Is windows 98 now obsolete?

July 7, 2006 at 05:25:40
Specs: win 98, Celeron 400, 32MB

the most recent update for zonealarm (free one) says that I need windows 2000 or XP to run it! Does that mean that firewall companys are no longer supporting windows 98 OS?

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July 7, 2006 at 06:20:06

It is the law of diminishing returns. Less and less folks running Win98, yet the same amount of work to support it. Microsoft will dicontinue ALL support for Win98,ME, 2000 and XPsp1 on July 11, 2006.

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July 7, 2006 at 06:37:16


I feel your pain. You will find as more time goes by that software manufacturers will be less likely to invest their resources in supporting Win98.

Now for the good news (or news that is less bad). I have a machine like yours, a Celeron 400, that I easily upgraded to WinXP for not a lot of money. From eBay WinXP and additional 256 MB of memory (you need a minimum of 64 MB) cost me around $130.

I - Sandor J

Sound judgement, with discernment, is the best of seers.
- Euripides (B.C. 480 - 406)

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July 7, 2006 at 08:09:28

It'sot obsolete until it no longer does what you want it to do.

Do yourself a favor BACKUP!

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July 7, 2006 at 08:41:29

I often get miffed by the hullabaloo surrounding any M$ decision to pull the support plug on a product line.

In the first place this has consistently had minuscule or no effect on 99% of home users, because hardly do they call M$ when their system needs a medic and the ones that do aren't completely satisfied with the services received and usually wished they hadn't wasted their time to begin with.

It is sites like this & others that do clean up after M$ that we need to show our support and help sustain because the help we receive and aggravation thwarted are simply inestimable, add that to Othehill's statement "It is the law of diminishing returns. Less and less folks running Win98, yet the same amount of work to support it, and you will realize this isn't a BIG deal afterall.

Computer Components

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July 7, 2006 at 09:31:54


The big deal is the Critical updates that MS was supplying. Without IE6 updates there will be more risk.

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July 7, 2006 at 11:00:28

I can tell you right off the bat that most of the home users that obstinately cling to the older versions of Windows usually fall within the same demographics as the folks that aren't highly enthused about most updates (critical included) from M$ anyway, hence my contrasting assertion to the bid deal factor.

If risk was an underlying principle they would have upgraded to the more secure version but more often than not sticking with the earlier versions is rather a preferential or sometimes more appropriately a recalcitrant decision.

Computer Components

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July 7, 2006 at 11:25:25


In my case I have a Multimedia PC connected to my 58" TV. Only go online to Update the Guidestar listings. Second computer in basement is an MP3 jukebox. This one rarely is connected to the net. My wife has another old unit that she uses for recordkeeping. In my office I have another older machine that I use as a file and printer server. This computer is convient for my wife to check her Email. All the above mentioned computers run either 98se or 2000sp4. My business machine is Win98se/2000sp4 dual boot. Until a week ago I needed Win98 to support my old logitech pagescan color, which I love. I just purchased a Xerox Combo sheet/flat scanner to replace the logitech. My college son is home now and his machine runs XP. All of these computers are on a LAN connected to a switch and router behind a cable modem. I can't justify buying 5 copies of WinXP for 2 people to use in one house. I am going to bite the bullet and migrate my machine to XP. Not having those updates puts my LAN at more risk. All of these machines are the result of upgrades to my primary machine, except for the TIVO computer, which I built for that purpose. My machine and the print server run 24/7. I consider myself software/ hardware poor as it is, without buying 5 copies of WinXP, or buying junky Dells or whatever just to get cheap oem copies of an OS. I am not alone in reusing slower machines on a home network. If Windows didn't have all the vulnerabilities it has, we wouldn't need weekly patches. Sorry for the rant, just had to get that off my chest.

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July 7, 2006 at 11:57:11

I am 100% with you on that multiple home computer situation, I feel that is just too much, I believe people who live in the same household should be able to share OS installation without any limitation - much like we share little items like newpapers or big ticket items like our cars.

M$ however offers an alternative to folks that may not necessarily be very eager to pay retail CD prices for multiple OS licences, but that alternative may not be desirable to all.

Computer Components

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July 7, 2006 at 12:06:39

There is little real need to update a firewall, so just stick to the one you've got. Possible lack of AntiVirus support in the future bothers me a tad more.

Although MS Security Updates will discontinue this is offset "to some extent" by the fact that intruders/hackers and the like have long since aimed their nasties at XP because this is the current system.

I accept that some viruses and so forth will still mess up older systems but when they do it is almost by chance. Much of it does not.

Often the claimed advantage of newer systems really comes down to the fact that it happens to be supplied on much faster and bigger hardware, rather than the OS itself (although I accept broadly that XP is a better system). Software writers don't help by supplying bloated programs bubbling with pointless features which bog old systems down. My new Printer program was a case in point. It does no less than much simpler programs (which I went back to) yet takes ages to even run. The skins are real pretty tho.

I have no reason to change from W98SE because I can do everything I need to at present without spending a penny. In fact I can tailor this system, because it is DOS based, far more than XP. It's always been the same with computers because the older ones are at nuts and bolts level.

When I need some feature that cannot be supplied on W98SE, or want a hardware change but can't find appropriate software, that is the time I'll dump this ultra reliable old system and go for whatever current, or more current, system is best.


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July 7, 2006 at 12:49:58

"There is little real need to update a firewall"

Is Dereks statement true or are we open to hacking if we don't keep are firewalls up to date? What's the risk involved??

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July 7, 2006 at 13:13:06

Nothing is 100% (hence I deliberately said "little real need") but the risks associated with using an old firewall are very low. My Kerio 2.1.5 blocks everything unless I agree to let it in and it's several years old.

A virus checker is quite a different matter because it depends on its data base being updated in order to catch new viruses.

Still, let's see what others think.


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July 7, 2006 at 18:59:33

I'll second you on that Derek.

A firewall functions by monitoring traffic with a set of rules. If any traffic violates these rules, it is not allowed access to the destinaton it was intended. In other words, it is blocked.

The only reason to change these rules is if someone finds and exploits a loophole. The rule that says 'Don't answer the door to strangers' is fairly hard to overcome.

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