Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

I hate Windows 98

I blogged about the server last month. We actually decided just to replace the dud HD and see how that goes. The machine isn’t fantastically specified – 433MHz Celeron processor, 128MB RAM (would be 256 but one of the modules seems to be dud) and a 32MB Nvidia TNT2 graphics card but it works, and now has 120GB of HD to play with (£55 from a computer fair).

Of course, the system needs an OS. We had two CDs – one for Windows 2000 and the other for 98SE. Alas, the Windows 2000 disc has suffered too many scratches and so was unusable, so I had to resort to Windows 98. And boy do I not miss this OS.
98 has its fans, especially 98SE, but I just found the networking and hardware aspects annoying to the extreme. Hardware because with 98 you have to install drivers for almost everything – great if you have the original CDs or know what devices are in there, but not so great if you don’t. If it weren’t for Google I’d have given up – typing in the product numbers on the PCI cards got me somewhere, but I’m still unable to get a driver for the onboard sound. Now this is mostly due to 98’s age – you can’t expect a 6-year-old OS to have drivers for all the latest and greatest hardware, I suppose.
Networking was the other issue. I’m used to XP’s somewhat more user-friendly approach to network configuration, and just found 98’s options immensely confusing. The machine has two network cards and will have the USB ADSL modem hooked up to it – although I installed the drivers for all 3 with no problems getting them to actually do anything has been a challenge to which I’ve yet to overcome.
I’m strongly considering sticking a Linux distro on there – I have SuSE 9.1 on DVD (a freebie from Novell) but the machine doesn’t have a DVD-ROM drive, so I’ll have to use either Mandrake 9.2 or get busy downloading some ISOs. The ADSL modem has official downloadable drivers for Linux so it’s a worthy contender. Presumably Samba can provide file and print sharing.


  1. If you have a registration code for Windows 2000, just go and download a copy off of BitTorrent or someplace and use that. It doesn’t matter where you get the image of the OS so long as you have the registration code.
    I’ve tried the Linux/Samba thingie for print and file sharing and found it difficult to keep up. I don’t have the best of luck with Linux though, so I tend to avoid it.

  2. Fedora core is very easy going in terms of setup and samba has many tutorials for it.
    (print sharing is a little more involved but the newer print drivers are simpler to setup.
    Of course once setup, it will go on forever without crashes, viruses windows update etc. 128mb is not going to make the GUI on fedora snappy but it will work (contary to what it claims). Give it a go before 98 sends you mad 🙂

  3. Just put together my file server, running a dodgey version of xp. hopefully it will have 800gigs of HDD by tuesday. Nice and stable as well thank god, been up for almost a week running F@H