[Robelle] [SmugBook] [Index] [Prev] [Next]

Windows NT Tips for HP Users

When Windows NT was announced, it sounded as seriously overhyped as the original Windows product: a real multiuser operating system, like MPE and HP-UX, with true multitasking (even run multiple copies of Windows 3.1 so that if one crashed it didn't bring down your whole system!); 32-bit addressing for huge programs and 32-bit execution for speed; Unicode to support the characters of all known languages; networking including TCP/IP for the Internet; performance monitoring tools; system management tools; job schedulers; all with a Windows graphical user interface, and the ability to be ported beyond the Intel-based chips.

We expected to have to wait for 5 years for this to be useful as we did with DOS and Windows. But within 2 years we had heard from professional friends that this was a real product that could do useful things and we now have our Windows NT system. We can run Reflection for DOS and Reflection for Windows on it to access our MPE servers.

We acquired Windows NT when we couldn't figure out how to use Windows 3.11 to automate the production of our WinHelp files for Qedit and Suprtool (it has no job scheduling, no remote launching of processes, and so on). Windows NT handled this tiny task easily. In comparison with Windows 3.1, there are no more lockups, no more out- of- system resources; there is built-in TCP/IP for connection to the Internet; and you can really do something useful while you are printing a large document or downloading a large file; it runs most Windows 3.1 applications, and has automatic detection and configuration of new devices such as disc drives and video cards. Conclusion: Microsoft is considerably ahead of their traditional 5-year rollout schedule on Windows NT.

Another advantage of using Windows NT is that it comes with a built-in FTP server, with anonymous FTP if you want it. NT can have services such as a Web server that do not require you to be logged on. This is very similar to the UNIX TCP/IP Daemon processes that "listen" on sockets and then spawn son processes to handle a specific request. While it is possible to do this in Windows 95, we do not think it has the same robustness, configuration management capabilities, and "server" features to make it as attractive as Windows NT is in these server applications. Compared to UNIX, we find it easier to visualize and manage the services we are offering under Windows NT because of the graphical user interface or GUI. NT has some way to go, but is already a long way ahead of UNIX.

Windows NT 3.51 was released in 1995, about the same time as Windows 95. It provides file compression (although it is incompatible with other Microsoft compression methods), support for the PowerPC chip, support for PCMCIA cards, and support for Windows 95 user interface (tabbed dialogs, property sheets, window widgets, new on-line help, and so on) so that you can run many Windows 95 applications on NT without modification. Windows NT itself does not yet make use of the new interface in many modules.

If you manage Windows NT, we recommend that you obtain the Microsoft Windows NT Resource Kit. This kit has a wealth of NT information, including how to use Windows NT to connect to the Internet.

Windows NT is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

[Robelle] [SmugBook] [Index] [Windows] [Prev] [Next]