Regarding Win 9x: I sometimes still use Win 98 SE on an old machine and while it's generally okay, I keep running into the "low resources" problem (running out of user/GDI resources because the resource heaps were too limited by design). I've seen enough descriptions of this problem, but nobody seems to ever have patched it. A similar simple fix for 9x would have been great.
Even though you can't really fix the problem on 9x, you at least get a nice resource meter with the operating system, that you can keep in your tray to let you know how things stand. (green is good)
Unlike XP, which you have no idea how close to the limit you are and when things will start screwing up on you. (you only get a CPU meter to keep in your tray, if you minimize the task manager) The only warning I have in XP, is when context menus start missing entries. Then I know bigger trouble is on its way.
Funny, I've never bumped into this problem with win2k or XP... And I've run lots of apps, very resource-hungry apps, and have had uptimes of 14+ days.
I always bump into this problem about every 5-7 days. Yeah, sure, if you close some things and wait, it does get better, but you hit that limit faster and faster till you reboot. It's the reason my uptime isn't what it should be with XP. I have better uptime with my 9x machine. And the problem became worse when I upgraded to IE 7, for some reason. (and I don't use IE 7, directly)
The problem doesn't happen with a few resource intensive apps running...more like when I have a lot of things running (regardless of how resource intensive they are), or many browser windows open, with each having a lot of tabs.
My daughter ran into this problem all the time on her ex-boyfriend's pc while doing photo-work in Paintshop Pro, and didn't really know what it was at the time. It seemed to limit the amount of images she could open at one time, to about 20. After that, new images would refuse to open and the application would start acting weird with the menus.
This is not a setting in the program, as far as I know. It has no limits you can set for the number of images you can have open, and I don't have any limits on this machine with the same version of Paintshop Pro. I can open 100+ at one time (not that I normally would).
alxwz: I'm not sure there's a simple fix for win9x, parts of the operating system still runs 16bit code from the win3.x days... there's some hard limits there. Basically, don't try to run 3d studio max or other GDI-intensive stuff on win9x.
Hardware limitations prevent me from running things like that on my 9x machine, but you can still run some rather GDI-intensive things...just make sure that is all you are running (close anything you really don't need), make sure you have freshly rebooted the machine first, and be prepared to reboot again when you are done.
It's how I run things like Delphi 6 and Dreamweaver 4 on a machine that doesn't meet the min specs for running those applications. I still have problems with TightVNC when there is an active connection, though, no matter what I do.
mouser, when you finish tell us how the thing went
I have tried this fix on my XP machine and I will let everyone know how it worked out for me (in about a week or so).