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Operating Systems (OS)

     There are several different types of Operating Systems to choose from.  It all depends on your preference.  Below I have listed some OS and some information about them.  I have also included some links for some more info.  There are four major categories that operating systems fall into.  First you have Windows OS that comes in Four forms itself.  The first Win OS is 95/98/ME, the second is NT 4.0 ,the third is Windows 2000, and the fourth is the new XP.  The second category is Linux / Unix.  The third category is Mac from Apple.  The fourth is Novell.

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Windows 95/98/ME

Win 95/98

Windows 95/98 is Windows Operating that has the least security but allows the most versatility to use old DOS programs and games.  This is because the roots of Win 95/98 are based in DOS.  Windows does come with a price though, it has annoying errors that seem to close all those important programs when you least expect it.  Below are some links if you would like to search out some more info.  The first is a sight that might help you with those errors.  The second offers some tips and tricks.  The third link talks about some of those annoying errors you might see.

Trouble with windows

Windows Tips and Tricks

Windows 98 annoyances

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The latest edition of Windows has a brand-new name, but it's not the whole new bag of tricks you might expect.

Microsoft's Windows Millennium Edition (a.k.a. Windows Me) is the company's third update to Windows 98. In a few months, you'll actually be able to buy a copy, and in a few months, you probably won't be able to buy a new home PC without it. But despite the brouhaha, it turns out that Millennium only adds up to about Windows 98 3/4--it offers the same customizable user profiles as Windows 95 and only a few upgrades from Windows 98. And, despite promises of greater speed and stability, our tests found that Windows Millennium was, in some cases, actually slower than its predecessor.

In fact, anyone who needs under-the-hood business features (robust IT-level security, for example) should lean towards Windows 2000 instead, especially since Microsoft plans to use the same pricing structure as Windows 98 SE's. Businesses won't even get price breaks on multiple copies of Millennium.

Microsoft's Goals for Millennium
  • Stability (called "PC Health")
  • Better tools for digital media
  • More enjoyable gaming
  • Easier, more reliable Internet tools
  • Easier home networking

If you run Windows at home, on the other hand, the decision to upgrade is a toss-up. You'll be able to download cool new Millennium tools such as the new Media Player and IE 5.5 for free without the upgrade, and Me's speedier boot-up time won't even work unless your entire PC supports it (which it undoubtedly won't, unless you buy Millennium preinstalled). But for home Windows buffs who like the idea of better technical help, improved sound and video features, and other small but neat enhancements, Windows Me might sound mighty tempting.

So, before you clear about 300MB from your hard disk to make room and shell out $109 for the upgrade (or $209 for the full version), consider our review of Millennium's new tricks.  This has been provided by CNET.

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Windows NT Workstation / Server

Microsoft delivers a hit with Windows NT 4.0
by Robert Lauriston

Despite the appeal of a crash-proof, secure, DOS-free operating system, the hardware demands of Microsoft's next-generation 32-bit operating system always seemed outrageous. Windows NT 3.1 and Windows NT 3.5x ran sluggishly even on the fastest 486. Few people had 70MB of free hard disk space on which to install the operating system. Fewer still had 16MB of RAM to spare.

It looks as if the computing world is catching up with Windows NT. Today, just about anybody can afford the muscle to run Windows NT Workstation 4.0. Even entry-level PCs boast 75-MHz Pentium processors, gigabyte-sized hard drives, and 16MB of RAM. In fact, many people who run Windows 95 could easily make the leap right now to the more powerful Windows NT--without giving up the Windows 95 user interface. So what's holding them back? One possibility is cash: Windows NT Workstation 4.0 costs a hefty $319.

But for power users, it might be a bargain. This new release is compatible with most popular productivity applications running under Windows 95, Windows 3.1, and DOS. It ekes more speed from your PC--in many cases, while enhancing stability. Internet access, including ISDN and a personal Web server, is built in and is more flexible than in Windows 95.

If Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 frequently interrupts your work by crashing or hanging, Windows NT may be a solution. It can isolate the problem applications by running them in separate virtual machines and isolating their address space, which means you can stop and restart them without crashing or hanging your system, and without leaving garbage in memory that could cause problems later. Windows NT Workstation 4.0 also eliminates the low-resources problem that plagues Windows 3.1 and occasionally causes trouble in Windows 95.

You're not forced to format your hard disk with the NT File System (NTFS), but you'll probably want to: it's faster and much less prone to damage than the out-of-date File Allocation Table (FAT) used by DOS and Windows 3.x. The NTFS allows heavy-duty security to protect sensitive files from unauthorized access; is able to turn multiple hard drives into high-performance, fault-tolerant disk arrays without special hardware; and uses a superior compression scheme that lets you choose which drives, folders, and even individual files you want to compress. The sole glitch is that only Windows NT can read NTFS volumes, so if you plan to dual-boot back to Windows, you'll need to keep at least some files in a FAT partition.

Windows NT Workstation 4.0 isn't for everybody. It isn't 100-percent compatible with all the software you can run under Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, and it's a lot fussier about hardware. Laptop users and heavy gamers are particularly likely to find NT Workstation 4.0 unsuitable. If it were less expensive, upgrading would be a no-brainer for anybody running Windows 95 with an NT-friendly set of applications and equipment. Even at $319, it's an attractive proposal for people who want a faster or more stable environment than Windows 95 affords.

Will NT Become the World's Most Popular Operating System?

It's prettier, but there are more subtle changes that may affect performance and reliability

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Windows 2000 Professional / Server / Datacenter

Microsoft released its first betas of Windows 2000 Professional back in 1997, so we've had plenty of time to admire its stability, security, and slick interface. But we were concerned that Windows 2000 Pro's 29 million lines of code and 500MB hard-disk footprint might make the OS dog-slow compared to current versions of Windows. We also worried that a system might need a bare minimum of 128MB of RAM to run the new OS efficiently.

Our fears were groundless on both counts. In fact, Windows 2000 is slightly faster than both Windows 98 SE and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation on many common business tasks, and it's only a shade slower on others. And running the new OS on a PC with "just" 64MB of RAM is certainly practical: In many cases, we saw very little performance gain when running the same tests on PCs with 128MB.

Moreover, PC World tests of start-up and shutdown times demonstrate that Windows 2000--despite taking every bit as long as lead-footed Windows NT to boot up--has inherited Windows 98's relatively fleet shutdown speed.  For more info Click Here.

Was it worth the wait?


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Windows XP

Microsoft Windows XP Official Site

Microsoft on a mission
     The cool features of the new Windows XP system come 
     at a price: your freedom online. Click here to find out why!

Home Office: A Windows XP Upgrade in Your Future? PC World

Windows XP Beta 2: The SuperSite Review
A look at the final beta of Windows XP "Whistler"
By Paul Thurrott
See More...

Clearly, Windows XP is the most important operating system release since Windows 95. And it's not just because this release includes the first major user interface (UI) change since then, though that's certainly one of the more obvious changes. No, Windows XP has been updated, tweaked, improved, and massaged from top to bottom, in order to create an OS that is equally useful for new users, typical home users, power users, and business desktops. Surprisingly, even its current beta form, Windows XP is a major success across the board, and it's an upgrade that's easy to recommend for almost any type of user, given some system requirement caveats (more on that later). Regardless of the Windows version you're using today, you're going to want Windows XP.

Before we proceed, I recommend reading through my extensive Showcase articles about this product, where I discuss a number of the key technologies that make this release special. In these Technology Showcases, I present behind-the-scenes looks at...

Given all of the information in these showcases, this review will focus on the changes, improvements, and new features in Windows XP Home Edition and Professional Edition, discussing where these features succeed and fail. Note that this review was written based on over a month of hands-on experience with several pre-Beta 2 builds, and I verified this information against latest pre-Beta 2 build before publication. Not much changed between my first introduction to the "Luna" user interface on February 5th and the release of Beta 2 on March 23, 2001, but I will be looking closely at Beta 2 and post-Beta 2 builds in the coming weeks. I installed Windows XP numerous times on several different machines, each with it's own unique add-ons and capabilities. I really gave this OS the complete run-through, and have been using it day-to-day for over six weeks at the time of this writing. I've taken it on cross-country trips, and threw every conceivable software package at it, including some ancient DOS games I haven't looked at in years. See More...

More info and reviews on Microsoft's New XP Operating System:



RedHat 6.0: A First Look

by William Henning
Editor, CPUReview
Copyright May 16, 1999

It has only been a bit over four months since I reviewed Red Hat 5.2 - but those red-hatted
 gnomes have been busy; not that Linus and his merry men have been resting on their laurels...

box front RedHat 6.0 includes more documentation and software than any previous release; including for the first time the popular KDE desktop.

Caldera has also released an updated distribution, OpenLinux 2.2, and Suse has released release 6.1 of their distribution.

RedHat is getting easier to install all the time...

For the purposes of this review, I used my 'Super 7' test computer, configured with the 
devices listed below:

Test System

  • Soyo 5EHM Super 7 motherboard
  • AMD K6-2 400 processor
  • Canopus Spectra 2500 AGP Riva TNT video card
  • Acer PCI NE2000 compatible network card
  • Quantum SE 6.4Gb hard drive
  • Pioneer DVD-rom drive
  • generic ISA sound card
  • Northgate Omnikey Plus keyboard
  • generic serial trackball
  • Nokia 447X monitor

Red Hat Linux still lacks desktop dash Click here for info on Red Hat 5.2

Free BSD vs. Linux

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UNIX past

For the rest of the story

Since it began to escape from AT&T's Bell Laboratories in the early 1970's, the success of the UNIX operating system has led to many different versions: recipients of the (at that time free) UNIX system code all began developing their own different versions in their own, different, ways for use and sale. Universities, research institutes, government bodies and computer companies all began using the powerful UNIX system to develop many of the technologies which today are part of a UNIX system. 

In early 1993, AT&T sold it UNIX System Laboratories to Novell which was looking for a heavyweight operating system to link to its NetWare product range. At the same time, the company recognized that vesting control of the definition (specification) and trademark with a vendor-neutral organization would further facilitate the value of UNIX as a foundation of open systems. So the constituent parts of the UNIX System, previously owned by a single entity are now quite separate

In 1995 SCO bought the UNIX Systems business from Novell, and UNIX system source code and technology continues to be developed by SCO.

In 1995 X/Open introduced the UNIX 95 brand for computer systems guaranteed to meet the Single UNIX Specification. The Single UNIX Specification brand program has now achieved critical mass: vendors whose products have met the demanding criteria now account for the majority of UNIX systems by value.

For over ten years, since the inception of X/Open, UNIX had been closely linked with open systems. X/Open, now part of The Open Group, continues to develop and evolve the Single UNIX Specification and associated brand program on behalf of the IT community. The freeing of the specification of the interfaces from the technology is allowing many systems to support the UNIX philosophy of small, often simple tools , that can be combined in many ways to perform often complex tasks. The stability of the core interfaces preserves existing investment, and is allowing development of a rich set of software tools. The Open Source movement is building on this stable foundation and is creating a resurgence of enthusiasm for the UNIX philosophy. In many ways Open Source can be seen as the true delivery of Open Systems that will ensure it continues to go from strength to strength.

Unix Reviews

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Mac OS

    Mac OS is for Apple based computers.  The current version of Apple's Mac operating system is  Mac OS 9.  Mac OS X relies on the Mach 3.0 kernel, originally developed at Carnegie-Mellon University. The Mach kernel has been part of the open source community, undergoing continued development by leading computer scientists and evolving through the crucible of peer review for many years. Avadis Tevanian, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, was part of the Mach development team at Carnegie-Mellon University, and he brings his years of experience and expertise to bear on the continuing evolution of the Mach kernel.

Apple Insider news and rumors

MAC OS information from Apple

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Mac OS X

Beneath the appealing, easy-to-use interface of Mac OS X, you’ll find an industrial-strength, UNIX-based foundation, called Darwin, that is built from the ground up for superior stability and performance. Darwin evolved from a joint effort by Apple engineers and programmers in the Open Source software community. Together, they’ve created a robust, modern operating system foundation to help your Mac run faster and more reliably than ever.

Darwin features a protected memory architecture that allocates a unique space for each application. When applications are isolated in their own memory space, you don’t need to restart your computer if something goes wrong. Darwin simply shuts down the offending application, letting you continue working or playing without interruption.

Darwin also knows how to give priority to your primary application, but still crunch away at other jobs in the background. Previously, a complex task like rendering a transition in iMovie or compressing video — jobs that can take several minutes or even hours — would fully consume the processor until complete. But with Mac OS X preemptive multitasking, the system remains responsive, so you can still check email, work in another application or surf the web while processing the task in the background.

Darwin features a super-efficient virtual memory manager. So you no longer have to worry about how much memory an application such as Internet Explorer needs to use plug-ins. When an application needs memory, the virtual memory manager allocates precisely the amount needed by the application. Automatically.

Darwin offers built-in support for dual-processor Power Mac G4 computers. It might use one processor to run a complex image transformation and the other to create a new MP3 file. All applications benefit from the higher performance a second processor offers — and multithreaded, complex image transformations, video compression or MP3 encoding operations can run almost twice as fast using Mac OS X on a dual processor Power Mac G4.

At its core, Darwin uses BSD. If you’re a hardcore geek, you’ll like having a full command set available to you from the terminal. Developers will appreciate how easy it is to port existing UNIX applications to Mac OS X. Plus, Mac OS X incorporates the time-tested BSD networking stack, the backbone of most TCP/IP implementations on the Internet today.

Best of all, Darwin is distributed under Apple’s Open Source license, so engineers around the world can help Apple make Mac OS X the best operating system on the planet.

Some OS X Links:


A network company, generally accepted as the defacto standard for true business networks. The Utah based company has had many contenders for the Network King title but has always defended the title easily. NT is the contender at present. Novell and Microsoft have different ways of doing certain tasks; both work very effectively. Novell has tried several other aspects of the computer industry but has not found success in anything but networks. They purchased Digital Research's DR DOS and WordPerfect Corp. Both were miserable failures. They are however, still trying to do things the Novell way with slight adjustments to accommodate enterprise installations that work in an Internet environment and have NT servers also. It seems to be working. See them at HTTP://WWW.NOVELL.COM.


Here are some sites that I use to find those pesky drivers for devises.


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Some of the sites that I order parts from are as follows so happy shopping.


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Edited on:  04/19/2009


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