windows xp replacement ?
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dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
windows xp replacement ? on 03/26/2014 19:29:17 MDT Print View

with the end of security updates for xp i was wondering how to switch to linux or whatever free os there might be.I am not a tech geek but i have re installed xp.Any suggestions?i would like to do this cheap because in the last 20yrs i have bought many computers and am done with upgrades etc and i dont want to contribute the racket anymore.Thanx

Michael Driscoll
(Hillhikerz) - M

Locale: Monterey Bay
win xp on 03/26/2014 20:08:54 MDT Print View

I would down load a copy of live boot Ubuntu 14 for a DVD and play with it... it will not install itself until you want to, then you could decide to duel boot or just run with it... the big ? will be what software are you running that can not be run on a Linux machine... Or look on craigslist for a vista or win 7 comp. with a coa ssticker, you may end up with a very nice system for a couple hundred as I think I noticed you live in LA...

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F

Locale: Channeled Scablands
Re: windows xp replacement ? on 03/26/2014 20:26:08 MDT Print View

Depends on what you need it for. Online banking? Buy a new computer with new OS.

Just browsing the web? Keep your xp and use a modern browser.

My son (12) got an old free windows machine and installed free Fedora. It came with free open office and free browser. He did it in about an hour.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
crying foul... on 03/26/2014 21:45:28 MDT Print View

in the computer realm,your son being 12, has a distinct advantage over a 40something.

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: windows xp replacement ? on 03/26/2014 21:54:18 MDT Print View

"i have bought many computers and am done with upgrades etc"

Ok, well I'm afraid that's just not going to happen unless you unplug and disconnect. Phone, Tablet, Computer, Television...

Shawn Peyton
(alifeoutdoors) - F - MLife

Locale: Iron River, WI
re: crying foul... on 03/27/2014 09:44:59 MDT Print View

Well I'm 42 and have a masters in computer science so............ ;P

Glenn nails it. If you're tired of the "racket" then you might as well unplug. As you're trying to do, you can go open source and freeware but be prepared. If you're not a "tech geek" you're not going to have fun with all the tinkering, trial/error and research you're going to have to do. Linux is definitely a labor of love. If you don't want to spend a lot of time messing around I'd take the above advice and just find a decent used Windows 7 machine.

I'm not trying to be an a$$hole but I get this at work every time we have to upgrade or change software. We are in the information age and whether it's all a money making scam or not you either follow changing technology or unplug. Or pray for social collapse ;P

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: re: crying foul... on 03/27/2014 10:07:08 MDT Print View

"I would like to do this cheap because in the last 20yrs i have bought many computers and am done with upgrades etc and i dont want to contribute the racket anymore."

Go to WallyWorld, buy a $300 laptop. Or a reburbished Dell. When it quits or the software doesn't hack it anymore, give it to the high school and go buy another one. You will get at least 2 years out of it. Do the math.

But from what I've heard, try to get one with Windows 7, not Windows 8.

Shawn Peyton
(alifeoutdoors) - F - MLife

Locale: Iron River, WI
Re: re: crying foul... on 03/27/2014 10:18:47 MDT Print View

Avoid Windows 8 like the plague. It's horrible and will be going the way of Windows ME or Vista. They announced back in Dec Windows 9 will be released in April of 2015. They're basically trying to sweep Windows 8 under the rug so we'll forget they even released that POS. Pun intended.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
re:windows xp replacement ? on 03/27/2014 10:49:10 MDT Print View

Glenn, Shawn & Greg hit the mark.
I work in tech retail and deal with this day-in and day-out. There are 4 easy options:
1)Geek out with Apple, Ubuntu, etc. with a steep learning curve for us old-folks.
2)Go retro with JMT Pencils and onion skin paper.
3)Pay too much for a Windows 7 refurbished or custom built.
4)"Keep your eyes open for a Windows 8.1 Toshiba, Asus, Acer or Lenovo for around $275 to $325 in a local weekly sale ad. 4 or 8 Gb of RAM will last a long time and does anyone REALLY need 1TB or more of hard drive? Use the free, built-in Windows Defender, buy the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware product and use free Google Docs. Keep the system clean and stay away from certain websites (I'm not talking REI) and this should last you for at least another 5 to 7 years."
I use this speech every hour, of every work day, and right now I'm seriously leaning towards option #2.
Cheers!

Siegmund Beimfohr
(SigBeimfohr) - M
re:windows xp replacement ? on 03/27/2014 14:05:47 MDT Print View

I have just gone through this. Aside from not being a Microsoft fan (especially after they introduced the stupid registry - I use portable apps whenever possible), there is no way I'm going to purchase a new desktop to get a windows upgrade. I want no part of Win8 (I have touchy-feely on my tablet) and Win7 probably won't work well on older hardware. So Linux was the obvious alternative.

Spent many hours on line researching Linux and it's many distributions. There is an almost endless variety of kernels, desktop environments, and software combinations to choose from. Unless you want to take someone's recommendation you'll spend considerable time educating yourself on the possibilities. I recommend DistroWatch.com as a starting point. Their coverage of distros (as the various Linux distributions are called) is unmatched. Details for each distro include a breakdown of included software packages and links to reviews including their own.

I concentrated on the most popular and top-rated distros after searching for ratings and comparisons online. I then downloaded about 15 live distros (.iso files), burned them to DVD's, and tried them out. A "live" DVD will boot into the Linux distro and run in memory without any installation. Obviously slow but you get a working version of Linux complete with the included software.

After much back and forth, I settled on Linux Mint (based on Ubuntu) with the xfce desktop environment (the MATE desktop was a close 2nd choice). It's not flashy but full-featured and light enough to work on older hardware. I'm still in the early learning stages but so far am pleased with the result. I installed as a dual-boot with WinXP and can choose which I want to run at boot-up. I've kept XP because I have some windows programs (such as Garmin's BaseCamp) that I'm not sure will have acceptable Linux alternatives or that will run in Linux using WINE or a virtual machine. Experimentation yet to come. Also, I think XP will be perfectly usable as long as the internet connection is very limited; I'll probably only go online from XP to update absolutely necessary windows programs, no browsing or email.

The one frustration that occupied a couple of hours was getting my Canon MP160 printer working. Required some searching online before I found a source for Canon drivers (Canon provides almost no Linux support) that worked with the Ubuntu 13.10 kernel in Mint. Had to add the repository and then install the right files. Simple in the end but took awhile to track down.

There is a considerable learning curve to Linux if you like to tinker and control system details but some of these distros (including the software selections) work pretty well out of the box. I strongly suggest downloading and burning the live distros to try on your system before installing (which can be done from the live dvd). Also back up your windows data sine the windows partion will have to "shrink" to make room for the additional Linux partitions.

Hope this helps.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
The Mom Factor on 03/27/2014 14:57:41 MDT Print View

My Mom is not tech savvy.

Whenever I think of tech questions, I think "Can my Mom do this?"

Yes. Ubuntu and Mint are super easy to install and use. But, invariably, the question comes up "How do I....???" I think it is great for a guest laptop I built, but I do not think the average non-geek would not like it too much.

My Mom would not like Ubuntu. How do I use my digital camera easily? How come my printer does not work anymore? How do I print out those adorable photos your brother sent me of my granddaughter (And when are you and Mrs Mags going to have children?) ? How do I make those same photos of my granddaughter on my desktop? And when are you and Mrs Mags going to give me more grandchildren?

Not hard. But it is not what she knows. It is something different.

In the same way, don't know if you want to futz around with a new OS, an install, etc on old hardware that may be on its way out anyway. (Mechanical hard drives, fans, etc. have a a way of failing)

Spend $300 and get a budget laptop. Windows 8 is not *that bad* (it ain't great mind you) if you install Classic Shell IMO. Good enough for most. It passes the Mrs Mags test (a step above the Mom test. But don't tell either one I said that. :D)
http://www.classicshell.net/

Pretty much makes Win8 run like Win7 or even XP.

Just my .05 worth.

Edited by PaulMags on 03/27/2014 16:05:12 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: windows xp replacement ? on 03/27/2014 16:04:52 MDT Print View

The new laptops are so cheap that there's little escape. You will get speed and 100% Microsoft compatibility.

If you are just surfing, then a Google device might do the trick, or an iPad.

I've installed Ubuntu on dozens of old machines and it works great. There is a learning curve, but it can be configured to look very Windows-classic-menu-like. If you are just surfing, you'll barely notice the difference if you use Firefox.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: windows xp replacement ? on 03/27/2014 16:34:36 MDT Print View

> with the end of security updates for xp i was wondering how to switch to linux or whatever
Why? It's been working, hasn't it?

I still run XP Pro on our machines. I run AVG Free plus Zone Alarm Free plus SpyBot S&D on those machines. But the real secrets are three:

* The home network runs through an ADSL modem with a Linux firewall which is set to allow (almost) nothing through - and that is one of the default settings. The result is that very little ever reaches our machines. (Check the log files.)

* Email is set to PLAIN TEXT, not HTML. That chops 99% of all phishing and spam out.

* We NEVER click on email attachments unless we are QUITE sure of their source (and they have passed through our walls).

Why bother changing?

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 03/27/2014 16:52:15 MDT.

Galen Benson
(wanttoknow) - F
Zorin linux on 03/28/2014 10:30:16 MDT Print View

Zorin linux lets you setup your desktop to look and function much like XP or windows 7. You can try it as a live cd with out installing it to see if it is something that might work for you.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Remember the Mom test? on 03/28/2014 10:51:41 MDT Print View

Check log files, set up a Linux firewall, install a Linux distribution and tinker with it so it looks like XP, switch e-mail to TEXT vs HTML ....

Oy vey.

This all fails the "Mom test" or perhaps even the "Mrs Mags" test. :)

(What happened to those adorable photos that your brother sent me? You know, of the granddaughter that is the light of my life and I really would not mind having two more grandchildren at least as I have two other sons and two other grandchildren would be WONDERFUL)


Don't know how technically savvy the OP may or may not be, but the things above are not what most people who say "I am not a tech geek or anything" have an interest in.

None of this is hard, but most people just don't want to do it.

Anyway, just food for thought. I like Steofan's answer best of all.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Remember the Mom test? on 03/28/2014 14:42:31 MDT Print View

> Check log files, set up a Linux firewall, install a Linux distribution and tinker
> with it so it looks like XP, switch e-mail to TEXT vs HTML ....

I think you are making too much out of this.
> Check log files - by this I meant I had checked the log files to see how effective the firewall in the Linux-based modem was. The qanswer was 'VERY'. But Mrs Mags would not need to do this.

> set up a Linux firewall - not needed with the modem. It came set up with good defaults. Just turn it on.

> install a Linux distribution and tinker with it so it looks like XP - not my recommendation, but some distros do that automatically anyhow.

> switch e-mail to TEXT vs HTML - very technical ... one click.

> None of this is hard, but most people just don't want to do it.
True, unless you have teenagers around.

Cheers

Glenn S
(Glenn64) - M

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: windows xp replacement ? on 03/28/2014 16:02:23 MDT Print View

I guess I relate computers to cars. They are now a necessary ingrained part of modern daily living. I get sick of car repair/maintenance/replacement, just the same way I do with computers. But it is what it is.

Sure, you can do without, but it really takes some serious commitment and lifestyle changes.

You can be a backyard/office mechanic and rebuild, repair and putz with them for fun and profit.

You can be the "mom" and use them when necessary, as long as all you have to do is turn the key/button, and take it in if something goes awry.

You can drive/operate an old clunker that more or less runs, idles roughly and takes a little longer to get somewhere/download files.

Oh, or you can buy new and shiny every 3-4 years to keep up with the "racket" and trade in your old model for whatever it's worth.

Anyway you slice it, computers are here to stay, so barring the big "Kill Shot" EMP, it's a love/hate relationship from here on out.

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/29/2014 14:17:34 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
windows xp replacement on 03/29/2014 13:58:19 MDT Print View

"I think you are making too much out of this."

If anything, I am making too little of it. I could easily shoot down more of your examples and prove them wrong. But that is the point?

It is pretty obvious that like many technically oriented people, you assume what is easy for them must be intuitive and easy for others. :)

It ain't.

If you believe so, I'd love for you to share those rose colored goggles you are obviously wearing.

...and that's about it from me.

Edited by PaulMags on 03/29/2014 14:08:50 MDT.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
rrr on 04/01/2014 04:23:50 MDT Print View

thanks for the answers...i think i just wont login to my bank acct anymore...not that i do much online financial stuff anyway...

i bought this pc last year used for 100$ and it came with xp...replaced my 2003 dell xp.
i mainly surf the net and store pics.

Edited by hipass on 04/01/2014 04:26:01 MDT.

Leigh Baker
(leighb) - F

Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods
windows xp replacement on 04/03/2014 06:18:26 MDT Print View

About 4? years ago I bought a refurbished Dell laptop from a local guy with a good business rep. I called him and asked him what I should be considering and he said he was pretty sure he could update the OS. I haven't talked with him in depth, but he said for about 100.00. Wondering if that's the best solution. I'm getting ready to retire in a year, so I'm kinda on a "retirement diet", ie last ditch effort to safe as much money as possible, not that I haven't been saving all along, just in hyperdrive now. :-). I could buy another refurb from him, for 425-450. but I can get a cheaper laptop for less new...I just don't want to have to replace something too soon after I quit working.
Any input?
Thanks!