Monday, August 30, 2004

Windows XP sp2

I like Windows XP. In my experience it is reliable, fairly robust,
secure (if patched as necessary), and generally easy to use (once you
loose the new interface). I use XP on 3 machines at home at 2 at work.
No problems that I can blame on Microsoft. Lots of little irrations but
nothing that compares to what I've 'enjoyed' with using Linux.

Service Pack 2 (sp2) is the latest 'patch' from the nice people in Redmond. 266MB of new applications.
I installed it the first day I could on a VMWare machine and had no problems. (For those who don't know - VMWare is the tool to use for testing) I then installed it on a couple of desktops at home and then my desktop at work, laptop at home, and then finally a old laptop at work. No problems.

So a coworker stops by my office and asks a question about a machine he
is building for his daughter to take to school with her. Based on a Shuttle box it was a new Prescott P4
with a Intel 865 chipset. Since he had installed XP Pro I advised him to
install sp2 just to stay ahead of the curve. Well he isn't talking to me...

What happened? sp2 installed without complaint, rebooted, and nothing.
Zip, zero, nothing. No safe mode nothing. Well the coworker was smart
enough to have Ghosted
the machine to DVD and restored it so his daughter could take it to
school. The coworker did some research
and discovered that there appears to be a problem with Prescott
core P4 and Celeron chips when coupled with the 865/875 chipsets. And
coworker talks to me again :-).

So Thing1 gets to college last Friday. Plugs the XP machine into the
network spigot and gets nothing. No DHCP response at all. Bummer - need
to register the MAC address. So we stop by the computer lab and ask for
the procedure to follow. The tech tells us to bring in the machine so
that it can be 'checked'. Checked means (for XP machines) sp2, some form
of antivirus and adware detector. Well Thing2's laptop is not taking
to sp2. The techs have been struggling for 3 days trying to install sp2.
We'll see what they say tomorrow.

On the other hand the iBook was back in a day ready to go...

Update on the Dell. The techs gave up trying to install sp2. Thing1 has it back in his hands. Can't get on the network with it... May need to go visit and see whats going on.

Update #2. After a long phone conversation we got both machines on the wireless net at school. Joy returns to Thing1's life

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