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back to article Windows XP and iPod: A tale of two birthdays

This week is remarkable for two 10-year computing anniversaries: that of the Apple iPod and of Microsoft's Windows XP. Both should be celebrated for their success and impact on consumers and tech sector. But while Apple's iPod will be celebrated in the history of its creator and – no doubt – the annals of computing history as a …

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Happy Birthday iPood

I've now banned my mother from installing any more iOS updates on you as every time she does, you crash, funnily enough exactly the same as my wife's iPhone 4 and my old 3GS used to do the same. The only way to recover is to rebuild the iObject from a machine with a clean iTunes install on it (no backups) and then to resync with the original backup. How the hell did you last 10 years on looks alone?

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Your talking about XP right?

Or is it just me that has had the completely opposite experience (iPodding since 2002, XP since 2008), with mostly rock solid iPod/iPad/iPhone upgrades - single exception being iOS5 for the iPhone 3GS which failed the upgrade once and needed a single restore (and with a pleasant surprise that no data or configuration settings were lost!).

XP has just about got stable (at SP3 + many many many patches) on my company laptop but it does need another rebuild (windows explorer can randomly hang or crash) as I'm sure its going to shoot itself in the head soon [wait a sec, just completing the backup].

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Anonymous Coward

What a coincidence

The anniversary and your IQ have the same integer value.

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What I REALLY did not like in XP, as I had to move from 2000

was the lack of proper separation between admin and user.

At home, I had to prevent the missus from removing such unimportant items as command.com in earlier Windows incarnations, so quite early on I installed Windows NT 4.0. Later I moved to 2000 rather than going through 95, 98 and (shudder) Millennium. I did not like the level of privilege I had to give users on XP, when that became the next step (as MS throttled support for 2000).

Windows 7 is a good deal better than XP in many ways.

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Gold badge

Re: lack of proper separation between admin and user

XP is the same as 2000 in this respect.

Perhaps what you are thinking of is that XP could run loads of apps that 2000 couldn't. Specifically, it could run a lot of shitware written for Win98, which demanded to be "run as admin" so that they could screw up your system. The Windows ecosystem (and as a result, the internet at large) is still plagued with this problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Eh?

Lack of proper separation between admin and user?

What? That's the whole point of MS moving off the old 3.X, 95, 98... Windows systems onto NT based systems. Rest assured that there is proper separation between admin and user, it's just that lots of people/suppliers of hardware didn't set it up properly.

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Never had any problems

And always run XP with an admin and one or more user accounts. Of course some games/ancient software with config files in the program's directory wanted admin rights which was almost always cured by giving all and sundry access in its directory and children in Program Files and the registry. Rather unfortunate, but better than giving the user admin rights.

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the windows way

Why did such problem never exist for 4BSD in the 80-s? Saying nothing about the *BSD and Linux variants contemporary to Windows of any version.

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Flame

I'd agree with you, except

one of the prime offenders of not properly setting up their software to work with the new OS was the the MS Programming Languages division. We went through all the proper processes to setup our shiny brand new secure network, and promptly had to break the model as soon as we went to install the newest .Net software. Grrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

xp

I know of many corporations who upgraded from Vista to XP

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Anonymous Coward

And what gave the iPod legs?

Windows compatibility! Because before that it was commercially dead in the water.

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Thumb Down

Err... No.

Because at one point or another every man and his dog released a windows compatible MP3 player, and didn't see the sort of success Apple did.

It was a pre-requisite for going massive, yes; but it didn't give it legs.

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Anonymous Coward

And what gave the Mac legs?

Being able to install Windows in it!

Eat that, fanboi.

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Anonymous Coward

Er, no again

No, I think you'll find it was a combination of Adobe's Postscript page description language and the software that capitalised on it (Aldus PageMaker, Adobe Illustrator for instance) that gave the Mac legs. It established the Mac as the de facto standard platform for the print/design/publishing sector which grew into more or less every creative sector over time. And this was before Windows existed, so it couldn't have had anything to do with the ability to install Windows on it.

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Um.. No!

I was running Ventura Publisher on DOS when the two-tone Mac was the best you could buy. Yeah, all the touchy feely can't think for shit graphics artists loved PageCrapper, but I hated the piece of shite.

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I see

So because I worry about little things like "Facts" in the Mac vs PC debate, I must be a fanboy.

Full Disclosure - I have a mac, with windows (wouldnt consider buying one without it) but only use the windows side to game. But I recognise that they're like different tools - some tools do some jobs better than others. Can you unscrew a screw with a knife? Sure. Open a can with a Screwdriver? Done that. Are there better tools suited for the job than those choices? Yup.

I find for everyday PC usage that the Mac OS runs nicer, and I prefer its quirks (like being able to scroll in an inactive window, menu bars that are always at the top, etc); thats not to say windows doesn't have its place too - its better for gaming and err... well if I find something else I'll let you know.

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Anonymous Coward

Er, yes actually

Just look at the Mac sales figures, they were stagnating until boot camp was released in 2006. Since then they have more than tripled, and are still climbing.

Face-it fanbois - Windows turned your iToys into something that was actually useful.

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WTF?

Citation required.

If by Stagnating you mean "INCREASED BY 48% in 2005" then you're absolutely correct - although I would suggest you call Oxford first and tell them the definition of the word stagnating now means greatly increased.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/Some_Analysts_Excited_by_Mac_Sales_Figures/

Some analysts are looking beyond the unrealistic iPod sales expectations for 2005, and are focusing instead on the strong Mac sales figures. Analysts from Needham & Company see the Mac as a strong force in Appleis performance during fiscal 2005.

The key to Appleis 57 percent revenue growth was directly linked to the 48 percent increase in Mac sales, substantially higher than the overall PC growth rate of 12 to 15 percent. Needham attributes most of the increase to Windows users switching to the Mac, since it feels sales to existing Mac owners were relatively flat.

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Ah, no again.

Yes, you were running Ventura Publisher (I was too) on DOS when the Mac WAS the best thing you could buy. I remember distinctly the difficulty getting Publisher to output correctly to the, by then, pretty standard Linotronic and Agfa Imagesetters. The problem was usually the fonts...

...such fonts just didn't exist unless you were using early Bitstream (dubbed 'Shitstream' at the time) fonts which had incredibly bad kerning tables, or Monotype (who for some strange reason used Postscript Type 3 for some of their families) fonts. The early Adobe font collections were flawless and still are to this day (I'm still using a Type 1 version of Helvetica Neue dating back to 1988!).

Generally though, the truth is that type control in Ventura Publisher was severely limited compared to what you could achieve in PageMaker. I know, I'm a "touchy feely can't think for shit graphic artist" who used both platforms from the very beginning and the Mac was simply better back then which is why it got it's legs so early on and has been so closely copied since.

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Happy

Windows XP SP2 is Version 1

In a sense, the previous 32-bit Windows (I'll discount the dark ages of Win2-3-95-98-ME) were in some sense, incomplete. Win2K worked well, but was a bit Vista-like in being too full of bloat. Win NT3.5 was strictly business, having Win3.1's UI skin. NT4 was pretty good,but was no good for games (and therefore CAD). Win XP SP2 is the first 32/64 bit OS from Microsoft that actually works properly. It's easy to install, works at home and in the enterprise, and can run in anything from small laptops to gigantic CAD machines, or wicked games boxes. While Win7 is prettier, and can perhaps make better use of modern hardware, it doesn't actually add much functionality that businesses need. Consumers like the pretty UI of Win7, but that's not a new OS, is it?

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FAIL

Win 2000? Full of Bloat?!!?

I've had machines that ran slower then molasses on a windows xp install run just faster on 2K without touching the hardware spec. (700 Mhz P3-based celeron core, 1 GB ram, and IIRC a whopping 80 GB drive)

Given the choice between xp and win2K for a low end machine, I'll take 2K. NT4.0 sucked because it was the windows 95 skin, but the 3.5 underpinnings (and no USB support, crappy power management support, etc.) XP is windows 2000 with better hardware support, more features, and a lot more chrome demanding the video processor's attention. (that having been said, Server 2k3 R2 is pretty damned reliable, and although the jury's still out on 2K8 R2, indications are good.)

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Win 7 has image back ups, XP doesn't.

I remember using SDRC's I-DEAS (now Siemens NX?) on NT4. There was OpenGL for graphics. It did crash a lot pleading 'memory exceptions' but I suspect that was to do with only having 128 MB RAM. I liked NT4 a lot- it was snappier and didn't crash like Win98 did all the time. It was that 8GB HD limit and lack of USB support that let it down for me, though.

Win2000 had a splendid trick- upon logging on and inserting a ZIP disc, Win2K would overwrite the ZIP disc with the contents of whatever previous ZIP disc had been read by the machine... Grr

: D

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That's not an argument against Win2k

That's an argument against ZIP discs!

I had a ZIP drive as well. Horrible thing it was.

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Surely the two aren't comparable

If Windows XP is regarded as its own seperate entity, then the iPod is long dead.

The iPod Touch is currently going well (I assume) but the thing that came out 10 years ago is obsolete

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Indeed, my first thought when reading the article was that it wasn't a strictly fair comparison as one was a brand new disruptive device, while the other was a version update of an existing product.

It's like comparing the launch of the iPod Photo (remember that model anyone?) with the launch of the Sony Playstation.

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The thing that came out 10 years ago

is still the thing we use to listen to tunes during the 3 hour drive to the college football games - cheapass cigarette lighter AM converter and all.

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Anonymous Coward

Still on XP

There's very little incentive to upgrade.

MS don't provide XP users with a cheaper upgrade option.

It's full licence or bugger off.

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Bronze badge

It's worse than that. I dread to think what would happen if I tried to install Win7 on my primary home machine with its 2Gb RAM.

I had enough experience trying to run Vista, at work, on a machine of the same generation. "Painful" doesn't begin to describe it.

No, *that* machine's OS is never going to be upgraded. Not to another Windows version, anyway. Maybe to Linux, when I get a new games machine, but until then it's XP forever.

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JB1
Alert

3, 2, 1

Here come the bitter linux user with their irrational Microsoft hatred...

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Linux

Yeah I'll bite

I use linux and I hate m$..........

Actually I do'nt because I'm a dual booter and for a reason

My 5 yr old dual core PC running windows Xp starts up and runs faster than the 7 month old PC at work running windows 7.

The only problem with the Xp at home is that the file copying is a little slow when copying 2 gig files

But then I do try to stay in Linux until forced to reboot to windows ...

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Can I point out that I have a rational Microsoft hatred?

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@Robert

Not round these parts

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"My 5 yr old dual core PC running windows Xp starts up and runs faster than the 7 month old PC at work running windows 7."

if you are on a corporate netowrk, chances are that you have a roaming profile... the differences in boot time between a roaming profile and a local one would be quite significant.

my 180 quid laptop from tesco runs win7 and runs it fast, it really is a good OS :) (then again, so is xp)

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Windows

Where?

All I see here is 'irrational' Linux user hatred.

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Is that a joke?

"Just months after Windows XP, a humbled Bill Gates had announced the Trustworthy Computing initiative to shift from focusing on features to spotlighting security and privacy."

You sure you are not mixing something up? Isn't Trustworthy Computing all about giving handouts to RIAA and MPAA by ensuring a "protected signal path" and that you cannot circumvent it at the system level by installing an unapproved driver? Which all resulted in your Vista being more concerned with checking each video frame going to your monitor for possible IP rights violations than with things like properly copying files from one place to another...

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No

Trustworthy Computing was what caused the delay of Longhorn (Vista). It put a halt on development of new features / versions and everybody went back and looked at the code and concentrated on making it more secure.

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You put an amazingly rosy spin on that, but even if one accepts that it's OK when some senior management initiative has a fortuitous effect of preventing release of a totally FUBAR new product, it that does not change what "Trustworthy Computing" is. Which is taking control over a computer from the user's hands and into the IP rights holder's ones.

If that gave them time to put more hot air in aero or whatever, it's just a coincidence, a side effect, probably totally unanticipated...

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You mean "Trusted Computing"

which is the DRM / TPM use of keys to secure access to data .. whether it is for security or for content-control.

The delay could indeed have been put down to the "Trustworthy Computing" which was Craig Mundie's exposition of 4 pillars of improving their business "going forward" - "1.Security, 2.Privacy, 3.Reliability, 4.Business [ahem] Integrity". It was a massive task to steer that particular Titanic and they've come a long way but everyone else has caught up and in many places overtaken MS .. so MS are becoming less relevant to people these days.

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The terms are interchangeable. If you want to split hair - a trusted system is a system which you must trust, a trustworthy system is a trusted system which you know you *can* trust. To make your system trustworthy you turn it into a trusted platform module - bingo.

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

They have just corrected it... Is there an 'UNFail' icon?

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Angel

XP: The stepping stone edition OS

XP is still a very much used and loved OS both in business and home use, but why?

It was the ideal stepping stone release, sure it could be quirky at times, but it was like a slightly uneven and curved stone pathway to get us where we needed to go over the next decade

XP took the "average user" beyond the 1GB RAM point, supported the transition from IDE to SATA (and SAS) hard disks, broke the Terabyte barrier without any drama and also helped us make proper use of USB (and in some cases, FireWire)

XP Tablet PC Edition was also Microsoft's first stab at Tablet computing, although this wasn't the perfect tablet OS, it did work fairly well and still gave the user the familiar look and feel of Windows XP that they were familiar with.

Sadly XP32 was limited to maximum of 3.1GB of RAM, but it got by with that restriction.

The corporate world loved it as they could fix it when it went wrong and also it was relatively easy to manage and install MSI packages on.

Equally important, as XP matured we were given the choice of XP32 and XP64 which was a logical and progressive step for those who wanted to dabble in the pure 64-Bit environment

Sure Microsoft couldn't kill the XP beast and the reason being wasn't that it was an out of control animal, but it was quite tame and controllable. Stick with the the Service Packs, do the weekly updates and keep it virus/exploit free and XP was everything we needed it to be.

I think it will have its place in MS history as one of the best ever Windows platforms that MS bestowed upon us

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Anonymous Coward

"XP Tablet PC Edition was also Microsoft's first stab at Tablet computing"

Nope.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_for_Pen_Computing

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Maybe they should provide an upgrade path then

Maybe if Microsoft allowed windows 7 to be installed as an upgrade io XP boxes they might be able to sell more copies.

Noone wants to upgrade XP to vista before they can upgrade to 7.

Also , stop using ribbons as the only option for the default OS apps and office, that might help sales as well.

Maybe if Microsoft generally stopped behaving like someone with their fingers in their ears going "la-la-la I-cant-hear-you-we-know-best" they could sell more stuff.

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Meh

Ribbons & Sales

Of all the MS problems, sales isn't one of them. They are the predominant OS & will continue to be so for many, many years,

Also the Ribbon isn't that bad, is customizable with simple XML & has been proven to increase productivity with real world users. Being stuck in the stone ages & refusung change is what holds IT back.

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Facepalm

Ribbon; for the love of everything logical, why???

My personal experience with the ribbon is it's a waste of space, doesn't do what you want, requires considerably more effort to find something, is *not* customisable, and generally a barrier to productivity.

Seriously.

The 'heritage' interfaces had a minimal toolbar which was customisable enabling one to easily add commonly used features or even custom macros. They also have a context-sensitive menu on the right-click. The best thing is the multi-level menu which hides away, includes icons for those who don't read, and by its very nature encourages a clear hierarchy of functionality. Oh, and works with modern wide-screen formats which are very low resolution in the vertical.

The ribbon, in contrast, is a homogeneous mass of iconic pictures of fixed size and contrast which seriously slows people down when hunting for the right icon to click. The icons aren't particularly well organised and there's no clear separation of function. Not to mention including all the complete rubbish one never uses (e.g. table styles, etc., etc.).

The great thing about Office 2011 is you can turn the damn ribbon off and get back to some productivity. Praise be for Jobs insisting that all applications have a menu.

This will be a huge barrier to many in "up"grading to Windows 8++ and is a great reason to stick with XP; you know, the OS that "just works" (and doesn't have a whopping great WinSXS directory to clutter up your VM discs).

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"customizable with simple XML"??? I'd have designed it with drag and drop. Sticking with XP for now then.

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Anonymous Coward

Having just finished a college class on the ribbon let me assure you that it IS that bad and still slows me down even though I've spent the last half semester learning how to use it. Customizable with XML? Yeah, that's great. Tell my mother about that and see if it does her any good. And what studies are you looking at that 'prove' it increases productivity? A study done by Microsoft's marketting department, or did they just pay for it?

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Devil

@ Justicesays

Great, you'd love OSX. With ever iteration they change the UI and make it uglier and uglier.

10.3 came with the white and grey stripes (and colourful plastic macs)

10.4 came with the beautiful brushed metal texture (and white plastic macs)

10.5 came with dull gray gradients and ugly clouds as shadow replacements under windows. (and brushed metal macs??!?!?)

And NO option to go back to previous style UI textures in any release.

10.7 is even worse. After 10 years Apple decided to even hide important user-folders to make things unnecessary complicated.

At least in Windows 7 there's still the "classic" look if your really want grey non-textured boxes and window decorations.

In fact wait till you see/work with Windows 8. You'll tear your hair out, nauseously vomit every time you (try to) click the Start button and that silly panel display swipes in front and back and throw your PC up the wall when you see how much software is broken because M$ is trying to make a big smartphone out of every PC.

The future looks bright, doesn't it? Especially for eggheads. All that matters now is bling. Stupid rectangular blobs on screen with pointless icons, numbers and sliding faces of people that you don't know and don't care about, totally irrelevant to the work that needs to be done.

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