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  • Introduction

    Posted on HappyElderNerd Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This topic contains 18 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by

     Charlie 5 days, 10 hours ago.

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    • #1642165 Reply

      HappyElderNerd
      AskWoody Plus

      I’m happy to be the first pioneer to post in this forum.  I expect to be using Windows 7 (here at home, where we have four computers already in use, and robust policies for keeping them functional (often, despite M$’s best efforts to thwart my intentions!).

      I’m a 78 y.o. retiree, happily married, and living in the heart of California, where the “Gold Rush” started.  I’ve been in some facet of the computer industry since 1961 (when I was working with IBM 1401s and 709’s, and the occasional tour of projects on the vacuum-tubed RCA 301.  We only had tape drives…it was before the wide spread use of hard disk drives which were, then, weighing at one TON, and weren’t available for the computers we had.  So, I’m used to trying to extract performance out of not-yet-fully understood technology.  Before my retirement, in 2001, I traveled the globe showing F500 CEOs how to inspire their technologists to best improve productivity by solving really tough business problems with technologies.

      But, the topic of this forum (thank you, Woody) is how to avoid the necessity to upgrade to new Microsoft products (windows 10, in particular), just because the vendor wants more revenue…when the technology is still viable and useful in the larger (typically NOT the Fortune 500) world.  Microsoft will–fairly soon–make Windows 10 their premiere offering, and decline to support older products.  But, we advocates of this stable Windows 7 product will struggle on, sharing with each other, helping each other, much like those tinkerers with no-longer-manufactured automobiles keep their chops sharp, and save money (hopefully!) by keeping their 25 year old car running for another couple of decades…as a matter of pride.  (Yes, I go to the frequent center-of-town events that block the main road with hand-polished Oldsmobiles and Fords that most people would have replaced long ago with newer cars (that don’t go any faster!) but with lots of amenities (like GIS, even though they’ve never learned to use it, because they commute to the same job every day).

      Let us collaborate on keeping our tools sharp, and our principal information tools up-to-date, and–to the extent possible–avoid having to retire perfectly adequate hardware and software, just because some F500 has periodic sales quotas to meet.

      Let the collaboration begin!

    • #1642225 Reply

      HappyElderNerd
      AskWoody Plus

      Windows Updates:  I use Updates to test the stability of my systems.  If Updates work–both before, and after–then the basic guts of the software all have to be working.  When Updates don’t work (assuming they’re all intended for Windows 7), sometimes it’s the system(s) that are misconfigured…or the updates themselves inadequately tested.

      Today, I was offered four Updates (one of which I’d been delaying for several weeks, ’cause I had more important things to be doing):  KB890830, KB915597, KB4499164, and KB4499406…on my main desktop computer (based on a reliable Dell Optiplex 3020).  The outcome was a pleasant surprise  (usually, at least one of the updates don’t properly install, or create other problems).  All four were installed, automatically, although my more customary practice is to manually apply each update, in ascending order of KB <number>, assuming that older updates should have been done, and the system properly restarted before each next update is applied.  Curiously, three of the four had FAILED yesterday…before I performed some remedial scans and repairs this morning.

      Updating appears to be able to exhibit whims like that 🙂

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1643465 Reply

      epaff
      AskWoody Plus

      When Windows XP SP3 “end of life” support was effective April 8, 2014 somebody made a registry hack allowing continuing receiving updates until April 9, 2019 under the Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 OS. Given the name, the operating system was based aimed at Point of Service embedded applications and therefore was not intended for client computers. But because it was based on Windows XP it also worked for client computers. So Windows XP’s ‘official’ lifespan totaled 17 years, 7 months, and 16 days.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2014/05/27/simple-hack-gives-windows-xp-users-5-more-years-of-support/#64646fb270fc

      Can happen the same for Windows 7 SP1?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1643540 Reply

      Steve S.
      AskWoody Plus

      @ ElderNerd   Ah, somewhat of a compatriot. My first introduction to computers was on a high school field trip to McCord AFB in Tacoma, Washington, where we toured part of the Norad facility. It was all tubes and ferrite core memory as I recall… and it filled a “warehouse”! Then at University I learned Fortran IV programming using punch cards. I think those were NOT the good old days. 😉

      Even though I have Win 10 and Linux Mint, I hope to keep Windows 7 operational for as long as possible – even if it’s on old hardware in offline mode. (I also have old computers still running DOS, Win 3.1, Win 95 and Win XP – more or less as a part-time hobby.

      Thanks for starting this thread.

      Win7 Pro x64 (Group B), Win10 Pro x64 1809, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1644444 Reply

      HappyElderNerd
      AskWoody Plus

      Response to epaff:  I was aware of the “patch” for XP, but it wasn’t widely publicized (and, certainly, not on M$’s site :-).  I hope we’ll see some other clever developer publish such a patch to Win7; if so, I hope they post it (or a link to it) here!

      If we all band together, I’m convinced we all can extend our comfy Windows 7 systems for many productive years.  Let’s ALL be on the lookout for that kind of “window opening” (pun intended!) so we can all test it and give it a collective thumbs UP or DOWN, so others can make an informed decision.

      A MAJOR CAVEAT:  I propose that anyone who plans to adopt various solutions, workarounds, etc. for their own “Windows 7” life extension needs to adopt and follow two rules.

      Rule 1:  NEVER KEEP ANY USER DATA ON C$ Drive:  If you have to restore your precious Windows 7 installation by rolling back to a previous time, do you (and your other users) want to lose all of today’s work?  To prevent that I always keep ONLY “Code” (Windows, apps, their configurations and workspace) on the C$ drive.  <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>All</span> end-user data (Office, eMail, downloads, etc.), including for Administrator) is kept on the D$ drive (or out on another local or remote drive space if you prefer).  That means, in event of catastrophe, you can “rollback” your changes to Windows to a prior, known, working state, without losing any valuable user data.

      Rule 2:  MAKE AUTOMATIC BACKUPS OF both C$ and D$ on a schedule (I do it everyday).  That way, if anything goes wrong, you can always roll back to a known time when all the software was working, or if data was corrupted, it can be restored to the time of the eldest available backup.

      I have a very fast backup strategy (based on a product at http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/index.htm), and a home-brew CMD script to manage it.  I keep a weeks’ worth of backups on about 60% of a 1T 3.5″ drive (the extra 40% is for future growth). and I have three such drives:  One that’s active (#1); the one most recently swapped out (#2); and the one I keep in the trunk of my car(#3).  Backups are scheduled to run automatically for every computer, every night.  I “rotate” the three physical disks out every Sunday (A=>B=>C=>A).  So, I always have three weeks of 100% backups at all times, in case I have messed something up and I have to “roll back.”

      I developed my own script around an inexpensive robust backup solution called “Drive Snapshot” (http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/index.htm).  My script does this automatically for every computer, with start times “staggered” so only one computer is being backed up at a time (so the LAN is still useful for other users).  Then, on the same day every week, the three external drives are rotated so I have one active (for new backups), the next eldest at hand, if it need to roll back, and the eldest is in the trunk of the car (where would YOU go first if YOUR house was on fire???).

    • #1647407 Reply

      n2ubp
      Subscriber

      I’m a local independent IT consultant for small businesses and home users. Before that I spent 37 years with IBM as a Customer Engineer (field tech) and many other spots related to service delivery. Before that I rebuilt Teletypes for Western Union.

      I have quite a few clients, especially Seniors, who do not wish to upgrade to Windows 10 and plan on using Windows 7 till they are pushing up daisies. I still have business users on XP, using it for POS retail/inventory and HVAC controls at an ice skating rink.

      As long as it works for them they will stick with Windows 7.

      What might kill Win 7 for these home users is when mainstream web browsers like Chrome and anti virus software no longer support Win 7.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1649660 Reply

      Jim C
      Subscriber

      I’m so glad to see this forum. Thank you Woody, so much! Like a lot of others, I don’t see why I should give up Windows 7, just because M$ has. For M$ it’s money. For me, it’s why fix something that’s not broke. Win 10 has so many wrongs, for me it’s become the deal breaker. Before this forum, I had decided to keep going with 7 on my own. Relying on third party software to keep me safe from the bad guys. Jumping ship to Linux Mint when that time comes. Kept Windows 98 SE afloat till 2010. Had to steal some system files from Windows ME to do that. Then drivers became my biggest issue. Didn’t feel bad about getting to rid of Fat 32 files either. Like XP, 7 isn’t going away. Here is one example. I live in St. Louis Mo. Last week, I was at our largest teaching hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital it’s connected to Washington University School of Medicine, ranked among the top 10 in the country. No, this isn’t a plug for them. What this is, I discovered, they are still using Windows 7. Having no plans on changing to Win 10 anywhere soon. Lets hope with this new forum, 7 has many years ahead of it.

      Window 7 Pro, 64 bit

      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #1654666 Reply

      anonymous

      I genuinely don’t look forward to ”upgrading” to Windows 10 as the lack of control over updates and various unwanted apps coming back as you move to each 6-12 month features update packs what have you. All 3 computers in my place are retail licences so they can move and reinstall as many times as allowed, 2 x Win 7 pro and 1 x win 10 pro. The last 2 years with windows 10 pro can be only described as messy updates that I have not seen since windows 98SE (WinME doesn’t exist in my head). XP/Vista/7/8 pretty much have calmed down after first two years and yet I don’t see it with win 10. Also mysteriously my window 10 pro has went on the beta testing insider track without any control on my part.

      Microsoft certainly living upto their claims of windows 10 being continuous development with continuous OS-breaking bugs of their liking, coninciding with their firing of their 3000 manforce QA department shortly after Win10 introduced. Largely I don’t feel confidently nowadays to install windows 10 updates with the month it’s introduced. I can’t say the same during my XP and the current windows 7 days, as I can be reasonably assured to install updates within a short period without forthcoming hazards. Also we had the assurance of service packs as microsoft made any ”service packs” to be more regorously, so you can wait for those. On a side note, Microsoft’s deliberate removal of service packs  is because it created liability (much higher quality control work) established by Microsoft itself. With Windows 10 development model, they were more than willing to dump service packs and move to a new name – quality and feature packs, aniversary packs, spring/autumn/whatever packs, just another name for lower quality controlled patches.

      In all, I don’t mind moving with the times as I played with window 10 pro in the past 2 years but lack of control maturity, nuisance apps and uncontrollable tracking doesn’t colour me impress and certainly lacks incentive for me to embrace windows 10 the same way I did with windows XP or Windows 7. Certainly will live with Windows 7 beyond life, my XP one is still alive on laptop with a good firewall and updated antivirus.

    • #1654731 Reply

      Pointedly
      Member

      Above, n2ubp said:

      “What might kill Win 7 for these home users is when mainstream web browsers like Chrome and anti virus software no longer support Win 7.”

      That doesn’t necessarily apply to those of us who have dual-boot Windows 7/Linux systems. Before there are no longer browsers that support Windows 7, we can still get online occasionally to download updates for any of our Windows 7 applications that continue to be supported. We can scan our Windows files from an anti-virus program that is running under Linux in order to avoid having to get online updates to our Windows 7 anti-virus program. After there are no browsers that support Windows 7, we can either (1) use portable (non-installing) applications that we have downloaded from our Linux browser and copied to our Windows drive or (in the case of applications that must be installed) (2) find the same or a similar application and install it into Linux.

      • #1707397 Reply

        anonymous

        Of course, you’re free to NOT update Chrome and AV software.  Some folks seem to get by with applying no (or only selected) updates on their systems (but, then, they probably don’t have must interest in data integrity, either!).  To each his own.

        There are still original Ford Model T owners out there…’tho they probably have other means of transportation as well.  (I just ran across one public poster trying to find a fix for a “cracked block” for a T!)

    • #1654850 Reply

      Pepsiboy
      Subscriber

      Welcome to the lounge. Like you, I am of the same attitude and age, and am trying to get buy with the VERY limited income. At this time upgeading to Win 10 is WAY off the page (Besides, I hated it when I tried it out online.). Like you, a cousin of mine started in the EARLY days of computing, and was with IBM. I heard from other family members that he finally retired this year.

      Looking forward to your input and advice on keeping Win 7 up and running as long as possible.

      Dave

    • #1655046 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      I’m a bit long in the tooth, too. 🙂

      Glad to have you all on board!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #1656793 Reply

      Paul T
      AskWoody MVP

      am trying to get by with the VERY limited income

      If you can stretch to an external USB disk – or get an old one from a friend – you can use one of the free backup programs to make an image of the disk on your machine. The gives you a way to recover if things really go pear shaped.
      You will also need a recovery boot disk, but that can be done on a DVD so it can never be infected / rendered unusable.

      cheers, Paul

      • #1707350 Reply

        anonymous

        I’m chary about using “old” disk drives for backups, Paul.  I use three 1TB drives in USB 3.0 enclosures, and paid about $50 each for the three; all time-tested and now proven reliable.  Of course, after the first “cycle,” I’ve got three copies of every significant file, so I haven’t yet lost ANY data.  It’s worth it to me to have that security.

        That’s why this forum is valuable:  See how others do it, and make your own choice based on your own values.

    • #1706642 Reply

      CWO4Karpster
      AskWoody Plus

      HappyElderNerd, I agree with your sentiments one-hundred percent and am looking forward to sharing and learning from this forum!  Compared to you, I am a relative late-comer to the computer (1977 IBM 360 punch-cards, mark-sense, etc.) and PC (1983 IBM DOS 180kb 5.25 floppy, etc.) world.  Like most of us using PC’s during that era, I endured the flip-flops between hardware and software speed/capacity that had us upgrading one or the other every two years (at no little expense) and suffering through long learning curves.  Aside from the abominable Win10 upgrade fiasco, the real reason I am staying with Win7 Pro is because it supports every function of every project I perform in my home office, and I have long ago mastered the learning curve.  My mom-in-law in Germany still listens to her favorite broadcasts on a radio with a dial tuner.  Why shouldn’t I be able to compose, create and surf the Internet on the machine of my choice?  In the past, the one, unavoidable cause of upgrading my operating system was always the incompatibility of new peripherals (printers, scanners, etc.) with the older system.  Also, when attempting to load an older operating system onto a newer computer, I discovered to my dismay that the new motherboard would not support the older software.  As we move forward, I’ll be curious to see if manufacturers can be persuaded (if cost-effective) to offer backward-compatible hardware.  Again, thanks for this forum!

    • #1716667 Reply

      AussieBoy
      AskWoody Plus

      Of course, you’re free to NOT update Chrome and AV software.  Some folks seem to get by with applying no (or only selected) updates on their systems (but, then, they probably don’t have must interest in data integrity, either!).  To each his own.

      There are still original Ford Model T owners out there…’tho they probably have other means of transportation as well.  (I just ran across one public poster trying to find a fix for a “cracked block” for a T!)

      I wasn’t aware one could stop Chrome updating itself. Where’s the setting to stop auto updates on Chrome? Please explain!

    • #1717961 Reply

      Pointedly
      Member

      Of course, you’re free to NOT update Chrome and AV software.  Some folks seem to get by with applying no (or only selected) updates on their systems (but, then, they probably don’t have must interest in data integrity, either!).  To each his own.

      There are still original Ford Model T owners out there…’tho they probably have other means of transportation as well.  (I just ran across one public poster trying to find a fix for a “cracked block” for a T!)

      Unfortunately, there are a percentage of users of many desktop operating systems who either don’t care about data integrity or don’t know how to maintain it. That applies to a percentage of Windows 10 users, as well. Having spent years meeting the computing needs of faculty, staff and students at a university, I certainly know the importance of data integrity, and I know the importance of updating. Unfortunately, with Windows 10, Microsoft has created a situation where maintaining data integrity and installing the latest updates are both problematic.

      I decided to dual boot Linux on my Windows 7 computer when I saw that getting the latest and greatest through Linux might be a better option than installing Windows 10. With several years of experience providing Windows 10 support for others, I see Windows 7 as being Microsoft’s “greatest.” I am not alone. If I ever find a real need for Windows 10 on my home computer, I’ll create a triple-boot system. In the meantime, I’m being kind to myself.

    • #1718945 Reply

      Charlie
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks so much for this forum! I still have a working 1992 IBM PS/1, 486, 25 MHz that runs DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1.  I keep it mainly for sentimental value, it was the first computer I bought for myself. My wife calls my computer room a museum because of the older computers I keep going.

      Also, my 1969 Mustang Coupe turned 50 this year.  I bought it new and have kept it in like new original condition. I don’t trust anyone beside myself to work on it but I’m going to turn 71 this coming July and it’s becoming a bit of a chore keeping it that way.

      Win 7 Home Premium, x64, Intel i3-2120 3.3GHz, Groups B & L

      4 users thanked author for this post.

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