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First post, by Stojke

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Knowing how Micro$oft is integrating more and more things that can be abused to spy on people, which is the most basic windows system to use for internet browsing? This includes downloading files, watching youtube, reading e mail, etc. No gaming, other applications.

Ive been reading and some people recommend windows 98, some XP, and so on.
I know that Linux is a good choice, but its too ugh to use.

So, what are your thoughts on this topic? It needs to be minimalistic as possible, yet contain most, or at least major functionality for new age web.
May i remind every one that Windows 98 unofficial service pack 3 exists and that it raises RAM limits and fixes a lot of things.

Reply 2 of 35, by idspispopd

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For reading e-mail even WfW 3.11 would be ok.
Watching Youtube is probably the heaviest requirement.
Windows 98 is probably out. Most browsers cannot even be installed on that OS, except maybe Opera (don't know if Kernelex would help).
(Using old browser versions is not an option because of security holes and also because they can't probably display all of today's web.) And the current flash plugin you need for Youtube (or at least for a lot of Youtube videos, some might render with HTML5) also can't be installed under 98. Even if it could you wouldn't get the very nice video acceleration newer GPUs can provide.
Do you already have a specific machine in mind, or would you build it according to the requirements?

XP is fine for the moment, no need to go 64-bit, though (in fact most browsers come as 32-bit versions at the moment). 1-2GB should be ok.

About Linux: When did you last try to install and use Linux? If web browsing is basically the only thing you will be doing then it should be quite easy to use, Ubuntu made a lot of things possible.

Reply 3 of 35, by d1stortion

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Open up 6 or 7 youtube videos, maybe some other tasks and see how far you will get with a 1 gig machine. 😀 Flash will be dropping frames way before it hits the limit anyway.

I severly doubt the OP's statement that Win98 is viable for modern browsing. On the 3700+ with 2 GB (XP) I was using as my main machine until 2 years ago CPU utilization was hitting 100% all the time. Modern bloated internet has nothing, NOTHING to to with the internet that was around when Win98 was new.

Reply 4 of 35, by vetz

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As the other posters have said, forget about Windows 98. Get WinXP 64 bit as the earliest.

Remember that support for Windows XP is ending soon and security updates will be less frequent. I would personally just recommend you getting Windows 7 for this machine as it is the best OS to date by Microsoft.

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Reply 5 of 35, by Jorpho

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Stojke wrote:

Knowing how Micro$oft is integrating more and more things that can be abused to spy on people

Since when? I have the impression that "things that can be abused to spy on people" have a much greater tendency to pop up on the other end of one's Internet connection these days.

If privacy is a great concern, perhaps you should check out a browser like SRWare Iron.

Last edited by Jorpho on 2013-02-19, 15:57. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 6 of 35, by Stojke

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Thanks for the info guys. Well, i currently have about 5 computers and i wanted to experiment a bit.
I already have windows 7 that I'm using for the past two years, best windows so far if you ask me.
But I'm interested in technically how much can i get with 98/XP.

I have various configurations, from Pentium I to Core i5.
I managed to run Opera 6 on windows 98SE and it works quite well.
Also idspispopd i used Linux Ubuntu and Debian occasionally for the past year, i still have it on my main machine, i mess around it some times, works really fast, but still not used to it. What im interested into is exploring and learning from this. Also Linux has been proven bad for slower machines from my experience. Web slows down horribly with it as time goes by. You tube lags like hell and sound reducing function is almost impossible to use. (Pentium 4 2GHz 1GB DDR RAM - Laptop).

I would like to know why isnt installation of modern HTML and Flash possible on Win 98/etc.

[Edit]

Since when? I have the impression that "things that can be abused to spy on people" have a much greater tendency to pop up on the other end of one's Internet connection these days.

Windows 8 has a new thing that scans peoples hard drive, in this case images for child pornography. Who knows what else.

Reply 7 of 35, by Jorpho

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Stojke wrote:

I would like to know why isnt installation of modern HTML and Flash possible on Win 98/etc.

Anything is possible. It is a question of whether anyone can be bothered to create something like that for a 15-year-old operating system that is not frequently used anymore. The inherent 512 MB RAM limitation for Windows 98 does not help matters, even if it can be bypassed with the right hack.

I'm not sure about the specific causes of incompatibility, but I reckon some modern software may use specific kernel functions to an extent that KernelEx is an inadequate remedy.

Since when? I have the impression that "things that can be abused to spy on people" have a much greater tendency to pop up on the other end of one's Internet connection these days.

Windows 8 has a new thing that scans peoples hard drive, in this case images for child pornography. Who knows what else.

Do you have a citation for that? I very much doubt image processing technology has advanced to the point where artificial intelligence can magically discern whether a particular image constitutes child pornography.

Reply 8 of 35, by d1stortion

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Honestly, what the frick do you want with 98 for browsing? 1 core, 512 MB RAM and BSODs all over the place. 🤣

If you want a good old no-frills OS for modern use there is 2000. Has almost the same great UI but with the much better NT kernel... the server version even supports quadcores

Reply 9 of 35, by Stojke

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Jorpho:
Threads like these and similar: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/technology-blog/w … -164331963.html

D1stortion:
Purely for fun / testing 😀
Better question is why not?

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Reply 10 of 35, by Jorpho

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The program scans everything you download and install, and reports it back to Microsoft in order to verify that the app has a legitimate certificate. [...] It turns out that the protocol Microsoft uses to communicate this information is widely known to be extremely vulnerable to interception.

For starters, it is hardly unusual for a bug like this to be present in newly-released software and Microsoft will probably fix it very soon if they haven't already. Remember when XP was first released and clicking on a particular malformed link could wipe your system?

Secondly, there's a big, big difference between contacting Microsoft to verify a legitimate certificate and actively scanning people's hard drives for child pornography.

Reply 12 of 35, by Jorpho

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If a clueless user is trying to install a known piece of spyware or malware or something else that is just plain buggy and system-destroying, then in theory it will have no certificate (or a revoked certificate) and Microsoft can stop the clueless user from installing it. I think the same thing already happens with ActiveX controls.

"But Microsoft shouldn't be able to tell me what I can or can't run on my computer!" is the obvious response. To which I reply, if you're smart enough to think you should be able to run what you want, you should be able to figure out how to disable SmartScreen.

Reply 13 of 35, by sunaiac

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A good windows for browsing with no game or other apps kind of describes Linux very well.
Why windows ?

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Reply 14 of 35, by Stojke

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Because windows. Its not about which is easier, its about finding out what is the best configuration for this task.
@ Jorpho
That doesn't concern me who knows what he is installing and what he is downloading and what he is browsing. And some of those things aren't possible to disable.

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Reply 15 of 35, by Jorpho

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Stojke wrote:

That doesn't concern me who knows what he is installing and what he is downloading and what he is browsing.

Huh?

And some of those things aren't possible to disable.

Such as?

Reply 16 of 35, by Stojke

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Doesn't matter. Im interested into the initial question in the topic.
Which of the older systems is best suited for todays web, and why.

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Reply 17 of 35, by Leolo

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I use Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs in my netbook (a Compaq Mini with only 1GB of RAM and a crappy Atom processor).

It's a bit faster than regular Windows XP, and it's still well supported by most apps.

Regards.

Reply 19 of 35, by memsys

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If the only use is going to be browsing the internet then why NOT use Linux
OpenSUSE is incredibly easy to install. you may need to install flash but that would be everything. Then all you would need to do is click on the firefox icon on the taskbar.
OpenSUSE is not that light but there are plenty of light Linux distros. A list can be found here LINK Puppy Linux is probably the most interesting (claimed to be easy to use, small and light)

and if you have a problem with win 8 and searching your hard drive then Ubuntu is not for you. you might want to read this LINK.

If you are hell-bent on using windows don't bother with anything older then XP because of lack of support(updates to fix security holes).

Also it would help if you would be more specific on what hardware you are going to use.