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    Windows Whistler


I have had several people send in Emails asking about Microsoft Whistler and even though it is still in beta, (testing by users outside of Microsoft), I decided to add an Installation guide. This is going to be real short and straight forward… just read our installation guide for Windows98. That is it, I have loaded it now several times and I was struck by the fact that although it is basically a Windows2000 upgrade, the install process is more like that of Windows98.

Okay, that was real short and sweet. But, I should point out a few issues with Whistler.

  1. This new operating system requires Windows2000 or at least Windows NT drivers. If you do not have them or Whistler does not like them… then using Whistler is going to be painful. I installed it on a PC with an older 35mm slide scanner and of course it had only Windows98 drivers available. These did not fit into Whistler's program and it about drove me crazy demanding a driver for the scanner. Every time it started it would request the driver, over and over again, as many as eight times. I finally disconnected the scanner from the SCSI card.
  2. Now remember this is an upgrade for bother Windows Millennium and Windows 2000. A convergence of the two operating systems. So, one of these two loses out to the primary programming of the other, which happens to be Windows Millennium. What you say…??? Why is this important…?? The big issue is you lose DOS as the underlying base and with that said, you also lose the ability to play your old Dos games. Ta ta to them when you load Whistler.
  3. Finally, if you thought upgrading to 128mgs of ram to run Millennium or Windows2000 cleanly and fast, Whistler is going to need at least 192mgs or 256mgs of ram to really run clean. ( Do you remember when Bill Gates pontificated that we would never need more than 4mgs of ram???) 

Okay, this new Whistler comes in a couple flavors, two to be exact, (or so it is as of this writing), and that could change:

  1. Whistler Personal Edition: intended for the home user without the server code and other features required to host web sites, DNS services and much more.
  2. Whistler Professional Edition: this is of course the big brother to Windows2000 and blotted with all sorts of stuff unnecessary to most small business or home users. The price difference between the two has not been announced, but I am sure it will be quite painful if you wish the full blown Professional version.

There are a great many internal differences, especially if you are upgrading from any Windows9x or Millennium product. One is the new partitioning scheme of GPT and
I am not going to get into the logistics of it, but if you are a techno-geek wanting more then read about it on Microsoft's web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/HWDEV/storage/Whistler-GPT_FAQ.htm

If I had any complaint it is the new structure of Plug-N-Play. It will absolutely drive you nuts if you are using any legacy devices, (cards or peripherals that predate Windows9x). I had an older slide scanner connected to one PC I installed Whistler. The manufacturer's web site only had Windows98 drivers and Whistler wanted no part of them. So, every time I booted Windows I was forced to deal with at least eight popup windows demanding drivers. I finally deleted all instances of the driver in Device Manager and disconnected the scanner. Since I use this scanner a great deal I was forced to remove Whistler from this PC and reinstall Windows98. 

Summary:
It looks good… has a most drivers built in you will need, but for any real changes it does not seem worth the $120 for the Personal Edition. Microsoft needs to put out the source code for Windows9x now that they are moving away from it and allow all the world's programmers to rebuild and solve the issues that drive us nuts instead of slinking along with more of the same… which is what you will find in Whistler.





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