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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,889

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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 Yes, I know they're all madly outdated, but the point is that THEY WORKED.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.

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