Windows ME Kicks Ass!
Created on November 13, 2022
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I think it's about time Windows ME is given a more fair evaluation. Everyone told you it was SO BAD and you must always avoid it, but you'd be surprised to see it'll carry you a long way!
Out of the box, Windows ME includes support for generic USB storage devices, making it really convenient for those who use such things regularly and need to get some drivers loaded quickly. Speaking of which, Windows ME also includes a good plentiful more drivers of its own, so if all your hardware is from 1999, chances are everything will be loaded out of the box.
Windows ME adapts a number of important shell improvements from Windows 2000 to the 9x family so as to justify having a webby shell in there in the first place. Not only that, it also introduces a number of consumer programs, including a greatly revamped Windows Media Player better suited for managing tons of audio files, and Windows Movie Maker, the original incarnation of something that would prove to be vital in the golden age of YouTube.
Although Windows ME removes the ability to drop to a real mode MS-DOS environment, it is still just as capable of running most DOS programs as its predecessors would be. The removal of real mode DOS booting may have been a serious drawback for technical users, but as Windows ME specifically targeted average home consumers, it may have been for the better. Any underlying real mode components could be detrimental to the stability of Windows 9x, and the guy who just wants to run his leftover copy of Doom probably wouldn't care that much about technicalities as long as video and sound still work.
Meanwhile, Windows XP is still sucking fart balloons and had no reason to exist. Its updated NTVDM was poorly executed. Good thing DOSBox exists now!
ricky: At one point around 2002, we had our HP Pavilion taken to the computer repair store where one guy put a copy of XP Home on it. After several weeks, we ended up reverting to the original installation using the original recovery discs after the activation "grace period" expired. During the time XP was still on there, all the programs that I grew accustomed to that were bundled with the system were gone, which further soured my impressions of it.
The first computer my family had was running Windows ME, and of course it had to be a Dell machine, although I can't recall what exact model it was...
I recall that once when i ran Doom inside NTVDM it hitched a bit when there were enemies on the screen. I really thought it was an issue with the computer!
FLAC is pretty lightweight, being a lossless codec and all. I've played back a FLAC on a 133MHz Pentium computer before, chugged along all fine.
Relating to multimedia, how capable are those PCs on playbacking FLAC files?
I can say that Windows Millennium has been rock solid after in-use for a good period of time on my HP Pavilion 8720 from 2001 to 2008, even though it would seem like really shotty hardware for the time it was released. It's also much faster in a number of areas compared to 98, from having more optimized hardware detection dialogs, to necessary additions like better 32-bit disk drivers, to more subtle improvements like the more accurate CPUID string in system properties inherited from Windows 2000.
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