10 years gone

Ars Technica has a retrospective about Windows XP’s long life that I found very interesting.

Until reading it, I couldn’t have told you when XP was released. I was out of the Windows biz by then—all of my personal work machines had been running Linux for two or three years by that point, and I had given up all but the most peripheral contact with Windows when I left the University of Miami in ’99.

Still, I did have some dealings with it. We eventually replaced Anne’s Gateway laptop running Windows 95 with a ThinkPad T40 running XP in 2003 or so. Even though it’s some 8 years old we still have it, and it still has XP on it. For the longest time I used it to play World of Warcraft on XP, though it’s been a couple of years since I’ve done that—at this point I just need to wipe it and dispose of it. But it still runs.

And thinking about it, I have to say, XP was pretty darned stable, and something resembling svelte. Whenever I have to use Anne’s current Windows 7 machines, I’m always amazed at how slow such powerful machines can be made to run. XP even on much older hardware is surprisingly snappy.

In retrospect, though I would never have wanted to use it as my primary OS or anything, I have to admit that XP was actually a pretty good OS.

MS-DOS 5.0 to Windows 7 in a number of easy (though time consuming) steps

The one thing the video glosses over is that there’s no way that you would ever do this in real life, since you were almost guaranteed to have had to reinstall Windows at some point.

Heard it from Chet