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#1
debbyski

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Hey everybody,
Well, I use windows 98 and now I have this message that the microsoft will not support windows 98 with critical updates anymore :whistling:
For one thing, my computer suits me just fine and I'd have a hard time updating to XP on this old system, probably having to get a new video card, etc. It would just be easier to buy a new dell desktop.
Having said that, I do not want to plunk down $750.00 for a new system when my old system works great still for my purposes which are basically e-mail and surfing the web.
Do I need to be concerned about hackers having more easy availability to my system now? I run several programs like AdAware SE, SpywareBlaster, AVG free and Tune-Up utilities and Registry Repair.
Would anyone recommend changing to Firefox as my default browser? I personally hate firewalls, but I would consider one if needed.
So, the bottom line is:
Is it still safe to run Windows 98 SE without having access to Microsoft's critical updates and do I have any viable alternatives to Microsoft?
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#2
phybyr0ptyk

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Do I need to be concerned about hackers having more easy availability to my system now? I run several programs like AdAware SE, SpywareBlaster, AVG free and Tune-Up utilities and Registry Repair.
Would anyone recommend changing to Firefox as my default browser? I personally hate firewalls, but I would consider one if needed.


First of all, if you aren't running a firewall I would be willing to bet your machine is a *crackers* playground already. All of the software you have just listed has absolutely no effect upon hacking your computer. Get yourself a firewall.

Secondly, Keep all of the definition files upto date for the rest of your anti malware tools and most definately switch to firefox as your primary web browser.

In my opinion, if you haven't suffered a major attack without running a firewall, if you get one you should be OK for what you are doing with your computer anyways. I used Zonealarm for years (the free version) and I never had a problem with it, as a matter of fact I would still use it today but I am on a brand new laptop protected by trend micro Pc-cillin suite, it was a free subscription for 15 months so I decided to take advantage.

As far as viable alternatives to microsoft, well theres apple...but thats money you don't want to spend, you could go with Linux, but the transition to Linux, if you don't already know how it operates isn't worth it if your just surfing and using Email. I think your best two options are to install a firewall and take your chances or buy yourself a new pc and again take your chances.
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#3
silverbeard

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Linux is as easy to use as Windows for surfing the web and get email. There are many distrubutions that are point and click. Xandros is one of the few commercial distros, very stable and Windows like. I've installed it on older machines for people and they have had no problems with surfing and email. Other free distros are just as easy and require no more of a learning curve than going from 98 to XP. Yes learning to manually mount your drives is a bit of a change but it's still point and click from the GUI.

Most of the more popular distros are well supported from the linux community and have regular updates that are free. Don't be afraid of Linux, it's not just for geeks anymore. There are very few linux viruses and spyware doesn't run in it. Hareware support is a bit behind on newer systems but older hardware is very well supported.

98 is still viable for the most part. If your on cable or DSL you have a firewall in place in the modem/router provide by most ISPs these days. There is also the Unoffical Service Pack for 98SE that you find with Google. No MS will not support it but as has been the case for years, your best defence is "safe hex".

Sorry, but when someone says Linux is not an option I get irrated because they probably have little experience to base such a dismissive judgement on a Windows alternative.
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#4
debbyski

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Thanks for all the info. I should have said I do not have a software firewall. I have a firewall built into my router supplied by my dsl service. I have experimented with different software firewall's including zone alarm and found out that they really just slowed my system down considerably and didn't protect me all that much when others in my family were using my system that didn't know how to operate the firewall.
I looked up the unofficial site on google for 98 SE service pack. I guess my motto is:
IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T TRY TO FIX IT

So, it's working good right now. I also run Goback which has been a godsend to a novice like me. I'm seriously considering making firefox my default browser, the only problems being that I have 2 college students and believe it or not, firefox is not supported by the college network to enter their accounts. Only IE explorer and a very crappy version of Netscape 7.2.

So thanks for that unoffical site on google for 98 SE service pack and I'm probably going to change to firefox eventually. Microsoft said it may continue to release patches for 98 if they are critical enough. The only problems I have ever had with my computer is my outdated video card once in a while will make the computer crash. I've had this gateway system for over 8 years and it's still giving me good service.
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