Have a great start to 2000!
Left-Over Comments from Dec. 1999 Newsletter Topics
Last month, I discussed some of the application we use at our home as part of our home computer use.
The applications, in summary, were:
I mentioned in last week's newsletter that if I had time I would add to the list of applications that we use on a regular basis. Here are some of those applications in summary form:
I have been asked a number of times: "What age family member can or should use the applications and techniques such as you mention that your family uses"? Well, in my opinion: Any age..... If the family member can use the keyboard, has some patience, and is willing to experiment: All of the applications I mention above may be used by any age family member. Certainly, family members would use the applications to different abilities/degrees, but all family members can and should use the home PC for applications such as the above. I cannot think of any application listed above I that I would put an age limit on.
If you want to see the SCScompA lab exercise for any particular lab exercises related to the above, send me a message or give me a call. Once you have the lab exercise and make use of the lab exercise, you send me $10 USA. Once that has happened, you may contact SCScompA for eMail support for lab exercise questions that might come up.
If you want to have SCScompA work directly with you (up to 3 family members at a time) and you are in the Raleigh NC area, the cost is $25 USA per hour.
If you want assistance in purchasing a home PC for using applications such as the above and getting the PC set up in your home, SCScompA will assist you in this matter. Normal charge for this service is $150 USA. However, SCScompA and you will agree on the exact charge prior to the assistance.
Following, are additional comments for this month's first-of-the-year-2000 SCScompA newsletters.
Comments on my Initial Use of Windows 2000
First, you may be asking: "Why Windows 2000"? or "Why are you using a Windows NT - based Windows' system and not Windows 98"? And: "You are a home user of PCs -- shouldn't you be using Windows 98"? Well, I answer with: I used Windows NT in my previous job (with IBM). I became confident about Windows NT and found it more stable than I found Windows 98 for my families' use of a home computer. Some applications (in my case, especially American Online) currently work better on Windows 98 than on an NT-based system: but, with the exception of America Online I have found Windows NT to be a solid and well-performing operating system. That is what I want: A solid operating system which lets me do my home computer applications without causing me any operating-system pain. In my experience, with applications I use (again: with the exception of America Online) I am pleased with Windows NT. Therefore, I will use its successor: Windows 2000. When? We see. So far, on my PC, I am encouraged.
You say: "On my PC"..... What does that mean? Well, each PC is built "special" for the user. You may not think so; you may believe that a "Dell" PC is a Dell PC, a "Gateway" PC is a Gateway PC, and so on. However, there are (primarily hardware) reasons that PCs differ. To run (drive) your PC (again: primarily the hardware) there is software from the equipment manufacturers which is necessary to run/drive your PC and its equipment. Equipment means your disks, your display, your printer or printers, your scanner, your CD-ROM, your DVD, and so on -- and even your keyboard and your mouse. Some persons will tell you that I am leading the home user down a wild path with Windows NT and, now, Windows 2000; there may not be drivers for your PC equipment and setting up the equipment is, just, too complex for the home user. All I can tell you is -- I believe, based upon my experience: Windows NT and, now, Windows 2000 is worth your time to install/use and I am willing to assist you in attacking that challenge. Also, I would encourage the home user to have multiple boot PCs: In my case, Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows 98. I will, eventually, settle on two boot possibilities: Windows 2000 and Windows 98. Those of you who are "confused" by this -- don't worry, when you and your PC-support-person have a chance to discuss matters, all things which you discuss will become clear/understandable!
With regards to America Online on Windows NT: I use it "all the time" -- and, up until now, I have lived with its limitations on NT. However, as I have not been able to find out when America Online will be fully supported on NT, I have decided to get 'around" the current limitations of America Online in Windows NT by adding an internet support "under" America Online. This allows me to continue to use America Online for non-internet-browsing reasons and use another web browser (Netscape or Microsoft Internet Explorer) for the internet-browsing functions. This is an additional cost for me (about $24 USA per month) and I do not recommend it for my customers -- except, if they "do not mind" the additional $24 USA per month. Assuming they DO mind the $24 USA: I tell my customers to continue using Windows 98 and, for now, ignore Windows NT and Windows 2000. This advice will change when America Online supports Windows 2000. When? I don't know.
If you can accept that I use Windows NT (why should YOU care?.... what I use.....!), then you will accept that I want to use Windows 2000. Windows 2000 is Microsoft's "next" operating system, being released to the world on Feb. 17, 2000. Is it better than Windows NT? Is it better than Windows 98? Well, all I can say now is: It looks good so far, in my home use, and I certainly wish Microsoft "well" as it forges ahead with its operating systems' plans. I am reliant on Microsoft and their operating system and, up till now, I want to use their best operating system -- and, that is currently Windows 2000.
My current PC environment:
The easiest for me to tell you about my Windows 2000 experiences in January, 2000 (a month-or-so's use of early versions of Windows 2000 Professional) is to mention, first, what I have NOT been able to get to work correctly. In most of these cases, I am currently going on the assumption it is a software driver reason (you obtain software drivers from the application vendor and I have not contacted all application vendors I will eventually need, to see when/if they support Windows 2000). Applications not working for me on Windows 2000 Professional up until now include:
The above are the main matters I have not been able to get to correctly work with my early version of Windows 2000. When I need to use any of the above (and that is often!) I shutdown Windows 2000 and boot up Windows NT. Yes, this is a "pain" and not realistic for a normal home user environment and, until the above are supported: I will not "turn over" Windows 2000 to the rest of my family's PC users.
Following, are what I have tested in my home PC environment and have been happy with using Windows 2000 Professional:
Freecell Game/Deal of the Month
We have started, in our household, doing Freecell deals from 1-to-32000! We will NOT accomplish this task. We know that. However, as we go along in our for-fun-effort, yet frustration... I will mention once in awhile specific Freecell deals we find challenging.
Let me know if this Freecell game and the number of times we had to restart to solve the deal is about what you find. If you are going to attack deals 1-to-32000 and want to interact with us in that regard, let me know what thousand-or-so you are going to start with. For now, we are attacking 1-to-1000 and I would recommend you start with 1001!
Let me know how YOU do!
If you want (at no charge) a list of Freecell Deals 1-thru-300 and our comments on how many times we had to restart the deal to find a solution, let me know.
Or send snail-mail to:
P.O. Box 58223
Raleigh NC 27658
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