes sense now and will make sense in the foreseeable future, and go from there. All I want is something i can run a webserver on if i need, but plays quake hella quick, and doesn't need rebooting every 4 hours while i work in photoshop! Throw in a decent TCP/IP stack, and they may (finally) have a decent OS.
  • I just sent the following email to my coworkers for a chuckle:

    Subject: Notice from the management

    It has come to our attention that according to a study commissioned by
    Microsoft, under normal use, Windows 98 will require a reboot every 1.8
    working days. With this in mind, we will be monitoring each of your
    workstations for the next month. Anyone who does not reboot every 4 days
    or less on average is assumed not to be using their computer to its
    potential and will have to justify the continued maintenance of their

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/guide/profe ssional/reviews/zdwindows.asp
  • How much do they pay you for all this work?
    How much do the random programmers who send code diffs into OSS authors get paid?
  • Sounds almost like they are moving in the general direction of virtual desktops
    NT's been capable of virtual desktops since at least version 4. It's just seldom used, as is lots of stuff geared for the future.
  • by e_n_d_o ( 150968 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @06:01PM (#647212)
    Dear Slashdot:

    My computer runs a somewhat non-standard operating system called "Linux." This "Linux" operating system does not come with Microsoft Windows fonts. Hence, I cannot see the Microsoft "smart quotes" that appear in the "MS 'Whistler' Looks Solid To ZDNET" story. If you could be so kind as to fix the headline, me and my fellow "Linux" users would appreciate it.

  • NetMeeting has a remote control feature, and its included on just about everything MS does these days.
  • It all depends on the individual's/group's point of view.

    I recall that ZDNET, at the time of Windows 98, considered Windows 98 quite stable. If an individual has never experienced the thrill of Wild Thing or various other large rollercoasters, the rides at the local carnival are 'quite thrilling,' while in retrospect, they're quite dull compared to the thrill aquired from Wild Thing/Space Mountain/etc... The same thing here applies for stability. If you consider 3 days uptime, with no crashing, stable, then something that provides a week of decent uptime w/o crashing would be considered potentially rock solid. Likewise, someone who considers a year of uptime without crashes solid would consider such uptime as a week, or even several months, potentially laughable.

    It's my opinion that MS may have possibly made the initial releases of Windows less stable on purpose - they could get away with it, because their marketing was so efficient. Then, as later versions were released, each subsequent release would look increasingly more 'rock solid,' based on the previous version's vantage of 'stable,' which in turn was based on the version previous to that being less stable. The reason I believe they did this was because they knew they didn't have the ability to compete with the big boys - all the various UNIX varients - based on stability. Eventually, the hype of their OS becoming more stable, and being even more rock solid, and such, would weaken the minds of the already weak, thus bringing them more market share...

    Just my .035$


  • Windows 2000 Advanced Server (above + backoffice + other new shit). Terminal services are now included, rather than in a separate package (NT 4 terminal server edition, etc)
    Nope. Server has Terminal Services. Advanced Server is Server + clustering support + support for up to 4 procs OOTB instead of 2. Datacenter Server's main features are OOTB support for 64 procs, and Intel's memory addressing scheme to allow for more than 4 gigabytes of physical RAM. Backoffice is separate.
  • The Epox EP-8KTA (Socket A as opposed to the 7KXA's Slot A) also has this feature, although I haven't used it yet...
  • nor even a telnet client
    BULLSHIT. Pure, undulterated bullshit. Not only does 2K have a telnet client, (and it's real character mode, not that GUI piece of crap NT had) but also a telnet server. If you're wrong, or lying, about that, what else are you wrong or lying about?
  • Windows 2000 Datacenter Server (Huge mainframe replacement dedicated servers)

    Mainframe replacement hahahahahahahahahahahaha.
  • If you are a Windows user, upgrade to Windows2000. If you are an NT user, upgrade to Windows2000. If you are a Windows2000 user, apply Service Pack1, and stick with it. Don't be bothered with Whistler, for a while. Whistler is just W2K code, with improved 'user interface.' There will still be several different versions of Whistler code available - Home user, professional user, server version, advanced server, and datacenter type.

    Stick with W2K - its good.

  • by spectecjr ( 31235 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @08:56PM (#647234) Homepage
    No scrollable buffer. Honestly, I can't figure out why someone would use telnet.exe when they have HyperTerminal on their system. (Except for the NTLM authentication.)

    No, it has a scrollable buffer.

    Start Menu->Run: telnet xxx.xx.xxx.xxx

    Click the Icon (top right of window), select Properties from the Menu.

    Select the Layout tab.

    Change Screen Buffer - Height to however long you want it to be. The default is 300 lines.

    Use the scrollbar then to scroll.

  • Last time I checked, reading or writing disks larger than 512 MB under FreeDOS [freedos.org] caused irreparable damage to their filesystems (format c: anyone?). Patches Are Welcome.
  • DR DOS [drdos.org] is a $39 shareware clone of DOS. FreeDOS [freedos.org] is a GPL'd clone of DOS with a few bugs (e.g. it irreparably corrupts any drive larger than 512 MB).
  • I could care less if Wistler never crashed, the idea of handing over control of my software functions to a remote server house by M$ gives me the willies, as it should for everyone else. This M$ latest maneuver to consolidate control over its customer base. This is a substantial paradigm shift away from effectivel 'owning' your software to leasing it from M$. Just imagine a small company with all its vital financial data housed on some remote M$ server, and now imagine the incentive that small companie to pays M$ monthly service fees to use and access it. Make no mistake about it - M$ will have all whistler users by the balls!

    Be afraid, be very afraid!

    One more very good reason to switch to Linux.

  • Windows 9.x line as quickly as possible. From what I remember this the quickest I ever seen microsoft turn around a new OS one year. This is going to kill alot people folks out there that has to keep up with the newest os but at the same time keep old apps running I do not envy these people. Have fun
  • I've found win2k to be pretty damned stable. Uptimes of 20-30 days on a windows box isn't really bad in my opinion. Of course My linux box has uptimes of exactly what my power companies uptime is. :) Who's actually going to want "whistler"? besides the guy who ended up gettting it w/a new machine? of course that's the same as debating getting 95->98->ME.

  • Actually, it's one of the nicer UI features, and it's no differnet than right-clicking on my KDE desktop and selecting 'execute command'. The MS UI is designed such that you should never actually need to use a mouse, if you really don't want to; it's the programs that don't conform to the interface specs that make life difficult.
  • "I don't mean to sound like an ass, but that kinda is the point of a beta."

    Don't worry, sometimes when pointing out the obvious you just can't avoid it.
  • by Millennium ( 2451 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @04:11AM (#647266)
    File types? Yet another "innovation" MacOS has had from Day One, and Microsoft is only now realizing that storing file type information in the filename is an ugly, archaic hack that needs to die sooner rather than later? BeOS has an interesting mechanism for this, by storing MIME types, but this is still inadequate, for reasons I'll get to in a second.

    With filename extensions, you have the problem that only a datatype is specified, and not the app that created it. If you've ever had to deal with the hundreds of mutually-incompatible formats all with the extension .DAT, you've seen this. .BIN is another common extension. And let's not leave Red Hat users out of the loop; haw many times has RealPlayer tried to play your installers, which end in .RPM?

    MIME has the opposite problem. It was a great idea in theory, but in practice it broke down. Depressingly few file formats actually have registered types, and in most cases the result is that no two people can agree. I've had to register no fewer than three MIME types for Zip files, three for m3u format MP3 playlists, eight for MP3 itself, two each for QuickTime, AVI, MPEG, and RealPlayer formats, three for Stuffit, and so on and so forth.

    I won't even go into ease of use issues (anything that makes it unsafe to rename a file at will is a Bad Thing); there are practical reasons that filename extensions should have died a very long time ago, and while I'm glad to see Whistler finally getting rid of the need for them, I only wish they'd done it much sooner.

    This does, of course, all assume that this is in fact something Whistler is doing (no one seems to know what "type handling" means; this is my guess).
  • He may be claiming to invent DLLs, which may in fact be true.
    DLL, or dynamic link library, is a term and concept unique to Windows users.

    Mmm, I'm not sure about the cronology but I think that OS/2 1.0 had DLLs and that was before Windows 1.0.

    Of course, OS/2 1.0 was a joint product of IBM and Microsoft, so maybe it was Microsoft who called them DLLs.
  • by toofast ( 20646 )
    You can still buy WIndows 95... You can also still buy NT4 Server and Workstation. Might want to add those to your list.
  • my advice is:
    if your software is secure enough, stable enough, and does what you want, stay with it.
    if there is a different version which will better satisfy your needs, use it.
    stop this stupid the latest is the best stupidity.
  • from the article:
    What remains to be seen, however, is whether the usability and compatibility improvements that Microsoft has built atop Windows 2000 will be enough to the transition for its users.
    I find this sentence confusing in several ways:
    1. What exactly has Microsoft built atop Whistler? I though the article dealt with Whistler itself.
    2. Is there a word missing between "to" and "the"? I sense that the author was groping for something like "incentivize". Or perhaps "ease". It may seem a minor point, but the difficulty of choosing this word illuminates the shaky premise of the article, of which I'll say more below.
    3. This sentence cites "compatibility improvements" while the rest of the article warns that consumers will experience jarring incompatibility with the Win95 family. In fact, this incompatibility is cited at the end of the article as the sole disadvantage of Whistler.
    I'm starting to notice a pattern to these articles which appear in the MS-centric press whenever MS flogs a new product. The reviewers try to sound objective, hence the gravely cautious weighing of advantages and disadvantages. But the writer is trapped in a conceptual framework in which the consumer's only choice is to upgrade now or upgrade later. Rather like an election in a one-party state, where you're free to vote for the dictator or not.

    It's striking how different this article is from anything reviewing goods or services available in a free market. The sense that the consumer is king, which has been such a great blessing of our capitalist system, is quite absent. In its place we see the harsh fiats of an all-powerful bureaucracy, such as the warning that Win98 (so recently announced!) will soon be unsupported.

  • "Quake 3 (@ 89 fps, 1024x768, 32 bit, everything turned up high)"

    It reports about 90fps on my machine no matter how I configure it. 1280x1024 certainly looks and feels slower than 640x480. It must be a bug in the SMP code.
  • by FiDooDa ( 23111 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:27PM (#647280)
    How can someone say that about any OS after only one week of actual use !!!
  • Why would anyone want to do such a stupid thing? Especially considering that your arguments about NT kernel being "better" are, to say least dubious? Why would anyone want to waste time just to make such a monster?
  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @07:41PM (#647290) Homepage Journal
    I like it. Because this same behavior very nearly killed Apple :)

    Apple fell back to a very simple lineup and now it's Microsoft that has five different various options for everything. I hope they choke on it :)

    Think about it- logically for every user there are four sorts of Windows that are _wrong_, correct? How much of a jump would it be to decide that all six are wrong and go with Linux, or Macintoshes? :)

    Cut off Xbox (because it's not real and we'll never see it) and 98 (obsolete) and we still have four sorts of Windowses, of which three are wrong ;)

  • Yeah, but you can get a 60 gig drive for $250. Who cares about disk space?
  • by 1337d00d ( 177978 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:38PM (#647323)
    The thing i notice more than anthing else when using windows (besides BSOD etc) is the lack of virtual desktops...

    Well, if you want virtual desktops, take some initiatize and code some! Or you can download a freeware version at here [telia.com]. I like this one because it's simple and gnu-ey.
  • Slightly OT, but slightly related... Tell me this: how is it that I can have a FULLY functioning X11 server in win32 in about 2 megs of RAM when XFree86 takes like 30? What a piece of shit.

    Because in Windows all system memory is accounted separately, plus you are looking at it with no bitmaps loaded. Think of it, if you have loaded a fullscreen background, how much memory will be 1024x768x24bpp? That's more than 2M already.

  • by Adramelech ( 165623 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:40PM (#647329)
    the review points out that by "leaving its Windows 9x code base behind, [Microsoft is] creating many potential Windows platform compatibility problems in the process,"

    This is a distortion of what the point of that sentence was in the first place. If one takes in to account the sentence just before it in the actual article, the point that there will be compatibility problems is negated:

    Whistler contains an application compatibility environment designed to allow the operating system to run many applications intended for Windows 98. This is particularly important because, with Whistler, Microsoft is leaving its Windows 9x code base behind, creating many potential Windows platform compatibility problems in the process.

    don't mod me down just because I disagree with the post. I'm just clarifying something.

  • The canonical number for NT 4.0 is just under $5,000, but it's really hard to compare once you start talking about Terminal Server, and Licensing.

    Anything that comes with a standard Red Hat installation won't have anything like a per-seat (or per-ponnection or per-whatever) license fee; that model doesn't exist. So figure out what is the maximum amount of traffic or users that box can handle, and charge the equivalent amount on NT.

    Of course they *both* cost something to implement. The difference under Linux is that if you do it right, it should cost significantly less to maintain. I've seen both boxes in use, and it's pretty hard to debug an NT bluescreen from the ColdFusion service because of some user that calls it with a Perl application... Under Linux, the box tends to stay up, and the users call if they have a problem...

    But of course, that's just *my* experience with it. :)
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:43PM (#647341) Homepage
    If anybody wants to check out (or make fun of) the new "flat" theme in Whistler, head over to Paul Thurrott's Windows SuperSite [winsupersite.com]. He also has pictures of an older build [winsupersite.com].
  • I use ssh1 because of the licensing and compatibility problems with
    ssh2. I've never had or heard of any problem with telnetd, on either
    Linux or FreeBSD boxes (except for the usual termcap troubles) so I'm
    not sure what you might be talking about.

    I haven't had any problems with ssh recently, but I'm pretty
    slow to forgive. I guess I should look at openssh.

  • Manufacturers are catching up to this. My Asus K7v comes with a Win32 app that flashes the bios.

    I was a little nervous about using it, and I wouldn't use it on an unstable or overclocked system, just to be safe, but I have had zero problems with it.

    The nice thing about it is that if you muff up the flash (used the wrong image, program crashed, etc) you can reflash, provided you don't reboot your machine.

  • I don't know why these browsers weren't made MDI to start with.

    MDI, Multiple Document Interface, was specifically deprecated in the Windows 95 User Interface Style Guide. That's why IE isn't MDI.

    MDI has some advantages, I will admit it. I couldn't imagine a developers' IDE without it.

    MDI is not document-centric (see my earlier point #219 [slashdot.org]). It forces the user to consider the software application before (or instead of) the actual content.

    In a doc-centric world, users avoid backward-trained mental processes like the following: "I want to see what bugs are open on my project; my bug list is shown on a sourceforge website; let me open my web browser to see that ." Instead, they click on a shortcut icon, a url link, a menu item or any other gateway, and the operating system opens the proper browser for the task.

  • Another, better solution:
    1. Download PuTTY. [greenend.org.uk]
    2. Save it as c:\windows\putty.exe or c:\winnt\putty.exe as the case may be
    3. Rename the existing telnet.exe file in that directory as, say, win_telnet.exe
    4. Rename (or copy) PuTTY.exe to telnet.exe

    Wa-la, no more worries -- you now have a telnet that can handle ssh, that cuts & pastes simply by highlighting, has an unlimited scrollback buffer, and is supa-configurable.

    Pull the same trick with, say, notepad.exe <-> gvim.exe, cmd.exe (or command.exe) <-> bash.exe, and install a few GNU programs (sed, grep, etc) in c:\winnt\system and you're well on your way to having a useful computer.

    Have fun!

  • Hmm...

    Microsoft Windows 2000 [Version 5.00.2195]
    (C) Copyright 1985-2000 Microsoft Corp.


    Uptime - system uptime utility for Windows NT
    by Mark Russinovich
    Systems Internals - http://www.sysinternals.com

    This computer has been up for 52 days, 10 hours, 3 minutes, 35 seconds.


    Not bad for a Win2k box eh?

    Don't get me wrong, I love Linux and use it at home (and have introduced a Linux cluster, insert shameless MOSIX plug here, and a couple FreeBSD servers at work). But for workplace desktops 2k does a pretty damn good job. People moan and bitch about NTs stability all the time and I think they're either full FUD or clueless as to how to properly maintain the system.

    I'll give the NT team some due credit. Bill Gates had nothing to do with NT other than stealing some VMS and OS/2 designers from other companies. NT was originally built on the same principles as *nix -- High-level language only, never sacrifice anything for doing things the "right way". Because of that, the NT kernel is rock solid; the only times I've ever had it crash on me (even in 4.0) were related to cheap hardware and shoddy device drivers. Now, the IE/Explorer interface written by the 9x team and grafted on is a piece of crap and crashes on me about once a week, but I can at least start it back up without bringing down the entire OS...

    Win2k plus the resource kit even has a halfway decent CLI. Add cygwin to the mix and it makes it even better. I regularly use bash as a shell on my machine; it also runs an SSH server for remote access.

    And before someone accuses me of getting that high uptime by leaving this box sitting around doing nothing, let me tell you what I use it for. I regularly have 60+ processes running taking up 200MB+ of memory (I've got 256MB physical and about a gig of swap space) in the background. I leave inetd (for ssh), BIND, Winamp, ICQ, Task manager (running in the context of the SYSTEM account thanks to a little service I wrote, hehe :), GetRight, and Outlook running 24/7. I frequently do graphic design in Corel Photopaint 9, and have other various programs on the other monitors (I have 3 monitors on 3 video cards and one big virtual desktop). I do development with both MSVC6 and GCC, as well as extensive testing and debugging. I have to put my taskbar on the side of the screen because I have so much stuff open and running, and even then it runs out of space...

    All that and the only time I ever have to reboot is for the silly IE security fixes M$ sometimes releases (most of the time when something wants to reboot I just ignore it and it works anyway). True, once or twice (over 52 days ago though :) I've had to reboot after getting a process that couldn't be killed because it was stuck in a kernel call, but hell, I've had that happen in Linux too... The sad part is I think in both cases the kernel call was in a driver for some brain-damaged hardware I'd added.

    As far as security goes, I wouldn't trust 2k to be secure out of the box. Then again, I wouldn't trust Red Hat to be secure out of the box either. Like UNIX, NT *CAN* be secure if the admin knows what he's doing. Unfortunately, the GUI makes it seem easier than it really is so there's a lot of substandard NT admins out there. I'd recommend checking out the Sysinternals tools (www.sysinternals.com) and the registry hack database at www.jsiinc.com.

    Anyway, before I get too far off topic, I agree with the poster I'm replying too. Randomly bashing NT/2k without having even taken the time to fully use and understand how it works is no better than the MS loyalists spreading FUD about Linux when they've never even used it. Supporting Linux is great, it's come a long way and I hope to see it get even better, but turning this into some kind of holy war won't help anyone.

    Unix: Where /sbin/init is still Job 1

  • I'm a Linux/BSD sysadmin for an ASP here in town (Grand Rapids, Michigan). I can tell you for a fact that the total cost for setting up the Linux servers was $20 plus my weekly salary. I'm one person, I maintain 8 Linux servers and assist in developing new applications to run on 'em.(Got a little help from NDS I must admit.)

    Why is the cost so low? Because I got my head outta my ass and read the fucking books. Anything that needs to be done on those machines, I can do. Because I got the knowledge, and most importantly, I got the source.

    Now, we also have a cadre of +/- 5 NT/2000 admins here on any given week. For 5 NT servers. The licenses have cost $10,000+(at last estimate) including all apps, OS, and whatever else we got stuck with. I have no clue what the hell they run on those things, but it must be important for all the screaming they do. Unfortunately, only one of them seems to know anything about Partitioning and Networked file systems. In a nutshell, they've got thier heads up thier asses because the environment theyre working in encourages it. Hence they are less productive and they drive the costs way up.

    Hence, as far as Linux and Whistler go in the server environment...BillyG is whistling past the graveyard. Linux TCO is NULL for those who take thier head outta thier ass and learn how it works. For those who dont wanna learn how to operate thier shit, I say FIRE THEM.

    As far as home users go, maybe it'll work for them, maybe it wont. I dont care. As long as the servers remain free, I'm happy.

  • I've gotten dropped from one Corel beta for forgetting to put in my bugs before the deadline... very smart of them.
  • MDI has several problems. The most glaring being that it is incredibly hard to switch from one doc to the other. (More visual people have problems going to a menu to switch documents.) On the other hand, you have SDI gone arwy, like in BeOS. If you do some heavy development in BeIDE, you'll drive yourself nuts trying to keep everything organized. So MDI has its place, but usually that place is in a dark, wet corner somewhere.
  • You are barking down the wrong tree on this one. His problems clearly revolved around Win2k and other than a compatibility issue with his modem and Windows blowing away his Linux partition, his linux installation sounds like it is working fine.

    While I personally expect laptops to be less stable than desktops, I do not think in this case his HP laptop was so much an issue as his installation and configuration of Win2k for it.
  • You did forget to mention that, in the cmd line interface, he needn't put an & sign at the end of his commands =)

  • by Teferi ( 16171 ) <{teferi} {at} {wmute.net}> on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:48PM (#647389) Homepage
    ...and here's what I think.
    I hate the dumbed-down interface. Period. The new start menu is no more intuitive than the old one, and I'm thankful that there's at least a way to switch back.
    I also -hate- the new "View as Tiles" mode in Explorer. It scales the icons up hugely with no anti-aliasing - and then makes the clickable area extend to the side. Can you imagine how confusing that'll be to a complete novice?
    Theme support is spotty and inconsistant - Explorer remains unthemed, as does IE. (Same thing happens with Windowblinds, both these apps bypass the normal Win32 widget stuff)
    Besides the modified UI, it's just plain ol' Win2k with a few added services and minor tweaks.
    I realize most of this may be due to the fact that it's a beta, but I'm rather disappointed with what I've seen of it so far.

    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:51PM (#647393)
    The taskbar thing has been available on BeOS for years. Whos following who?

    Mods away!
  • by Accipiter ( 8228 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:51PM (#647394)
    Those sneaky Scientologists...

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • The most glaring being that it is incredibly hard to switch from one doc to the other. (More visual people have problems going to a menu to switch documents.)

    Opera has it's own task bar, and so does mIrc, and both of those are MDI by default. mIRC also has the option of going non-MDI.

    Also, you can always hit Ctrl-Tab.

  • That's why I like using window managers like kwm under X. I disable the task bar, and just use the center button menu to select windows. Nice big titles there.

    Now if someone did that as part of a replacement shell for Windows, I'd buy it. It would have to support multiple desktops of course...

  • Is it just me, or is MS releasing AOL 5.0? Take a look at this screenshot [winsupersite.com] and decide for yourself.

    Did anyone notice that GUIs are getting flatter everyday (kinda like models.) Back during the Motif days you had these huge, thick window panes and these massivly raised buttons. Then you got into Win9x/NT4/2K with its more delicate features, and now you can barely see the raised effects in in Whistler.

    PS> Since nobody uses AOL, I'll just tell you. The Control Panel art-style is awefully similar to the style of the AOL icons.
  • So why the hell do any distributions even ship with a Telnetd, much less install it,

    Because telnet is much more ubiquitous than ssh/scp? ... much to my chagrin...

    much less turn it on by default?

    Any installer worth its salt will let you TURN IT OFF before you boot for the first time. This, I can agree with. Joe User doesn't need telnet turned on automagically.

    If only my win* users would use PuTTY [greenend.org.uk], I could abolish telnet for good.


  • I know. I just got very busy (lucky me), and they just plain dropped me. Oh, well. I didn't want it anyway. WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux is a slow, bug-infested piece of crap. No amount of beta testing will fix that.
  • I'm referring to their post-tribal flood FUD about Linux and Solaris. Just because their FUD was more broad than it had any reason to be doesn't mean they didn't say it.
  • You're saying 1 TS box has between 25-30 copies of word running on it?

    I find that ubelievable, or maybe it's just terribly slow for the users and you don't care. We have a Dual PIII 600 with 1.25G ram running NT4 TS and Metaframe 1.8, and it has a hard time coping with ~20 users at a time.

    I'm not the one who admins it(thank god) so I can't personally vouche for it's "correctness" but I do know the people who do and they're complete MS psychos and they know what they're doing.

    Oh and you might want to install SP1 if those boxes are exposed to the net directly, there's a UDP fragment exploit that causes the box to freeze until the traffic stops(it's just like time stopped for however long the exploit is run), it's very entertaining to watch.
  • by volpe ( 58112 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @04:52PM (#647416)
    The NT/2K/Whistler product line will never be a standalone complete end-user system solution until MS provides the ability to create a bootable DOS floppy from within this product line. Just about every BIOS flashing utility (not just system BIOS, but peripheral card BIOSes and possibly even some CDRW device firmware) requires booting to a DOS prompt in order to run the flashing utility. What does every NT-based system vendor tell their clients to do when they need to flash their BIOS? Find somebody with a W9X machine and format a bootable floppy. When I built my W2K system, not only did I buy an OEM copy of W2K, but I also picked up a copy of W98SE, just to make sure I had a (legal) way to boot to a DOS prompt for these situations.
  • Where I work, we have a large number of NT 4.0 systems with Office 97. Upgrading them to Windows 2000, Office 2000, and the latest Visual Studio for the developers, is going to be very expensive. I expect that we will stick with our current software as long as possible.

    Isn't there a problem with the new Windows 2000 directory service? I got the impression that it requires all of the servers to be running Windows 2000.

  • Unicode licencing fees? Huh?
  • Open up a console window, type telnet mysite.com.
    What's so hard about that?
  • I had bad experiences with NT4 TS.

    Same with Metaframe.

    With Win2k, and no metaframe, and some serious tuning, I am able to support at least 3 times the user load of NT4 with Citrix.

    NT4 Is simply not as good with that type of thing. My view of NT TS is that it is complete kludge. But thats just me.

    PS - the boxes are nowhere near the net.

  • But the question remains... what is the point of dynamic libraries if every program runs it's own private copy? It's a ridiculous workaround to a pathetic problem.

    "Free your mind and your ass will follow"

  • Well, I agree. There are lots of ridiculous workarounds going around in there. (the win32 code) it's got legacy problems they need to cut the cord and get over. But, in defense of M$, I think they solved different problems at different times. Memory and disk used to be VERY expensive, so sharing copies (both on the disk and in memory) was important. Today, both are cheap, and there is no doubt to anyone remotely knowledgeableab about Win32 that the primary cause of instability is the phenomenon known as DLL hell. So why not let 'em do it? You can't switch the whole OS over to static libs without breaking every app out there, so you do some behind the scenes stufff. Apps can share dynamic libs if they don't have any problems with it, or the authors can change the installer to use their own copy if they want.
  • The last few BIOS upgrades I have performed were done with vendor disks that included their own copy of DOS. And that's good: I shouldn't have to depend on any particular OS installation to upgrade the hardware. All I want from the vendor is a bootable floppy or CD, and that's what vendors increasingly provide.
  • by g_mcbay ( 201099 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @05:01PM (#647447)
    Clearly your problems are laptop related. Poorly supported crappy components, I'd wager...Why bother writing anti-Microsoft FUD focusing on the fact that Windows runs poorly on that system and then, at the end, barely mention in passing that Linux also runs pretty poorly?

    Oh yeah I forgot, this is Slashdot.

  • by ajv ( 4061 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @05:14PM (#647450) Homepage
    Win2K is my primary win32 operating system. I run all my games on it (Baldurs Gate II, Combat Flight Sim 2, Red Alert 2, Flight Sim 2000, Total Annilihation, Quake 3 (@ 89 fps, 1024x768, 32 bit, everything turned up high)) without a problem. I also do a variety of other things that drive it hard, including compiling, testing, security stuff and so on. The uptime is exemplarly; at home I have had my new Dell on for the month that I've had it without a reboot until I loaded Whistler last night.

    Whistler Pro - I turned off moron mode as I found it difficult to live with the new interface, which might be fine for my mum, but useless for me. Remember, this is a Microsoft beta (equivalent to 0.4-0.7 or therabouts in most open source software). When I was beta'ing Win2K, Win2K went from NT 4.0 look with new barely new color schemes and Win98 pop outs in build 1477 through to Win2K's look and feel in about six hundred new builds. Expect Whistler's appearance to change until about April next year.

    It seems stable enough. It has ATA-100 support (something that I had to retroactively add to Win2K when I got my Dell) and the screen drivers seem snappy enough. I'm intrigued to find that people are already reporting stuff doesn't work as everything I've tried (including a couple of games) works fine for me. My Logitech USB joystick just worked, and my USB Canon Ixus similarly just worked (in fact, the new features in Whistler for this stuff is just fantastic).

    I like the new user "disconnect" feature. It allows multiple users to remain logged on and you can quickly move between them (if you have adequate memory).

    I like the way print drivers seem to be kicked out of kernel mode. My 710c never gave me grief in Win2K, but now there's even less chance with Whistler.

    Other than that, it's too early to make a full judgement. I've already found one potential security flaw and I have a negative installation experience during the express upgrade, but as I'm a tester and this is a beta, I've told Microsoft about both issues, and they'll fix it, like they did with the six things I found during the three years I tested Win2K. If every one of the "beta" testers did this, the product would be a far better product for it.

  • I disagree. ssh daemons crash from time to time, whilst telnet daemons
    tend to be very robust. If X has crashed and so has sshd, then telnet
    is usually the only way you can kill the offedning processes and
    recover the machine.

    There are ways to make telnet relatively secure, say by using
    Lamport's S/Key.

  • Because when you are trapped on a standard MS box (with no permissions to install anything) the only thing you have is telnet. Windows doesn't ship with ssh, but it does come with a program named "telnet" (although weather it really counts is debatable).

    Quite franky, you cannot assume that you will have SSH access anywhere you go. I still have telnet turned on back home because many firewall admins only allow HTTP and Telnet traffic through the firewall. Also, many PHB types won't allow you to install sshd because it is "open source" and therefore unreliable in their view. (For some reason people don't consder telnet open source, go figure).
  • Bah. They were supposed to discontinue for win2000. And they damn well should have, compatability be dammed.
  • Some more good rants on this topic:

    Ellen Ullman [salon.com] in Salon - The Dumbing Down of Programming
    Peter Merholz [theobvious.com] in Stating the Obvious - Whose "My" Is It Anyway?
  • by mindstrm ( 20013 )
    MS has these current distributions:

    Windows 2000 Professional (successor to NT 4 workstation)
    Windows 2000 Server (successor to NT 4 server)
    Windows 2000 Advanced Server (above + backoffice + other new shit). Terminal services are now included, rather than in a separate package (NT 4 terminal server edition, etc)

    And windows ME (successor to windows 98).

    The rest are OLD and deprecated.

    And we don't count 'CE' because that's not really windows.
  • The new OS seems to be coming at a lightning pace. This might be fine for home users in the 9x train, since they'll likely not bother with a new OS unless they are buying a new machine. However, is the corporate world really going to buy into a new iteration of Windows so quickly? My unscientific survey of local businesses (places that friends work) seems to indicate that the corporate world is just now starting to stick it's toe into the Win2K product. One multinational I know of that is headquartered locally (and not in any way backwards, IT-wise) is just now setting up scripts for a rollout of 2000 professional, and even that is only for limited release. Admittedly, I don't live in a high tech hotbed, but I don't think this quick turnaround is going to sell very well.
  • OpenType is a very cool technology. Fortunately, it has been part of Freetype for some time. :)
  • by cyoon ( 99971 ) on Sunday November 05, 2000 @05:23PM (#647482)
    I don't mean to sound like an ass, but that kinda is the point of a beta. It's going to have lots of UI issues; the more formidable improvements are likely to be less visible. The UI issues will continue to be worked out at a later point. Microsoft's bugs and design flaws tend not to be in the UI portion of an application/OS. They spend the big bucks to make it nice and flashy ... and it works.

  • Whistler does have built-in Voice Recognition...this is pretty cool.

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.