XP-Replacement for Parents

Gordon Banner tech at gordonbanner.me.uk
Thu Mar 27 21:38:11 GMT 2014

Thoughts at random...

> I do not use Windows, but AFAIK XP->Win7 is an upgrade, not a wipe and re-install.

 From the back of the Win7 upgrade pack:
"If you are upgrading from XP, you will need to back up your files and 
settings, perform a clean install and then reinstall your files, 
settings and programs."
Whether you could partition the main disk and preserve what's on D:, I 
don't know.  They probably want you to move from FAT to NTFS. Anyway, 
received wisdom is that a clean install of Windows will be much better 
performance-wise, ie you defrag, lose dead registry crap, etc etc.

The same box cover also reminds me that Win7 Pro or Ultimate editions 
will allow you to "Run many Windows XP productivity applications in 
Windows XP mode".  Some sort of VM or emulation, or just compatible 
libs?  I don't know.

I did an upgrade for my father recently but I didn't try running Win 7 
on the hardware he used for XP.  I'm all in favour of Linux, but I 
wasn't brave enough to convert Dad - he's been using DOS & Windows since 
1986 and knows enough to get himself out of basic trouble; on most of 
the Linux desktops I've tried, I could imagine him tweaking some odd 
setting and then me struggling to work out what the heck he'd done.  
Plus I needed to migrate various apps, scanner, printer, etc and get in 
and out in a weekend.  YMMV.

One potential gotcha - my father had a lot of MS Works stuff - databases 
and spreadsheets rather than word-processing.  MS totally don't support 
Works beyond XP, LibreOffice doesn't import the files; I had to find 
some terribly clunky s/w to do conversions.

If your scanner doesn't have manufacturer drivers for newer Windows 
versions, try VueScan.  I have an Epson which was only supported on XP, 
and Epson's own site actually recommended VueScan for newer Windowses.  
It gives you a lot of knobs to tweak, if not the slickest interface - 
maybe better for scanning a few photos than dozens of documents.

+1 for the live-CD/USB test.  You could actually give your parents a 
chance to say "that's horrible/fantastic" before committing, as well as 
testing scanner drivers.  User-focus!

Re the security fears: I think the logic is not so much that XP will 
suddenly fall apart, but that whenever MS publish fixes for Vista or 7, 
blackhats will look to see if the same holes exist unpatched in XP.


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