Getting XPerienced Part II- the RC1 installation

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  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15329

    Getting XPerienced Part II- the RC1 installation

    Hey guys and gals,

    Finally got some time to plop in my RC1 upgrade disk for Windows XP last night. You know, those folks ought to be able to write programs that can do simple math, like addition and subtraction?

    After inserting one of my new RC-1 (Release Candidate 1) CD's in the drive of my daughter's system (you don't think I experiement on my own mission critical PC, do you?!?), the setup program informs me that I need 360 MB free on the HD partition to install the upgrade. Well, I was only sitting at about 348 MB, so I deleted some stuff, moved a few folders to another partition, and voila! 472 MB free! Piece of cake!

    I restart the installation program, Windows deletes all the old XP files

    ** THEN **

    informs me that "Windows requires 990 MB to install Windows XP RC1- you only have 989 MB free- select another partition or drive to install on, or format this drive install on it" (fine print: you'll lose all your files and data).

    Having a large mostly unused partition at the end of the drive, I formatted it and installed XP RC1 there. Now, though, the system is "quasi dual boot"- there is a boot menu, and it offers the chance to boot into a deleted copy of "Whistler Professional" as well as the new "XP Professional RC-1".

    Don't you just love those boys and girls from Redmond?

    Yeah, well, I know what you're thinking, it's some kind of strange father that would gum up his daughter's PC this way! But when she saw my first test install of XP she was seduced by the colors, glitz, and user friendly menus- she wanted that on her computer.

    ANYWAY, RC1 is showing clearly where XP will be at final release, in my opinion. It's much more stable than the earlier builds, they've pulled together a lot of things, cleaned up the menu structure, and also cleaned up the desktop- by default, the only icon on the desktop is the trashcan- everything else is in menus and special program groups.

    They've also done everything possible to protect the average or below average user from themselves- now a user could use the system extensively, only working with the standard folders for documents, music, video, pictures, etc., and never have any idea what the actual file structure of the computer looks like- because by default it's hidden! Once you find explorer, by tunneling down several menus, by default you can't even view your boot disk! All that can be fixed and massaged by the knowledgeable user with a bit of poking around at options, but Joe and Jane public probably won't bother.

    All very Mac like (good for newbies), very polished graphically (they're taking the Apple OS-X threat seriously, just like Intel has recently woken up to the AMD threat and struck back with a vengence on price and market positioning). Lot's of pretty backgrounds, and even with the "classic" windows look, a very different GUI, as far as finding well known tools. You can get it setup to support a "power user" with some effort, but for the average person, who's used Device manager once or twice, it's going to be confusing to find and use some of those tools. But then it keeps the unkowledgable away from the bits that can inadvertently shoot themselves in the foot.

    Short summary:

    Stability: Near the equal of WIN2K at this point. High marks, in other words; vastly improved.

    Appearance: Mac wannabes will swoon. Apple lawyers will be livid. Old timers will be scratching their heads at the pastels and vivid color schemes.

    Driver support: Pretty fair, even for stuff like VIA hardware, Radeon video cards, etc. Didn't have a driver INF file for my Creative Labs Modem Blaster.

    Security: Middling. Instead of individual logon's, new version had adminstrative password, then just user button click to logon. Maybe OK for family, but this is the "Professional" version- read, corporate, SMP, expensive.

    Multimedia: Stay tuned- more testing to come.



    Best regards,

    Jon




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