Support for Windows XP ends

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#1
So I'm still on XP, and security updates support ends Tuesday (April 1). How much time do I have to install a new platform (which for me will mean getting a new computer because I'm due) before my PC self-destructs? ;)

I'll probably try and get one within a month or so - should I try and remain calm, or panic?

I do have Norton Anti-Virus, SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware (registered) constantly updated and run full scans every day.

Thanks in advance for your input, computer-savvy members!
 
#2
You can try installing either Vista or Windows 7. A lot of old computers can handle them and they are still being supported.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#3
Thanks K9. I hadn't thought of that. I just used the Windows Upgrade Advisor and it says I can install Windows 7 but I'll have to do a custom installation and reinstall my programs. (Some of which I fear might not work). I think I'll wait and get a new PC - I'm due anyway. I'm just looking for validation that I don't need to excessively worry and should survive unscathed if I wait a month. :)
 
#5
You can try installing either Vista or Windows 7. A lot of old computers can handle them and they are still being supported.
I'd steer clear of Vista speaking from my own experience and those I supported (technically) while I was still in the support business. For myself, I was relieved when I retired and was finally free to dump Microsoft Windows altogether. I now have an iMac and a Macbook with my old Windows 7 machine mothballed but available for the increasingly rare occasions when I need to run some Windows-only application. By the way, I don't even have any anti-virus/malware software on my Macs.

Having said that, I'm not altogether an Apple fanboy. I really dislike iTunes (I use Google Play music) and I have traded my old iPhone for an Android Motorola. I also use Google Drive and Microsoft One Drive for free online storage, but not Apple's iCloud.
 
#6
Windows 8 is terrible, believe me. It has touch screen icons like an iPhone with only a cursor to move them. Vista and 7 were poor, but 8 reached a new low. Windows are hidden from view, and any fast movement of the cursor opens them up accidentally. There seems to be no logic to it apart from trying to look pretty and appeal to the iPhone generation.
 
C

chuck.drake

#7
Just because Windows Update is unavailable doesn't mean you should race to find a solution. You have time. Keep your machine updated with AV and stay away from the shadier side of the web if possible.

If you mainly do web and e-mail and have the money to spend, I would suggest that you try Apple at least one time in your life. I did a few years back and I really like many aspects of the OS. If you are a big Windows utility junky and are always installing stuff and tinkering, then it's not a good fit. But if you just browse and do e-mail, then they are great machines. When they say there are virtually no virus on OS X, they mean it. I think you would really need to start trawling around the worst kind of places to get a virus on OS X.

Many people don't know it, but OS X is just a UNIX overlay, like many of the linux desktops. So if you know UNIX, then you can really dive into the OS in a way that isn't possible with Windows.

Whatever you choose, get lots of memory and a SSD hard drive and you will be happy.
 
#8
Just because Windows Update is unavailable doesn't mean you should race to find a solution. You have time. Keep your machine updated with AV and stay away from the shadier side of the web if possible.

If you mainly do web and e-mail and have the money to spend, I would suggest that you try Apple at least one time in your life. I did a few years back and I really like many aspects of the OS. If you are a big Windows utility junky and are always installing stuff and tinkering, then it's not a good fit. But if you just browse and do e-mail, then they are great machines. When they say there are virtually no virus on OS X, they mean it. I think you would really need to start trawling around the worst kind of places to get a virus on OS X.

Many people don't know it, but OS X is just a UNIX overlay, like many of the linux desktops. So if you know UNIX, then you can really dive into the OS in a way that isn't possible with Windows.

Whatever you choose, get lots of memory and a SSD hard drive and you will be happy.
With respect, Chuck, I do far more than browse and email. I like working with graphics (not gaming though) and there is nothing that I used to do with Windows that I can't do on a Mac. My iMac is big screen (27") which is ideal for graphics - 24GB Ram and a 1TB Hybrid (SSD+conventional in one drive). It is pretty good for watching movies too. My Macbook is mainly used for web stuff but I can run Photoshop or Gimp quite happily though rather cramped on a 13" screen. Also good for watching a movie in bed :)

As you say, access to the OS is via a Unix console but there are plenty of utilities which have a pretty GUI if preferred. I used to work on HP-UX servers so I'm pretty comfortable with Unix.
 
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chuck.drake

#9
With respect, Chuck, I do far more than browse and email. I like working with graphics (not gaming though) and there is nothing that I used to do with Windows that I can't do on a Mac. My iMac is big screen (27") which is ideal for graphics - 24GB Ram and a 1TB Hybrid (SSD+conventional in one drive). It is pretty good for watching movies too. My Macbook is mainly used for web stuff but I can run Photoshop or Gimp quite happily though rather cramped on a 13" screen. Also good for watching a movie in bed :)

As you say, access to the OS is via a Unix console but there are plenty of utilities which have a pretty GUI if preferred. I used to work on HP-UX servers so I'm pretty comfortable with Unix.
Oh. I completely agree. They are great machines to do everything on. But I think for the average lifetime Windows PC user the experience is different enough that if you aren't technology savvy maybe it is better to stick with what you know.

My Macbook Pro 13 is a mid-2009 model. This past month I maxed the RAM and replaced the broken DVD player with a SSD and it's like a new machine. I love it. I can easily see this as my main machine for many years to come.

That's why I think if you have the cash and even the slightest spirit for adventure you should own a MAC at least one time.
 
#10
Oh. I completely agree. They are great machines to do everything on. But I think for the average lifetime Windows PC user the experience is different enough that if you aren't technology savvy maybe it is better to stick with what you know.

My Macbook Pro 13 is a mid-2009 model. This past month I maxed the RAM and replaced the broken DVD player with a SSD and it's like a new machine. I love it. I can easily see this as my main machine for many years to come.

That's why I think if you have the cash and even the slightest spirit for adventure you should own a MAC at least one time.
I've just helped my ex buy an set up the exact same model (second hand, refurbished). It has a 1TB Hybrid like my iMac and 8GB Ram. She is a complete novice with Macs but loves it already - especially the touchpad which she has mastered in no time. She was worried that it was quite "old" as her last Windows laptop lasted 3 years and is all but dead now. I said it will probably be fine for at least another 5 years for what she needs to do.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#11
Thanks for all your input. I'm looking for a desktop, not a laptop by the way. I write a lot, play with music files a bit (use an old version of Soundforge), and use Photoshop (a really old version that crashes easily) to make private/alternate CD and DVD covers. I'm completely ignorant when it comes to Mac's and afraid to learn them, honestly. Dumb question: does Mac have Word? Or does it translate your Word documents to an equivalent? And what about pdf files? I also need some kind of simple website composer and an FTP gizmo that are easy to use.

If I buy a PC, I will have to go to the dreaded 8.1 and learn to get used to it. (Ugh.) I don't feel like buying an older platform that will be obsolete within 4 or 5 years. Which is the dumb thing I did last time when I chose to stay with XP rather than go for Windows 7. I also stuck with Windows 95 before that for the longest time ever.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#12
Just because Windows Update is unavailable doesn't mean you should race to find a solution. You have time. Keep your machine updated with AV and stay away from the shadier side of the web if possible.
There goes all my porn time! :eek: Seriously, thanks Chuck. This reassures me a bit. I've followed the advice of the pcworld articles and got a replacement for Adobe Reader, looked to see that Java is disabled, and won't be using Internet Explorer and keep only to Firefox.
 
#13
Mac's have equivalents of most Windows software. Microsoft Office for Mac is available or you can use the free Open Office or Libre Office. Ian, to be honest, it depends upon what you want to spend. You can get a cheap Windows desktop or spend more on an iMac (which is a desktop built-in to the back of a big screen). The iMac will probably last you longer. Once you get used to it, OSX (Mac) is more user friendly than any Windows version. Installing software is a breeze. There is a built-in PDF reader or you can get others. For websites, I used to use a package such as Wordpress but these days it is easier to use the online blogging sites such as Tumblr or Blogger. You can customise them as much as you like and don't need FTP to upload the files.

I suggest you don't take my word for it - much of this is subjective and personal. Have a look at the Mac forums and other sites. Go to an Apple store and get your hands on one. I've only seen Windows 8 on my son's PC and it looked quite pretty but he disabled a lot of the touch screen stuff and used it like Windows 7.
 
C

chuck.drake

#14
Mac's have equivalents of most Windows software. Microsoft Office for Mac is available or you can use the free Open Office or Libre Office. Ian, to be honest, it depends upon what you want to spend. You can get a cheap Windows desktop or spend more on an iMac (which is a desktop built-in to the back of a big screen). The iMac will probably last you longer. Once you get used to it, OSX (Mac) is more user friendly than any Windows version. Installing software is a breeze. There is a built-in PDF reader or you can get others. For websites, I used to use a package such as Wordpress but these days it is easier to use the online blogging sites such as Tumblr or Blogger. You can customise them as much as you like and don't need FTP to upload the files.

I suggest you don't take my word for it - much of this is subjective and personal. Have a look at the Mac forums and other sites. Go to an Apple store and get your hands on one. I've only seen Windows 8 on my son's PC and it looked quite pretty but he disabled a lot of the touch screen stuff and used it like Windows 7.
I agree. Before you buy go to the Apple store and look at the iMac. They are sweet. MAC has an equivalent office package that I like. It doesn't include a database, but has a nice word and excel equivalent and it is inexpensive. Or like Kamarling says, there are free ones. I think the MAC ones do conversions from MS without a problem. There is also a free equivalent to photoshop that K mentioned called Gimp that is similar. There are all kinds of FTP and other network apps for free.

I have to say one of the best things about OS X is trouble free web browsing. Never an issue with weird crap installing automatically. No running virus scanners and malware scanners every day to keep things clean. That alone is worth it for me.
 
#15
I've been going through the same issues, Ian. I was thinking about going to Windows 7, but it hardly seems worth it to pay $100 to update my laptop for just a few years. And I ran the update assistant, which didn't give me a guarantee that switching over would work. I'll still lose some old programs. Vista would allow me to keep my programs running, but it would probably slow down my laptop a great deal. I'm thinking about getting a new netbook with windows 8.1 (which was much easier to work than 8 - I tried it out), and disabling the internet on my old laptop so I can continue to use my old programs there when I want to.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#17
Mac's have equivalents of most Windows software. Microsoft Office for Mac is available or you can use the free Open Office or Libre Office. Ian, to be honest, it depends upon what you want to spend. You can get a cheap Windows desktop or spend more on an iMac (which is a desktop built-in to the back of a big screen). The iMac will probably last you longer. Once you get used to it, OSX (Mac) is more user friendly than any Windows version. Installing software is a breeze. There is a built-in PDF reader or you can get others. For websites, I used to use a package such as Wordpress but these days it is easier to use the online blogging sites such as Tumblr or Blogger. You can customise them as much as you like and don't need FTP to upload the files.

I suggest you don't take my word for it - much of this is subjective and personal. Have a look at the Mac forums and other sites. Go to an Apple store and get your hands on one. I've only seen Windows 8 on my son's PC and it looked quite pretty but he disabled a lot of the touch screen stuff and used it like Windows 7.
I agree. Before you buy go to the Apple store and look at the iMac. They are sweet. MAC has an equivalent office package that I like. It doesn't include a database, but has a nice word and excel equivalent and it is inexpensive. Or like Kamarling says, there are free ones. I think the MAC ones do conversions from MS without a problem. There is also a free equivalent to photoshop that K mentioned called Gimp that is similar. There are all kinds of FTP and other network apps for free.

I have to say one of the best things about OS X is trouble free web browsing. Never an issue with weird crap installing automatically. No running virus scanners and malware scanners every day to keep things clean. That alone is worth it for me.
Thanks guys. You're really tempting me with Mac and making me think about it. But I'm concerned about the time necessary to adapt to a completely new system. Unless you can convince me that it's dead easy and that it's completely intuitive. ls it like learning an entirely different language? Like German if you speak English? Or more like Americanese if you speak British or Australian? ;)

I'm tempted to play it safe (although admittedly dull) by staying with Windows and all of its issues and downfalls.

I've been going through the same issues, Ian. I was thinking about going to Windows 7, but it hardly seems worth it to pay $100 to update my laptop for just a few years. And I ran the update assistant, which didn't give me a guarantee that switching over would work. I'll still lose some old programs. Vista would allow me to keep my programs running, but it would probably slow down my laptop a great deal. I'm thinking about getting a new netbook with windows 8.1 (which was much easier to work than 8 - I tried it out), and disabling the internet on my old laptop so I can continue to use my old programs there when I want to.
I sympathize, K. I'll probably quarantine this current desktop (cutting it off from the internet) and keep using it until I make the full transition program- and data-wise. Although that raises the issue of getting a second monitor (I had recently gotten a new one when my previous died), unless I can borrow an old one from somebody I know.
 
#18
It's more like getting used to a different dialect than learning a new language. You are clearly an intelligent guy, Ian, so it would probably take you a day (if that) to find your way around the new system. Windows 8 compared to XP is quite a change too. There are some things that Microsoft do better than Apple but not many that I can think of. The old saying about Macs - "it just works" - is generally true (with a few exceptions - iTunes can be a nightmare). When it comes to using the applications, such as Word or Photoshop, there is hardly any difference at all.

Do yourself a favour - go to a store and play a while. See how you like Windows 8 and then get an Apple girl or boy in a blue shirt to show you around a Mac. I'd bet there are very few who, once they move to Macs, return to Windows.
 
#19
I've used Windows in its various incarnations since the mid-90s, and also use my wife's Mac a few times a week, and I'm by no means a computer geek - computer illiterate would be nearer the mark. If Macs and PCs cost the same, I'd go Apple every time, but the price difference is considerable. My current laptop PC was purchased a year ago at well under £300. Sometimes I even edit 1080 HD video on it, though that stretches its capabilities beyond their intended purpose. An equivalently powered Mac would be about £800 or thereabouts.

On the other hand, laptop PCs don't seem to last more than three years before something big goes wrong, needing remedies beyond the value of the machine. Macs seem to go on indefinitely, at least that's my perception. A fiend who's a literary editor uses his ten year old Apple Mac every day. Mac programs operate in an integrated way with the platform. Windows software requires more patience and skill than I possess on a regular basis. It uses consumers as beta testers and regularly tells me I can't do (gobbledigook) because my (blah) can't find something I didn't know even existed. Microsoft changes operating systems on a regular basis, presumably to get people to upgrade. Then there are the bugs. I picked up an almost possible to kill one that took over the system while trying to upload firmware for a Canon camera. It wasn't Canon's fault, someone had done a neat job of exactly reproducing their site. Apple has many fewer problems with viruses.

The next system I buy will be a Mac because I've reached the end of the line with Microsoft's quirks, and need a hefty desktop machine for video editing. The cost will be at least twice, probably three times what a similar MS computer would be, but the lack of stress will be worth it.
 
#20
The next system I buy will be a Mac because I've reached the end of the line with Microsoft's quirks, and need a hefty desktop machine for video editing. The cost will be at least twice, probably three times what a similar MS computer would be, but the lack of stress will be worth it.
Undoubtedly!
Switched back in 2002 but was still using a Windows laptop alongside. Finally in 2006 got my first Intel-based Mac and ditched Windows completely. Never looked back since then. :)
MacOSX has its own quirks and it's not perfect, but it's not a massive virus like most Microsoft OSes :D
 
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