To the rear--March!
The Win2K wave is coming. Microsoft is trying to get Window 2000 Professional out the door. With it will follow new sound cards, versions of DirectX, drivers, and other innovations unfriendly to older subsims. The version for home PC users has been designated "Windows Me", "Windows Millennium", or some such silly thing. I'm sure you understand that the chances the older subsims such as Fast Attack, AOD, SH, Wolfpack, Grey Wolf, etc will run well under this new OS are minimal. Many people have problems running under Win 98 and the legacy support in Win 2K is not likely to be extensive. MS would like to make the break to an all-32 bit architecture. It is my limited understanding of Win Millennium that, while not exclusively 32-bit, it does not include much of the drivers and support for dated software.
According to PC Magazine, "Home users should consider a Windows 2000 system very carefully before taking the plunge. Some of your existing peripheralsólike scanners, printers, digital cameras, and game controllersómay not work with the new OS." Surprised? There's more: "Some popular software packages, especially multimedia applications and games, are not compatible with Windows 2000 either. If you're buying a system for multimedia or gaming uses, you should consider a PC with Windows 98SE or a Macintosh with OS9." To conclude, "While Windows 2000 Professional will likely provide a more stable operating environment, that advantage may be outweighed by the cost and difficulty of upgrading. You may be better off waiting for the Windows Millennium Edition operating system, which will be aimed at home computer users." And just what is Win Millennium? Likely a jacked up version of Win 98.
How manageable is it to have two operating systems on one PC? With 20GB hard drives becoming the norm, I would imagine you could have Win 95, 98, and Millennium if they would not clash. I use a different PC for 95 and 98 so I can test sims and troubleshoot under both OS's.
It is conventional thinking that as PCs age, they become obsolete. Well, they do when new software is the focus, but IMO, they become priceless for running older OS's and older subsims/software. I run Silent Hunter and CAOD on the 200 MHz with Win 95; and Fleet Command and Fighting Steel on the 500 MHz under Win 98. It figures that the hardware that was prevalent when a certain sim was written would be the most compatible/least troublesome for that sim.
If you're system is a pre-Pentium or Pentium I and you are considering buying a Pentium II or III, you may want to retain your older system for running older sims. How much money can you get for a 486 anyway? Possibly $75? Most sound cards cost more than that. Do you want to say goodbye to Aces of the Deep and Silent Service II. Granted, they are dated and better subsims are coming, but a lot of enjoyment can come from the playing of an old and familiar favorite.
Technology marches on! This benefits all, but bear in mind, there are some sims worth stepping out of line and turning back to.
Your thoughts on the subject?
I think . . .