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MSN Lists 10 Dumb Things NT Users Do 528

Stephen Moore writes "10 Dumb Things Windows NT Users Do. By MSN. Strangely they don't mention buying Windows NT in the first place. I particularly like 7. Forgetting the password (Look for their suggestion here) and 9. Applying service packs unwisely. This brings new meaning to the Hack PC Week story. Here is the url. Cheers"
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MSN Lists 10 Dumb Things NT Users Do

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or even BeOS

    Hrm... easier than BeOS? I wonder which NT they're using?
  • And the number zero stupid thing that NT installers do is....

    Use their NT box for something other than a doorstop!


  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:17AM (#1616740)
    11. installing NT
    12. Forgetting to click on the 'Vegas' option on solitaire.
    13. (My own one) typing 'ls' five times in a row trying to get a directory listing in the command shell
    14. Signing up for a hotmail account
    15. Paying $x for MS technical support, and believing them when they tell you reinstalling NT will fix your problem.

    Obvious, I know. Sue me.
  • by sbuckhopper ( 12316 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:17AM (#1616741) Homepage Journal
    From the article:
    > (although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or even BeOS).

    If its really miles ahead of those OS's, then why:
    1. can I set up my Linux box in 1/4 the time it takes me to set up a default installation of a WinNT machine.
    2. was I able to set up Be faster and easier the first time I ever used it than any of the times I've ever installed WinNT.
    I don't think I agree with the author on these points, but then again, it was an MSN article.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Really, most of these things wouldn't be problems if NT was a bit more bulletproof. They could just boil this down to "Forgetting Your Password" and "Buying A Half-Assed OS" and save a whole lotta bits here...
  • "10. Cloning Windows NT

    "Many people make the mistake of using a cloning utility, such as Ghost, in order make copies of Windows NT for their network computers. The problem is that every Windows NT installation has a unique number, a security identifier (SID). ...

    "The trouble is that if you need support from Microsoft on a system that has been cloned, you're out of luck. They won't help you."

    (unwritten: So buy lots of copies and keep making Bill rich.)

    Or unlimited copies of Linux and never have that problem. Or, problems, I suppose, as NT presents many problems. The expensive licenses being just one.
  • Oh, I nearly spewed coffee all over my monitor...
    Within 4) is the phrase "Windows NT utopia". Having read Sir Thomas More's Utopia, I think I'd have to classify NT as more along the lines of Dante's Inferno! *G*

  • Seems to me that sentence was the whole raison d'etre for the article. Have some bogus piece on common mistakes, just so you can toss some line in about your main rivals, "you think this is bad, you should see these guys", like it is the received wisdom.

  • Of course, this isn't even necessary if the image is made before the master has a SID (i.e., before it is made a member of a domain). See, the machine doesn't have a SID until it receives it from a domain controller. Ghost first, join later. Works every time.
  • Posting Pro-MS statements as an AC is probably wise, esp. since it's tired old rethoric.

    A) NT has bunches of hardware and software support.

    So what. This has very little to do with the OS itself and much more to do with the strangle that MS has on the market. NT itself is usually 'more difficult' to set up supported hardware on than Linux is.

    B) File System

    NTFS and ext2 are different filesystems. But I fail to see where NTFS could be called better, unless you're basing that solely on ACL's (then see below).

    C) Security

    Ummm, is this the old 'Linux is based on a 30 year old model' argument? If so then it fails with flying colors. A poorly understood, and implemented ACL is worse than no ACL. ACL's are one way to do security on a system. One way, not 'the one true way'. If you have knowledgeable admins, they can secure a Linux box far better than a good NT admin can secure an NT box. Why? IP Chains, TCP Wrappers... a stable, tested, proven 30 year old security model (which has had the bugs worked out of it).... NT is 'New Technology' ie. untested. I don't want something unproven for my security....

    D)Ease Of Use

    Purely in the eye of the Admin. For me it's much easier to admin a straightforward Linux box than wander around menu after menu clicking on stuff hoping it will do what I want.

    E)Linux Has As Many Bugs As NT

    I'll assume here you mean that deamons and apps running on Linux have many bugs... the OS itself has nowhere near the bugs that NT does. (Esp if you believe that IIS and IE are 'part of the OS')

    Even so, I much perfer a quick response to bugs and a speedy fix. In the NT world, I have to fight through the PR 'Don't worry' "Feel Good' crap to find out what the hole is. Then I find that MS knew about it for some time and neglected to tell anyone, or they don't have a patch, or tthe patch fixes the symptom... not the problem....

    Sell your snake oil elsewhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @05:04AM (#1616750)

    This guy is basically an idiot.

    1. Hardware compatibility. Followup in this month's issue of NoShit Magazine.

    4. No ERD. I'll bet that everyone who is reading this has a recent (less than 1 week) backup of their system. It is basically the same thing here.

    6. Enable the GUEST account? Is this guy on acid or what. Every checklist on hardening NT has at or near the top disabling this account. If you want to share across machines you need local accounts or a domain account if you are running a domain.

    7. Give yourself admin privileges for your everyday account? This is insane. If you do that and let a virus/macro/trojan by you, it has the machine. Your everyday use account should be as a USER (or POWER USER) and you should just remember the admin account password, or lock it in a safe.

    9. Service Packs (and HotFixes) are pretty much mandatory and I think it is highly irresponsible to suggest that you don't apply them, espcecially if you are running a small number of machines. There have been some bugs that existed in Service Packs, but they were primarily related to new ways of authentication in response to security vulnerabilities. These bit shops that were not careful in their deployment (and yes, M$ could have made it _much_ easier).

    10. This was accurate at one time, but for the last year or more, all the cloning utilities update the SID. M$ even has an approved procedure. Interestingly, this is not an issue for existing flavors, but W2K uses the SID in the ActiveDirectory scheme and they must be unique.

  • Ah, but it is unwise to install a SP in the first place. Why replace known bugs with brandnew unknown ones?
    Hans Voss
  • That's what it's for. I have no users running as administrator, yet they all synch with the clock on the server (which is SAMBA on Linux of course!)
  • Oops, I should not have said ditto for item 10. I just got carried away. :) Years ago, I used to go clone installs for Win 3.1 boxes. We never had a problem, but those were simpler times.

    Regarding filesystems: many people have pointed out that Linux can support numerous filesystems and NT can only support a couple. This is not in debate. The point is that users select the wrong filesystem for what they are using. I often use encrypted file systems, only to forget the I need to share some data with my NT partition (uh, I mean OS).

    I am not an adovocate of NT (depite my sig, I actually use SGI IRIX all the time), just wanted to point things out.


    --Ivan, weenie NT4 user, Jon Katz hater: bite me!
  • My previous place of imployment used Ghost to clone a lab full of NT machines. We had one floppy for each computer in the lab. Each disk contained a unique SID and TCP/IP number. We just stuck the disks in and went. Amazingly simple... except for the fact that we did this about twice a year. It seemed easier to install the SPs and other fixes to one machine, test it fully and then just clone the hell out of it rather then trying to fix all the machines individally. That would be hell!
  • Okay so in the given link they start by saying ...

    "October 1999--It's no big secret that Windows NT isn't an easy operating system to set up and configure (although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or even BeOS). "

    now...take point 3 which has a link to the wonderful world of NTFS and the caption on this page..

    "NTFS as you can see, is an excellent file system for the serious Windows NT user. However it has its drawbacks as well. For example, NTFS volumes cannot be seen by any other operating system other than Windows NT. "

    Oh dear me !

    Such a 'miles behind' o/s as Linux surely couldn't read a magnificent file system as NTFS
    *end of sarcasm*

    Does nobody M$ centric bother to look that "Yep Linux can read NTFS, and is now stabilising on the write issues"

    Think themselves lucky that Linux dev peeps bother to think of them in the first place!


    ps. M$ pay people to write this sort of dross ??
  • I administer (and I mean that in the loosest possible sense) an NT server at my workplace. About a year ago, we applied service pack 3, and our central sales processing database immediately went down. The lower level support people were unable to help, but as soon as I got hold of a senior, he immediately screamed, "Service pack 3? For heaven's sake, take it off! TAKE IT OFF!"

  • and only $63 for the personal edition...

  • I see a lot of people doing some nice Windows bashing and IMHO its totally uncalled for. The article makes some good sense IMO, only some people are either overlooking some stuff or can't place the article in the correct context.

    Lets start with the reason why this article is mentioned on /. anyway. My guess is due to the 'Linux line'. It's no big secret that Windows NT isn't an easy operating system to set up and configure (although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or even BeOS). So? IMHO he has a fair point here; Linux, OS/2 can be a pain to setup on some hardware (can't comment on BeOS myself). If it wasn't we wouldn't see so many people drop in on the #linux channel asking a very wide range of questions; a lot of them concerning the installation.

    Sure... RTFM. Thats what I tell most of those people also. But you cannot shove away the fact that RTFM makes is harder to install when compared to an OS which any braindead idiot can install. Face it; NT is click click click, done. If it will work remains to be seen but thats another story.

    Next, I think a lot of people give to much credit to this author. IMO its just an article focused on the beginning admins & NT users. After reading the part about passwords (which have these weird habits of escaping our minds ;-)) This is more of a problem than you might think because of a security feature of Windows NT--the administrator account.. It has been some while for me but afaik you can easily boot from the NT cdrom & reinstall / reset the complete userdatabase using the recovery options. Afaik this will also reset the administrator account allthough I'm not 100% positive.

  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @05:15AM (#1616765) Homepage
    Take the article, and replace every Microsoft-specific reference with a "_____"

    For example:

    October 1999--It's no big secret that _______ isn't an easy operating system to set up and configure (although it's miles ahead of _____, _______, and ______ ). In my years of working with _____, I've found some common mistakes that people make. These are errors that are usually made out of ignorance, caused by not reading directions (I'm guilty of this too).

    But many times, mistakes are made just because it isn't quite clear just what the right thing to do is. This isn't a bad thing. It gives guys like me, who get paid to sort this stuff out, some job security. It should be better though, and, with _______ just around the corner, we'll begin to see some changes. Until then, read on to see my Top 10 list of dumb things that people do when using ______. See if you fit into the category of dumb, or, like me, dumber.

    Now give it to one of your NT-loving buddies. Ask them if they can fill in the blanks.

    Then send them to the full story. It's good for some laughs! :)

  • And on top of it, backward-compatibility is broken on some dll's (from personal experience, the ODBC*.DLL file family, though I'm certain there are others). Everything has to match up precisely or the whole thing is broken. And if you're writing an application that relies upon these dll families, everything MUST match up, version-wise, or the whole thing is screwed.

    This leads to developers writing installations that overwrite a section of system DLLs, to ensure that their application will work. What if the next program installed overwrites these files?

    Perhaps I'm new to this, but I see this as inexcuseable.

  • (besides buying it in the first place)

    Attempting to use NT on any system not configured by Microsoft or with any software not written by Microsoft or in any way not specifically condoned by Microsoft.

    Any user with a lick of sense knows that you should only install NT on a MS certified system, install MS Office Sh^Huite, and never touch the thing until it is time to upgrade to W2004 (released in 2006 of course).

    Heh, as an aside, did MS call NT 'W2K' so that when they get around to releasing it late next year, they can claim that it is actually 47 years early. (1K=1024 in computerland)
  • Some of your points are quite reasonable, however I'm still going to be picky about a few of them!

    > 3) Using UMS-DOS

    Probably okay if you're just after testing Linux to see what all the fuss is about!

    > 8) Using libc5 applications

    Which is a problem because ... ?

    > 10) Using different Linux distros on different machines

    Which causes what sort of problem???
  • "It's no big secret that Windows NT isn't an easy operating system to set up and configure (although it's miles ahead ofLinux, OS/2, or even BeOS)."

    Folks, don't just get caught up in the fuddish side of this. The mere fact that they even *made* this statement is incredibly meaningful. It means they're scared -- very scared. We have gone from blissfully ignoring the enemy, to launching tentative FUD attacks. This kind of thing, with just the casual, off the cuff, official-stamp-of-truth nature of it, is intended to do one thing: get into peoples minds and become accepted as fact.

    This wasn't even an article about Linux... yet they included a jab. The war has just cranked up a notch.

    Victory is approaching, but it will not be an easy fight.
  • "most of us just want to finish the installation and click on the cancel button to explore the Windows NT utopia."

    I'll be in the bathroom vomiting my harmed brains out till I can't think about this statement anymore.
  • Scuse me?

    12MB over system memory is not enough? I am running my Linux system with a swap space that is actually 16MB less then the amount of RAM.
    [I must admit that you need some RAM in the first place. I have 96MB RAM and use 81920 for swap.]. And yes, I use X and Netscape and StarOffice and VMWare (running NT with a simulation of 48MB RAM) at the same time, so I think this qualifies as memory intensive use, at least comparable to what NT goes through with most users.

    On my machine having a large pagefile.sys for NT is a good idea actually. I re-use that space as the Linux swap-file. (It's on FAT). But, as I said, I only use a small portion of it.

    Whew, this must be about the only reason I still have NT installed. This and the fact that I am just to lazy to do it.
    Hans Voss
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The "every OS" thing was a figurative and exagerated statement. I've installed NT (and W95), BeOS, Solaris, BSD on it. They all installed without any complaints at all. Linux could find my CD-ROM on my SCSI controller (AHA-2940 series) so I tried BusLogic. It still couldn't find it. It could see the hard drives but not the CD-ROM. Go figure.
  • ACL issues should not be 'very important' to a sysadmin. Good security should be 'very important'. There's a big difference. Good security can be easily accomplished on a Linux box without ACL's, and it's no more difficult than working out a well designed properly implememnted ACL solution. I don't know if you actually have much experience with Linux, but apparently you don't have much experience with securing Linux.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'actually install the OS' or issues with full SCSI and PCI... I do the same... and have no problems. Unless of course your using some hardware which the vendor has been uncooperative with the communitity. Full SMP??? I'm not sure of any place where every server needs to have SMP. Besides, I'm running SMP here on a couple of boxes, and I don't have a problem.

    Of course, one should always choose the best OS for the job. Linux is not always the best OS. But, your arguments for why NT is have no real basis, more like bias.
  • Moderators are not always intelligent. But your comment was not flame bait... uninformed yes.. perhaps even an attempt at FUD. but I think it should not ave been moderated down.
  • The best way to avoid this dilemma is to immediately add your personal user account to the administrators local group of the system.

    that's the think which causes ordinary applications not working when user is not administrator - like photoshop concerning about disk error when importing EPS with custom palette when loged without admin right (when doing same thing with admin rights, "do you want to use custom palette?" dialog appears and atfter pressing buton import proceeds hapily).

    plain silly. developers get accustomed to program apps for "administrators" and forget about "real" users.

  • In the past 3-4 weeks, my toy machine has had:
    1. Linux (RH6.0)
    2. BeOS R4.51
    3. FreeBSD 3.2
    4. NetBSD 1.4
    5. Windows NT
    Installed, or attempted to install.

    Linux, FreeBSD and BeOS went flawlessly. NetBSD was a bit hairy, but installed and booted no problem (not familiar with raw BSD, so it came off again.)

    NT couldn't even find my cd-rom drive, which is a standard SCSI2 device sitting off a Symbios 53c876 based board (NT did find the board, as a NCR53x810.)

    If NT can't even handle this common and simple peice of kit, I'm damned if I'm going to persist in trying to install it.

    That security tip was magic:)
  • "However, I don't recommend applying the latest service pack unless you are having some problems because in many cases a service pack can cause a bug that didn't previously exist. "

    Lest we have to remind Microsoft:
    1. There are no service packs for Linux
    2. Linux improves over time
    3. We don't need Ghost to make multiple copies of Linux
    4. you can make a linux boot disk just about any time you want to
    5. Linux supports a great many filesystems.. much more than WinNT (all of those listed, and more)
    6. You can use Linux on just about any hardware.. or write a driver for it ('cept those pesky WinModems, eh?)

    Well, that list may have been not quite as thorough as it could have been, but eh, we get the point!
  • NT invented ACL's? Huh? I thought Apollo's DomainOS had them all along. And didn't HP/UX have them too? I know I've encountered and used them on DomainOS, and that was on seriously crufty, first-half-of-the-decade hardware. :)

    Adaptec and BusLogic both are, and have been for years, pretty well supported by Linux.

    As far as your specific question (limiting the access of one user within a group to a certain file in a certain directory where the group otherwise has full access)... uh, I have my doubts about whether that can even be made to work in such a way that the user cannot override it due to having full access to the directory. And I have a hard time figuring out what kind of scenario would warrant this particular configuration. And yes, I know ACL's. :)
  • Sure... RTFM. Thats what I tell most of those people also. But you cannot shove away the fact that RTFM makes is harder to install when compared to an OS which any braindead idiot can install. Face it; NT is click click click, done. If it will work remains to be seen but thats another story.

    You contradict your own argument with your last sentence. Yes, NT can be installed with one click. You can do pretty much the same with Linux, unless you have some really cruddy hardware. The question isn't whether it's easy to install, but whether it's installed right. NT may be easy to install, but it's harder to install right than Linux is IMIAO. Screw up installing a Linux system, and you've got a good chance of still having something someone more knowledgeable can put back together. Screw up an NT install, and about all that can be done is to reformat and start over. You see few questions about NT installs only because few people install it. Usually that's handled by the manufacturer techs or a corporate IS department staffed by people who do this for a living. Hand NT to a "brain-dead idiot" and you'll get as bad a mess as with Linux, BeOS or OS/2.

  • It doesn't take a 3 step proof for most people.
  • Yes, but remember that in WinDoze NT you need to logoff and then logon as Administrator (or whatever the hack you renamed it to).

    Whereas in Unix I just open another XTerm and type 'su'.

    Way back when I still used NT as my main Office environment, I made my own useraccount member of the Administrators Group, even knowing full well the implications on system security/stability etc.. This was just because - on whatever OS I run - I wanna be (and usually am) a PowerUser. (I didn't choose a career in IT for no reason, I wanna play with power, sheer unadulterated :-).
    Hans Voss
  • Always mke2fs -c /dev/fd0 your floppies before catting disk images to them. It'll save you a lot of misery in the long run!
  • Giving admin rights to users is not one of the brighter things I have seen. Think of giving yourself id 0 on a Unix Box, one misplaced rm and your system will be hosed. It is probably similar on a NT. You can bring the entire system down and screw any other users on the machine, oops I forgot NT is not multi-user, but that should be left for a discussion on the Top 10 Dumb things that MS does.
  • by YuppieScum ( 1096 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @06:43AM (#1616808) Journal
    The SID is nothing to do with the CD key. Nor is it anything to do with licensing.

    The SID is generated/created/synthesised by the install process, and used to uniquely identify the machine to the domain controller's security database.

    Multiple identical ID's in a DB that expects uniqueness is BAD.

    If you're not using NT Domain security, then you won't notice anything.

    Administrators whom are worth their salt know that you don't know what you're talking about.
  • in many cases a service pack can cause a bug that didn't previously exist

    Haven't we been hearing lately that the lack of service packs is a bad thing for Linux? I think PC Week recently mentioned the fact they needed 21 patches for their crack test linux box as if it was a bad thing.

    I'd much rather apply the individual patches I need rather than slap on "Keg 'o Patches 7" weighing in with umpteen meg of system updates. The first method leaves me in control, the second leaves me wondering if I've overlooked some subtle interaction during testing or if I'll find a hardware variation in a production machine that is going to burn me.

    My most memorable burn so far was complete system failure due to SP5 not being compatible with some NT4.0 WHQL certified video cards in some of our production machines. (No I can't afford to buy a twin machine for testing for every one on the floor.) I didn't need to update the video subsystems, I didn't want to update them. I had other needs to which Update to SP5 was the answer. Now the answer seems to be Update to SP5. Oh and buy new video cards that are NT4.0 WHQL certified. You say your's were listed as NT4.0 WHQL certified? Yes, well that was then, this is now. Have a nice day. Bye.
  • "So, your problem updating the driver came from installing NT within VMware. That's an implemtation issue with VMware, not NT."

    No, it's not an implementation issue with VMware. It's an implementation issue with his firewall. When you install NT within VMware on Linux, the NT installation gets a different IP than the Linux installation. This is, IMO, neither good nor bad, it's just the way they do it. The problem, in his situation, is that his firewall allows or denies access based on IP address, and the IP used by his NT/VMware installation does not have access through the firewall.

    So, this is not a Linux problem, this is not an NT problem, and this is not a VMware problem. It is simply another case of one specific configuration not working in one specific environment. Happens all the time, it does not necessarily indicate a problem with any of the components involved.

    Now, the REAL problem here, again IMO, is that MS has decided that it is more "user friendly" to install patches and upgrades through a browser than it is to download a file and do it the "old fashioned" way. The old way worked fine, yet MS felt the need to screw with it.

    OK, since I've said what I meant to say, and feel myself quickly sinking into rant mode, I'll just end this right here.

  • No, the last time I reinstalled NT Server was four months ago. Our department print/web/file server suddenly started to give the strange error message, "Evaluation Period Ended. This installation will shut down in an hour." It had to be rebooted every hour so that people could get their work done before we had a chance to fix it.

    The rumor going around here was that my predecessor had installed a Service Pack with a severe problem -- turning a licensed installation of NT Server into the Evaluation version. He got that service pack from Microsoft. Just a rumor. From the corporate IT guys who talk on the phone with Microsoft every week. Just a rumor.

    Either way, an Operating System that has to be rebooted every hour until you reinstall is not what I want on my server. It might also have been nice to have warning beforehand... but then, I guess, there wouldn't have been as many people willing to write a $2000 check for a license (which we already had).

    PS -- Linux novices have no business administering production servers. Someone whose idea of fixing a misbehaving server is reinstallation is not welcome to touch any of my servers.

    QDMerge [] 0.4 just released!
  • How do you secure on a file-by-file basis in Linux? For example, do it in such a way that you can grant read-only access to a single person within a group for a single file within a directory where the group otherwise has full access to the directory and change access to the subdirectories under it?

    drwxrwx--- 2 runev runev 4096 Oct 13 17:54 general

    inside the dir:
    -rw-r----- 1 runev jonathas 0 Oct 13 17:55 test

    quite simple. group 'runev' has full access to the 'general' dir. The file 'test' in the general dir, has been chgrp'ed to jonathas - which then may read the file -- but the rest of the group may not. (They can, however, see that the file exists. But they cannot *access* it).

    Did that answer your question?

  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. A P.O.S. application can only overwrite system DLL's if (a) the installation is being run as administrator or (b) the administrator has not appropriately secured the system files. It's not Microsoft's fault if the P.O.S. application's author did not adhere to Microsoft's suggested design guidelines for setup routines. In either *nix or NT, you would need to run with elevated privileges in order to install daemons or services, in which case the installation routine if written poorly could potentially replace system components. Again, not the fault of the OS. 2. The application has complete control over where to look for libraries. 3. These points notwithstanding, both Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, and Windows 2000 include mechanisms to thwart P.O.S. apps that misbehave during install, isolating anything the app tries to put in \system32 (WTS) or preventing system file replacement (Win2K). "Don't touch the machine anymore" after achieving a stable installation is a cornerstone of running a 5-9's datacenter, regardless of OS.
  • There is a program called Ghostwalker that explicitly addresses the problem of the SID's. After restoring an image on a computer you can run ghostwalker from a boot floppy and give that installation any SID number you want (I think it must be the same length as the old SID)

    One caveat: make sure that your boot floppy has HIMEM or else it can take a Loooooong time to change that SID!

  • Here are 10 more dumb things that NT users do:

    1) Buy NT
    2) Install NT
    3) Read articles on MSN about NT
    4) Not laugh at articles
    5) Believe articles
    6) Feel a kinship in the "dumbness" author describes in current article
    7) Apply techniques suggested in article
    8) Think you are safe and wise after doing 7
    9) Write articles for MSN about NT
    10) Believe you are helping others by doing 9
  • Is a truthful answer to someone's question flame bait?
    I have to agree. While I may not agree with the content of the AC's post, this doesn't make the thread flamebait. If anything, I think the thread has been informative.

    As a side note - the only actual flames I've seen are left intact. THOSE need to be moderated, IMHO.

    Moderators need to calibrate their sensors; apparently the "I don't agree with this" reading is picking up as "flamebait".

  • While you are talking about the 1996 version of NT, most of your agruments are moot with Windows 2000 (NT5). It may make your agruments easier
    to compare the 1996 version of NT4 with the latest version of Linux, but we don't want to spread FUD, do we? You think it is vaporware? You can
    buy the pre-release copy to test with, etc.

    You want us to compare it to a beta, which is only availible for a price ?

    It is common practice to compare latest released product.

    It is not our fault that Microsoft can't release things on time.
  • >How secure is this? Anyone with physical access can change the root password.

    First, disable booting from anything other than your hard drive in your BIOS( this can still be shorted by opening the case though ).

    Then, you can setup lilo to require a password if you add any parameters to the image label...

    ie, in my lilo.conf

    #prompt -- make it so I have to hold shift to get the lilo prompt
    #this is the password that protects linux single
    #restricted means that if I add any parameters at
    # the prompt, I get prompted for the password

    When I type linux single at the lilo prompt, it now asks for myspecialpassword before it'll continue
  • It's no big secret that Windows NT isn't an easy operating system to set up and configure (although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or even BeOS)"
    For the first time as a BeOS user, I'm truly insulted! I'll challenge any NT guru to set up NT faster than I set up BeOS!
    My personal record: 7 minutes 35 seconds from putting BeOS R4.5 CD in the tray until surfing the net!
    Eat my shorts, Jason!
  • by Lt_Kernal ( 11104 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @07:08AM (#1616889) Homepage
    I'm a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer/Microsoft Certified Trainer. I instruct for one of the largest computer training companies in the world. I also run Linux...and MacOS...and BeOS...and AmigaOS... But I'm not here to debate the relative merits (or demerits) of an operating system because I've seen too many people complain about what they do not know about to know they're full of shit. But this guy scares me. Not only is he an MCSE, but Microsoft actually let him put that drivel on their page. I for one HATE paper MCSE's, because they take the relative value of the certification and kill it. I'm not saying he's one, but jeez! This guy, even though he claims to have used NT since 3.1 Advanced Server, says some pretty stupid shit:

    1. To quote: "Windows NT has an abstraction layer between the hardware and the operating system. When a program wants access to a hardware must go through this layer to do so. The purpose of this is security, and to ensure a bad application can't steal all resources from a given hardware device."

    Yeah, right. Don't be a jackass. Yes, although the NT ARCHITECTURE is supposed to promote security (in many different contexts), the true purpose of the HAL is to make all hardware look the same to the microkernel. Therefore MS wouldn't have to use different source code every time NT was ported to a different platform. MS actually had the engineers code the prerelease versions of NT 3.1 on a MIPS box, and then PORT it to x86. NT's original premise was PORTABILITY...and that's where the HAL comes in. Now that all the other ports are gone (RIP Alpha...stupid MS) the only thing the HAL is good for is to maybe port W2K to IA-64? Who knows, but security ain't the issue here.

    2. Here's another one: "If you install NT into the same partition, you'll end up sharing the \Program Files directory, which could be catastrophic for Internet Explorer, for instance. This is an easy one to avoid."

    Whatever. Go to your NT box. Open that Program Files Directory. NT specific binaries are stored in a "Windows NT" subfolder. IE, specifically, is stored in %systemroot%\Program Files\Plus!\Microsoft Internet. When you install or upgrade a 9x machine (even with Plus!) with IE3/4/5, it installs to C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer. This guy's talking out of his ass. I've done dual boot 9x/NT boxes all day long. I DID, however, keep both copies of IE the same rev...for consistency's sake...:)

    3. One more: "The key to ensuring your two Windows NT computers can communicate is to make sure the guest account in user manager is enabled. This is the account that is used when one computer connects to another, with relatively little security--the reason it is disabled by default."

    Wha...WHAT?! Are you out of your freaking MIND?! One of the first things we teach in the classes is to keep Guest diabled. Why don't you just create a local user, put 'em in the appropriate ACL's for the share, use the "conenct as" option and be DONE with it...

    There are more...but I gotta get back to work...:)

    This guy says he's an MCSE? And MS puts his stuff up for the whole world to see? People like him make people like me look bad.

    -Kevin, MCSE/MCP+I/MCT, MCP ID # 1198191

    PS: Just to be fair...I do agree with him on the service pack issue...I don't use a newly released SP until it's been out in the field for a while. SP3, for instance, was an apology for SP2...:)
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @06:07AM (#1616892) Homepage Journal
    > although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or > even BeOS

    Yeah. Windows NT allows a complete idiot think he's adminning a box until something goes wrong. Those other OSes require you to actually KNOW something in advance of things going wrong.

    1. Using the wrong hardware...

    Hey you people! Why are you still messing around with IA32? The archetecture is a toy! We've been running 64 bit processors for years now. Of course, you only really need a huge server if your OS has no remote admin capabilities. Otherwise you'd buy a bunch of little ones and distribute the load (No single point of failure that way either, and you can lock those machines away in com closets because unix never crashes. IMHO, the wrong hardware could also mean any hardware I ever have to deal with because I Don't Do Windows.

    2. Installing Windows NT where it doesn't belong...

    Everyone who's ever installed NT is guilty of this.

    3. Choosing the wrong file system...

    You have two choices. Flip a coin.

    4. No emergency repair disk...

    I've never had that problem in Linux or OS/2.

    5. Using the wrong Pagefile size...

    Everyone has this problem, even in UNIX. OS/2 got around it by having a dynamically resizable swap file, but that led to its own problems.

    6. Missing a key network component...

    Sorry, anyone who says "Security" in the same breath as "guest account" should be taken out behind the barn and shot.

    7. Forgetting the password...

    See point 1 about absolute idiots...

    8. Using older applications...

    UNIX is backwards compatable with 30 years of applications (Assuming you can still find a K&R compiler somewhere.) MS can't even manage a decade? Ok, I'm not being fair, since 95/98 are still 16 bit under the hood (30 years after DEC introduced the 16 bit PDP 11 [in 1970] to replace the then-outdated 8 bit PDP 5 and PDP 8.)

    9. Applying service packs unwisely...

    Nevermind that there may be vital security fixes on those things. Maybe this was why those bozo's over at ZD were afraid to install a single linux security patch on their RedHat box. That's what you get when you put a trained windows monkey in charge of a Real OS.

    10. Cloning Windows NT...

    Hmm. I wonder how this affects those backups you've been making for the past year. Are you SURE your system will be functional when you restore from backup when your disks go to hell in a handbasket? Better double-check...

    No other OS I've ever run across has had any problem being cloned. You can even do it with OS/2 (Admittedly you REALLY have to know what you're doing with OS/2, due to extended attributes.)

  • Clueless admins who have to reinstall to fix something aren't admins. They're looking for a new job.

    I wouldn't call someone following the TechNet directions clueless. On the other hand, I would rather find a new job than work with an operating system which may require reinstallation to recover from a Service Pack.

    (TechNet directions may be found at 173/5/07.ASP )

    QDMerge [] 0.4 just released!
  • 1. Using the wrong hardware

    Ditto goes for Linux/Be/*BSD/etc/etc.

    Sure, but the list of "stuff that works" is longer for Linux than it is for NT.

    2. Installing Windows NT where it doesn't belong

    Ditto goes for installing Linux/Be/*BSD/etc/etc when another OS is present.

    The article itself mentions specifically sharing your Windows 95/98 partition with NT. Linux can run atop Windows 95/98 with UMSDOS without a problem. Why can't NT?

    3. Choosing the wrong file system

    Ditto goes for linux. You could use UMDOS or ext2.

    Sure, you'd use UMSDOS if you were installing on top of Windows, and you'd use ext2 if you were installing on a clean hard drive. The funny thing about it is that the installer will pick it for you, so there's really no chance that you'll pick the wrong one by accident. You'd have to deliberately set out to pick the wrong one for it not to work, which is something I wouldn't put past NT fanatics trying to find something "wrong" with Linux that they could "break" and point at.

    4. No emergency repair disk

    Ditto goes for Linux. You do have a boot disk right? ERD is your friend, deciding not to use it is stupid.

    Sure is, but if you fuck up your Linux partition, you're not SOL, as long as you can make a boot disk on any other machine. Heck, use the default Red Hat one -- it's got support for just about anything that could possibly be on your machine anyway. If I fuck up my NT box and don't have an ERD, I can't just go using one from another machine, since there's a lot more than just a kernel and drivers on it.

    5. Using the wrong Pagefile size

    Hmm... when I gave linux a 2mb swap file it didn't work so well.... Ditto for any OS.

    If you have enough RAM a swap partition isn't really necessary anyway.

    6. Missing a key network component

    Dittoe goes for any OS.

    Except that TCP/IP comes standard with Linux. It's awfully difficult to be missing it, unless you've deliberately gone in and literally removed thousands of lines of source code. It would hardly be "missing" then, would it? You'd know where it went.

    7. Forgetting the password

    Ditto again.

    Mister Boot Disk fixes this.

    8. Using older applications

    So you're telling me old libc programs work fine under all distros? Hmmm.

    As far as I've seen, yes. As long as the libraries are there, they'll work beautifully.

    9. Applying service packs unwisely

    Last I checked Redhat had at least 20 bug fixes, if you apply them wrong you can break stuff.

    Last I checked, Red Hat wasn't the only Linux distribution, and, even if you broke a few things with a few bugfixes gone awry, the OS would still boot.

    10. Cloning Windows NT

    Ditto again.

    Wrong. Given two identically configured (hardware-wise) systems, cloning a Linux system is absolutely trivial. Linux, unlike Windows NT, doesn't have a "SID" number. As long as you've changed the IP on the cloned machine, you're set.

    Just why do you guys feel the need to lie?

    You should be asking yourself that.


    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • /bin/false and /bin/true can also be *proven* to be bug free.

    But, an even bigger group of applications, there are lots of companies that spend lots of money making sure their programs are bug-free. Like people that make telecom equipment. Like the software that runs your car. It is just that MS Windows can get away with it, whereas if you're driving fast in heavy traffic and your car's microcontroller crashes, your manufacturer can get sued big-time.

  • 9) Applying kernel patches unwisely
    This brings up a question I've been pondering over since reading the PC Week "lessons learned" - how dangerous are patches?

    I've got some friends who work in some large scale NT shops. When it comes to Service Packs and Hotfixes, they're... cautious. The reason for that caution is that while Service Packs and Hotfixes do fix things - they're also known to occasionally break things in nasty, unexpected ways.

    Meanwhile, I've left the NT environment and managed to emerse myself within several flavors of Unix. I install patches left and right. I've yet to run into trouble doing so (though I've never touched a patch labled as beta). However, I can't help but wonder if I'm not just a babe in the woods yet to encounter their first wolf?

    Has anyone ran into trouble using patches for anything in any unix (or "unix-like" if you want to be picky) environment? And if so, what was required to return to safer ground?

  • by zosima ( 8652 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @06:11AM (#1616917) Homepage
    Thomas More wrote Utopia as a parody above all else. Utopia is roughly Latin for "No place". The book was written not to see 'how good things could be' but to put these things together and see just how impossible it would be to realize. That is NT down to the core, IMHO. Okay, granted the vernacular term 'utopia' doesn't take all this into account, but it is interesting to note.

    Addendum 1) If you haven't read Utopia, I highly suggest it. I especially love the children laughing at the visiting dignitary. Great stuff.

    Addendum 2) As a previous NT user, I don't understand the value of the rescue disk. Sounds great (hmm, the Utopia analogy still applies), but everytime NT died to the point it wouldn't reboot (twice that I remember, and I used it for less than a year), the rescue disk did NOTHING except complain that it couldn't find NT. Frustrating.
  • Windows 5 aka 2000 aka whatever will have a "Run as..." command in its start menu, which will let you do things as an administrator. MS will also start supporting disk quota. Looks like they're finally catching up to that '30 year old UNIX technology', as they put it on their Linux myths page!
  • Actually, I've found GHOST to be quite valuable for duplicating and relocating Linux images, too - it's much easier and faster than a clean install and rebuild. GHOST is a cool program - there's really nothing else out there that does what it does at that level of competency.

    Also, it's not even a MS product, so I fail to see the relevance of your point.
  • by Shadowlion ( 18254 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:21AM (#1616935) Homepage
    Please. BeOS configures at least twice as easy as Windows NT does now. Networking configuration is abysmal in NT, whereas in BeOS it's pretty much one-stop shopping. It took me about fifteen minutes to install drivers and set them up correctly for my system under Windows; under BeOS, it took me all of two not only to set it up, but to get my dynamic IP and visit a couple of my favorite web sites.

    As for the Linux crack, NT may be "easier," but what it lacks in luser-friendliness it makes up for in raw power and flexibility. Further, for any competent computer user, Linux actually isn't significantly harder than NT to set up.

    I suppose I should be grateful; now the PR arm of Microsoft is viewing not only Linux, but BeOS, an operating system not even competing with Windows NT, never mind competing in the same class, and OS/2, an arguably dead operating system that is no longer supported by their parent, as targets for their FUD.

    Microsoft must be running scared.

  • "It's no big secret that Windows NT isn't an easy operating system to set up and configure (although it's miles ahead of Linux, OS/2, or even BeOS)" ...

    It never ceases to amaze me that no matter what, they always put that *spin* on what they say. "Well, yeah, we know this product sucks, but hey, so does everything else! they all suck more!"
    Furthermore, BeOS (which is way easier to set up, I thought) and Linux do not have a huge army taking up most of northwest Washington writing code for them, having meetings about menu items, etc etc. I fail to see how they could compare themselves to any other product when you consider the money backing them and the time spent. It's almost like saying "Hey, our tank may have a few design flaws, but it's way better than that moped designed by the other guys." Bleah.
  • Hmm, so MS is playing the 'ease of use' card again. Here's a little antecedote from personal experience.

    I install an app and try to load it on someone's NT workstation. It promptly won't load due to a corrupt DLL. I go looking for this DLL. Where to look? Let's see, NT stores DLLs in the following locations...

    1. \WINDOWS
    2. \SYSTEM
    3. \SYSTEM32
    4. Program Directory

    Then I try and delete the offending DLL. No good. NT won't let me delete it claiming the file is in use. I flip to task manager and try and kill everything that might be using the DLL. Still no good. Finally I get out my DOS based boot disk with NTFS read/write tools, reboot the workstation with this and delete the DLL. Then I reboot. NT blue screens saying it can't find the file I just deleted. In goes my ERU. The ERU promptly asks me to do a recovery reinstall of the OS. Fine, I reload. NT comes back up 45 minutes later. I grab my NT CD and drive over it a few times to release a little tension. Then I go buy another copy of this 'easy to use and manage' operating system.

    Yeah, I guess Linux's method of storing everything in /lib is pretty complex, much harder to deal with than Windows NT.
  • So what they're saying is, "there's nothing wrong with NT, it's all your fault, you moron!"

    Nice attitude!
  • Have you _actually_ installed NT?

    Repeatedly. Which is probably why it's not as traumatic for me anymore. Also Win98, although my opinion of it's stability is somewhere in the fourth sub-basement and dropping fast and I'd cheerfully set fire to the CD if the software I needed would run under anything but Win95/98.

    The point was that, no matter how easy it is to complete the install, it's completing it with a working, correct system that counts and that's not particularly easy even with Windows.

  • While you are talking about the 1996 version of NT,

    Plus 5(more?) service packs. They *have* had almost 4 years to fix some of these darned bugs.
  • by Bradley ( 2330 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:23AM (#1616957)
    If you do not know your administrator account password, you will have to completely reinstall Windows NT because eventually you'll need to have access to this account.

    Actually, this isn't true. A linux boot disk [] can be used to change the administrator password. Do read the warnings though.

    The best way to avoid this dilemma is to immediately add your personal user account to the administrators local group of the system. This will make your main user account an administrator of the system, sparing you from heartaches and time later.

    No comment on this one....

    Can you get an equivalent of su for nt, and run the GUI apps by typing in a console?
  • by Kinthelt ( 96845 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:25AM (#1616960) Homepage
    I noticed the author mentioned that the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) was used for security purposes.

    I remember reading all sorts of wonderful things about NT 3.51 (remember those days) and its abilility to be installed to Alpha and PowerPC systems thanks to the HAL. And that the purpose of the HAL was for cross-platform installs.

    Am I wrong? Or are they just claiming it's for security now that they don't support any platforms other than Intel (instead of removing it and possibly stirring up bugs)?

  • 11. Read biased, inane MSN articles about the dumb things they just did.


  • by cd-w ( 78145 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:25AM (#1616966) Homepage
    This could easily be 10 dumb things linux users do:

    1) Forgetting to check the Hardware-Compatibility HOWTO
    2) Wrongly partitioning the hard disk
    3) Using UMS-DOS
    4) Forgetting to create a boot disk and not installing LILO
    5) Creating a 1MB swap file
    6) Micsonfiguring the network
    7) Forgetting the root password (or setting it to root!)
    8) Using libc5 applications
    9) Applying kernel patches unwisely
    10) Using different Linux distros on different machines

    Perhaps NT and Linux aren't that different after all!
  • While you are talking about the 1996 version of NT, most of your agruments are moot with Windows 2000 (NT5). It may make your agruments easier to compare the 1996 version of NT4 with the latest version of Linux, but we don't want to spread FUD, do we? You think it is vaporware? You can buy the pre-release copy to test with, etc.

    Let me address those 10 points:

    >> 1. Using the wrong hardware
    >When Linux is perfectly happy running on older
    >Pentiums and 486s. As BOTH a Server and Desktop.

    While Linux has excelent hardware support for older legacy hardware (386, 486, etc). It is notorius for not having support for the latest hardware until long after it is out. Granted this is haging, but your argument swings both ways.

    >> 2. Installing Windows NT where it doesn't belong
    >Especially when alot of games require Winblows 9X & DirectX 6, and NT 4 won't support DX6.

    NT4 isn't a games os. Officially NT5 isn't a games OS either, but it supports the latest DirectX7, and assuming that games aren't HARD-CODED to not install in an NT system, and you have valid drivers, you can play games on Win2000 with no problem. They seem to run faster and are SO much more stable than they are in Win98. Windows98 is a joke.

    >> 3. Choosing the wrong file system
    >An OS that only recognizes FAT16, FAT32 (unofficially), and NTFS.

    NT4 also support OS/2's HPFS and Win2000 supports FAT32 out of the box.

    >> 4. No emergency repair disk
    >Not being able to boot to a NT command line prompt unless you shell out a few clams for some special ERD Commander Pro utility.

    Win2000 has a boot-to-command-line recover option. I guess the developers listened to the users.

    >> 5. Using the wrong Pagefile size
    >NT being so brain-dead that it won't let you set a pagefile of 0 bytes. Hey you with 256 Megs of Ram, don't you know you need a pagefile !


    >> 6. Missing a key network component
    >Having to reboot everytime you change one little network setting.

    Yet again, no longer a problem in Wi2000.

    >> 10. Cloning Windows NT
    >Its not like anyone would need 100 identical copies of NT running on 100 different computers? Hey Mr Library SysAdmin, do you know that you shouldn't be cloning those public NT boxes? :-)

    This was rated "insightful"?!?

  • by Ticker ( 79929 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @06:25AM (#1616973) Homepage
    Okay, here's what I had to do to install NT 4.0 and SQL Server 7.0, over the course of two days -- and I'm still working on it!

    1. Try booting from the installation CD. Oops, kernel dump! "Inaccessible Boot Device". Need to reboot.
    2. Partition the drive. Need to reboot.
    3. Format the drive to a FAT partition.
    4. Run winnt /b. Won't let me do that, DOS complains "you need to run LOCK. Rebooting now". It reboots for me without asking.
    5. Run LOCK. Then run winnt /b. Reboot.
    5. Try booting the installation. Kernel dump again! Reboot.
    6. Go ask the service reps if they've ever seen the problem. Yep! Need to copy some updated Adaptec drivers to the installation directory on the HD for the installation to work.
    7. Oops, my DOS bootup floppy is corrupted now!
    8. Find a new bootup floppy. Put in drive and bootup.
    9. Copy the drivers to the HD.
    10. Now I can do the installation by rebooting again.
    11. Installation finally finished after about 30 minutes. Reboot again.
    12. Oops, forgot to configure networking. Log-in as administrator. Change TCP/IP settings and join a domain. Reboot.
    13. Oops, I need some more partitions. Create partitions.
    13. Install the SPs. Reboot several times (forced to).
    14. Try installing SQL Server. Says that IE4 is a PREREQUISITE! Oh crap!
    15. Install IE4 from the network. Forced to reboot.
    16. Try installing SQL Server. Apparently, I need IE4 SP1! Oh crap.
    17. Download and install IE4.01 SP2 from the Internet. Forced to reboot.
    18. Install SQL Server.

    With Redhat + PostgreSQL:

    1. Create latest boot diskette from latest drive image on the web. Boot up.
    2. Go through a few installation screens.
    3. Choose PostgreSQL as a package.
    4. Reboot.
    5. Do security checks and make sure PostgreSQL is running properly.
    5. Done!
  • 1. Using the wrong hardware

    It's amazing how hardware sensitive NT can be. I've seriously abused a few Linux installs, just by using evil hardware that emits magic smoke at times. Still, the system was stable. It was funny. I had two systems, side by side, over drawing both their power supplies. Windows would BSOD, Linux had an uptime of 45 days (then I replaced the CPU fan, sigh). I did fix the power problem.

    2. Installing Windows NT where it doesn't belong

    Like on my HD!
    (serious mode on)
    It's funny how many people will install NT onto a FAT drive (what's this, no security?). I guess they like having world-writeable winnt dirs ;-)

    3. Choosing the wrong file system

    "Note that FAT32 isn't listed here and neither is the High-Performance File System (HPFS), or any other operating system-specific file system."

    I would argue that NTFS is indeed OS specific, even though Linux can read it (write support is still experimental). What about FAT32 or HPFS? Linux can read (and write to FAT32, at least) those. How are they "Operating System Specific"?
    Use Ford gas with Ford cars, I guess is the metaphor. But I like my Linux-mobile which uses all kinds of gas.

    4. No emergency repair disk

    If you don't have a boot disk, you're screwed.. The NT repair disk is something my NT loving friend uses all the time (tee-hee). I've used Linux boot disks as well, but not as often.

    5. Using the wrong Pagefile size

    "People make the mistake of letting Windows NT suggest the default Pagefile size for your system. This is the amount of memory in your system plus 12 megabytes. This just isn't sufficient for today's applications. "

    That is the sickest statement, next to "use double your ram." I have 128mb of ram in my main system, and 96mb in the local network server. Both use 128mb as the swap partition size, and neither use their swap partitions. Heck, even in Windows (98lite /w Litestep), it uses only 20mb of ram just loaded (little for Windows 98). It never uses its swap file, either ;-)

    6. Missing a key network component

    Well, MS networking. It frightens me. I'd rather have TCP/IP anyday. NFS is good.

    7. Forgetting the password

    " The best way to avoid this dilemma is to immediately add your personal user account to the administrators local group of the system. This will make your main user account an administrator of the system, sparing you from heartaches and time later."

    So set the root password, forget it, then add your account as UID 0! :-) YES! ... Uhm, NO!!!! Trojan horses? How hard is it for a bad program that needs to getadmin access, when you're already admin?! Gee, I donna know ;-) NT is designed with security in mind, but not its applications.

    8. Using older applications

    This could be easily solved by Source Of Course OpenSource software :-)

    9. Applying service packs unwisely

    It's scarey how they have to roll up all these fixes into service packs, and they still don't work as intended. Part of it is, of course, software that runs using misfeatures of windows, but some of it is also lack of testing and documentation. I hope Linux is never like that (although some kernels are bad).

    10. Cloning Windows NT

    Because, who wants more? :-)
    I'd rather have something like SSH, which generates a new random key every hour or so.

    NT is really a lot of good intentions, wrapped up in a nice Satanic MS wrapper. I wouldn't mind using it, if it wasn't so damned slow on anything less than the latest hardware.

    Have fun.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    That's the last straw. It is totally ridiculous that the above post was moderated down and called flamebait. I thought the Open Source community was about FREEDOM. The above post expressed some perfectly valid opinions based on experience. It was not inflammatory in content or presentation. Yet it was marked -1 and thus will not be read by many who have thresholds higher. Not only that but look at the discussion that it spawned. Some good points on both sides that now appear as disjointed posts at the bottom of the page. Then I read down a few posts and there's a Linux fan basically screaming bullshit at the top of his lungs with no other content and it's not moderated as flamebait! Hypocritical! I've noticed this pattern since moderation was given to the users and I simply can't stand it anymore.

    A lot of people in this movement are really hurting its image. They are these evangelical Linux cranks that spew just as much FUD as Redmond. Well, I'm done reading your thoughts. I will continue to use Linux and support Linux groups that are not mindless drones chanting "down with Microsoft!". And I will continue to use NT, BeOS, and OS/2 because I find them all useful!

    Let me know when Slashdotters are interested in having a rational, open discussion instead of FUD slinging.

  • This moderator has dropped the ball. Now I'm going to have to go meta-moderating for hours until I find this mark-down to mark it "Unfair".

    Maybe this guy has got it completely wrong. I certainly have my doubts about what he said. Maybe you passionately disagree with him. Nevertheless, nothing about that post was flamebait. On the contrary, he gave a string of concrete arguments for his position, and is completely polite throughout the post.

    I give it an "Interesting". If you don't agree with him, post and tell us why. But follow this guy's example of a measured statement backed up by arguments.
  • I have no less than four different models of SCSI CD-ROM drive (Toshiba, Sony & two varieties of Panasonic), and no less than six different SCSI cards (Adaptec 1540B (ISA), Adaptec 1540CF (ISA), Adaptec 2840A (VLB), Future Domain 950 (8 bit ISA), Future Domain 1860 (ISA) and NCR/Symbios Logic 53C810A (PCI). I have never had any troubles with Linux recognizing CD-ROM drives on any Linux kernel, and I've been using Linux since 0.99pl7.

  • ROTFL - MSN.COM actually recommends poking two major holes in NT security, keeping an extra machine running another operating system for the stuff NT can't handle, and warns you not to install Microsoft's service packs! I love it! And incidentally, as someone who has installed OS/2, NT, and many flavors of linux, I can say that OS/2 3x on CD (not disk) and pretty much all CD-bootable versions of Red Hat are no more difficult to install than NT.
  • by roystgnr ( 4015 ) <roystgnr&ticam,utexas,edu> on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @10:40AM (#1617024) Homepage
    Sure, it's still in alpha testing with Linux, but HP-UX, just about any commercial Unix out there has ACLs and has had them for some time. If you have 35,000 users, you probably aren't using Linux. If you have 35,000 users and you're smart, you aren't using NT either.
  • by RNG ( 35225 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:32AM (#1617034)
    This is my favorite one of the entire bunch. Basically Windows DLL management is basically broken by design and should be tought as a prime example of how not to build a stable system. Consider the facts:

    1) Every little (or bit) P.O.S. application can (and often will) overwrite system DLLs. I would not dare to overwrite on my system every time I install a new app.

    2) You have very little control over where you go to find your libraries. Compare this to LD_LIBRARY_PATH where you can set exactly where you look for your libraries (thus giving you the ability to use different versions without harming each other).

    This is a prime example where MS's design is fundamentally broken, but they turn it around and blame the user for not understanding the beartraps that lurk under the surface. Of course installing a service pack, then installing your app and then re-applying the service pack (to make sure that all your DLLs match) is not quite intuitive. IMHO, the only way to have a stable windows machine is to do the following:

    1) Install the OS
    2) Apply all necessary service packs
    3) Install your apps
    4) Re-apply the service packs
    5) Don't touch the machine anymore

    Anybody with half a brain should see right away that something is fundamentally wrong here. It's admirable (or rather quite daring) of MS's marketing machine to blame this on the user. If they would have desgined it right the first time, you wouldn't end up in DLL hell everytime you install something new ...

  • You are talking about more than setup and configuration now, though. The 'miles ahead' comment was about setup and configuration. I could set up and 'configure' several BeOS systems before finishing the install for one NT system.
  • What's more fun then that is just how many of the points are used as FUD. Or something like that..

    #1, Linux has no hardware support. And here they are telling us NOT to use certain hardware. Hipocrites.

    #2, Installing NT where it shouldn't be. Well hot damn, Linux never fscked up my Win9x install.

    #3, FS choice: Linux reads em all. Why can't NT read FAT32 (or is this a non-issue now) or 9x read NTFS?

    #4, Well, DUH.

    #5, Hmm. So NT can't figure what to do on it's own. I guess that the old rule of RAM x 2 for Linux swap still holds true?

    #6, Are they saying 9x has no security? Thought so.

    #7. Again, DUH.

    #8. What's stopping me from running the average libc5 proggie on a glibc2 box? As long as the libs are installed properly (a decent dist does that), then old apps shouldn't be a problem. This is a problem with NT and how it handles 16-bit stuff.

    #9. I suppose the axiom, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' applies here. But still, what if it is broke? Most SP's still break more then they fix. And need to be applied in strange ways. RPM upgrading-ing a bunch of files, or just using Debians apt-get lets you install updates without fear!

    #10. I dunno. Can't draw a parellel.

    So most of these points seem to be inherent weaknesses of NT, specifically 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9. 1 is hipocracy, the others are no brainers. Nice to see.
  • yep. I used to work for a company where the software group got brand-new Dell Inspiron 7000 laptops. The first thing IS did was wipe the hard drive on the first one, install NT4, set it up with everything, then Ghost it to an image.

    Then they get the next laptop out, and restore the Ghost image to its hard drive. Needless to say, around half of the laptops ended up having everything wiped out and reinstalled, since they kept having strange problems that the IS dept. couldn't figure out.

  • The [NT] file system could stand some improving (anyone ever run out of drive letters?)

    Drive letters are an abomination. That "30 year old" operating system realized long ago that there needn't (and mostly shouldn't) be a linkage between the file system the user sees and the physical drives. (The exception being removable media -- CD-ROMs, floppies, et al.)

    Let's not forget the godawful file layout; the mix of writable and non-writable system files, the "put it anywhere" philosophy which results in users losing the files they just created, ad infinitum.
  • > Gotta love the Linux community. Nothing to contribute so just stick in those jibes at MS. Hehe...funny.

    If in some cases the Linux community is guilty of spreading anti-Micorsoft FUD, it's neither more nor less than poetic justice.

    I personally subscribe to the notion that, with few exceptions, Micorsoft's products and busines practices stink. But if this turned out not to be true and the Linuxers were guilty of spreading FUD, it would be the ultimate irony to see the world's leading FUDmeister taken down by FUD after doing the same to so many others.

    That's how things work in good novels, at any rate.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • > 1.There are no service packs for Linux

    So 2.2.12 exists because 12 is a prettier number than 0? Jesus, nothing makes Linux look worse than people who can't be realistic about it.
  • You look at the idea of security through MS tinted eyes. In the real world, you'll find that there is rarely a person by person security level needed. Rather a group by group security level.

    Yes, and without ACL's, only one group can have only one single type of access to a file: ownership. Mind you, POSIX ACL's have been out for ages, and damn near EVERY SINGLE commercial unix implements them. Now if I could use netgroups in setfacl, I would be basking in comfort, but MS still has one up on that.

    NTFS is nice. BFS is god. ext2fs is a rebadged FFS, which hasn't appreciably updated in over 10 years.
  • This is my favorite one of the entire bunch. Basically Windows DLL management is basically broken by design and should be tought as a prime example of how not to build a stable system. Consider the facts:

    1) Every little (or bit) P.O.S. application can (and often will) overwrite system DLLs. I would not dare to overwrite on my system every time I install a new app.

    This is a problem with the app author, not with NT. If you don't like it, lock down your System directory so that it can't be modified. Also, Windows 2000 fixes this so that only service packs can change system components.

    2) You have very little control over where you go to find your libraries. Compare this to LD_LIBRARY_PATH where you can set exactly where you look for your libraries (thus giving you the ability to use different versions without harming each other).

    Er... that's complete rubbish.

    Check out the documentation for the LoadLibraryEx function ( RL=/library/psdk/winbase/dll_4abc.htm)

    Basically, it's quite easy to specify how DLLs are searched for and loaded.

    [in] Pointer to a null-terminated string that names the executable module (either a .dll or an .exe file). The name specified is the file name of the executable module. This name is not related to the name stored in a library module itself, as specified by the LIBRARY keyword in the module-definition (.DEF) file.
    If the string specifies a path, but the file does not exist in the specified directory, the function fails. When specifying a path, be sure to use backslashes (\), not forward slashes (/).

    If the string does not specify a path, and the file name extension is omitted, the function appends the default library extension .dll to the file name. However, the file name string can include a trailing point character (.) to indicate that the module name has no extension.

    If the string does not specify a path, the function uses a standard search strategy to find the file. See the Remarks for more information.

    If mapping the specified module into the address space causes the system to map in other, associated executable modules, the function can use either the standard search strategy or an alternate search strategy to find those modules. See the Remarks for more information.

    If no path is specified in the lpLibFileName parameter, and the base file name does not match the base file name of a loaded module, the LoadLibraryEx function uses the same standard file search strategy that LoadLibrary, SearchPath, and OpenFile use to find the executable module and any associated executable modules that it causes to be loaded. This standard strategy searches for a file in the following sequence:

    The directory from which the application loaded.
    The current directory.
    Windows 95/98: The Windows system directory. Use the GetSystemDirectory function to get the path of this directory.
    Windows NT/ 2000: The 32-bit Windows system directory. Use the GetSystemDirectory function to get the path of this directory. The name of this directory is SYSTEM32.

    Windows NT/ 2000: The 16-bit Windows system directory. There is no function that obtains the path of this directory, but it is searched. The name of this directory is SYSTEM.
    The Windows directory. Use the GetWindowsDirectory function to get the path of this directory.
    The directories that are listed in the PATH environment variable.
    If a path is specified, and the dwFlags parameter is set to LOAD_WITH_ALTERED_SEARCH_PATH, the LoadLibraryEx function uses an alternate file search strategy to find any executable modules that the specified module causes to be loaded. This alternate strategy searches for a file in the following sequence:

    The directory specified by the lpLibFileName path. In other words, the directory that the specified executable module is in.
    The current directory.
    Windows 95/98: The Windows system directory. Use the GetSystemDirectory function to get the path of this directory.
    Windows NT/ 2000: The 32-bit Windows system directory. Use the GetSystemDirectory function to get the path of this directory. The name of this directory is SYSTEM32.

    Windows NT/ 2000: The 16-bit Windows system directory. There is no function that obtains the path of this directory, but it is searched. The name of this directory is SYSTEM.
    The Windows directory. Use the GetWindowsDirectory function to get the path of this directory.
    The directories that are listed in the PATH environment variable.
    Note that the standard file search strategy and the alternate search strategy differ in just one way: the standard strategy starts its search in the calling application's directory, and the alternate strategy starts its search in the directory of the executable module that LoadLibraryEx is loading.

    If you specify the alternate search strategy, its behavior continues until all associated executable modules have been located. After the system starts processing DLL initialization routines, the system reverts to the standard search strategy.

    Windows 2000: If a path is specified and there is a redirection file associated with the application, the LoadLibraryEx function searches for the module in the application directory. If the module exists in the application directory, LoadLibraryEx ignores the path specification and loads the module from the application directory. If the module does not exist in the application directory, the function loads the module from the specified directory.
  • > It's my understanding that, and I could be wrong, Unix allows you to be in only one group at a time.

    You get partial credit. In SysV unixen, you can only belong to your primary group and one secondary group, which you must explicitly switch to with newgrp. BSD unixen consider you a member of any group you're added to all at once. However, barring ACL's, a file can only be owned by one group.
  • And if it's anything like the telnet daemon in the resource kit, you can expect it to crash the moment you disconnect. Actually, I think maybe they got it right with NT5, they seem to have gotten many things right.

    But look at that prompt: "C:\". Still using backslashes, still using drive letters. Can I even do something as simple as mount a filesystem in NT, or is that still something that takes some third-party GUI app to do?
  • > Ok, not quite default since you have to start the telnet service but close.

    I would consider it a security FEATURE if most linuxes shipped with every service in inetd.conf disabled, including telnet. Only enable the features you need. I find that with my dial-up linux station, I simply do not need to uncomment the telnetd line. I use ssh whenever I want to open the box up for a friend to get in and help me out.
  • by dclydew ( 14163 ) <> on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @12:33PM (#1617164)
    I have tried to calmly discuss the topic, yet you respond with the same sentences... even though you admit that you don't know anything about UNIX... that you base your comments on the comments of others, not real experience. This is the typical MS line... one person stands and says "Wow MS is good", and the rest of you blind followers get a stiffy, and repeat it.

    A) NT can block ports... but not based on IP... with NT it's all or nothing. In Linux I can block a port from everywhere except a few select IP's. Beat that.

    NT Firewalls take an entire machine... you can install Checkpoint/Raptor/Other pathetic firewall on NT... but thats all the box is good for. In Linux I can have a file/print server or web server or FTP server etc. *and* firewall the box with no ill effects. Try that in you little blue box....

    And yes Linux does support an encrypted filesystem. And NTFS is not fully journaled... (read the JFS Documentation)... hell, read anything, fill you mind with knowledge not the statements of others.

    Now, we return to this issue of ACL's. I have stated three or four times. ACL's are not superior, they are different. A sysadmin who uses ACL's designs things differently than a sysadmin who doesn't. I'm not saying ACL's are not a Good Thing. I'm saying that Linux is not less secure becasue we don't use ACL's. You have not the experience to talk. You've said that. So end this silly dispute.

    I've done Linux adminsitration. I've done NT administration (forgive me Tux). It's two completely different approaches. Your argument is wrong. It is fataly flawed. It is based on the premise that there is one way to do things. An unfortunate view prevelent in the MS world.

    You tell me to shut up and sit down... but yet you, you with no experience... who likely has never truely admin'd anything outside of a reletively infant OS... you feel as if you have the right to make statements that have no basis in fact. Perhaps it is you who should sit and listen, and learn from those who have used many products, many OS's.

  • #pragma message( "I use Linux, BeOS, and NT, and happen to like them ALL. This message is NOT meant to be flamebait." )

    #include "i_cant_find_my_funny_bone.h"

    > 1. Using the wrong hardware
    When Linux is perfectly happy running on older Pentiums and 486s. As BOTH a Server and Desktop.

    > 2. Installing Windows NT where it doesn't belong
    Especially when alot of games require Winblows 9X & DirectX 6, and NT 4 won't support DX6.

    > 3. Choosing the wrong file system
    An OS that only recognizes FAT16, FAT32 (unofficially), and NTFS.

    > 4. No emergency repair disk
    Not being able to boot to a NT command line prompt unless you shell out a few clams for some special ERD Commander Pro utility.

    > 5. Using the wrong Pagefile size
    NT being so brain-dead that it won't let you set a pagefile of 0 bytes. Hey you with 256 Megs of Ram, don't you know you need a pagefile !

    > 6. Missing a key network component
    Having to reboot everytime you change one little network setting.

    > 7. Forgetting the password
    DOH! You mean I need to REMEMBER info? I thought that's what computers were for ;-)

    > 8. Using older applications... not knowing that Doom or some other DOS-based games simply wouldn't work in NT.
    Doom (DOS version and other VGA DOS Games) DO work, just not with sound.

    >9. Applying service packs unwisely
    You mean like installing SP3, then installing a network card, then having to re-install the damn thing again?

    > 10. Cloning Windows NT
    Its not like anyone would need 100 identical copies of NT running on 100 different computers? Hey Mr Library SysAdmin, do you know that you shouldn't be cloning those public NT boxes? :-)

    check out:

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:45AM (#1617193)
    The key to ensuring your two Windows NT computers can communicate is to make sure the guest account in user manager is enabled. This is the account that is used when one computer connects to another, with relatively little security--the reason it is disabled by default.

    Oh, I love this! And by the way, don't firewall out UDP 137, UDP 138 and TCP139. (Nor, the DCOM port at TCP135). And watch as someone waltzes right into your NT sh!tbox as a guest user and proceeds to give it the raping it so richly deserves.

    CNN story describing breaking into machines with Guest access, among other things. []

    . The best way to avoid this dilemma is to immediately add your personal user account to the administrators local group of the system. This will make your main user account an administrator of the system, sparing you from heartaches and time later.

    Except that now that latest little IE5 bug has suddenly given some loser in Bosnia whose page you happened to click in a search engine complete access to your internal network...

    ... Game Over, Thanks for Playing ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:46AM (#1617199)
    10: MSDN. Hey, who *wouldn't* want to read Slashdot using the latest Windows 2000 beta?

    9: No third-party shit. When you go Microsoft all the way, you're guaranteed to have *at least* three less crashes per day.

    8: Multiple servers. Come on, like a PII 450 with 128 MB RAM can *really* handle both the Web Proxy *and* mail load for a ten machine network? Hey, Microsoft's products are top-of-the-line... when computers are meant to handle that type of load, they'll tell you.

    7: NT Workstation. Why use 95 or 98? Obviously, NT is the better solution. 98 is for users-- NT is for power-users. That's why it costs so much more.

    6: Microsoft tech support. Isn't it nice to know that *when* Windows NT crashes into an unrecoverable state, Microsoft will at least be willing to tell you "Re-install NT, see if that fixes it."?

    5: PPTP. It's easy, it's simple, and it's secure, right? I mean, sure, Schneier and Mudge *claim* to have attacks against it, but there are no *implementations* of it, right? Besides, most people pick strong passwords anyway!

    4: Outlook Express. Hey, when you need a cool mail program, OE is it. You don't have any of that "attachment" shit-- it all looks inline. And if there's a script attached, OE will even execute it upon opening the message!!

    3: Microsoft Office. What better program for editing text files?

    2: J++. It's Java. Almost. But it works under Windows, at least! Never mind the fact that Microsoft violated their license terms with Sun and shouldn't legally be distributing it-- it makes writing Java applets almost as easy as writing Visual Basic applications!

    1: IE 4 / 5. Hey, at least you can view with it! That's more than you can say for that Netscape shit.
  • Linux is no where near as bad. Most of the problems apply only to NT and are either non-issues or have a simple workaround for Linux (and BSD I presume)

    >2. Installing Windows NT where it doesn't belong >
    > Ditto

    It's possible for different versions of linux to share files either on a local disk or via nfs.

    >3. Choosing the wrong file system
    > Ditto

    Linux can read so many different file systems (maybe including NTFS?) This is a limitiation of NT

    >4. No emergency repair disk
    > Ditto, especially Linux.

    You can easily make one on another PC, all you need is Linux or Dos. You don't have to hose the whole system

    >6. Missing a key network component
    > Ditto

    The guy advocates setting up a guest account so you can share files - great security model!

    >7. Forgetting the password
    > Ditto

    No - just boot into single user mode (type "linux single" at the LILO prompt) and set a new root password. Again, no hosing the machine and losing all your data!

    >8. Using older applications
    > Ditto (ie. libc and glib)

    Yeah kindof, but you could just recompile in many cases.

    > 10. Cloning Windows NT

    why can't you clone linux installs. if the hardware is identical and you use some sort of dynamic IP address allocation (or just change the IP address after cloning) then there's no problem.

  • Each NT system not only has a a unique computer name, it also has a SID (Security ID), which is generated in much the same way as a GUID. If the network has several systems that share the same security ID, there are problems, and *that's* why it's unsupported.

    Systems Internals has had an app that allows you set up a new ID for a long time. Take a look at it here [].

  • by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:53AM (#1617234) Homepage
    * NT is only easier to install if you've got blessed hardware... I've seen (NT4) installation cheerily, deterministically crash during hardware probing on a remarkably normal hardware configuration.

    * One would think the swap file recommendation might not give "magic" formulas, and instead say something to the effec that, "What you're doing will largely determine how much swap you need. While NT generally recommends XX MB of memory, total, and perhaps at least YY of swap, in which to simply run happily, running something like Word or Excel might -- depending on document size and complexity -- boost your needs to ZZ MB or so, and doing memory-intensive tasks like using Photoshop to edit large, detailed imagery could require far more."

    * Aigh! He recommends enabling the guest account for file sharing, rather than doing it the right way?

    * "No such thing as a bug-free program?" {shrug} cat" seems pretty reliable to me... Also, this seems to be a remarkably tolerant attitude (accepting the idea that releasing buggy SPs is perfectly OK?!).

    * The article should probably mention hot-fixes, too. When they're security-related, they could be IMPORTANT.

    Yadda yadda.
  • For security reasons, the article is IMHO completely wrong.

    Microsoft "slipstreams" security fixes, etc. in to Service Packs - each new service pack closes various security holes, hopefully without opening new ones.

    Is it a good idea to suffer from an intrusion do to a security hole before you fix it? Do you need to personally understand every security hole before you know you need to patch it? No and no.
  • by Zamis ( 81530 ) on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:54AM (#1617240)
    Actually I keep a copy of l0phtcrack around. I
    have users who forget their passwords all the time
    on their NT boxen.

    l0phtcrack usually cracks it in just a few minutes, but once I had a guy who actually had a fairly good password. It took about 20 minutes to crack on a PentPro 200. That is not the rule though. Usually it's less than 4 or 5 minutes.
  • Microsoft has standards for doing this kind of thing. It's just that people have a strange ability to ignore them at times.

    I'm a Windows developer. I know that the only things that go in the System directory are: Microsoft system libraries and system components. Device drivers provided by Microsoft. Windows configuration files and data (provided by Microsoft). Kernel files.

    Does all this imply that only Microsoft should write programs that depend on system components? Is there any way to sort out which DLL version a given program was originally built and tested against.

    Although testing may be overrated in it's ability to really uncover program flaws, we normally expect a minimal amount of testing of a component before it is given to the end user. With the present situation, huge code bases are fitted together in ways that have never been tested together before the user tries it.

    From the horror stories I hear with Service Pack installations, I'm convinced that even Microsoft doesn't always make sure that all of their programs work with a given DLL they may be installing.

    I personally like the way OpenVMS handles this situation. Identifiers are maintained with programs identifying specifically which shared library that it was built against. The program will not load if these don't match. It does require that you sort out which programs were built to work against which shared library before you try and use them, but it's the only way to guarantee consistency.

    In OpenVMS, if you feel you must release code to work against multiple versions of the shared libraries, then you release object files and have the installation link them against the currently available shared libraries. Then, the installation can check which shared libraries are available and possibly use object modules specific to the available shared libraries or refuse to build if the environment is unknown to the installation procedure. Also, the application will refuse to work in the future if the shared libraries change out from under them, requiring you to run the installation procedure again, which can revalidate that the currently available shared libraries are OK to use with this application. Of course, you will have to go back to the application developer if the new shared libraries are unknown to the installation procedure you are trying to use, but isn't this exactly what you want? This mechanism implies positive responsibility on the part of the app developer to test their application against various shared library versions.

    The situation with Linux may not be as clean as it is with OpenVMS, but at least with Open Source an app developer has some chance of determining what has changed in the shared libraries and what areas should be examined for compatibility. With Microsoft DLLs, you just have to guess where potential problems could be. Does Microsoft always document thoroughly any API changes that may be present in a new DLL? In real world apps, it's not just documented API behavior, but also timing and resource usage that you have to be concerned with. I bet Microsoft doesn't document all those issues, and even if they did, who could understand it all? Only testing and experience can really validate that a combination works together well.

  • by CormacJ ( 64984 ) <cormac,mcgaughey&gmail,com> on Wednesday October 13, 1999 @04:58AM (#1617252) Homepage Journal
    It shows how bad NT is at real world computing. Terrifying really.

    It tells you to "Windows 95/98 machine handy for your games" but warns you against trying to run 95 or 98 on the same machine.

    Many of the things on the list are pretty basic things that other systems have fixed (and I'm just not talking Unix here).

    I love number 5 - "People make the mistake of letting Windows NT suggest the default Pagefile size for your system." Given that every other OS on the planet can do this without too much hassle I'm surprised that this is a big a problem. Pagefile size is a pretty basic formula for most systems, not "amount of system memory + 12mb".

    Most other operating systems that aim for the lofty ideals of NT do a lot of these things automatically, eg page sizing, hardware detection, patch installs, network setup, file system setup etc.

    Most operating systems have a single user mode that allow users to change the superuser password from the console without needing to reinstall the whole system.

    This article points out more that just the dumb things that users do. It points out the dumb things that microsoft does. In operating system terms NT is about 8 years behind on administration.

    9 out of the 10 of these points are pretty basic flaws with NT that Microsoft should have sorted out years ago; all other Operating systems I support have had these fixed for years. It still proves my point that Microsoft are more interested in revenue than in producing a stable and useable operating system.

Forty two.