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1,868 hits since 8 Mar 2014
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Legion 408 Mar 2014 9:07 a.m. PST

Since the computer plays a big place in gaming. Either in posting pics, rules, e-biz, etc., etc. … I have a general question. MSN in a good example of capitalism gone bad, is dropping support for Windows XP … which has always been my Op System. And "forcing" us to replace it with 8 or 8.1 … Now I'm all for better tech, but I'm not for forcing us to buy a system like Windows 8, which I have heard nothing but bad things about. And is a least not User Friendly, so I've been told. So any input on this from those more Tech savvy ? Is Windows 8.1 as bad as everyone says ? Any other options ? Getting a new PC, I'd still have to get an op system … So give me some input/intel … old fart Please … huh?

Todd63608 Mar 2014 9:11 a.m. PST

Get a Mac.

Frankss08 Mar 2014 9:14 a.m. PST

Funny as a good friend and my daughter have switched to mac and love it. I Have XP and was considering what to do also.

Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2014 9:14 a.m. PST

Get new PC with windows 8.1. Then install start 8. You will be fine


morrigan Inactive Member08 Mar 2014 9:24 a.m. PST

They can have my XP when they pry it from my cold dead computer.

Rich Bliss Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2014 9:28 a.m. PST

What's really sad here is the fact that they sell a product which require tech support for years after it's sold. Get a Mac. I've still got one running a 5 year old OS and I never need tech support.

Todd63608 Mar 2014 9:44 a.m. PST

The newest OS for the Mac, FREE.

haywire Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2014 9:49 a.m. PST

You can still use XP, it just wont have additional support. It is feeling its age now even with Firefox or Chrome instead of IE. I still have my XP machine for my scanner and certain programs.

Once I figured out the UAC issue, I have been pretty happy with my new Windows 7 machine (which you should still be able to get.

8 still needs work to make it user friendly.

Martin Rapier08 Mar 2014 10:12 a.m. PST

If you don't want to pay the Macintosh premium, then get Windows 7. Vastly better than Vista, runs very well.

Windows 8.1 isn't bad, but you might want to skip it and wait for Windows 9 and use W7 in the interim. It is the usual MS thing that every other release is good.

The main issue with XP support ending is the ending of security patches, so it will become the malware authors target of choice and you may have some browser support/compatibility issues if you stick with it.

We have a huge programme of PC replacement at work (several thousand machines) to get them off XP and onto W7 as the security risks are too high otherwise. XP machines driving scientific equipment we'll leave for now if they can't be replaced and firewall them off from the internet.

Macintosh users running older OS's might also want to think about upgrading, you too are vulnerable to lots of exploits.

Safe surfing:)

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2014 10:30 a.m. PST

Get windows 7 works great.

tberry7403 Inactive Member08 Mar 2014 10:48 a.m. PST

The newest OS for the Mac, FREE. It's not FREE. The development costs are bundled in with the high prices for ipod/ipad/iphone/MAC products.

MSN in a good example of capitalism gone bad, is dropping support for Windows XP BS. MS has supported XP years after it was first announced that it was dropping it. Screams of protest from the user base caused them to continue supporting it for several additional years. Everyone knew this day was coming and I have no sympathy for the whiners. (I use two XP machines.)

Get a Mac. I've still got one running a 5 year old OS and I never need tech support. The reason Mac's don't have the problems Windows machines do is the size of the user base. Last time I checked Macs made up about 5% of the market. The people the hackers want to hit are using Windows. And if you are talking about calling tech support I haven't had to call them in 20 years.

…wait for Windows 9… Not point in waiting. The initial release of ANY Windows product is essentially a BETA version. They use the users to crash-test the software. The XP initial release had several thousand KNOWN bugs.

What's really sad here is the fact that they sell a product which require tech support for years after it's sold. You don't do maintenance on your car?

MajorB08 Mar 2014 10:56 a.m. PST

You'd be better off posting this question on the "Computer Stuff" board:
TMP link

MajorB08 Mar 2014 10:58 a.m. PST

…wait for Windows 9… Not point in waiting. The initial release of ANY Windows product is essentially a BETA version. They use the users to crash-test the software. The XP initial release had several thousand KNOWN bugs.

You're right up to a point. The BETA version of Windows 9 is … Windows 8. Like a previous poster said, the odd numbered versions are the ones to go for, all the even numbered releases were and are buggy.

CorSecEng Inactive Member08 Mar 2014 10:58 a.m. PST

When was the last time you used XP support? The only thing this means is that they are not updating it anymore. So if it works fine right now then it will continue to work fine for decades. As long as your not using high end software then your fine and if you are you have already switched.

I can't stand my windows 8 laptop but my desktop is 7 and works good for me. Well other then it needing a new hardware update.

MajorB08 Mar 2014 10:59 a.m. PST

So any input on this from those more Tech savvy ?

Another suggestion … get a tablet running Android.

MajorB08 Mar 2014 11:21 a.m. PST

When was the last time you used XP support? The only thing this means is that they are not updating it anymore. So if it works fine right now then it will continue to work fine for decades.

Um … not entirely true. You might not realise how important thos updates are. Upadtes provide patches for vulnerabilities. (A vulnerability is a way in which you computer can be compromised by malware.) The biggest problem with the ending of support for XP is that if another vulnerability is found (and they probably will) then it won't be patched which, in the worst scenario, means that your XP machine could be bricked by malware.

Unsupported XP systems, and there will till be millions of them around the world, will become a "honey pot" for malware exploits because the criminals will knwo that any holes they find will never be fixed …

MajorB08 Mar 2014 11:22 a.m. PST

I can't stand my windows 8 laptop but my desktop is 7 and works good for me.

You might find this of interest then:

napthyme Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Mar 2014 11:58 a.m. PST

Windows 7 is easy to port over to from XP.

One of the manufacturers has gone back to it instead of selling win8

Sergeant Paper08 Mar 2014 12:04 p.m. PST

Get Windows 7, it is the next decent version. I have it and like it.

Skip Vista, skip Win 8 for sure, and you really ought to wait until Win 9 SP1 unless you want to be an unpaid Beta Tester.

Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member08 Mar 2014 1:57 p.m. PST

XP forever!

Or, at least until it crashes…….

Stryderg08 Mar 2014 5:40 p.m. PST

Two problems with the "XP as malware magnet" idea:
1. There probably aren't too many more vulnerabilities to find.
2. Hackers will focus on win 7/8 because…they don't have that many security patches out (so there are holes to find), and since the user base for those two are growing, that's where they'll get the biggest bang for the buck.

My opinion…Make a full system backup of your computer (a drive image that can be reinstalled). Keep using XP. If you do suffer from an attack, you can reinstall and keep plugging away with your software. For internet connectivity, use a bootable, live Linux cd.

That will you keep you in computing power until you decide to upgrade.

Cincinnatus Inactive Member08 Mar 2014 8:26 p.m. PST

I agree with you Stryderg. It's such a bunch of crap that the average person cares about losing support.

I'm sure they will still find some vulnerabilities – in stuff few people actually use. If they were in the common stuff, they'd have been found by now.

MajorB09 Mar 2014 5:56 a.m. PST

Two problems with the "XP as malware magnet" idea:
1. There probably aren't too many more vulnerabilities to find.

You'd be surprised …

2. Hackers will focus on win 7/8 because…they don't have that many security patches out (so there are holes to find), and since the user base for those two are growing, that's where they'll get the biggest bang for the buck.

I have been running Win 7 for quite a while and the frequency of patches and updates surprised even me. Win 7 is certainly a lot more secure than XP ever could be.

Bearing in mind that the vast majority of XP machines after April will be in Second and Third World countries, I would think there will still be plenty of "bang for the buck" by targeting XP.

CeruLucifus09 Mar 2014 6:07 a.m. PST

Legion 4:Any other options ? Getting a new PC, I'd still have to get an op system … So give me some input/intel … old fart Please …
Windows 7 is very solid and if it is an option for the computer you buy, worth staying with until a Windows version comes out that you like.

Macs: These are fine if you can avoid being the kind of Mac owner that thinks they don't have to know how computers work. Hardware is beautiful and if you pay the premium for an Apple monitor you will get emotional about it too. I personally hate the desktop -- it is massively counter intuitive if you ask me.

Have added 2 macs to the house in the last year. My wife and 11-year-old son are happy with them. I was surprised how well they integrated. We did ultimately replace our printers with one that was Mac/PC/Linux compatible (HP), though for a while we got by using a Windows PC as a print server which worked fine. On my wife's Mac she bought Parallels and we put on her Win 7 license (turned her old PC into a Linux server see below). All her Windows software runs fine. Works quite well once you figure out the Mac file system is mapped as extra drive letters under the emulated Windows.

Both Mac owners do constantly ask me for tech support. Mac OS underneath is Unix although quirky enough to bug a Unix sysadmin; this makes the odd things a lot easier to deal with since you can always open a terminal and use the command line to see what is really going on, like where your kid's minecraft files really are.

Linux: Unbelievable how well this works. Have added 3 Linux computers in the last year, using Ubuntu distributions. Put up a household server using my wife's old computer (added some more drives). Windows and Mac back up to it using native backup software.

Thing about Linux is, you can try it at no risk. Download what's called a "Live" distribution as bootable CD image (iso file). This allows you to boot full OS on any PC, try it out to see if there are driver problems. There is software for all OSes to write this to a bootable USB stick, which lets you write desktop changes to the USB stick so they persist next time you boot. (Does boot slow but fine for trying out.)

Another thing about Linux unlike Windows or Mac, is if you don't like the desktop, you can change it. There are 10 or more different desktops out there. For example on Ubuntu I could not get used to the native desktop called Unity; I found one called XFCE which I like better (seems to more comfortable to a Win 7 / XP user, I guess). There is an integrated Ubuntu distribution called Xubuntu, or you can just install XFCE on regular Ubuntu and switch back and forth with Unity.

My next gaming PC build will be Linux, with Windows-only games via dual boot (if necessary) or under WINE (if possible, have not played with it much).

One of my Linux computers is a ChromeBook. Very inexpensive platform, I wanted an ultraportable versus paying 4-5x as much for an UltraBook or MacAir. ChromeOS does what it does fine (it's all Google apps), and some schools use it; I guess it is OK as long as you are always on a network. But … there are guides out there to run Ubuntu Linux on Chromebooks. If it is Intel based you can do a dual boot (I spend most of my time in Ubuntu actually; the ultraportable form factor makes it a nice scripting platform). For Intel or ARM there is a distribution of Ubuntu that uses the ChromeOS kernel so you just open it right there from within the ChromeOS; this is a little slower but less scary in terms of setup.

Tablets. We have a couple iPads and Android tablets. Cannot conceive of using one as my only PC. Once you get the keyboard you are carrying around the equivalent of an ultraportable laptop. And of course there is the issue of sourcing replacements for all your productivity software. However my dad does use an iPad as his only PC so it is possible if it fits your needs.

What tablet to get: The iPad owners in the house (wife and same son) are very satisfied. Android tablets are same price for equivalent hardware; hard to argue it's better unless you're stubbornly anti-Mac (that is me). You can get a cheap Android tablet and save money but it will be slow and frustrating unless you only use it as an ereader (I've done this, eventually bought a better one). There is a vendor called ZaReason that makes Linux only computers and they have an un-customized Android tablet that is less cost than the major name brands, but you can't try it in a store first (I have this, works fine).

Consoles: Windows still seems to be best platform for computer games. We have a Nintendo Wii and an XBox 360; the 11-year-old never turns on the XBox anymore, uses his iPad or Windows PC (he does play on his Macbook but we ran out of disk space so we are switching him to most games on Windows). The 8-year-old easily spends as much time on his Windows PC as the Wii. One issue probably skewing this is parental controls -- eventually they get bored of age-appropriate games on the consoles, especially the XBox which has almost no under-teen selections. Also there are no free to play games on consoles, important for kid-size budgets.

One more thing on the Mac vs Windows issue. There are two safety nets if you want them. One is google "hackintosh": if you buy the right parts you can assemble a PC that Mac OS X will run on. This saves some money and more importantly, if you try Mac OS and hate it you can throw it out and load Windows. Or you can buy a Mac and if you hate it, just load Windows either dual boot via BootCamp or just full replacement (this is obviously most expensive option though you can buy a used Mac). I have not tried either of these options and of course if you are blowing Mac OS away why not load Linux instead of Windows.

Hope that helps.

Legion 409 Mar 2014 8:39 a.m. PST

Some very, very good intel gents ! thumbs up Thank U all very much ! Now I don't use a mouse, my lap top has finger pad. Will that make the 8.1 more friendly ? Please Excuse my ignorance … old fart

MajorB09 Mar 2014 10:57 a.m. PST

Now I don't use a mouse, my lap top has finger pad. Will that make the 8.1 more friendly ?

Probably won't make much difference …

Black Hat Miniatures09 Mar 2014 11:29 a.m. PST

I use a Samsung windows 8 all in one PC and have found it very stable, easy to use and an improvement on my old machine with XP. I don't use the apps but just go into the desktop. Once I got use to the mouse gestures I really don't use the touch screen any more

I have 25+ years experience in the IT industry so I'm not a novice user either..


CeruLucifus09 Mar 2014 2:26 p.m. PST

I don't have any experience with Windows 8 at this point (been avoiding it) but the finger pad is probably a non-issue. To the OS the finger pad is just a pointing device, same as a mouse or trackpointer or trackball.

The big problem with a finger pad is when you touch type, the heel of your hand keeps touching the pad and moving the cursor around and/or selecting stuff which you then accidentally overtype and have to press the undo key combo to restore. Higher end laptops often have an on/off toggle for the finger pad for this reason, to allow disabling them when typing. My work laptop has a trackpointer also so when not using an external keyboard + mouse, I keep the finger pad turned off most of the time.

Despite this many people love the finger pads because they are integrated, and the one/two finger algorithm is reasonably intuitive for scrolling and that sort of thing.

For selecting things with accurate pixel resolution, quick doubleclicks, and playing first person shooters, you just attach a mouse.

Legion 409 Mar 2014 4:10 p.m. PST

Many, Many Thanks again for the intel, gentlemen … thumbs up One thing I have "mastered(?)" is my finger/touch pad … huh? Never use a mouse … Oh … and Sorry if I didn't post this on the right location …

Khusrau10 Mar 2014 5:21 a.m. PST

Win 8.1 works perfectly for me on a laptop. While corporations use windows, they will be a much more attractive target for hackers. After all, if you compromise my security – you may get to my bank account.. and steal $10. USD If you breach a company the potential win is much greater.

Legion 410 Mar 2014 7:17 a.m. PST

Very Glad to hear that ! grin

Legion 411 Mar 2014 1:15 p.m. PST

Well after a lot of time and $$$, MSN was wrong … my Gateway Lap Top with XP is not compatible with 8.1. After I was told it by the MSN tech it was ?!?!? So it's going back for a refund, as I discussed with MSN last night. And in another show of capitalism at it's finest … I had to pay Gateway $149 USD for 5 support calls for one year before I could get anyone there to tell me what MSN didn't know … 8.1 is NOT compatible with my Gateway Lap Top. The MSN tech told me to call Gateway then call back. And after hours of this between the two. MSN ran a virus/malware check to see why the 8.1 wouldn't load on my Gateway, before he suggested to call Gateway … Which cost another $99 USDhuh? I started at 11:00 hrs yesterday and didn't complete this exercise in futility until about 21:30 hrs. that night huh? I know I'm an old fart but seems to me these tech companies have us or at least me by the Bleeped text ! Since my $99 USD visit from yesterday was good for 30 days. I called today about another problem about e-mail. It appears I can only send a picture with an email by attaching it. Not sending it directly in the body of the email … MSN email didn't support sending pictures direct anymore ? So I showed them the work around I came up with by sending the email with pics after it goes to my Outbox. Then giving me an error message. So I forward if from my Outbox to who I want to send it too. It took 3 techs, and another cleaning to check for malware etc. For the last tech to tell me what I have been doing by the FWD technique or as she said send it as an attachment not a photo share … And another 3 hour day with MSN. I'm going to have to come up with things bother my Gateway about my Lap Top problems … I have 4 calls left before next year … huh? They both should buy me dinner before they Bleeped text me next time … frown

Legion 412 Mar 2014 10:55 a.m. PST

The saga continues … Well … it seemed all was well when I logged, but then got some pop-ups, and PC froze. So I just got off another 3 + hrs phone call with MSN again. 3rd day in row, I've been talking to MSN. Well it looked like some malware or virus ?! After they ran a clean up yesterday ?!?! So they took over my PC and started the search and destroy mission … again … then defraged it … forunately didn't cost my anything … (have not I spent enough ?!) So we'll see how long it is I have to make another call … I have a new security disc coming from them to upgrade my virus protect, etc. … Only cost me 107.00 ! I'll call them when it comes and they will install it for free !!!!!! And I'm sending Windows 8.1 back free shipping today since it is not compatible with my PC as we found out … And will get a refund for for that … All in all not a great experience, costing me $$$ and time … to be able to use the worldwide web … huh?

DrJackson Inactive Member12 Mar 2014 12:28 p.m. PST

Windows 8.1 has caused no end of problems on our work machines so all have been reset back to win 7.

Sony vaio laptops have been the worst to deal with.

I feel your pain.

Cincinnatus Inactive Member12 Mar 2014 5:39 p.m. PST

My family buys $300 USD cheap laptops. They get the initial software and anything else they will need. Then we use it until it dies.

I would never, ever, ever pay $100 USD for a support call.

Legion – I'm not sure why you think you need to upgrade anything to use the Internet.

Mad Mecha Guy Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Mar 2014 2:29 a.m. PST

Windows 8 & 8.1 will only install on a laptop/pc that has UEFI function (a new version of BIOS).

This was supposedly for increased anti-malware protection but has caused problems for the open-source software coders.



Legion 413 Mar 2014 8:19 a.m. PST

MSN will no longer support XP after 8 Apr. … that's why I thought I should upgrade … frown My latest 3 day tour with MSN and Gateway brings to mind a statement from COL Kurz, "The horror … the horror … "

SouthernPhantom13 Mar 2014 8:33 a.m. PST

After my Windows 7 laptop had power-supply issues (random shutdown, wouldn't charge, etc.; some kid sabotaged it a few years ago and stole a bunch of screws. Problems resulted.), I went to an old XP laptop. Yeah, I'd like a W7 gaming computer at some point (no way in hell I'll ever use W8), but this works well for the time being.

Cincinnatus Inactive Member13 Mar 2014 5:18 p.m. PST

I'd ditch MSN just out of principle but that's just me. It's just a very transparent scheme to force people to upgrade.

CeruLucifus13 Mar 2014 9:01 p.m. PST

Sorry to hear your troubles.

Since you aren't comfortable doing your own tech support, I think I would suggest going to a big electronics store in your area that has a help desk. Best Buy's Geek Squad, Fry's Electronics tech support, something like that. Or a local computer store that does in house repair. Or a young guy from the local college computer department.

Explain your needs and issues, get their advice, get quotes from them up front. The money you've already spent, if you had paid it to someone you had a face to face relationship with, you could make a claim they owed you a better result and they would likely honor it.

If you develop a relationship with a business or person like that, you will probably also be able to call on them in the future. Us people on the Internet, we can give advice, but at the end of the day, we're on the other end of a wire and you have to do the work yourself or find someone to do it.

And seriously in light of your posts above and my own advice in this post, if there is an Apple store in your area, you should seriously consider a Mac. They have their own tech desk, and -- don't take this the wrong way -- they have a lot of customers that don't get computers whom they make into happy repeat customers. As I've explained above I prefer any computer solution but a Mac but they are a right fit for some people and situations. This may be you.

Legion 414 Mar 2014 10:06 a.m. PST

I've e-mailed MSN and told them to cancel my order for the new protection software I ordered from them. With that cancellation[though I'm still awaiting a confirmation ?] and the return of their Windows 8.1, I will have saved over $200. USD I had to spent $149 USD to Getway Support, I still have 4 sections left for a year. So, I will deal with them, if I have anymore viruse or malware problems. And once XP is gone, I probably will have something go wrong … Though I still have over 3 weeks support from MSN for the $99 USD session that started this whole exercise in Capitalism gone bad … So I alway like to be ahead of something and get a jump on a situation, and the XP ending seemed like something I should be proactive about. But instead I feel MSN told me the sky was falling and I ran around like the proverbial chicken "sans" head. And Gateway added to that by saying not only the sky but the moon too is falling … So this whole adventure feels like a shelf inflicted wound. If I did like many might, just wait and see what might happen after XP was gone. And I feel the Techies like MSN and Gateway have turned business to something more like extortion … And icing on the cake, I used all but about 5 mins of my 500 on my Verizon cell until 7 Apr. when I pay for 500 mins again … Because everytime I pay early they screw it up … [More Techy extortion ?] But I do have free texting … so there's that … frown Of course I could go to the Best Buy in town, and be extorted by the Geek Squad or pay their price for an new Lap top. Last time I was at Best Buy there was like a line of 30+ customers awaiting an audience with the Overlords of the Geek Squad … No need to wait for Skynet, the computers are running us instead of the other way around. The computers are incharge … not us … or at least not me …

Gozzaoz15 Mar 2014 6:37 a.m. PST

Although I own an iPad & an iPod and enjoy using them. I would rather have my eyes gouged out with a rusty soup spoon than by a Mac. Being an Apple product user has given me contempt for their business practices & highly closed system.

Windows 7 is the way to go..

Legion 416 Mar 2014 7:00 a.m. PST

Had to call them again yesterday … my Office 2010 was not working … over an hour later they fixed it (?) … Of course since as I said, I used the vast majority of my 500 cell mins. on the previous 3 calls to MSN and one to Gateway … I had to go to the Verizon store and change my plan to Unlimited, costing $48 USD … That place was like pay day at a ROK cat house … With all the masses of "the great unwashed" awaiting a Verizon demi-God to assist them with their high tech device. That only the Tech-Geek designers really know how to fully operate … frown And I already sent back 8.1 for a refund ($107). And yesterday told MSN I want to send back the protection package I ordered in haste during the 3 day "XP is going, you better upgrade" fiasco … I don't trust anything I'd get from MSN anymore. So that will refund another $107. USD And fortunately they pay for shipping … so I don't feel utterly and completely Bleeped text and extorted … huh? So the score so far – MSN – $99 USD [Virus/Malware 30 day assistance]+ Best Buy – $60 USD [500 GB ext/storage drive] + Gateway $150 USD [5 assist calls for a year, still got 4 left !] + Verizon $48 USD [Upgrade to Unlimited Mins.] … And before the XP is going e-mail my Lap Top was pretty much funtioning fine. So in looking for assistance from the Overlords, gurus, masters of the tech world … I just ended up spending $$$ and time I'd didn't really need to. frown

Cincinnatus Inactive Member16 Mar 2014 4:11 p.m. PST

Sorry it happened but it sounds like capitalism worked just fine to separate you from money you didn't need to spend.

Legion 417 Mar 2014 4:09 p.m. PST

Yeah … you're right … frown "Let the buyer beware." or "A sucker is born every minute !" Comes to mind … frown But I did just get my refund on the 8.1 I sent back. And today I sent back their protection software for a refund … Cutting my losses so to speak … after assessing loses …

Lfseeney Inactive Member08 Apr 2014 8:54 p.m. PST

It is odd how much hate for Win 8, I use it on my Surface,
It works just like Win7, the metro interface is easily bypassed.

Like any new OS installing it on older hardware will have issues.

I started with Windows pre 98, and have seen all the growth issues.

The biggest issues are drivers, for hardware no longer supported.

Windows 7 was a very good OS, use it on 2 machines.
But 8 is not that different, most of the gripes are about the start screen.

My the way my 84 year old mom, took to Win8 with no issues,
She uses the Metro screen. I go to desktop, and have all the controls I had in 7.

Hopefully Win9 will be as stable as 7 and 8 have been for me.

It is different looking, but on a newer machine it runs quite well.

Good look with it all,

XP was great I think Win7 was better, and 8 acts like Win7 with a few protections to keep a novice from formatting their HDD.

With DOS and Windows I have worked on at least 30 machines that that has happened on.

Take care

Legion 409 Apr 2014 5:59 a.m. PST

Well I'm going to use my old Gateway Lap Top with XP and no support from MSN until it is not longer viable. And hope when that happens, there will be a better op system than 8 and I'll have to get a new PC …

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