Paralyse, not stabilise

Well, it's finally here. Windows 98, set to stabilise computing, revolutionise the way of life on the Internet, completely revise the Windows 95 code... in my short experience, the first on the list should read paralyse, not stabilise.

I won the Windows 98 Upgrade (thanks Harvey Norman & the Australian) and installed what appeared to be a seamless upgrade, and it ran perfectly, from go to whoa.... that is, until I booted my computer for the first time after fully completing the installation process. It brought up my background... then.... yikes! An 'illegal operation'.

"No matter", I thought. I booted again, and the same problem. The best I could manage after many such failures was to press the Shift key and load into Safe mode to save my critical documents (the Windows Startup disks made at installation were useless in my situation). I checked all my hardware settings, disabled all non-essential devices.. but stilll no go. I couldn't uninstall, as I'm one of those always running low on megabytes, so I decided to be 'smart' and not save my Windows 95 files, because I didn't ever think I'd have the need to go back (silly me, after my previous experiences with the Windows 95 installation parody).

After a complete reformat (3.2GB gets filled up pretty quickly, but by hell does it take a long time to reformat) and installation of Windows 95 and the 98 Upgrade, I was ready to rumble (not to mention a number of bugs during the second setup of Win 98, such as it disabling my CD-ROM, so no files could be read from it. Just brilliant, Bill). All was ready, and I installed Ofice '97. No problemo. A day later.. all hell broke loose. No ability to open files in Word or Excel. Files that I created fro scratch wouldn't print (Illegal operations in both cases). Internet Explorer would not print Web pages.

Gone are the days of the infamous GPFs and blue screens of Windows 3.x? I think not. Today I'm set to uninstall Office, strip Windows 98 back to basics... but failing that another reformat... and if that fails... (my apologies to Bill & his newest baby) Windows 95 is looking so much better than it did 3 years ago.

What else can I say but stick with Windows 95 until the bugs are ironed out... or just wait for NT5 if you've got the need for power. As a matter of interest I'd never have bought Windows 95 (I won it too) or Windows 98... just pure luck to have won them, I guess.

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Dwyer

PC World

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