News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

We're community supported and proud of it!

  • Moving from Win7 to ???

    Home Forums AskWoody support Non-Windows operating systems Moving from Win7 to ???

    Viewing 19 reply threads
    • Author
      • #228415
        Cartoonist Aaron
        AskWoody Plus

        So I’m in the market for a new laptop and could use some advice. Not really sure where’s the best sub-forum to post this, but here we go.

        I’m running Win7 Home which will go out of support in just over a year. With Black Friday approaching, it seems a good time to make a move. I had been hoping that MS would get it’s act together by then, but they show no signs of improvement.

        While I’m a open-source advocate, I’ve decided that learning MS Office and Adobe CC would be good for the ol’ resume. So I need something that will run those, at least while I learn them. I hesitate to try running them on my current “mission critical” laptop, it’s somewhat underpowered and I worry about those programs having security issues.

        My first thought was to grit my teeth and get a Win10 laptop, and attempt to install Linux. I’d keep using my Win7 machine for anything concerning privacy (such as email, shopping, web browsing, web mastering, etc) until I get a grip on Linux. However, I’ve played with Linux a few times, and never can seem to quite get it working.

        Chrome is out for me, I trust Google even less than MS.

        Now I’m taking a hard look at some flavor of MacBook. My last Mac was a G4 iMac running OSX 10.4, so I’ve been out of the Apple loop for about ten years. There seems to be complaints about Macs too. Hardware problems, such as the butterfly keyboard, going ignored. Somebody mentioned a sluggish OS. My concern is that the extra cost over a PC won’t be worth it.

        An iPad is tempting, but I rely too heavily on programs like Inkscape and GIMP which aren’t available. Other than the full version of Photoshop is coming to IOS next year, the programs I want to learn aren’t the full versions, as I understand it.

        Any thoughts would be appreciated.

      • #228416
        AskWoody Lounger

        If what you currently have still works for you, I would keep it until next BF in 2019, when the expiration date is a bit closer. I see no reason to jump if you don’t have one.

        You can run MS Office and some Adobe apps in WINE under Linux, though I’m not sure about CC. I know the standalone CS products work under WINE, but I don’t know about CC.

        You’ll basically have to go either Windows 10 or Mac if you need Adobe CC. If you get something with 10 Pro, you have a lot more control and that’s the only way I’d go if I was you. Win 10 Home is too aggravating to try to lock down, and I wouldn’t even consider it.

        I like Win 10, but it still has its share of problems. I’m running 10 Pro 1709, it’s been rock solid, just like 1703. I’m deferring feature updates to 120 days, so eventually, I’m going to get upgraded to 1803 which we use at work and it’s been fine. I absolutely would not want to run 1809 right now, which is more reason to not do anything (since probably a lot of new systems are going to already be running 1809).

        I think your best bet is to hold. Keep using what you’re using, at least for another year. Unless you have a hardware failure that you’re not mentioning – keep using it.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228420

        I’m sorry that I also do not have a better plan that would fit every need. The best future would be the one where Microsoft repents and puts out the system we are asking for. A three year track record does not predict that will happen.

        While I’ve got my wish machine out, I could also hope for the miracle to come from IBM turning out a new breed of PC in time for the next academic year and holiday purchase season. But wishing is not a good business plan.

        So coming back down to Earth, I agree with zero2dash to hold with what works for the use that pays the bills. But you really need to set aside a budget in money and time. Pick one of the paths available to you. And invest in making it happen in the time you have available.

        The frame of your request shows you have already assessed most of the facts available to anyone who could offer an opinion. Your best course would be to start the action that will move you forward, sooner than later.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228424
        AskWoody Lounger

        Take a look around the Linux sub-forum if you haven’t already.

        I had great success here.  Perhaps you’ll have similar results.

        Here are a couple others I’d recommend.

        Nice Linux Mint Laptop

        Linux Journey Learning for beginners

        Good luck with your learning adventure.

        Win 8.1 (home & pro) Group B, Linux Dabbler

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #228426
        AskWoody Plus

        You might still consider a Mac (I have MS Office 2016 for the Mac in mine and no complaints, but don’t even know what “Adobe CC” is, so offer no opinion on that one.) The “hardware problems” people now and then mention, in my opinion, based not just on my own experience with a MacBook Pro laptop, but that of several colleagues I work with at NASA and that have been using Macs since shortly after the Flood, have been greatly exaggerated. (The problem with the keyboard physically sticky keys, never has come my way or anyone’s I know using a Mac — But,  if it does, I’ll just plug in an external keyboard, and carry on.) The machines’ hardware is very well-engineered as is the OS and other pre-installed software, and hardware and software work together very, very well. Price might be a problem for some, but if one needs it as a tool to do one’s paying, crust-earning (and, or satisfying and, or even exciting) job, then that should not even be a consideration. For other kinds of users, of course it should be. One inconvenience, but not an overwhelming obstacle, is the need to add a sleek little port as a super-dongle to have more USB, HDMI and other ports one would regularly use, as those no longer come in sufficient numbers with the newest machines (laptops, at least) or, in some laptop types, at all, because of Apple’s aspiration to present a cool and sleek look above everything else (not that this is new!).

        Another possibility one might look into is the Meerkat PC that comes with Linux pre-installed (and two distros to choose from). But it comes without a monitor, so it is more like the “box’ of a desktop one then puts together with the rest of it bought separately. The Meerkat has been discussed in a thread here at Woody’s:

        System76 Meerkat

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228428
        AskWoody MVP

        Is there a great hurry? Black Friday will be here in 2019 whereby you have had more time to save for something beyond what you would be looking at..something to ponder?!

        Hardware is more of a concern here for me when it comes to graphic intensive work, primarily the cpu, memory and on-board graphics card, SSD/ SSHDD whether you opt for either a W10 laptop or mac book. I’d definitely look at a high end graphics card (my preference) in a laptop, takes the strain away from the CPU and at least 16Gb Ram to start with and a beefy amd or intel CPU

        If I HAD to make an immediate choice, I’d go for a mac book simply because they work as intended and are the preferred choice of graphic artists and designers.

        | Quality over Quantity |
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #228429
          AskWoody Plus

          And Macs are not altogether unfamiliar, along with Linux-running PCs, to those who develop, as part of their work, and because nothing exactly like it usually exists already, elaborate engineering and scientific heavy number-crunching software. That then use the same machines to crunch numbers and, when done with that, put together the PPT presentations of the results and, later, write with the same machines the papers about those results and then submit them online, so they may, later still, appear in high-impact technical journals.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228433

        I know Office runs on a Mac. I currently have Office 2016 on my Mac. I believe there will be an Office 2019 for Mac as well.

        Adobe Creative Cloud also runs on Macs – see the Adobe system requirements.

        If you have something that absolutely has to run on Windows, you can try WINE or run a Windows VM. I use Parallels Desktop for virtulization software, but there is VMWare and others. See some of my posts in MacOS for Windows Wonks.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #229117

          Office 2019 is now available for Windows and Mac
          By Jared Spataro, Corporate Vice President for Office and Windows Marketing, on September 24, 2018

          Today, we are announcing the general availability of Office 2019 for Windows and Mac. Office 2019 is the next on-premises version of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher.

          Office 365 ProPlus, the cloud-connected version of Office, delivers the most productive and most secure Office experience—with the lowest total cost of ownership for deployment and management…

          (usual marketing hype!)

      • #228434
        AskWoody MVP

        @Cartoonist Aaron-

        PKCano successfully runs Windows OS on the Mac… and maybe you could even continue to run Windows 7 that way, after its end of life, or get hold of Windows 8.1 and run it with the programs you want to use, again, on a Mac… as well as continue to experiment with Linux… but then, you might be able to do all of that from a new W10, too.

        Something to consider that hasn’t been mentioned… fairly soon Intel should be coming out with the new processors that don’t have the Meltdown and Spector vulnerabilities built into them, like the current processors do. That means that you would not have to apply mitigations if new vulnerabilities are discovered over the next years, whereas any current processor has them built in. It may become important in the future… or it may not. Just something to think about.

        Whatever branding… you will probably be happiest not to settle for a lower powered model again. So think carefully about what you need, and add room for growth.

        I, too, am looking as to what direction to go as Window 7 faces end of life… but, not having a commitment to any Microsoft programs, it does free me up to take Linux as it is, and work within it. I doubt I’d be able to afford a Mac, so will continue using PC hardware.


        Non-techy Win 10 Pro and Linux Mint experimenter

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228445
        Bill C.
        AskWoody Plus

        You might also consider getting a refurbished, off-lease business case laptop such as Dell or Lenovo. Why business class? Because they tend to have more ports for connectivity and or using a projector or external monitor/keyboard. If you are going mobile, many businesses restrict non-internal laptops from connecting with wifi or ethernet, or have guest connectivity setups. That is why you want both wifi and ethernet. Additionally you want to have USB ports and even old VGA ports if giving a presentation (just in case). I find many of the newer consumer laptops are limited and often even the battery is not user replaceable.

        These refurbs are great for Linux installs. From experience I have found Intel CPUs have been a bit easier if the laptop is older, with more mainline Linux installs. However, AMD has less CPU vulnerabilities. However, Linux loads the mitigation firmware at boot. My last refurb laptop was an i7 (Gen3) Lenovo Thinkpad. I upgraded the RAM from 4 to 8GB and swapped in an SSD (a SATA SSD is dirt cheap now for even a 500GB drive so why wait for a slow 5400RPM laptop HDD). Another advantage of the Lenovo or Dell is the business class laptops are easily user servicable for HDD and memory changes and batteries are available. When pricing them also price out and add the RAM/SSD upgrade costs. These 2 upgrades will make the thing fly.

        I also echo Elly on buying enough horsepower. On reliability of refurbs, of the refurbs I have bought, only one had an issue which was a DOA battery that was replaced in an hour under the 90 day warrantee (actually the seller just swapped machines since I had never booted it).

        Win7 EOL is over a year away. Now is the time to be experimenting and learn and see if Linux is a viable option for your personal situation. You will find Linux folks often are looking for lightweight distros that will run on older hardware. My experience is even the more demanding distros are still lighter than Windows 7. Even if it is not for you, you may find it meets another need for you without breaking the bank.

        Good luck!

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #228451
          AskWoody Plus

          And they might also come with a built-in DVD/Blu Ray drive that still works… In case you need to read from a huge data set to do some job, or just watch a movie you bought its DVD years ago.

          Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #228459
        AskWoody Lounger

        If Macs were equivalent in price, it’d be a no-brainer. The Apple tax, though, and paying double the cost or more, is ridiculous. I was a graphic designer for 15 years, I worked on Macs from System 7 to OS X Tiger. OS X is a great OS, but it has its issues too. I’ve seen just as many kernel panics and spinning beachballs of doom in OS X as I have BSOD in XP through 10 in the last decade.

        There are new MacBooks coming out, literally just announced in the last 48 hours. There are hardware refreshes coming very soon. If you have to buy now, I’d buy a MacBook and call it a day. As others have said, you can virtualize anything on the Mac that requires Windows within a VM in VirtualBox which is free.

        I still think though you’d be better suited waiting to do anything for now. I think after 1809, MS is learning that their strategies and policies are not the best ideas and they don’t work sometimes. Win 10 (Pro or higher) is the best version of Windows, yes, but it has its problems. I’m hoping they learn, and change their ways, at least a bit.

        You could also easily try to learn Linux in a VirtualBox VM from within Windows at this point if you’re ever up for it. If you do try it out, I’d recommend Linux Mint; Ubuntu using Gnome 3 is a love it or hate it GUI and I’m in the “hate it” crowd. Linux Mint uses the Cinnamon desktop which is a lot more familiar as a Windows alternative. You could also boot off a Linux Mint live CD or USB and run on your hardware, without having to install it, again when you want to learn. Unplug your thumb drive and reboot and there’s Windows, as you left it.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #228442

        I’m glad to see the input you’ve received @cartoonist-aaron . I’m less familiar with the needs of a graphic artist, so I’ll point in a different direction. You may already know the comic Terminal Lance, pardon a brief bio if you do.

        Maximilian Uriarte came out of a San Fransisco art school while continuing the comic he had begun during active service. In the course of publishing two best selling books he would often share information about the tools he used on that site or his social accounts. I remember him comparing the utility of Wacom tablets, Surface, and iPads for graphical input in terms that make more sense to a fellow artist. You each have different audiences, but I thought maybe black line art was a common starting point for you both. I know he pursues other art forms as well.

        An artist’s life can get busy, but Mr. Uriarte seems pretty approachable through a variety of methods. He may also point to more sources.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228544
        AskWoody Lounger

        With Black Friday approaching, it seems a good time to make a move

        Just a thought whatever you consider definitely go with a new machine with an SSD you’ll love the speed I am mulling over a 1TB SSD upgrade on one of my Machines here with the festive “Cheapies” coming up as SSD prices are falling but obviously with Win7 EOL coming up next year prior to Jan 2020 there may be a rush on to get new machines next years festive period that’s if everyone’s clued in to the EOL of Win7 and so it may not be a good time and or limited choice as to the bargains available, any ways that’s all in the future, a year, nay 6 Months is a long time in the world of “Windoze”
        If remotely possible, and I am really not sure if you can, consider a Win8.1 Machine. Great little OS takes a bit of getting used to visually, stable as of right now, control of updates. Should you ever feel the need to go to the “The Dark Side” aka Win10 you can, goes with out saying you’ll be able to put a version of the “Penguin” on there quite easily and EOL for Win8.1 is 2023? quite a bit left. Well at least you then have 2 versions of Windows bought and paid for at your disposal and the Linux Penguin as a third option. As for Macs I too have been out of that loop since OS7 – 9 and then OSX the early Vers. but what I remember that they were fairly competent and despite being on an older G3 or 4? quite responsive. Anyways just food for thought and a few alternatives to consider 🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228561
        Cartoonist Aaron
        AskWoody Plus

        Wow. Thank you all for your input. You’ve given me a lot to consider.

        I should clarify that by saying my current laptop is somewhat under-powered, I meant compared to Adobe Creative Cloud’s requirements. It’s Pentium 1.7GHz w/ 4GB RAM which runs my current open-source graphics software fine.

        I have no real commitment to any Windows exclusive software, aside from an affinity for Notepad++, which looks easy enough to replace.

        I’ve tried Linux Mint. The Windows updates saga has given me several, “that’s it, I’m going to Linux,” moments. It’s actually installed right now as dual boot, but my laptop’s BIOS doesn’t like it and I was leery of messing with my main, “this-had-better-not-get-bricked” computer too much.

        I don’t have any hardware issues at the moment. Though I did have a faulty memory card and a dead DVD drive a while back. (Replaced the memory, got an external DVD drive)

        I’m considering waiting, as suggested. Also, I’m reevaluating the level of risk in installing Office 365 and possibly some of Adobe CC on my current machine.

        Thank you all again.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #229127
          AskWoody MVP

          If you’d like to try to tackle the issues you have with Mint, just post a message on the Linux forum describing the issue… one of us may be able to help.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.1 User Edition)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #229131
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        You are in the market so bite the bullet and buy the best Windows laptop you can afford. W10 works well for most people and you will have an image backup on external disk (won’t you!) to return to if required.

        Machines with an SSD tend to be up-specced so you might consider something with the CPU and memory you want, but with a spinner. Then buy an SSD and upgrade yourself.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #231618
        AskWoody Lounger

        Walmart just released their 2018 Black Friday ads.

        Samsung Chromebook 3 for $99.00
        Any thoughts and opinions?

      • #231669

        Windows 10 has too many problems. Avoid it at all cost. Got get a MAC rather than Windows. Other option would be to get Linux. You can test it now with Live Linux to see if you like it.

        I would recommend that you avoid Windows 10 and keep using Windows 7 as long as you can.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #231896
        AskWoody Lounger

        Windows 10 has too many problems. Avoid it at all cost. Got get a MAC rather than Windows. Other option would be to get Linux. You can test it now with Live Linux to see if you like it. I would recommend that you avoid Windows 10 and keep using Windows 7 as long as you can.

        Chromebooks, I believe, are Google’s Chrome OS not Windows.
        I have no intentions of ever going to Windows 10.

        When my hard drive on my desktop failed last year in Nov., I purchased a laptop with Windows 10.
        I used it for 1 week. Hated it.
        I returned it and brought my desktop tower and bought a new hard drive and had Windows 7 reloaded.
        I hope it will survive until end, but one never knows.

        A Chromebook would be my next purchase. MAC’s are not in my budget.
        I use Chrome as my browser so the learning curve should not be difficult.

        I also plan to add the usb/ethernet adapter so that I can connect to my DSL internet.
        Had I known I could do that with a chromebook, I would have probably purchased that instead of buying a new hard drive and reload Windows 7.

        At the time, I actually was looking at chromebooks. When I asked if I could connect a chromebook to DSL I was told no, battery/wifi only.
        That was the reason I didn’t get it then.

      • #236871
        Cartoonist Aaron
        AskWoody Plus

        I ended up holding off for now. Thanks again for all the advice.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #330619
        Nathan Parker

        I’ve had a chance to work with Windows, Mac, and iOS (plus Android a few years ago). Here are my thoughts:

        1. I’m not a huge fan of Windows 10. It drove me back to a Mac. Granted the hardware I was running it on was horrendously buggy, but overall, I still believe I wouldn’t be able to comfortably work with Windows 10 long term for my day-to-day OS.

        2. I like Linux, but I need too much commercial software that doesn’t run on Linux, and since some of the software I run doesn’t play well with WINE (a couple apps do, but that’s about it), I’d still be in Windows in a VM on Linux too much of the day.

        3. So far macOS has been the sweet spot for me. While it was still in my opinion better during the Steve Jobs day (the innovation pace has slacked off a little, plus Apple’s programmers have been a little sloppy at times), I can still run all the commercial apps I need on a Mac, plus have my UNIX/Linux type command-line geekery when I want it.

        4. If I needed Windows on my Mac, I’d get Parallels and run it. So far there’s only a couple of work apps that require Windows, so I’m remoting into a VM at work to access those, and we’re moving those to the web, so I’ll likely not need the work Windows VM’s coming up. With a Mac, you’d have the ability to run many commercial apps, your command-line geekery, and have a fallback to a Windows VM should you need it for certain Windows-only apps.

        5. For the work you do, an iPad likely isn’t enough. I love my iPad Pro, and I’ve gotten to the point where I carry it instead of a laptop for most purposes (although that’s likely to change coming up), but I still need an iMac Pro for daily work. While there’s a lot my iPad Pro can do, you’re likely to hit a few brick walls or at least major annoyances where you need a work machine.

        Nathan Parker

      • #2176373
        AskWoody Lounger

        For most of your needs a Linux distro geared towards Windows users may be an option. I moved to Linux Mint 19.3 and finding it okay so far. It’s a good choice for new Linux users because you can either replace Windows completely or install Mint alongside Windows.

        Advanced users can partition the hard drive if they wish but I can tell you from experience it can be frustrating for new users.

        I know people use Google Docs and Office Online with Linux. I don’t think Adobe products have online equivalents.

    Viewing 19 reply threads

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, no politics or religion.

    Reply To: Moving from Win7 to ???

    You can use BBCodes to format your content.
    Your account can't use Advanced BBCodes, they will be stripped before saving.