Microsoft to push out XP patch on March Patch Tuesday - 2014

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Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#12
My main gripe about PC computers is the one hinted at by Jim Wynne
One thing to keep in mind is that older hardware might have trouble with newer Windows versions. If you have a ten-year-old XP machine, you might not be able to get compatible motherboard drivers.
which is "backward compatibility."

I have literally dozens of computers and printers crowding storage space in my garage which are in EXCELLENT working condition, but they are more than 15 years old. (left over from businesses I sold or closed.)

Just one small example will capsulize the problem:
I have an excellent HP laser jet printer from the 1990s - it still works fine with XP machines and older Macs, but no drivers are available for it to work with Windows 7X and higher or any of the newer Mac OS. I have enough toner supply to print 20,000 + pages, but I have to transfer material from a currently used W7 or W8 back into the XP to use it.

Of course, I bought a perfectly good new HP color laser which works with WIFI so I don't need cables taking up space, but it galls me that the only future for my older HP is a recycling center because no modern computers can run it.

Multiply that situation with

  • label printers that only run off parallel cables
  • Machines with older versions of MS Publisher that can't read anything using versions from 2002 and newer
  • dot matrix line printers that will imprint up to 5 carbons on NCR paper, but finding paper perforated for tractor feed is almost impossible
and it's almost enough to make a grown man cry.


Planned or inadvertent obsolescence seems to be the hallmark of society!
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#13
  • label printers that only run off parallel cables
Parallel port adapter card
  • Machines with older versions of MS Publisher that can't read anything using versions from 2002 and newer
Libre Office will open .pub files, but whether it will open pre-2002 files I don't know. Probably not a reasonable expectation at this point.
  • dot matrix line printers that will imprint up to 5 carbons on NCR paper, but finding paper perforated for tractor feed is almost impossible
Tractor-feed paper
 
P

PaulJSmith

#15
With much kicking and screaming, I bought a laptop with 8.1 to replace my XP desktop machine. I've had it for about a month now, and really don't care much for it. The HP machine works fine, but the OS leaves much to be desired, in my opinion.

However, it is what it is.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#16
With much kicking and screaming, I bought a laptop with 8.1 to replace my XP desktop machine. I've had it for about a month now, and really don't care much for it. The HP machine works fine, but the OS leaves much to be desired, in my opinion.

However, it is what it is.
You can make it what it's not for $5 by adding Start8. It will give you, among other things, the traditional Windows Start menu. It runs as a service rather than as an application so it's very easy on the resources.

Also, MS is rolling out what's supposed to be a significant update to 8.1 this month.
 

hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#17
Most small companies (I know of) are not switching. This is largely due to big investments in existing software like Autocad, Solidworks, and in our case, our Faro software (which has a warning not to use anything but XP), as well as Customer service software, etc.
While newer versions of this software may be available for Win 8, we are not upgrading existing software across the board just because of Win 8 and the extermination of XP.
Our desktops however, are Win 8, and we all hate them. As Wes pointed out, Classic Shell and Start 8 help with this some, but the annoying side bars and scrolling are still there.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#19
I've dealt with all kinds of computers and operating systems and languages ranging from big iron (IBM) to Sinclairs and Trash 80s; Basic, Fortran, cobal, C++, msdos, Win95, XP, NT, WIN 7 and 8.

I've even diddled a little with Apples and macs belonging to other people.

The one thing I've learned is that eventually I adapt as I use the product.

When I was a full-time business owner, I was always eager to be at the cutting edge of new hardware and software. Now that I'm semi-retired, I still lust for the new toys, but I've been able to be more pragmatic about buying only what I NEED versus what I WANT.

So, as an example, I went to the Fry's super electronics store about 70 miles from my house and managed to leave after spending ONLY $150 more than what I planned and had on my list. Five years ago, that "extra" payment would have been closer to $500 or $600. My justification [in my OWN mind] was that I had saved about $100 by purchasing sale items versus internet retail prices, so I was really only spending $50 more than I planned. (VERY POOR FINANCIAL REASONING FOR A FORMER SEC-REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER!)

BOTTOM LINE:
Some of the new stuff I bought will require a learning curve to use efficiently and effectively, but I recognize the long-term advantage of having products which are smaller, more robust, and easier and less expensive to maintain than the 5- and 6-year-old products I had been using and which are still in good working condition.
 
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