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OSdata.com: installation and set-up 


Installation and Set-Up


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plug and play

     “The OpenVMS storage media (disk and tape systems) have been available with ‘plug and play’ for several years before Microsoft ever coined the phrase.” —John Malmberge85

     “I found it much more difficult to install a modem on an NT system than I did on my personal Linux system. Under Linux the install consisted of making a symbolic link from from /dev/cua3 to /dev/modem. Under NT the install was a 15 minute job of wrestling with the computer, involving at least one reboot and much profanity.” —Bob Canupe87

live swapping

    Some operating systems support live installation or live swapping of hardware and software drivers. This allows changes in system configuration while the system remains running.

    <“Ease of configuration and being able to configure a server without causing downtime is yet another aspect of functionality:” —John Kirsch, “Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 versus UNIX”w51

     “If I need to make a change on UNIX, I don’t have to reboot, but do so on Windows NT,” explains Wayne Fiori, manager of technical services at INACT Health Management Systems, in Mountain View, CA. — Jim Carr; MicroTimesm1

    “Ease of configuration and being able to configure a server without causing downtime is yet another aspect of functionality: "Some versions of UNIX (Linux, for example) support loadable device modules. This means you can boot Linux and reconfigure its support for hardware and software on the fly. For example, you can boot Linux without support for the SCSI card you have installed. You simply load support for that SCSI card when you need to access one or more of the SCSI-connected devices, such as an optical disk for backup. You can unload the SCSI driver when you’re finished. You can also freely load and unload support for sound cards, network cards — even file systems such as HPFS, FAT, VFAT, and others (an NTFS driver is in the works).”—Nicholas Petreleyw22 More information at live installation.

See live installation for more information on this topic.


upgrading Macintosh

     Upgrading to a new version of Macintosh is a matter of booting up from the install floppy disk or CD-ROM, then double clicking the installer. If the hardware will support the new version of Macintosh, then the user will be offered the choice of a clean install or an install in place. A clean install renames and disables the existing System Folder and completely replaces it with a new System Folder (third party extensions, control panels, fonts, etc. can be dragged and dropped from the disabled System Folder to the new System Folder. A clean install can be combined with erasing and/or reformatting any hard drives. An install in place attempts to upgrade only those items in the System Folder that have changed. As with any major change, it is smart to completely back up all applications, data, and even the old operating system in case of failure.

upgrading to Mac OS X

     Because Macintosh OS X is a fundamentally different operating system than traditional Macintosh, an upgrade to Mac OS X requires reformatting the entire hard drive. Apple does not adequately warn users of this. A complete back up of all applications, data, and old operating system are strongly advised prior to any attempt to upgrade to Mac OS X.

upgrading Windows

     While it is possible to upgrade an existing computer to a more recent or different version of Windows, this can take substantial time (days or weeks) and is very prone to errors that result in a non-bootable computer. It is strongly advised that changes or upgrades to Windows be accompanied by the purchase of all new hardware and all new versions of programs. A complete change in hardware and software greatly increases the chances of successful upgrade.

     “While upgrading to NT 4.0 from any older version of Windows or DOS is painless, installing NT over Windows 95 is impossible.”—Ed Bott of ZDNetw62

     “Blame it on fundamental incompatibilities in the system registries for Windows 95 and NT.”—Ed Bott of ZDNetw62

default settings

    “The default settings that are shipped with the operating system can be another server security issue. These are often set in low-security mode, with extremely permissive user access settings to certain areas that should be for the administrator’s eyes only. In addition, many services that the company may not plan on using are active.
    “ ‘A lot of security settings, things for who can access what — these are pretty much open by default, especially in Microsoft operating systems,’ says Lynn Bernstein, president of ECG Consulting Inc., in Montclair, NJ. ‘So everyone can have access to everything in some instances.’
    “Elias Levy, chief technical officer of SecurityFocus.com, a provider of security information services for business based in San Mateo, CA, suggests taking stock of exactly what you need the operating system to do, and shutting everything else off. ‘You should disable any services or options that you are not using,’ he says. For example, with the Microsoft Internet Information Server Web server, Levy advises administrators to disable the Internet Data Administration (.ida) for those who don’t use the Index Server.
    “Levy also notes that misconfiguration of operating systems is a major reason why server systems get broken into. Because of this, a company with a low level of technical expertise should consider hiring a consultant to set up its key servers.” —Joe Paone, MicroTimes; Oct 8, 2001m6

     Microsoft has generally tried to shield users from the hassle of endless software settings by automating security functions.
    Ironically, experience suggests that hiding complexity with too much zeal can run contrary to secure operations. For example, Microsoft boasts that its server software, designed to manage Web sites and networks of computers, is easier than competing products to set up and operate. That may encourage complacency among users, analysts say. [Note that Mac OS X is easier to set up and maintain than Windows XP, and NetWare, AIX, Tru-64 UNIX, Solaris, and HP-UX are almost as easy, and all are significantly more secure than Windows XP.]
    “You get an awful lot of Microsoft servers set up with simple default settings or security patches not installed, because the people who run those servers, on average, are less skilled,” said Jeffrey Tarter, editor of Soft-Letter, an industry newsletter.—Los Angeles Times, February 13, 2002n3

manufacturer comments

     OS/2 Warp Server: “a single, cost-effective solution that’s easy to install”w35

geek humor

    “All workers happy and raring to go. — All systems up and running. — All pigs fed and ready to fly.” —Michael Lacey

OSdata.com is used in more than 300 colleges and universities around the world

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    Copyright © 1998, 2001, 2002 Milo

    Last Updated: February 14, 2002

    Created: June 5, 1998

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