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Which upgrade from Windows 98 ?

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Which upgrade from Windows 98 ?

Postby NuGuy on Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:48 pm

I have a Dell Pentium II 400 with 256 MB memory using Win98. It has worked well since I bought it refurbished Sept.98. I'm getting into digital photography, and will be wanting to download images via a USB card reader. I'd like to do that via USB 2.0.; Win98 apparently dosen't support USB 2.0 or Firewire. I intend to buy and install a USB 2.0/Firewire combo card.

I think my computer will handle WinMe (I'm not sure of any version higher than this..??). From what I hear, Win98/98se are relatively trouble-free, and for this reason, I thinking of just buying Win 98se ($99 for full version). But many of you are far more experienced than me, so I'm asking for opinions and suggestions on which Windows operating system I should (and am able to) upgrade to.

Also, have any of you seen a memory card reader that mounts in a 3.5-inch computer case bay? I know they exist, but I cannot find any.

Thanks!
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Postby burninfool on Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:15 pm

You have enough memory but your CPU is too slow.I would look in the classified section of your local paper or ebay and look for a 2 year old computer,I bet you could get a 98SE/WinMe,1Ghz system for <$100. A faster CPU(>550Mhz) is recommended for video/photo editing and if you ever want to use a DVD-ROM.
Regarding your memory card reader question,I have seen CD writers(BTC) that have them built-in.One problem is that your motherboard has to have the USB connectors on board or you have to use a USB PCI card($30).
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Postby tazdevl on Mon Jan 26, 2004 3:48 pm

Your system can handle Windows 2000 just fine. That would be my recommendation. I put it on a 200MHZ latop and it ran like a champ. Just be sure to back up any important files, download Windows Service Pack 4 and burn it to a disc before you do the installation.

Windows ME is worse than Win98/95 in terms of reliability and stability. Don't bother with it, you'll regret it.

Win2K can be had pretty cheap. A smart thing to do would be to download the Windows 2000 Pro ISO and CUE files off of a file sharing network and buy a license for $50 from here.

Here's a floppy, 6 in 1 reader combo.
http://www.coolerguys.com/ProductDetail ... ductID=937

However, as Burnin mentioned, you really need to upgrade the amount of RAM (512MB min) and your CPU (to at least 800MHZ-1GZ) if you are planning on really getting into it.
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Postby NuGuy on Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:54 pm

Thanks! Well, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised to hear both of you suggesting that my computer is "limited" in capability. It is about 5.5 - 6 yrs old now.... It looks like I should just bite the bullet and get another. It's been in the back of my mind lately.

If I were to buy another (It will be a new or refurbished Dell. I just like them....), what capabilities in the way of CPU and memory should I get. Of course, I'd want USB 2.0 and Firewire capability (I read that there will be a new/faster Firewire standard coming out -- a "b" version; have either of you heard anything about this? Seems like something to get if it's nearly on the market.) I haven't really researched new computers.

Two qualifications: yes, I'll probably get into video sooner or later, AND I tend to keep stuff until I just can't use it any more -- I don't mind paying a little more up front for something that will maintain its usefulness for an extended period of time.

Thanks again for your replies.
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Postby burninfool on Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:25 pm

"what capabilities in the way of CPU and memory should I get."

It depends on how much money you want to spend,like I said earlier the faster the CPU the better.IMO 512MB of RAM is enough unless you multi-task or run a server.If you have some computer knowledge you can build a system for half(exc.monitor) what the big companies charge,I will never buy a factory built again.
I built a 2.4Ghz CPU,512MB RAM,400w PSU with a 40GB HDD system for under $350.Of course drives and software will add a considerable amount to the price. :wink:
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Postby NuGuy on Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:51 pm

tazdevl - that reader is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks.

burninfool - that's a great (and obvious!) idea, to build my own computer. My monitor, speakers, keyboard, etc. are just fine. I'd pull my CD burner (a little slow by current standards, but it works well -- Clone CD approved.). I already have another HDD that I never got around to installing (40 GB). Heck, I'm already third of the way there!

I'll start researching tonight.

So, are you using Windows XP ? What's best when you have your chioce of all?
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Postby eliminator on Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:08 pm

XP/pro ... if you can afford it...
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Postby tazdevl on Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:57 pm

eliminator wrote:XP/pro ... if you can afford it...


Too resource heavy unless he does a major CPU, RAM and potentially motherboard upgrade.

NuGuy regardless what anyone says there's a fine line between Win2K and WinXP. I use XP Pro and 2K, both have the same level of capabilities and driver support. XP has a flashier user interface, slightly better built in device support and a few other goodies like a firewall (which is damn near useless). Other than that, XP isn't a big departure from 2K when you start looking at the back end. It's an ideal choice if you like a very responsive system.

That place trustprice I linked to above is a great place for software. For hardware, www.newegg.com.
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Postby eliminator on Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:24 pm

... and you definitely need to know how to tweak (reduce :wink:) the XP !
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Postby ccb056 on Tue Jan 27, 2004 1:30 am

I would recomend XP Pro (NOT HOME)
at least a 2ghz cpu
at least a gb of ram for video editing.
Last edited by ccb056 on Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby pranav81 on Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:30 am

Yep tazdevl,
I agree that Win 2000 is a good choice.
By the way I dont agree with you on Windows ME.My PC came preinstalled with Windows ME and believe me it worked flawlessly for me until I upgraded to WinXP SP1.My friend has 7 computers in a network and he was using Win98 SE,but 98 is not as stable as Windows ME IMO,so I literally "forced" him to buy 7 ME's and couldn't be more happier.Works without any problems here.


See ya later,


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Postby UALOneKPlus on Tue Jan 27, 2004 8:55 am

ccb056 wrote:I would recomend XP Pro (NOT HOME)
at least a 2ghz cpu
at least a gb of ram for video editing


I have both XP Home on a super fast PC and XP Pro on an older business class PC.

There is no difference for video editing, that I'm aware of, between Home and Pro. I'd probably just save the money and get the Home edition if I was making the decision between XP Pro or Home.
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Postby pranav81 on Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:27 pm

Yeah UALOneKPlus,
I agree with you.There are many advanced networking features in Win XP Pro which are not necessary in home environment.For home,use Windows XP Home.


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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Jan 27, 2004 2:46 pm

The main advantage to XP Pro is in networking. If you are not going to have a network, get XP Home.

If you are not experienced in building, get an Intel board with an 865 chipset, 1 GB of Kingston PC3200 ddr RAM ( 2 pieces of 256 in a matched set) and a 2.6C (800MHz FSB) P4.

You won't beat that set up with a stick.

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Postby NuGuy on Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:09 pm

You guys have really given me a lot of feedback and a lot to consider. My gut feeling is that I'll have to get a new and more capable computer, now that I'm going to get into digital photography & video. There've been a lot of changes since 1998....

Thanks everyone! I'm sure I'll be back later with more questions.

(Isn't this just a great place!!! :D )
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Postby pranav81 on Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:17 pm

Dear NuGuy,
This forum is sure a great place!!!!


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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:38 pm

( 2 pieces of 256 in a matched set)

Oh-oh, I made a mistake. 2 pieces of 512Mb each for a matched set of 1 GB (PC3200). You need a matched set for the dual channel controller to set the memory speed to match the front side bus speed of 800MHz.

You may not save much money, but you'll have a good, solid, reliable rig that you will know how to attend to yourself. You won't have to rely on their tech support and their quirky proprietary hardware with all that crap software that they load on. With your own case, an Antec Sonata is a great choice, you'll be able to get in there and swap out components in a flash.

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Postby NuGuy on Tue Jan 27, 2004 6:27 pm

Thanks, Slim. I'd like to get back with you about components later after I've "built" my system on paper. You and others can critique my choices...

OT: Re: "Slim" (I have a friend named Slim in N.J.) My first name is Orville. Now, when I go to a crowded restaurant and have to get on a waiting list, hardly anyone knows how to spell my name, and half can't pronounce it understandably. So, to avoid confusion and frustration, I started giving my name as "Slim" at these busy restaurants. Everyone spells and calls it out correctlly. Nobody else ever has that same name. It may be a little too folksy back east, but here in Texas it's great. I always seem to get good seating too! I don't look anything like a cowboy, but I seem to get more respect than I did before. Really neat. ......just a note....
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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Jan 27, 2004 7:48 pm

Yeah, NuGuy (Slim), I concur, it's a great "handle." I'm about 145lbs and 6'-0" (6 - 2 with boots on) so it seems appropriate. And I think that people can still feel comfortable calling someone that. In these days of political correctness, it is not appropriate to use Shorty, Chubby, etc. :lol:

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Postby Action Jackson on Thu Jan 29, 2004 2:53 am

Nuguy,

I'm using 98SE on a P!!! 1ghz w/ 512mb.

You are correct in that 98 doesn't natively support USB 2.0

What I did was purchase a USB 2.0 PCI adapter card [I have 3 all made by IOGear] and a Sandisk 6 in 1 USB 2.0 writer/reader. This is primarily to read and write to my CF cards for digital photography.

If you can, I'd also suggest a program like ACDSee for picture viewing and I actually use it's FotoCanvas [photo editing] more than Photoshop!

I've been told in other computer forums to avoid VIA based USB 2.0 adapter cards b/c they are "flaky". Luckily my IOGear uses NEC chips instead. 8)

On a side note, I thought about getting something like the Adapter USB 2.0 and Firewire combo card. Looks great on paper but it requires something like 5 IRQ's!!!!

So if you disable both of your COM ports and your Printer port, you'll give yourself or free up 3 IRQ's. Just get a USB printer, scanner, etc....

Personally I did find Win98SE to be more stable than Win98 even with Service Pack 1 but YMMV.

Sorry to plaster all this info onto you like this. I hope I've shed some light for you.
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Postby NuGuy on Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:04 am

AJ -

Thanks for the info.

My concern at this point, esp. after reading all the posts here, is that, for example, my CPU is less than half your CPU's speed, and my memory is half yours. (PII @ 400MHz, 256 MB memory) Pretty slow, I think, by today's standard.

I've been flip-flopping on this matter. Having had an Apple IIe (for over 10 yrs.!!) with a Juki daisywheel printer, I tell myself I CAN wait the computer to do its thing (I recall how amazing that computer was when I first got it). But then again, do I WANT to wait, and wait. (I just bought my first digital camera (more complicated than my computer!), and I won't venture into video until much later on. I think I could still work with still photos.... waiting...)

BTW, I met a Dell rep/computer installer at my workplace last year, and he was telling me he preferred Win98SE over all other operating systems, implying that it was the most bulletproof. He had no personal use for networking, nor have I.

I don't see any earth-shattering new systems, major components, etc. on the horizon (I read primarily 'Maximum PC' magazine), so maybe now really is the time for me to get an entirely new system.

So, I'm still sorting this all out. It will take me two or three weeks to learn how to use my camera with other than its default settings!

I have a scanner, and Photoshop Elements 2 came with it. I haven't gotten a handle on that yet, but this will likely be my photo editing software. I'm keeping an eye out for photo organization software, and the ACDSee, like you have, may be the best overall....? I'm still at the bottom of a long and steep learning curve.

Thanks.
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Postby Action Jackson on Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:27 pm

NuGuy,

There are also some other factors which would make my P!!! CPU faster than the PII besides clock speeds [such as the instructions embedded[?] withing the CPU].

Regardless I do have a PII 400 as well and I would use it as a last resort for video and photo editing [although it will be able to do it slowly]. DVD viewing is fine, but don't expect to do much of anything else at the same time.

Strangely I have a fascination with the BX chipset. I've got 4 of them. What can I say, building computer systems is a hobby.......

My 1ghz is a 815 chipset [the outsider...]. I'm also weird in that I configure all my systems nearly identically. I like having backup systems...... :o

Take the advice given and get yourself a nice fast system. You need a decent system for photo editing [your PII 400 will actually do for pictures less than I would guess 3mp in size]. For video editing a fast system is recommended.
I suppose you can save a bit of money now by limiting yourself to 256mb of ram and a "modest" harddrive [say 40 gb?] for now. But make sure the CPU is fast. You can always upgrade later. More ram is definitely better for video editing, and a fast harddrive is also a plus.

Spend some time researching and it will pay off in the end.
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Postby NuGuy on Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:53 pm

Thanks! Will do.

I'll see all of you over on the "General Hardware Questions" forum some time.

:D
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Postby dodecahedron on Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:09 pm

for picture viewing, an alternative to ACDSee:
IrfanView !
http://www.irfanview.com/
very good! and freeware!
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Postby eliminator on Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:52 pm

link bad??? :(
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