December 11, 2000, 11:06 AM — I'll admit it: I'm an operating system bigot. So when my new IBM ThinkPad arrived,
complete with 700-MHz Pentium III CPU, 196 MB of RAM, and 12.5 GB of disk space, I was
disheartened to find that it was also packing Windows 98.
I prefer a real operating system, not a glossed-over 16-bit OS with a GUI add-on.
Look under the cover of Windows 95 or Windows 98 and you see MS-DOS 7.x and Windows
4.x. That's fine for my kids, but no business client should run anything less than
Windows NT, Windows 2000, or a Unix variant. For a laptop, Windows 2000 makes the most
I see some of you Linux fans reaching for your keyboards to bash me. Well, I like
Linux. I use Linux. It's a great operating system -- for a stationary server without
many hardware changes. For a laptop that may use a dialup connection in the morning,
use a DHCP network connection in the afternoon, go back to the dialup from a hotel, and
connect to a non-DHCP network the next day, Windows 2000 Professional is more
So, with my laptop attached to the network and a Windows 2000 Professional CD-ROM in
my hand, I merrily installed Windows 2000. The CD-ROM was not an upgrade version, so I
could legally install it to a different directory without touching the Windows 98
configuration. I formatted both partitions with FAT-32, because both Windows 98 and
Win2K understand it.
Like many laptops, the machine came with lots of utilities that addressed its
specific peculiarities. Fortunately, IBM included instructions on how to install the
utilities under Windows 2000; clearly, IBM expects that many users will install Windows
2000 on the ThinkPad.
Windows 2000 installed without a hitch, I added the utilities, and my ThinkPad was a
joy to behold.
If you follow my example, be sure to give yourself administrator rights when you use
2000 on your laptop. If you're not the administrator, you can't add a new driver to the
system when you install a new device. Some big companies don't give users administrator
rights on their own computers; this might work for a desktop, but not a laptop. Keep a
copy of Windows 2000 Professional handy on the hard disk, or keep the CD-ROM in your
briefcase. You're going to need it more than you might expect.