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Thu Aug 20, 2020, 12:58 AM

All Good Things Must End...

I have successfully avoided the change from software to "apps" and from ownership to leechware for some time, but even good hardware has its limits, and my lovely Cruncher is finally failing.

The chipset and socket configuration that support my Windows 7 OS are no longer available on a motherboard compatible with the rest of my machine. I have a reconditioned version of my original motherboard on order, but it is the second replacement in a year, and they are getting more difficult to find and taking longer to ship. So for this and a number of other reasons, including that my usage patterns and needs have changed, this will be my last attempt to resuscitate the Cruncher.

The only purpose in the resuscitation is to provide me with the time and an orderly way to transfer as much capability and data as possible from the Cruncher to my still-hypothetical new machine.

I invested a lot of money in software that ran well in a Windows environment: Adobe Creative Suite 4, Windows Office Pro 2007 with Access Premium, even a lot of smaller programs like Quicken 2014 (the last version available before they went exclusively to leechware). Yes, I know they're all madly outdated, but the point is that THEY WORKED. They did everything I needed, they were paid for, they never broke or messed up my machine, they didn't fight with each other or the OS, they didn't require constant updates. They just quietly sat there and did what I needed, day after day, year after year.

Some things are replaceable without too much pain- Libre Office works fine for basic productivity and most of the files created in MS Office will still be usable.

Not the Access files, though. Bye-bye to a couple of sturdy little Access databases I have been using for years. I have no way to recreate or replace them, and even if I could, those years of data couldn't be ported into a different environment. Access is just too idiosyncratic. So much for phenology and garden tracking records. Gone. I'll do hardcopy outputs if I can resuscitate the Cruncher, but I doubt I'll ever have time to output everything into .csv flat files in the forlorn hope that they could be retconned into a new version.

Years of financial data- I have no idea how I'll ever replace it and/or reconfigure it, and even if I did-- into what? Are there any financial management programs anymore? As far as I can tell, leechware is the only option. I will probably have to succumb, on that one- the data is too valuable. I hate surrendering to greedy extortioners happy to monetize my need and invade my privacy and doubtless also someday betray my trust for their own profit, but that seems to be all that's left anymore.

How did we get here? Faster, cooler, shinier, more gadgets more doodads more options more bells whistles glitter galore, more convenient, looks cheap, we only take a drop of blood at a time...

I am not looking forward to the frustrations of learning how much real function and personal control I have lost, in return for shiny doodads that meet no need except to entice me to spend more money and fasten more leeches onto my system. But in the long run it will be cheaper and less effort than struggling against the overwhelming tide.

And it will be cheaper and less effort than trying to adapt to an entirely different OS with an entirely different environment that has no compatibility at all with my outdated but still-in-daily-use software library and the many thousands of files deriving therefrom. I no longer work as intensively in applications that would justify learning how to migrate everything to Linux or Apple, or the ongoing work to keep up with the evolution of those products. I'd like to have the option... but right now, it's a bridge too far for a wholesale commitment that might never recoup the cost in time and money.

I do know how to de-bloat and marginally unfuck some of Windows 10's worst excesses. Some things will transfer. Over the long haul I'll probably manage to replace most of what's really important for daily life. But I will have lost a lot, and I'm grieving it a bit.

And reaching out to y'all for support and helpful suggestions.

IS there an option other than leechware to transfer my Quicken files to? One that has similar functions and capabilities?

ARE there any database products that can translate and use Access files?

Is it even possible to obtain "software" versions of programs on media that I would own, anymore? Or is it all "apps" from "stores" that require "subscriptions" and keep sucking money and data from you?

Are there workarounds that don't take large amounts of time and learning and effort and commitment to implement?

That's the real kicker, I think.

Talk to me, people... I'm depressed, and not happy about this future.

wearily,
Bright

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply All Good Things Must End... (Original post)
TygrBright Aug 20 OP
cayugafalls Aug 20 #1
TygrBright Aug 20 #3
cayugafalls Aug 20 #2
TygrBright Aug 20 #4
cayugafalls Aug 20 #6
TygrBright Aug 20 #7
cayugafalls Aug 20 #8
TygrBright Aug 20 #12
cayugafalls Aug 20 #14
TygrBright Aug 20 #15
cayugafalls Aug 20 #16
TygrBright Aug 20 #17
cayugafalls Aug 20 #18
TygrBright Aug 20 #19
cayugafalls Aug 20 #20
TygrBright Aug 20 #21
intrepidity Aug 20 #5
GB_RN Aug 20 #9
Nitram Aug 20 #10
hunter Aug 20 #11
csziggy Aug 20 #13
hunter Aug 21 #24
csziggy Aug 21 #25
hunter Aug 21 #26
csziggy Aug 21 #27
canetoad Aug 21 #22
TygrBright Aug 21 #23
bucolic_frolic Sep 9 #28

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 01:09 AM

1. Do you still have all the original installation disks for the software you own?

There are options.

I still run Windows 7 pro and other OS's as well. Just asking so I can better offer suggestions.

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 01:51 AM

3. Oh, yes, I have all my discs, installation keys, everything. n/t

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 01:21 AM

2. A workaround.

I have HP laptops. Old ones. Hp Elitebook and Hp Probooks and also Hp Folios.

They all work great. Can be upgraded to windows 10 if needed, but run Windows 7 Pro like a dream.

They can be bought off ebay in refurbished condition for less than $350 with a clean install of Windows 7 Pro, 8gb ram and 500gb harddrive.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-EliteBook-2560P-Windows-7-Pro-8GB-Ram-500GB-MS-Office/224071553881?hash=item342bb49359:g:rhQAAOSw55JesITx

That is just for starters.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-PRO-BOOK-6470B-Intel-Core-G3-i5-13-5-screen-Windows-7-Pro-real-time-listing/202997967305?hash=item2f439f29c9:g:Y3sAAOSwfx1exsdX

That would get you over the bad times and give you a platform to run your old software on and at least keep the databases and files you have at hand if needed for just a few dollars.

Well, it was just an idea.

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 01:57 AM

4. And not a bad idea at all.

I wonder if I could find something similar on Newegg?

I'd still need a lot more RAM and a Tb or so of drive space for OS and program files. And enough power to run a hub with lots of I/O ports for audio and video recording and editing. But if I could get something that would act as a virtual server and slave the laptop to it as a client... hmmmm.... do-able?

I had a quite nice HP laptop twenty years ago or thereabouts.


thoughtfully,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 02:15 AM

6. Well, I missed the video and audio editing, but the laptop will handle the other stuff with ease.

Sounds like you need to be able to add higher end sound and graphics cards for what you do with audio and video.

So build your own is most likely what you did originally, which is totally what I would have done.

Now I see your problem, finding the components to build a box that meets 2012-14 or so standards.

Let me know if I am wrong about the above assesments.

cayugafalls

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #6)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 02:20 AM

7. No, that's basically it.

The Cruncher was a build-to-spec in 2013 and a sizzler for its day.

It's done wonderful service and taken a lot of hard wear on its hardware. I've replaced the graphics card twice, the power supply once, and the motherboard once, installed some extra fans and a heatsink, but this last short in the replaced motherboard looks like the beginning of the end.

sadly,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #7)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 02:36 AM

8. Hmm...sounds like you do a lot of heavy lifting (audio and video editing).

Yea, the real problem is going to be the OS.

Check into the refurbished laptops to handle your personal databases and lesser demanding software running on windows 7 and for the higher end audio and video editing you may have to upgrade and go with windows 10 like you feared.

I'll give it some more thought tomorrow when I'm fresh and see what I can come up with. If you have the build specs for the Cruncher message them to me and I will do some digging tomorrow and see what I can come up with.

hopefully,
cayugafalls

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #8)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 03:57 PM

12. This was the original build-

Case: Rosewill Blackhawk ATX Mid-Tower (5 cooling fans integrated)

Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87

CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 Haswell 3.1GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core (includes heat sink & cooling fan)

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 w/ EVGA ACX Cooler Video Card

PSU: CORSAIR CX600 ATX12V 2.3

SSD: Samsung 840 EVO MZ-7TE 120BW

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1333

Also, 2 Western Digital WD RE4 1003FBYX 1TB 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache SATA drives to allow it to function as network file hub, plus a NETGEAR WNDR3800-100NAS N600 Wireless Dual Band router for the LAN

Multi-card reader: VANTEC UGT-CR961

I scavenged the 2 DVD write/read drives out of my previous rig, and stayed with my Logitech wireless 2-button mouse and prehistoric Microsoft PS/2 keyboard because I'm used to them and like the touch.

The video card is a more recent GeForce (it was replaced twice, the most recent in 2017) but damned if I can find the specs... they were on the Cruncher and currently not accessible. I posted the original build here in 2014, so I found it again without too much trouble.

Right now I'm thinking "hub" plus a pair of mirrored, swappable HDs, and, yes, a laptop for some things and a desktop for others, all running through the hub and using the HD parked there as primary file location all around.

Not actually sure if this would work, it's kind of a jackleg server setup, but I don't need anything bigger.

I don't do nearly as much multimedia work as I used to- the occasional project for a friend or buff for something connected to other work, but I need access to the old stuff. I switched to Openshot a some time ago but still crosslink old Fireworks and other files occasionally.

Suggestions welcome...

appreciatively,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #12)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 07:26 PM

14. Ok, here are some suggestions,

without knowing budget and other constraints.

For your "hub" I would suggest a NAS, network accessible storage. This gives you the ability to have up to 4 hdrives with up to 40tb of storage without the need for a separate server and all the hassle that entails. You get all the advantages of a server hub for files storage plus some extra perks, like a video server like PLEX to serve up videos.

Take a look at the Amazon page and you can compare Synology NAS drive (if you scroll down, you can see 2 drive NAS for half the cost of 4 drive NAS). Yes, you have to buy hdrives, but you already have 2 1tb drives, pick up 2 more and depending on your configuration you can get 3tb of storage with redundancy of one drive for failures or 2tb with 2 drives redundancy. I'll be happy to explain more about mirroring if you need.

Here is a link to the Synology website with information on that NAS and the OS features.

Now for the interim laptop that will help you over the hump for the build a new desktop. Two options;

HP Elitebook 8570W i7-3820QM with 32gb ram and 500gb SSD for approx 525$ It runs windows 10 Pro, I say try it and see how much of your current software will run on Windows 10. If you have Windows 7 pro install disc and feel techie, go ahead and install, but make a driver flash drive before starting that process by going to HP and getting all the drivers for that model. Link is HERE. If that link does not have windows 7 64 bit selected automatically, you can change it on the page.

Or Go big and spend a little more and this guy will install windows 7 pro for you! But it is 700 bucks. Specs are off the hook and it will be a great albeit a little heavy laptop. 4gb discrete video processing power should handle video editing fine.

HP ELITEBOOK 8770W i7-3920XM EXTREME 32GB 1TB SSD K4000M 1080P DVD+RW WIN 10

That will give you the ability to do everything you are currently doing. It should handle video editing just fine. Buy a laptop cooler fan for even more help keeping cool during high stress.

technically yours,
cayugafalls

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #14)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 07:45 PM

15. Excellent suggestions, thank you!

I can't spend my retirement money, but in this case getting something that will do what I want, and that I can manage easily, will justify a greater investment.

Can I run the NAS through a standard hub that will handle my ethernet and peripherals? If so, it sounds like an almost ideal solution.

curiously,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #15)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 08:09 PM

16. Yes, the NAS connects to a standard Ethernet hub and you connect to it just like a server.

They are pretty easy to setup and designed for the home user. This particular NAS has 2 Ethernet connections to make file transfers even faster and it does link aggregation.

Your Ethernet hub should be a smart switch though. A switch is different than a hub, a hub is dumb and a switch is smart. A hub can cause slowdowns due to clashes with other devices plugged into it. A switch will manage the devices to make sure they don't clash.

Switches are VERY similar to hubs and look virtually the same. The device itself will say switch if it is a switch. if it does not say switch, then it is a hub.

An example is Netgear 8 port switch

Benefits of a hub vs a switch are for networks with 4 or more devices accessing the network. Laptop, Desktop, NAS, Printer, etc...you will benefit from a switch.

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #16)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 08:58 PM

17. How would the switch work with the NAS? n/t

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #17)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 09:03 PM

18. My bad. A switch is a hub only smarter. NAS will work with either.

The NAS will just work better with a switch. But it should be OK with the hub you have. Can you give me the model of the hub you have?

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #18)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 09:15 PM

19. I don't have one yet. My esposo has a nice little CalDigit...

...but I don't think it's got the port configuration that would let it serve two machines.

regretfully,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Reply #19)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 09:46 PM

20. You are correct. The CalDigit is a Port Extender. It adds additional ports to your device.

That way you can connect lots of devices (printers, cameras, displays, external hard drives, Ethernet for only one PC, etc...). It is mostly for Macs, but can be used with PC's that have Thunderbolt 3 connectors and Windows 10 Pro.

With the CalDigit you could not connect to it with the HP laptop due to the laptop not having a Thunderbolt 3 connector. A comparable device to the CalDigit for the HP laptop would be this Plugable Port Extender

To add the NAS and a desktop to your setup you would need the switch and 4 Ethernet cables (2 for the NAS and 1 for the desktop, 1 for the laptop).

Hopefully yours,
cayugafalls

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Response to cayugafalls (Reply #20)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 11:17 PM

21. I'm going to start pricing and investigating availability...

...and I'll run this past the laddy who is helping me resuscitate the Cruncher.

I may get back to you via PM.

You've been very helpful indeed, and I really appreciate it.

gratefully,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 02:04 AM

5. Boy, can I relate. No advice, no suggestions.

I have that same battle looming before me.

Sigh. Why do they have to break the good things?

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 04:15 AM

9. Sorry to hear it.

Let me start off by saying that I used to be a diehard Windows guy. Before I went to nursing school, I was a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer. I loved Windows XP. Windows 7 was even better. Then came Windows 8. What. A. Piece. Of. Crap. I used it for a few weeks and then reformatted and went back to Win7. I never personally bothered with Windows 10 because I hated Windows 8 so much (unfortunately, I've been forced to deal with it at work, as MS's EOL for Win7 has forced hospitals/companies to "upgrade" to Win10).

When I got into graduate school for a Masters' in nursing, they required a laptop with Win10, ostensibly because their remote testing software wouldn't work on anything else (it does, and the vendor supports it). I said screw that. I wasn't wasting money on a Win10 laptop. If I was going to have to get a laptop, I decided I'd get a MacBook. Yeah, you pay a premium for it, but the hardware is high end. Apple also supports old hardware with OS updates for much longer than MS does, which was another draw; the laptop wouldn't be worthless or "out of support" in just a couple of years.

Learning MacOS was pretty easy, definitely intuitive and straightforward. Things are where they are supposed to be, unlike in Windows 8/10. Microsoft really screwed the pooch with those POSes.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 10:42 AM

10. I bought my first PC (a Laser 128 Apple II clone) in the 80s. I've been through a chain of computers

and software since then. It's like an old pair of jeans. You can only patch the knees up to a point, cut them off to use for shorts, but in the end they will no longer function. It's a fact of life. Nothing lasts forever. I finally broke down and got online subscriptions for Photoshop, and the Office suite. Threw away all of my favorite games that no longer played on system upgrades. So it goes.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 10:46 AM

11. You might consider running your Windows 7 stuff on a virtual machine.

The laptops at my wife's work are all Windows 10 machines but most of the older and expensive Windows software opens in virtual machines.

Windows Pro includes Hyper-V, which is Microsoft's virtual machine, but there are other alternatives such a VirtualBox and VMWare.

There are plenty of helpful tutorials on the internet explaining step-by-step how to set up a virtual machine.

I'm a Linux and Chromebook evangelist. I quit Windows for Linux at Windows 98SE because I was tired of "upgrades" that broke all my stuff.

Most of the computers I've ever used, going back to the 'seventies, are recreated as virtual machines on my Linux desktop.

Modern Linux desktops can be very similar to Windows.

It's not terribly expensive to learn Linux without risking your primary computer.

A complete Raspberry Pi setup costs less than $100, or you can install something like Linux Mint on nearly any older machine. I've never had any trouble setting up a Raspberry Pi but wifi is sometimes difficult on random old computers because many manufacturers seemed to do wifi their own proprietary way.

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Response to hunter (Reply #11)

Thu Aug 20, 2020, 04:35 PM

13. The biggest problem with going from WIndows to Linux is the software

While there are now decent offerings for Linux, there is a learning curve and finding equivalents can be hard. I'm sure it is easier now than when I tried out Linux in the late 1990s, but I had too much time and energy, not to mention money, invested in the Windows versions I was used to to change over. Plus, back then Linux was not at all easy to learn.

That is why I am still using Windows, though I have not upgraded my Windows 7 Pro desktop yet. I plan to sometime in the next year since I am beginning to have doubts about the reliability of my roughly seven year old system.

I'm getting too old to be on the cutting edge of technology - I don't even build my own computers any more, just pick out the parts and pay someone else to assemble them.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #13)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 11:57 AM

24. Here's how you might recreate your old computer on Windows 10 Pro using Microsoft Hyper-V:



Installing your old software on the virtual machine, starting with Windows 7, would take some time and require the old install disks and licences, but the advantage is you can run all your old software on the virtual machine with little risk to the new Windows 10 installation.

Emulators and other sorts of virtual machines are how I have so much old baggage on my desktop machine. By the time I get around to replacing a machine, the new machines are fast enough to emulate all my previous machines nearly flawlessly. I have my Atari 800 machines, my DR-DOS Geoworks machines, my Widows 3.1 machines, my Windows 98SE machines, all available from my desktop just one or two clicks away. I can play Pengo like it's 1983, or read stuff I wrote the 'seventies. (Damn, I was annoying then. Maybe I still am.)

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Response to hunter (Reply #24)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 12:31 PM

25. I usually just move on.

By the time I upgrade my computer, most of my software is ancient (by data standards) and I am ready for the new features.

My policy is that when I get a new machine, I update everything, run it until the next upgrade - or until I am forced to. I had a lot of my old software up until recently (when we did a clear out), but most of the stuff other than games was outdated and unusable because of real world changes. I don't play many games - I've got too many other things that keep me busy.

I do still have data files that go back to my DOS days. Much is saved to CDRs that are twenty or more years old but are still readable. I hope I live long enough to sort through all that stuff and dump the things that don't matter - old photos downloaded from CompuServe, for instance. From my Apple ][ (not +, not e, just ][) days I have been in the habit of keeping data separate from programs and the OS, so when I change computers it is easy to keep data and dump all the old software I don't need.

I think I tried an emulator about the same time I tried Linux. Problem was, it took up too much of my computer resources. I do photo and video editing. Windows and PhotoShop or the video programs I use were too greedy to run well in an emulator. They are why I have 32 GB of RAM and over 10 Tb storage, plus the fastest processor and video card I can afford. One problem with the current setup is that I have run out of connections for more hard drives. Externals get annoying, so I like to have my files where I can always access them and use external drives as backups.

The other reason I gave up Linux was that in 1999 I began a series of operations that lasted until spring of 2019. Fifteen major operations really screws up your brain and makes it hard to keep new information current, especially as I approach 70. That and five deaths in the family have cut into the time I have for non-essentials

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Response to csziggy (Reply #25)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 01:41 PM

26. My wife went through a few years of surgery hell...

... not fifteen major operations, but it was rough. Our lowest point was when her COBRA expired and we were a few weeks from losing our home to foreclosure. She was accepted to our state's "high risk" insurance pool just days before her next chemo was scheduled.

Fortunately all that modern medicine worked, but it makes me furious that the U.S.A. does not have universal health care.



I don't have a huge amount of video. Most of it is 480 lines. I don't know much about modern video editing software.

The bulk of my hard drive storage is family photographs.

Over the years I've developed an extreme aversion to proprietary file formats and most proprietary software. My general rule of thumb is if somebody wants me to use proprietary software they have to pay me.


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Response to hunter (Reply #26)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 04:20 PM

27. Good for your wife!

My husband got a job off the farm so we could have insurance. Three weeks later I tore the meniscus in my left knee. From then it was right shoulder (the left shoulder was already completely rebuilt), right knee, hysterectomy, both knees replaced, carpal tunnel both hands, aortic valve replacement, kidney removed, back fused.

Somewhere in there the ACA kicked in and my husband retired early - the stress of his job was killing him so it was a good choice. Then we both were eligible for Medicare so we're covered for the rest of our lives - if the GOP does not kill Medicare.

I'm almost at the point I don't want anything else done, but my brain still works and I have too many projects left to give up.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 04:01 AM

22. Limpet is older than Cruncher

And has chugged along for over ten years. I've replaced drives, RAM, power supply and kept WinXP long after it was advisable because I had my machine tweaked to work as I like it. I suspect a similar scenario applies to you.

Have you attempted to load Win 10 onto Cruncher? It's obviously younger than Limpet and unless it's a dedicated 32 bit Mb, it would be worth your while to try.

I took the plunge into Win10 over a year ago. This is my main work machine; other computers in the house are Win 7, 8.1. I'm fanatical about it being tuned and working well. Can honestly say that with a day of tweaking, finding my way around (which included turning off a hundred annoyances), Win 10 works exactly as I would like it to.

Programs: I own Adobe Master Collection CS3, Office 2003 and they both work on Limpet using Win10. I use a 2000 version of Quickbooks which runs fine. Win 10 has pretty decent capabilities for running programs in 'grandfathered' compatibility modes.

I don't use MS Access - my databases are built in Filemaker. However, with a little work you can export everything to XLS files and use that as a starting point. Quicken is a strange beast, but there may be a way to export files by 'print to file' select CSV and then open in Excel.

There are a hundred things you can do to make Win 10 look and perform in the ways of older versions. Feel free to PM me for more info.

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Response to canetoad (Reply #22)

Fri Aug 21, 2020, 10:05 AM

23. Thanks! I suspect Limpet was built back when hardware components had to be tough and reliable.

Win7 is working just fine and that's not the problem.

The problem is the hardware components that keep dying, and the market has moved way beyond the configurations that would allow me to sub in something else that will work reliably and for a long time with all the other hardware, and still run W7.

It's not *just* the "run W7" part. it's the 'will it play nicely with the graphics card and the SSD that hosts the OS and the rest of the machine.

I know it's possible to un-f**k W10 up to a point (although that is getting less true with their latest stunt of the un-deletable browser requirement) but you can NOT delete Cortana, and all too many other bits of intrusive and execrescent junk are either only partially decommissionable, or require an awful lot of fiddling to stand down.

I will end up on it eventually, probably right before MS decides to herd everyone on to its next "improved" OS.

I don't mind them evolving, I certainly don't have anything against them creating new and wonderful stuff, I just mind them making it mandatory for us to be dragged along with them.

If I could find a mobo with the chipset and config to slide into the system and it only ran W10, I'd probably go with it. But as far as I can tell, there's no such critter.

sadly,
Bright

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Sep 9, 2020, 08:22 PM

28. I run Linux Mint on a 2009 Vista laptop

It wasn't that Vista no longer ran, it became incompatible with the internet. They told me things would have ssecurity problems. What actually happened was things just didn't work any more. Site just hung.

Linux was not too steep a learning curve. I love LibreOffice. I run Firefox and Chromium, simultaneously, with 10-12 tabs, on a Core 2 Duo at 2.0 GHZ.

Although I still would like a Win10 machine for certain online software, it's not crippling me. I have no plan to use WIN10 for browsing the internet. I'll install Linux beside Win10 or WinXP instead. Yeah, I still have an XP MCE. Someday I plan to figure out how to use it.

My main complaint is to try to greatly reduce the time I spend online. Some activities are becoming more efficient, but the list of activities grows. I don't use a smart phone, need to add that too.

Hope this helps with your Cruncher perspective. I'm not really sure what it is, sounds like about a 2005 laptop.

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