A bullet bitten

by Suw on May 30, 2004

I file this, laughingly, under the 'tech' category purely because I deliberately haven’t set up a ‘My computer hates me and I hate it’ category. If I did, you’d be deluged by my complaints, so I figure that it’s best we don’t go there.
Over the last few months, my computer – my ageing, greying (beiging?) Win98SE (don’t laugh!) box – has become increasingly decrepit, falling down several times a day and generally suffering from senility. Frequently it would forget where it put something and I’d lose work. More often than not, the mere act of collecting my mail would be enough to send it into a seizure.
Over the last few weeks, I have been whining about this in #joiito, and the general consensus of opinion was ‘get a mac’, advice I believe luminaries such as David Weinberger are more than familiar with. Sadly, I have not the pfennigs to get a mac, and the other advice put the fear of Windows into me. Reinstall, they said. Or worse, upgrade.
Well, upgrading is out right now. I don’t have the time or energy to learn to deal with WinXP (which surely should be called WinSpawnOfSatan), or even 2K. 98SE may be flawed, and undoubtedly it’s very flawed, but it’s not quite as flawed as my life right now, so better the devil you know.
Today, my patience finally ran out, and I decided to reinstall. I was expecting pain and suffering and wailing and crying and gnashing of teeth. In actual fact, it all went rather smoothly. The only thing that (I have so far noticed) got b0rken in the process was Norton Internet Security (Security? Ha ha ha!), which was easy enough to sort out.
There are no guarantees that this will have fixed my problem. But, well, so far so good.
Fingers crossed that the blood sacrifice (I bit my lip during the reinstall) worked.
UPDATE: So far, the only breakage has been Actinic web shop, which now no longer even opens, let alone works. *sigh* I knew I wouldn't get away with it scot free.
LATER: Palm Desktop broke too, but at least I've managed to fix that.
3 JUN: Fixed Actinic. No loss of data. Phew!

Anonymous May 30, 2004 at 10:42 pm

I have windows 98se on our original computer, and have a great fondness for it.It's easy to maintain, and hums along sweetly .People might laugh at it, but they swear more frequently about xp, I notice…lol
We inherited a second computer, which was kindly reformated with xp installed, and it's a STEEP learning curve, indeed…

Anonymous May 31, 2004 at 3:54 am

I have a P3 laptop with Win98SE. I use it for writing mostly. It's quite stable because I maintain it with the following tools:
1) http://www.hoverdesk.net/freeware.htm
This link takes you to Hoverdesk's site featuring RegSeeker. Use it to clean your registry of all the junk that tends to accumulate there.
2) http://www.avast.com
An excellent virus scanner with low resourse overhead. Free for personal use.
3) zonelabs.com
Get the free version of ZoneAlarm firewall.
With Avast and ZoneAlarm together you can dump that Norton crap. It made my system unstable too.
4)Keep your HDD defragged. It makes a huge difference in performance.

Anonymous May 31, 2004 at 10:40 am

David, thanks for the tips. I'll take a look and try to get my head round them all. Cheers!

Anonymous May 31, 2004 at 11:32 am

Ignore the Mac lovers. They're brand loyal sentimentalists pining for emotional selling points which no longer exist.
1. Why would you want to buy a machine which only 5% of the world is truly compatible with. Yes, only yesterday a “Mac using” mate of mine couldn't open a simple, standard attachment.
2. And interesting to note that when Apple lost its technical lead more than 5 years ago Apple decided to go pretentious? seems to have worked? icons which swell when you roll over them? mmmmm? well worth the extra…

Anonymous May 31, 2004 at 2:26 pm

But they're so pretty!!

Anonymous May 31, 2004 at 9:28 pm

ok. they are pretty. and that seems to be enough for an alarmingly large number of purchasers. let us know if you become one.

Anonymous June 1, 2004 at 8:39 am

I was thinking of getting a mac laptop of some description, but until I'm a little less broke, that'll have to remain a fantasty. 😉

Anonymous June 1, 2004 at 6:16 pm

Admittedly, I've never heard WinXP and “steep learning curve” used together in a sentence until now. If you're running Win98SE, the user experience is identical, provided that you switch to the classic view. Do yourself a huge favor and upgrade, Win98SE is such a horrendous piece of crap that I couldn't imagine what hell your computer life must be running it. I recall unrelenting crashing… something I haven't had to experience even a single time since upgrading to WinXP. WinXP is absolutely rock solid.

Anonymous June 3, 2004 at 12:33 pm

one day, when I'm feeling brave, I may do that. I hate to think how much of the stuff i use on a daily basis would break under xp though.

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