My home PC is a stand alone machine, do i need windows 2003 ?
What is that version called, I thought winXP was 2002?
You don't need anything in particular. It's entirely a matter of choice. Any Windows system is relatively easy to use. If I didn't give a damn about learning the ins-and-outs of computers, and only wanted a machine for word processing, multimedia stuff, and using the web, I'd use some Windows OS. However, for security, reliability, and other reasons, I would go for another system. Although I'm finding XP Pro is okay so far, as long as you get the security updates and all. But one of the problems with updating Windows online is that you need a proper registered copy to get stuff from Microsoft, and if you do that, it starts by giving them a description of your computer, which kinda sucks.
Windows 2003 only comes in server versions...so no, you would not use windows 2003 on your home system.
Windows XP is what I myself prefer, having used 2003 on my company machine for a few days. If you are running Windows 9x or ME, you are crazy...see a doctor
Win2k is a good choice too...but XP is better for home users, imo.
Buy Norton firewall if you want to upgrade the software on your PC. It will tell you whenever someone is making a hack attempt on your computer, lots of MS security humor could come from that, especially as the attempts start to decrease over the first few weeks you have the firewall installed.
I wouldn't worry about a firewall software unless you are using an always-on connection (cable, dsl, etc). Otherwise, with your IP being dynamic (it usually is when you dial into your ISP), it's unlikely that you will be harrassed.
If you feel the need to use a firewall but don't want to spend the money for a program, windows XP has a basic firewall ability built in. It's not super advanced, but it gets the job done.
As a side note, make sure you disable your messenger service in Win NT, 2k, XP if you aren't using it. Otherwise, you could end up with some annoying ads and such popping up. Quite the pain.
And if you use a router with your dsl or cable, you also don't need a software firewall. The router is a good hardware firewall.
sucicide, hackers are known to penetrate norton personal firewall
Why Longhorn has to be so late till end of 2004 ?
Of course you do, silly.
Just to keep you in suspence?
Actually, these things do take time to put together you know. There is no point in holding one's breath as it will arrive when it arrives, and in the mean time we still have windows for workgroups!
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