General discussion

What are your plans when Windows 7 support ends?

How about a discussion on what to do ahead of the Windows 7 end-of-life that is coming next year? What are readers doing or suggesting to get ready or to make changes in their systems? I have 2 Win 7 Home computers that I would love to keep and have been looking for safe ways to do that - along with other alternatives if I need to think about replacing them such as Linux, Apple, or even not using an administrator account - just a regular account - so that a possible hacker or malware can't install anything without permission.

I've searched the forums but haven't found a discussion on that topic, so it would be great to get one started now - while there is still a lot of time to plan. Thank you.

--Submitted by Irene

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Last I Looked

If you opened the case on an Apple product, you lost your warranty. And all of the components were soldered down. And Motorola processors were not hardware compatible with Intel. You see, this was a long time ago.

For drivers, you have three choices. You can let Microsoft replace your working drivers with one that they obtained ages ago and may not even be hardware specific. Or, you can try the computer manufacturer's website (Dell, ASUS, Lenovo, etc.). If you use Dell, as example, the same model computer may have changed some hardware components along the way, so it is best to use your service code to search. And, finally, there is the site for the manufacturer of the specific hardware device (drive, printer, keyboard, etc.).

I got scre... messed up with my printer because I have an old one that used XP drivers that were for the specific model. When you went into printing preferences, you can run maintenance or, at least, find out which cartridge is out of ink. Then HP came out with generic drivers that didn't do the old functions. Microsoft picked up ONE generic driver for HP printers. Yes, it prints but cartridge maintenance and even which cartridge is empty? There is no LCD on the printer and no way to find out. Unless I crank up my XP machine.

I'm not a racist by ANY means, but I had to deal with techs out of Bangalore who could rarely fix anything (not MS) and seriously questioned the IT education in other countries. Maybe Windows is being supported from some foreign country where IT education is very basic? I don't know what the answer is.

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HPLIP in Linux

It's worked for every HP printer I've ever had (D110 thru c4700) from very old to current, and does show ink levels too. It can be installed from Program Manager, just install all that have HPLIP by them, and any dependencies that go along with them.

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I did not say that Macs are not for the technically adroit

You completely misunderstood what I said. In fact, you skimmed over it instead of reading it. I know many people in both camps (Macs and Linux). As a general rule (that means usually, but not always) the tech people go with Linux. Those who just want to plug it in and go get a Mac unless they can't afford it. There is the problem. Apple products are in a closed system, and they are overpriced. Most people do not want to be locked into a proprietary system with no control over what hardware they have to use. That is why Apple products lost out to PCs. That is why tech geeks will generally prefer PCs. We can build them, we can alter them, we can design them to meet our needs, and we can choose freely what we want to run on them. Microsoft is trying to change this. They are trying to lock down the PC market and take control of it. It is an idiotic move. As for Macs, if you can afford their overpriced system and you really aren't interested in being able to build, tinker, customize, maintain, and otherwise control what you are using then go for it. Whether you are "technically adroit" or not, that puts you in the camp of those who just want to plug it in and use it and never really customize things. There is nothing wrong with it, but it is not the same as being in full control.

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I agree

You didn't say that.

I was just noting that there is a stereotype of Mac Users as technically incompetent. Anyhow, it is pretty clear that I upset you. I apologize for that, and will refrain from commenting on your posts in order to avoid the problem in the future.

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You did not upset me

I don't know anything about stereotypes. I just know that my friends who don't want to tinker prefer Macs. Those who like to tinker and want full control prefer Linux. It does give a person a place to start looking.

Obviously, you are the one who is upset. I am sorry. I did not mean to upset you.

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excellent sentence
"So people just think that the fussing about is making them computer savvy. "

Perfectly describes windows and some of it's users. Some seem obsessed by finding and solving the many problems, clearing their last infection, etc. I came to the feeling eventually that many of them got some sort of satisfaction from it, like keeping an old car with it's many increasing problems running. It's become sort of a "hobby" for them.
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There is some truth to this

...but only some. Back when Windows could be fixed by the user it was fun to tinker with it until it worked. This is not possible anymore. During their "updates" Microsoft tends to reset things, undoing what was done. I used Windows Me (remember that?) for years because I could not afford to upgrade. I made it work. In fact, that is how I learned to get under the hood and fix things. However, there is a difference between a hobby and dealing with constant frustration. I will enjoy learning Linux and customizing it, but I will definitely not miss having to do it constantly. I also want a computer that works properly, but I want control over it. I want to be able to choose my hardware and build my own computer. I want it to not just work, but work for me, the way I work best. That requires the ability to tinker and alter things.

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Windows ME - The Good Ol' Days!

Windows ME was fun. Microsoft piled some very nice features on top of Windows 98SE and called it ME (Millennium Edition, i think). The main technical flaw involved memory hogging and memory "leaks" carried over from Win 98. ME would frequently run short of memory and freeze/blue screen/crash. Preventing this was fairly simple, if not entirely convenient. Reboot the system after closing any program or game that used a significant amount of the computer's RAM memory. The trick to making this an acceptable procedure was to minimize the number of programs allowed to start with Windows. We could reboot each of our two PCs pretty fast this way. I would use the internet for news, reading and replying to email, research, screen captures, downloads, etc. followed by using MS Word, and maybe some music on Media Player or a couple of 2D games. Then, do a restart - no problem! Obviously, if you truly needed multiple apps to start up with Windows then this approach wouldn't be convenient, but for us it worked fine. We enjoyed the extra features of ME over what 98SE offered and there were very few problems. Unfortunately, millions of users didn't or couldn't operate their PCs this way so ME earned itself a bad reputation. Win 2K was much more stable but also much less fun for home users due to its lack of features.

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ME was okay...

but for me it wasn't that much better than 98SE. I found out later than MS was taking too long to release XP so they took what they had and called it ME while continuing to work on what would become XP.

Does anyone remember (or used) IBM's OS2 Warp?

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OS2 warp

I used OS2, I received training from IBM in Chicago on the Operating system and put on demos while working for Computerland many years ago... it was another very slick OS again still would have been better then today’s Windows

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Oh yeah ... OS/2 - "The better Windows"

And it was - if you ran IBM's hardware and you didn't mind dealing with a company that refused to understand the end user market. And the Windows application support was great for 16 bit Windows apps. But Win95 was out there and all current versions of app software were 32 bits all of a sudden. When we suggested IBM should declare it open source rather than abandoning it they responded that it was a great idea but unfortunately there were too many bits of Microsoft-owned code in there. Pity - it could have become what Linux deskop has been trying to be for many years now - a true alternative to Windows.

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It was a good "boot camp"

My Windows Me computer was my first Windows computer. After I got it, I was horrified at how unstable and unreliable it was. I did extensive research and I learned how to tweak and modify it. I had a list of what to change, and what order to do it in, that I used every time I did a clean install (which I did at least twice a year). I learned all the basics. I found out how to shut down startup programs, how to find and alter settings, how to use a firewall and an antivirus program, how to keep good backups, and even the basics of how to work in the registry. It was a horrible OS, but it worked well because I forced it to work well. I am glad I had it because I learned so much making it work for me for the years I had it until I could get a new computer.

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And, you know ...

... that is what sets us apart from the younger generation - we had to get our hands dirty up to the elbows in order to keep running. And I agree - the way they can now push stuff down onto our machines without our cooperation - even against our declared will - is just disgusting.

But it isn't just Windows doing this. I still marvel at the situation, because i can't believe that people haven't been pushing malware onto our computer under the cover of automatic upgrades (our phones work the same way, remember?) How do I even know this upgrade really is from Microsoft - or Adobe or whoever?

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I have consistently refused to make my phone...

...a major part of my life. I have it at all times in a state that I can just reset it to factory defaults and suffer very little inconvenience. The reason is exactly what you just stated. We have no control. I may put some ringtones on it and set custom ringtones, but I will not use it for banking, computing, or other important matters. It is for communicating with my friends, and that only by phone or text. I will not even put Facebook on it. I may use the browser when I am out and about to look something up, but that is it. On the rare occasions when I take a picture with it, I immediately send that picture to Dropbox and put it on my computer. I have never trusted it because they deliberately keep the file system hard to figure out and they do not let me know what they are doing.

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The role our phones now play ...

I guess, I see it a lot like you - and then I come up with somewhat different results. On my phone - almost no additional apps - never logged into the app store - no whatsapp - restrictive use of upgrades - but I do use the cameras and I do load music and videos on - via the USB port or by copying to the extra memory card on a PC. And I do use the internet, email (wouldn't know what to do without that being online all the time) and the maps option, but all without permission to sneak a peek to the other app - Maps only rarely is allowed to look at my location. I have heard that the Google/Samsung apps overstep their authority regularly, but then there is nothing we can do about that.

I don't do anything financial on the phone, I don't open suspicious emails (I don't do that on the PC, either - I inspect the message source with a viewer if I have to) and I am careful with what web pages I view. My phone doesn't have access to Dropbox or any other cloud storage.

As for "computing" - I do use the calculator. And I use the calendar, also to alert me to required actions (renew drivers license or vehicle license, pay tax installment. etc.)

That's it. I find a phone that does all that quite useful, even without social media - which I also don't use on the computer ...

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Similar here

I stripped every app I didn't want off my LG Optimus Tracfone to save on minutes and data. I was looking for the app/s that kept turning the wifi signal on. I have the phone service, voicemail and text messaging, a browser, camera function, a calculator, a memo pad, and the contact/address book. That's it, little more than an older flip phone for use now. My battery lasts 2-4 days between charges now, depending on the usage.

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I don't blame you

I do like having access to the internet if I really need it, but most of the time I have no need for actual internet use. There is no real need for wifi. I pretty much use it so that I can text by talking, instead of typing. I can live without that feature if necessary. However, my phone can last up to a week on a single charge because I just don't use it that much. Wifi does not cost me anything, so all my use at home is free.

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MisRead your Post

A little levity on this serious subject. I misread your post which was "Wifi does not cost me anything."

I read it as "Wife does not cost me anything." - au contraire, mon frere. Thanks for my silent chuckle.

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You're welcome

Thanks for sharing it. I laughed as well.

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I've actually typed that before...

...but by accident. Dyslexic fingers I guess.

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I've actually typed that before...

...but by accident. Dyslexic fingers I guess.

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I've actually typed that before...

...but by accident. Dyslexic fingers I guess.

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We all have different needs

And we will all use our phones for different purposes. I do have some apps on my phone, but they are of the variety that get me discounts when I am out and about (for example, fast food apps). There is absolutely nothing that uses or accesses any sensitive data, not even mildly personal stuff. I suppose that texts might be considered personal, but they are not that revealing as a general rule. My cell phone is for emergency use and for texts. That is why I got it. I have a land line that is used for most phone calls. I am disabled and I need to make sure that I have the ability to communicate, even when my land line is down (I had this experience once, after a particularly nasty ice storm). Many people have their cell phones as their only phones. I do much of what you are describing on my computer. It works better for me.

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"I do have some apps on my phone, but they are of the variety that get me discounts when I am out and about (for example, fast food apps). "

I had to get my wife a different phone to do that. Her LG Optimus needed better scan resolution for her Target app, so moved her to Samsung J7 phone. That was $100 I would have rather saved, LOL.
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Same here

I use a phone to communicate with people. If I want to surf the web or other computer functions I use a computer. If I want to play games I use a game console. I use the camera for quick photos such as a piece of information on a computer screen, but if want to take quality/meaningful photos I use my Sony Cybershot camera. I do have Facebook for keeping up with a few people but I rarely login and never on my phone.

Even my email, other than a quick check I do it from a computer. I never forget my email passwords because I make myself have to use them every time. Too often I see the phone zombies and i-sheep who can't login to their email on a computer because they don't remember their password because they rely on their phone.

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Yeah ...

"Features" - that , i suppose, was what I and others like me installed on top of the operating system. So we felt that 98SE was the legitimate end of that evolutionary path, and when I encountered the technical limit of it (it seemingly didn't run well with 1 GB or more of memory) I migrated to 2K - which was okay because that ws what we ran at work at that time as well.

A tricky situation arose when that Win2K crashed a few years later and needed to be reinstalled. The bad news then was that the driver for my film scanner (SCSI interface) would not install (there was one for 98 and one for NT4, but none for 2K) - Eventually I figured out how the scanner managed to work all those years: The 98 driver had been installed on 98 and the machine had then been migrated to 2K - all fine. But now I had to retrace these steps to make it work again.

Today, when I deal with a legacy Windows I usually hate it by the time it gives me default screen resolution - no support for deteting the screens parameters yet. We HAVE come a long way ...

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While Macs are Unix

(and I kinda like that slogan) they don't for the most part attract the same clientele. Linux, by the way, is also Unix - even more so - but let me ask you this: What percentage of Mac users will voluntarily open a terminal session (without some step-by-step instructions for a specific task?) Compare that to users of a "regular" Unix or even a desktop style Linux.

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I do - all the time

One of the strangest things that can get a little irritating is the presumption of lack of ability on the part of Mac Users. I know people who have no idea what a command line is yet assume that I'm some sort of mental defective because I use MacOS, and that they are the computer brains because they use Windows.

This is simply not true. I use terminal almost every day. On a Mac. And I'm no Unicorn.
Why do I do this? Because I want a computer that boots up and runs when I boot, and Unix is a fine OS. I bash around doing what I need without it getting in the way.
A bit of a point here - MacOS is certified Unix, and Linux is Unix-Like.

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Linux is Unix. It is directly made from Unix. As for stereotypes, they are stupid to begin with. Using a Mac does not make you a certain type of person any more than using Windows makes you a certain type of person. There are general tendencies, nothing more. Many (but not all) Mac users are people who don't really want to fuss with the OS. They also tend to be affluent, since Macs are expensive. Many (but not all) Linux users are the "techie" types, who do enjoy tweaking the OS. Windows users are the rest. Even that, though, is not entirely true. I have a strong objection to stereotypes and the entire idea of an "average" user that the market aims for. The general rules only give someone who is considering an OS a place to start looking. They determine nothing. Any person can choose whatever he or she decides best meets his or her needs. That means his or her specific needs, not the needs of a stereotypical "type" of user.

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Reasons for Windows

A long time ago, there were desktop computers like CP/M and Atari and Commodore, Amiga.. they were all great. Then the Microsoft PC HT and XT came out and BUSINESSES jumped on those. Sometimes the issue is support (MS onsite). Sometimes it is because IBM was going to be around a long time (sold out to Lenovo). Same with OS. Apple used a different architecture (Motorola processor) that was not compatible with even MS-DOS or anything Intel (remember when there was an Apple "section" at COMP-USA?). No compatibility. That was part of the reason companies (we now call "the enterprise") went with IBM and Microsoft. If you wrote an application, it didn't run under some other computer or OS. So, companies that jumped on the IBM PC bandwagon still sing the praises of MS-DOS and Windows and applications they wrote for them in the 80's and 90's.

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