Lab Notes




Jason Byrne
jbyrne@gcn.com

Michael Cheek, mcheek@gcnlab.com




Connection failed. If you’re among the
Microsoft Windows 98 users who installed the operating system’s critical-up-date
notification feature, you probably are regretting it now. Microsoft recently released a
Java Virtual Machine update, and Win98 users with critical updates are receiving a daily
reminder to download it to patch a year 2000 readiness problem.


Trouble is, every such user got the notice at the same time, in mid-March. Even over
the GCN Lab’s T1 Internet connection, the lab staff has had great difficulty
downloading the fix.


Maybe by the time 2000 rolls over the lab will get the patch.


For now, all we get is the daily reminder and numerous “installation failed”
messages. Visit the site at windowsupdate.microsoft.com.


A rare first edition? You might be one of
the not-so-proud owners of a first edition of Windows 98. Yes, like popular works of
fiction, Win98 will have a reprint.


Due out this summer, the new edition echoes the dreaded Windows 95 Service Releases.
Although there is a lot of talk about its new drivers, new Internet Explorer 5.0 browser
and other accoutrements, current Win98 users may be left out in the cold like the early
Win95 adopters, who had no real way to harmonize their existing operating system with the
new edition.


Many readers will recall that Windows 95 OSR1, or Version 95a, could not be completely
upgraded to Windows 95 OSR2, or 95b. Many of the patches could be installed individually,
but some required a full installation of Windows 95b. Problem was, OSR2 was available only
on new computers.


Wondering if the same situation would stymie Win98 users, the lab searched for a
uniform resource locator to explain things at Microsoft’s Web site. After hours of
looking, we could not find one. Let’s hope the company won’t repeat the same
mistake.


Diamonds are not IE5’s best friend.
Before you rush to upgrade to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 5.0 browser, check to see
what kind of video card you are using. Some users have reported trouble when installing
the new browser and updating their Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc. video card drivers. A
Windows Dynamic Link Library file problem has caused some of the systems not to boot
correctly again.


There are workarounds, but the best advice is to continue using your current driver
until the situation is sorted out. Most of the driver updates on Diamond’s Web site
at www.diamondmm.com were posted before the release of IE5, so you might already have the
latest drivers and need no update.


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