The old friend the 98 machine is very very sick. It started with a pulse through the phone lines that zapped the ports for my modem. LUCKILY it did not hit the CPU (I ran a soft modem on that machine for many reasons)
For those of you how do not know what that means here is a very basic explanation There are two ports for phone lines wired into the motherboard one in and one out. The modem is actually software, so they access the CPU. Now when you are online and doing other things it is SLOW, but if you are online and your machine is running minimal, the thread (part of CPU process) assigned to the modem can be pretty quick for dial up. It all depends on your CPU. BTW it sucks for gaming on MMPORGS, but there are nights when I have a clean connection I can outpace the DSL users with a clogged pipeline. (Cable always has me beat hands down though.)
So I was VERY happy that the CPU, motherboard and drives were undamaged - well until the repair dude from HELL got a hold of my machine, but that is for another Blog. So the upshot is no modem on the old machine. I have data files I need to get from the old machine to the new Vista machine. Now BITD (back in the day) all machines came with a floppy drive. No more. Both have CDRW, Actually the new one has a DVDWR but is supposed to read CDs. Repair guy from hell hosed my periphs on the 98 so I spend a night fixing them. Now have the 3.5 and both CDs work, the read only and the RW. Guess what? The Vista machine doesn't like CDs written from the 98, so no data xfer that way.
What about a null modem cord? Used to be you could null modem using a serial conn or if desperate do writes to the printer port to send via parallel. No problem since machines are right next to each other atm so no 30 foot (maybe it was 15 feet) limitation. Seems Vista only allows wireless networking between machines. Of course the 98 never heard of Vista, so off I go to read support forums both at Microsoft and from people who have a clue. Seems like only way to connect the two machines are through a wireless router or MAYBE USB to USB data xfer cables. Now the data xfer cables have a databridge on them , so a cable for just any old usb to usb type A (aka male plugs) will not do. Don't try this with your camera upload cord in other words.
I go pricing, they run from 10.00 to 50.00 most are USB 2.0 (98 is 1.0) some are 98 compat. Cool EXCEPT it is like the old PC anywhere or other old style master/slave machine setup (for those of you old enough to remember). Yep you have to install the software and drivers on both machines. ALL of the packages I found work with 98 OR with Vista, none work with both. Ok so back to sneakernet methods.
Flash drives! There we go flash or jump drives are slow, but SHOULD work. Guess what I need to down load a driver for 98. I do, I grab a CD I make sure it runs in the 98 machine, I go to burn the file onto the CD. DRIVE not ready. Hmm SO I grab a CD the VISTA machine likes. Burn and pop it in the first CD drive on the 98, nope. I pop it in the second, nope again.
So I have come to this conclusion. Microsoft does not want anyone to preserve their old data. Never mind it may be crucial to running their business, TOO bad. Unless you are willing to jump through hoops and perhaps pay through the nose. you are SOL. so thanks MS it really helps us small business owners.
Oh and my plans for the old friend? Unix, what else. At least I'll be able to copy data files.