How much do I hate Windows?

by Suw on August 16, 2004

Quite a lot. In fact, a very big lot. With every inch of my being, in fact.
Suddenly, and for no readily apparent reason, our home network is b0rked. Each computer can access the web, but none can access each other – Windows keeps asking for a network password that I know doesn't exist. I would understand if it was just the laptop, because firstly that's still a Win98 machine and it has been a bit funny about the other computers since we updated them both to Win2K, and secondly it's been through the wringer trying to connect to the Headshift network. But the other two machines on the network have not been touched, not turned on, since I was last here. No one can have done anything to them. I certainly haven't messed with any network settings, yet suddenly, they are insisting on a password. Makes no sense to me. Last time they were both on, the network just worked. Now it doesn't. Go figure.
I really, really hate Windows. It is such a steaming pile of shit. Yet no Mac for a long while for me, I am afraid.
Any Win2K experts out there can help me? Please?
UPDATE: Ok, I checked all the settings, found nothing untowards, changed nothing, yet now things appear to be working at least well enough for me to get by. Times like this I wish I had my own live-in geek.
UPDATE2: Seems the 'fix' created it's own problems, i.e. the computer had switched from the usual user to 'administrator', which then meant that I couldn't log on to it again when I restarted it. Having reset both desktops back to normal, they now won't talk to the network, again. This is really strange, because I had not fiddled with the users/groups settings at all so I don't understand why they should go from connecting perfectly happily to suddenly allowing only the 'administrator' to connect. I can only assume that M$ did some sort of update that it installed automatically which broke our ability to network.
If anyone reading understands the whole network/users/groups settings properly in Win2K, please help. This is getting really very annoying.

Anonymous August 16, 2004 at 1:01 pm

Funny you should say that, but my Windows XP laptop has just done something similar. I urgently need to print something, I plugged in the printer as I usually do, the laptop is standalone, and It refused to let me use my own printer, and says I must contact the systems administrator. A bit worrying when I am the system administrator, but without knowing what I do now!

Anonymous August 16, 2004 at 6:23 pm

Hi, this one is quite simple to fix. Simply download or buy a copy of Linux, or BSD and install it.
Suddenly all of the bizarre behaviour and network problems will disappear and your computers will at last be under your control, rather than the other way around.
Alternatively, get your credit card out and buy that gorgeous TiBook you've always wanted – it'll change your life and make you a much happier person.
Anthony Wellwisher

Anonymous August 16, 2004 at 6:47 pm

Except that all her windows problems will be replaced with more bizarre, complex, and painful BSD/Linux problems, because that doesn't just work either. Thankfully OS X does, for the most part, 'just work'.
It honestly makes no sense suggesting some kind of open-source-no-support-do-it-yourself solution to someone who describes his or herself as something approximating na?vety to computing.
what will happen is that they will try and convert, and then give up computing all together and go and do something entirely much more fufilling with their lives — and we would'nt want that, would we? 🙂

Anonymous August 20, 2004 at 11:53 am

You know, eMacs aren't that expensive though, I admit, more so than a corner-store PC.
I suggest becoming extremely fucking rich, or else live on grass and rainwater, ignore the bank's protestations and take your first couple of pay cheques straight down to the Apple store.
More seriously, cannot one of your new employers lease a mac on your behalf? In this country at least, one can obtain rental/lease with a weekly cost around 1% of the purchase price.

Anonymous August 20, 2004 at 12:10 pm

The temptation is huge, I must admit, to just blow a grand and get a nice iBook right now. But I have a friend who is trying to sort me out an interim solution until I am a bit more solvent. So hopefully the pain won't last too long. Once I have a laptop, which is my most pressing need, and am familiar with OSX I shall look into whether it is feasible for me to get a desktop too. Although frankly, that is not gonna happen until I have moved house. But it's nice to plan ahead.

Anonymous August 20, 2004 at 12:55 pm

I have a Powerbook 15 — albeit with cracked screen so it's now a desktop with an Acer 17″ LCD — but I'd probably go for a 12″ iBook were I to buy another portable. Ordinary dull screen yes, but robust too. That matters, unless you have good insurance.
Macs are nice, they make you smile and giggle with pleasure — truly — but they still do sucky things. And OS X is a memory hog, so make sure your interim solution has at least 1/2 gig RAM if you have a say in it.

Anonymous August 20, 2004 at 1:07 pm

Yeah, my ideal Mac would be a 12″ iBook, RAM'd to the gills, w. Airport and Bluetooth. I did look at the PowerBook, but I am not sure what is so much better about it that it is worth the extra money – maybe I'm missing something.
But still, patience is its own reward, as they say. We shall see what happens.

Anonymous August 20, 2004 at 1:12 pm

Powerbook has a better screen, brighter and faster, plus more stuff inside that makes it a bit faster overall — video RAM etc.. Check the Apple Store too: the Powerbook might have more ports of different kinds. And it looks soooo nice.
But if all you do is email, HTML/CSS editing, Web browsing, writing words, the iBook is surely up to the task.

Anonymous August 20, 2004 at 1:16 pm

Yeah, it's not like I'm going to be doing video editing or anything like that, so an iBook would be fine for me.
Although the PB is far, far sexier, it has to be said.

Anonymous August 22, 2004 at 7:08 am

Networking issues:
Networking between Win2K and 98 can be, well, weird. But I've done it lots of times and once it works it normally stays functional.
1) For a home network use NetBEUI.
It's simpler, faster, and since it won't route it's more secure if you have an internet link than using TCP/IP.
Use the Network>>Local Area Connection>>Properties>>Install>>Protocol>>NetBEUI for Win2K
2) It's possible the net setting got changed by nefarious means.
Make sure you systems are virus & spyware free.
3) Make sure your workgroup names are the same on all machines.
4) Sometimes unmapping/remapping shares clears up the weirdness.
5) Sometimes you need to uninstall/reinstall the home networking side to de-weird things–but that's a last resort.

Anonymous August 22, 2004 at 9:17 am

Thank you so much for your advice David. I will take a look at NetBEUI next time I a) have a spare moment or b) need to access one of the other computers.
Luckily, the web isn't affected by the problem, and I don't have that much on the other computers that I need on a day to day basis, so it's not hampering me too much. Just an annoyance. Much like everything else M$ touches.

Anonymous July 28, 2005 at 4:42 pm

The suggestion to have a Linux OS running the show (networking Windows PCs with Samba) is an excellent one, it does work, very well too! But changing an OS is not a trivial thing… Anyways, at home, connected to my Linux box, there are 2 PCs, one under Windows XP and the other one using Millenium Edition… Now the XP guy tends to “loose” its network identity… So what I do is go to the Control Panel/System, and I first click on the Computer Name tab and re-initialize the Network ID thing. After that, I go to “Change” and usually, at this point, XP has put back the default “WORKGROUP” name for the workgroup; so I set it back to the name it should be, reboot the damn thing (of course!) and voil?! Once the XP machine is rebooted, Network access is back!

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