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  • My solution to the demise of Windows 7

    Posted on Slowpoke47 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Win7 beyond End-of-life My solution to the demise of Windows 7

    Topic Resolution: Not a Question

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      • #1980165 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve used W7 basically since it came out, and it has been everything I have needed in an OS.  The newer offerings from Microsoft have all been more or less problematic, and I want no part of the forced telemetry embedded in W10, not to mention what appears to me to be a slow-motion train wreck as MS tweaks and re-tweaks the system.

        My solution was to go to Linux, and I’m currently learning the ropes in the Mint Mate 19.2 OS.  This edition was suggested to me due to our old-in-computer-years desktop (Dell Inspiron 519), but most people opt for Mint Cinnamon.

        The new OS has been one pleasant surprise after another.  Many functions are intuitive to W7 users, the speed is supersonic compared to MS, and the initial install comes with a long list of software.  I am no tech, but even for my level of computer skills, the changeover has been mostly trouble free.

        We are currently dual-booting W7 and Mate, with the eventual goal of abandoning 7 completely.  There is a comprehensive support community to smooth the rough edges that come up as we get acclimated:  Linux Mint Forums – Index page

        Highly recommended!

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        12 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1980172 Reply
        JustAsking
        AskWoody Plus

        Good idea. I plan to do similarly. Probably my desktop pc is too old anyway to upgrade to Win10. I have currently in multiboot: Win7, Linux Mint 19, and Linux Q4dos. Both Linux versions work fine. When Win7 support runs out, I can still access the Win7 partition from Linux (documents, pictures, etc. for example).

        I’ve also bought a cheap laptop with Win10, just to be able to run certain programs, and to be “up to date” in general.

         

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 3 weeks ago by JustAsking.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1980223 Reply
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        For those of us running MSFT Windows Media Center for cable television, staying with Win7 past the end of life is a given.  Fortunately, we can control how such PCs are used and in my case the only Internet use is for streaming from certain select sites (Netflix, Amazon Prime, ESPN).  This is manageable.  The alternative is a cable box for more money than I care to pay.

      • #1980224 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        My solution was to go to Linux, and I’m currently learning the ropes in the Mint Mate 19.2 OS. This edition was suggested to me due to our old-in-computer-years desktop (Dell Inspiron 519), but most people opt for Mint Cinnamon.

        I also like Mate over cinnamon, it was years ago but I decided that Cinnamon was just way too annoying, the Gnome 3 stuff it is based on likely. ( I am NOT a Linux guru 🤣 ) I still like XP got thru 7 and am kinda OK with 10 but the writing ,as they say, is on the wall. Better to get a bit of familiarity with Linux now while you can still reasonably use an older Windows. I also have found the Mint forums very helpful, more so than some of the other distro’s forums.

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1980292 Reply
        Purg2
        AskWoody Lounger

        Sitting in the same boat to a degree.

        While I have a few more years to go on my own machine, I help a few Win7 friends out.  We’ve been discussing what the next move is.  Some will go to Win10 because they aren’t too fussy.  Others are going Group W.  A few are switching to Linux, depending on if they can get key financial programs to run on it or some other critical program.  Lots of adventure.

        Meanwhile, I’m confident in the active members we have here in the Linux forums & would not hesitate to raise any questions here.  A really sharp bunch.

        Also, @agoldhammer, there might be a way to get untied from Windows Media Center.  Give these a read.
        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/win7-media-center-replacement/  https://www.askwoody.com/forums/search/videolan/

        Win 8.1 Group B, Linux Dabbler

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1980312 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        I like Win 7 very much, and I still like Win XP a lot too.  I run both of them in the “Classic Windows” theme that I’ve always preferred. I read many posts similar to this one referring to the demise of Win 7 or the “End of Life” (EOL) of Win7, when it’s really the “End of Service” (EOS) by Microsoft.

        I still have an old laptop that runs WinXP Pro, and an even older computer that runs Win 98 SE which I use primarily to play old non-internet FPS and RPG games on.  I also within the last two years have gotten fairly familiar with Linux Mint and now have Mint 19.1 installed on an old Sony VAO laptop and it runs great.

        The thing that bothers me is that I will eventually have to depend on Linux or something else like a Chromebook to go on the Web/Internet. I know a lot about Windows, but not as much about Linux, etc.  But life goes on so they tell me.

        Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1980383 Reply
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        The thing that bothers me is that I will eventually have to depend on Linux or something else like a Chromebook to go on the Web/Internet.

        What about that bothers you?  Maybe I/we can help!

        If you’ve already got Mint installed, all you need is a browser… Mint comes with Firefox, and if Chrome is your preference, you can easily get that too.  Chromium, the open-source base of Chrome, is in the Ubuntu repository, which is also used by Mint.  Specialty browsers like Waterfox, Pale Moon, Basilisk, Vivaldi, Brave, etc., are all available in Linux as well.

        About the only browsers that don’t have Linux versions are Safari and IE/Edge.

        Once you start with the browser, it’s pretty much identical to how it works in Windows, with the same extensions and everything.

        Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1980407 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        I use Firefox, which was included with the Linux Mint Cinnamon 19.1 package.  I have kept FF and Linux up to date and have no problem using it myself, but my wife doesn’t like the idea of having to use Linux.  Therein lies the bother.  I should have worded it differently or left that paragraph out altogether.

        Even though I can use Linux Mint to go on the Web/Internet, I’ve got a long way to go to know how to do as much with Linux as I can with Win 7.  I also absolutely refuse to put up with Win 10.  I think I’ll eventually bring my wife around to seeing how relatively easy it is to use Linux to surf the Web.  Thanks for your reply.

        Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1980416 Reply
          OscarCP
          AskWoody Plus

          Charlie, If you are interested in getting out more than what can be clicked and pointed in graphic interfaces, but instead want to use Linux to the full, there are a number of books that can teach you how to do that.

          For a start, and since Mint is a fork of Ubuntu (that is a fork of Debian: not a great variety of flatware in LINUX, is there?), the book (that I’ve got, with several others named here, from Amazon) “Ubuntu Unleashed” (2019 edition) is a good one. To go further into the dark heart of Linux, there are several books published by O’Reilly, from the old but still useful “LINUX Unleashed” and “The Linux Bible” (more recent and advanced), to various books on particularly useful applications within LINUX, such as Awk, Sed, Grep, Vi as well as books on shell scripts (BASH in particular, as this is also the default shell in macOS — albeit a slightly quirky version of the standard one), that are very important both to set up LINUX to work the way one likes it and to automatize procedures one needs to use, by writing executable scripts that do that. This is all accessible mostly, or entirely, from the command line, through the Terminal application.

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

          4 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1980763 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          , but my wife doesn’t like the idea of having to use Linux.  Therein lies the bother.

          Well yes, this is a not very unusual problem really… about half of these are more about the “having to”, than “Linux”. And even with the latter, most of the time it’s just the usual resistance to change.

          Easier if you never have them get used to Windows 😉 worked for me at least…

          Oh and if you have different preferences regarding the user interface – it’s usually easy to install multiple desktop environments on Linux, these days you usually get a menu button in the login screen where you can choose which one to use.

          (Also one of our children really liked to play with user interface settings and figured out how to do that very early. Everyone learned very quickly to use passwords, so that he can only make a mess of his own.)

          2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1981747 Reply
          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody_MVP

          I have kept FF and Linux up to date and have no problem using it myself, but my wife doesn’t like the idea of having to use Linux.

          Exact same situation with me. To address this situation, I increased my computer’s memory from 4GB to 12GB, then installed Windows 8.1 (with Classic Shell) in a virtual machine. The virtual machine stays open all the time, which allows my wife to operate in a completely Windows environment all the time. It works so well that you hardly notice that Windows is running in a VM rather than being the host OS.

          Not only for my wife, but also for me – sometimes there are things I simply don’t know how to do in Linux. Having Windows a click away is a lifesaver sometimes – this allows me to do everything I need while I am learning Linux.

          I went with Windows 8.1 because it won’t go out of support until January of 2023, unlike Windows 7 which goes out of support in a couple of months. And with Classic Shell installed, it looks and feels just like Windows 7.

          I run Linux Mint XFCE 18.2, and I use VMWare Workstation Player for my virtual machine.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
          4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1980569 Reply
        Lars220
        AskWoody Lounger

        I recently found the below linked website concerning Linux Mint beginner tutorials. It is dated September 6, 2018 – but it has a lot of nice “beginner” lessons using Linux Mint. Maybe this would be helpful for all us newcomers to Linux Mint.

        Linux beginner tutorials – an overview

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1980667 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I still have an old laptop that runs WinXP Pro, and an even older computer that runs Win 98 SE which I use primarily to play old non-internet FPS and RPG games on.

        If you have modern hardware running Linux why not install Virtual Machine software and convert your old machines to VMs? Then you can keep running them on whatever hardware / OS you want.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1981229 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks very much to everyone for your suggestions.  I already have a book called “Linux All In One” for dummies by Emmett Dulaney which has been very useful, but deals mainly with the basics of all distros and Terminal commands.  It has very little specifically on Linux Mint which would have been nice to have.  I’ll check and see if I can get the books spoken of and then I’ll be much better off.  Thanks again.

        Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1981626 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        You don’t really need a book to learn how to use Linux – seems ironic. Like anything new you need to use it to work out the bits you need.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #1981719 Reply
          JustAsking
          AskWoody Plus

          Perhaps you don’t need a book to learn Linux. Still I found it useful to read an e-book going through the fundamentals. Of course with doing the exercises to familiarise yourself with the stuff.

          But of course there are lots of introductory material online. And the communities are also generally helpful. 😉

           

          • This reply was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by JustAsking.
          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1981806 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        OP here- I see I have opened a popular discussion.  I, for one, will be pleased to have an appropriate guide book (yes, on paper) to peruse, even away from the computer, to absorb some context- the big picture, so to speak- which will help me to understand those operations that differ from W7.  The same book will be a reference, handier than poking around online or asking on a forum.  Not to downplay the forum resource, especially this one, which has helped me immeasurably, but the printed page has its place as well.

        This was my strategy for learning Windows years back, and it was a good one.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1981825 Reply
        LHiggins
        AskWoody Plus

        Great discussion!

        I also have been making the transition from Windows 7 to Linux Mint. I use Cinnamon on my Lenovo laptop – running it using a full install on a USB, so it is not actually on my hard drive. When I started looking into Linux, I found a book called Linux in Easy Steps: Illustrated in Linux Mint by Michael McGrath that I found useful. It as a lot of good, basic information, but it is shown using Mint, so it is very easy to follow and absorb. Very good illustrations as well.

        So far, I have to say that I am enjoying Mint. It seems to run great on my old 4GB RAM laptop so far – but I am still looking into other ideas like a refurbished Win 8.1 as a way to extend Windows as others have said, for the things that might not work on Mint.

         

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1982215 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I would like to add to he list I posted earlier here the name of one more book I have found very useful and keep always handy, when I need to learn about new LINUX commands I come across or to refresh my memory about some that I already have used, but infrequently, in the past. The book main section is mostly a list with some brief and (when necessary) not so brief descriptions of the commands and their command-line parameters. Although it is for UNIX, most of it is applicable to LINUX. It has been many years I have been using it, and it has always been to help me use LINUX.

        This is the 9th edition of the book, published in 2009, a timely update of this old classic, and it can be bought from Amazon (actually new copies, for around 20 US$, from vendors that sell through Amazon — so far I have had no reason for complaining when buying items this way — I suppose one’s luck here depends mostly on what one is buying):

         

         

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

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1982236 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Adding to my previous posting: I just found out that there is a newer book, published also by O’Reilly, called “LINUX in a Nutshell, co-authored by Arnold Robbins, who wrote “UNIX in a Nutshell.” I just bought it from Amazon, but since I have note read it yet, I’m not commenting on it now.

        Edited to add the following: I almost forgot to mention: the line command “man appsname” (where “man stands for “manual” and it is a built-in manual that explains almost everything about any Linux command (“appsname”), at least those apps that have a “man” page in the manual.

        For someone not yet a regular user o LINUX, it might be a bit daunting to read some of those “man” pages at first, because one has to become familiar with the jargon and symbol conventions used there. But, with some patient effort, that soon ceases to be a real impediment.

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

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1983048 Reply
        Pointedly
        AskWoody Plus

        Unlike other Linux users in the above discussion, I chose to install the Ubuntu-based elementary Operating System Juno. I dual boot it with Windows 7. My Linux installation contains software to easily stream online videos to my TV (using an HDMI cable).

        I don’t use the Linux command line much, except to obtain and install some software. If you need information about the command line, here are a couple of good references:

        Unix/Linux Command Reference

        Dave McKay Articles – How-To-Geek

         

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1983982 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        This is the book I have started with, very basic, published a year ago. Linux in easy steps: Illustrated using Linux Mint: Mike McGrath: 9781840788082: Amazon.com: Books   There are a few changes in the Mate 19.2 OS we are using over some details in this book, but overall a good place to start for those who, like myself, want a reference for context.

        The copy I’m using is borrowed from the local library, may decide to buy a copy, but waiting for a couple of others from Amazon to see which one(s) seem to be the most helpful.  The Mint forum cited earlier has been a huge help, as have the user guides in the OS itself.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        • #1984013 Reply
          LHiggins
          AskWoody Plus

          Yes – this is the same book I mentioned above:

          When I started looking into Linux, I found a book called Linux in Easy Steps: Illustrated in Linux Mint by Michael McGrath that I found useful. It as a lot of good, basic information, but it is shown using Mint, so it is very easy to follow and absorb. Very good illustrations as well.

          I have found it to be helpful, but there are many great tutorials and discussion groups for using Mint as well.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1986316 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Changeover from W7 to Linux Mint proceeding reasonably well.  Only real snag is enabling the scan function in our HP all-in-one printer, but it looks doable.  The new install is a dual boot with W7- on this machine, using two individual HDDs, but with adequate storage, a dual boot can be set up on one disk.

        An unexpected benefit of going with a dual boot is that Linux imports the complete library of files from Windows unbidden- most convenient!  Mint OS comes with a comprehensive library of software, including LibreOffice, a development of the OpenOffice suite we have used since MS began charging a monthly fee for their Office programs- and LibreOffice can export its native formats (.odt, .ods, etc.) in the more widely used MS Office formats- another bonus.

        As I get further introduced to the Mate OS, I am less and less interested in using Windows- by comparison, stuck in the Stone Age.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #1986340 Reply
        jabeattyauditor
        AskWoody Lounger

        As I get further introduced to the Mate OS, I am less and less interested in using Windows- by comparison, stuck in the Stone Age.

        Windows 7 is only ten years old – I’m absolutely shocked you’d consider it to be stuck in the Stone Age.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #1986396 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        As I get further introduced to the Mate OS, I am less and less interested in using Windows- by comparison, stuck in the Stone Age.

        Windows 7 is only ten years old – I’m absolutely shocked you’d consider it to be stuck in the Stone Age.

        Yeah, condemned to the trash heap by MS.  Likely I wouldn’t have looked further afield if they hadn’t done that- but they actually did me a favor.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        • #1986554 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Yeah, condemned to the trash heap by MS. Likely I wouldn’t have looked further afield if they hadn’t done that- but they actually did me a favor.

          Same here.  I was mostly satisfied with Windows from 3.0 in 1990 to ME in 2000 (yes, I actually liked ME… I must have been one of about four people who did!), but when I tried XP, that’s when it really got good.  From there I moved to 7, mainly because I wanted to go 64-bit, and XP, 64-bit or otherwise, was then so close to EOL that it seemed foolish to try.  By that time, 8.1 was already out, and I was just getting around to 7… but I had been satisfied with XP, so why fix what is not broken?  I was not interested in the weird interface of 8.x, so that was out (at that time).

          The weirdness of 8 didn’t bother me, as we’d had “bad” Windows versions before, and Microsoft always had fixed what was wrong and come back to the table with a new, improved version of Windows that we did want.  I was sure that would happen again, and until then, I would be on 7.

          Windows 8.2 was supposed to bring back more desktop-friendly features, like the much requested transparency effect and Windows 7 style start menus in lieu of the tiled, full-screen Windows 8 version.  It was internally called “Threshold,” announced the magazines, but it was never released.

          So bad was the furor over Windows 8.x that Microsoft decided that the name was hopelessly tainted, and that anything that bore it would be instantly rejected, which had happened previously with Vista.  They would redouble their efforts to fix what was disliked about 8.x, working closely with users to bring the Windows that everyone wished 8 had been from the start.

          That’s what became of “Threshold,” which was the internal name for the first release of Windows 10.  It’s kind of humorous to look back at what the prognosticators were saying about it in those early days… this was the make or break OS for Microsoft, so they knew they had better get it right.  I saw one Linux blogger lamenting it, and while my first instinct was to think it was meant ironically, but it had none of the usual hints that it was satirical.  The writer of the blog had said that Linux on the desktop had only attained the modest success it had because of the badness of Windows, and now with Microsoft working so hard to deliver a user-centered version, Linux on the desktop would wither away.

          When Windows 10 was released, I had my doubts about it, based on what I’d read in the tech previews, but I wanted to give it a fair shot, and on familiar hardware, not just in a VM, where I would never know if a glitch or slow performance was the VM or the new OS itself.  I backed up my Windows 7 installation (using Macrium Reflect or Acronis True Image, not sure which) to an external HDD, then unplugged that drive, plugged in another external HDD, and backed it up again.

          While that was going on, I downloaded the Windows 10 media creation tool, and allowed that to create a USB installer drive.  I’d never permitted the update that brought about GWX to install, as I’ve screened every update installed on my PC since the beginning of Windows updates, and I’d rejected all of the ones that mentioned “the latest version of Windows,” which was the way they referred to 10 in all of the update descriptions.

          I began the upgrade process manually using my new USB installer drive.  Back then, it was not possible to do a clean installation of 10 and have the free upgrade… if you installed cleanly, it would want a Windows 10 key, and it would not accept one from the prior versions.  That would come later.

          The upgrade went smoothly, and soon Windows 10 started.  I tried it out… and I found it appalling.  The more I learned about it, the more I wanted to return to Windows 7.  I decided to test the “roll back” feature to restore my original Windows, and it worked fine.  I didn’t trust it… I’ve always been really protective over my Windows installation to keep it from developing Windows rot, and there was no way to know if there was a hidden registry bug or other time bomb waiting in my “restored” Windows 7.  Once I was satisfied that the roll-back had worked, I restored it from one of my backups anyway, just to be certain.

          I wasn’t alarmed.  This was a first release; surely MS would be fixing it soon, as they always had with new Windows versions.  I allowed my second desktop PC, also running 7, to upgrade to 10, and after that was done, I installed Linux (Kubuntu initially, then Mint KDE, and finally Mint Cinnamon) just in case it was going to be something I would need to get used to.

          Over time, I watched people react to 10, and I would try out the things others were mentioning, and my opinion of 10 got worse and worse.  A new feature build arrived, and none of the concerns that I had, which I had seen mirrored in dozens of posts across the internet, had been corrected, but some other things had gotten worse.  Microsoft was catching heat for rolling back people’s settings to limit telemetry and going back to the default settings, which they passed off as a bug, but it was a mighty convenient one that was right in line with their “we will do as we wish with your PC” philosophy.

          It became evident that MS would not be fixing this one.  They’d completely ignored the complaints people had about 10 and delivered a feature update that addressed none of them.  It was evident that the whole thing… the GWX nags, the dark patterns trying to trick people into taking Windows 10, the repeated “Gorsh!” (think Disney’s Goofy) moments when “bugs” continuously managed to serve Microsoft’s interests, the unprecedented amount of control 10 exerted over a user’s system… none of this was in error.  It was by design, every last bit of it.

          I’d been dabbling with my new Linux installation on that same test machine, but I was doing most of my stuff on my Win 7 desktop.  I already knew that Windows 10 was “the last version ever,” so any hope of Windows 11 being better was dashed (intentionally).  That’s when I decided that I had to have Linux on my main machine and really do my normal stuff with it as much as possible so that I could be ready to make the jump when Windows 7’s time ran out.

          That’s where it started.  I did move to Windows 8.1 to give myself some more time… the silly interface was still annoying, but it seemed like a mere nuisance now.  I’d hated Windows 8.x before, but now that I saw what 10 was like, I wondered why I’d disliked 8.1 so much.  As I am fond of saying, it took Windows 10 to make Windows 8.1 look good… suitably modified, of course, but that had been the case even with Windows 7.

          It turns out that I didn’t need any of the extra time.  At first, I just reflexively used Windows, and I had to make myself use Linux, and it was more of a novelty than anything else.  Over time, something happened, and one day I realized I hadn’t started Windows in a longer time than ever before.  I remember the time when I had to make myself use Linux clearly, and I can obviously remember right now quite clearly, but the time in between is more hazy… somehow I made the transition from primary Windows user to primary Linux user, and I wasn’t really sure exactly when or how it happened.

          I’m not completely Windows-free now, and I probably won’t be.  Windows has 90% of the desktop market, and Linux has 2%.  There will be things that work in Windows but not in Linux, and I will want to do some of those things.  The software to program my Corsair mouse and keyboard, for example, does not exist for Linux.  Once programmed, they work in Linux just fine, but the actual programming has to be done in Windows.  I use a VM for that, and it works nicely.

          For my Windows games, where the performance penalty of a virtualized GPU would be too much (and I am not really interested in setting up a pass-through system with a dedicated GPU for the VM), I use WINE.  Nearly everything I want to run works well, and WINE keeps getting better.

          As a PC enthusiast, I actually look forward to updates once again, as I had in Windows long ago.  I have Microsoft to thank for that… had they not made Windows 10 the way it is, I would have kept soldiering on in Windows-land, mostly oblivious to Linux.  I knew it was there, and I had even tried it in earnest several years prior (2008ish), but I hadn’t stuck with it, since I was perfectly happy with XP at that time. Microsoft’s Windows 10 push just pushed me away from Windows completely.

           

           

           

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          8 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1986747 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        Maybe I’m a tad paranoid, and even with Linux at only 2% of market, I still won’t advertise the kind of Linux I’m using unless I absolutely have to.  It’s looking like the Linux percentage will definitely go up if MS continues to screw up.

        Most posts I put Linux or Group L.

        Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

        • #1986779 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          Paranoid about what?  I can’t imagine what the threat would be to not mention a type of Linux, or what it has to do with the market share.

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

      • #1986755 Reply
        wavy
        AskWoody Plus

        The software to program my Corsair mouse and keyboard, for example, does not exist for Linux. Once programmed, they work in Linux just fine, but the actual programming has to be done in Windows. I use a VM for that, and it works nicely.

        I am interested in how to do this, do you have links?

        🍻

        Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.
      • #1986792 Reply
        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody_MVP

        I chose Mint XFCE, because it is supposed to be more light-weight than the other implementations of Mint.

        May I suggest that if you can get your hands on a retail license for Windows 8.1, and if you have at least 8 GB of RAM in your computer, that you install some virtual machine software (e.g. Oracle VirtualBox or VMWare Workstation Player), and then install Windows 8.1 as a virtual machine within Linux Mint. Doing this will allow you to instantly click between Mint and Windows. Once you have Windows 8.1 installed as a VM, install Classic Shell in Windows 8.1. Classic Shell will allow you to configure Windows 8.1 to look and feel exactly like Windows 7. Once all of that is done, you will have Windows just a click away, and best of all, you can leave it connected to the internet for another three years.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #1986873 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        Maybe I’m a tad paranoid, and even with Linux at only 2% of market, I still won’t advertise the kind of Linux I’m using unless I absolutely have to.  It’s looking like the Linux percentage will definitely go up if MS continues to screw up.

        Most posts I put Linux or Group L.

        I’m with Ascaris- Nothing is going to happen to you for moving to Linux- unless MS sets up a computer gestapo to herd us all into W10:)

        But of course, you don’t absolutely have to do anything.  (Well, maybe pay your taxes)

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by Slowpoke47.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #1987920 Reply
          Charlie
          AskWoody Plus

          I was told once by a salesman for ADT that you shouldn’t put out a sign on your front lawn advertising the fact that you have ADT.  It makes the burglar’s job easier, and that goes for any security system.  I figure the same thing goes for Linux.  One of the things that confronts a would be hacker is how many different distros and versions of Linux there are.  We shouldn’t make his job any easier.

          Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

      • #1987956 Reply
        JustAsking
        AskWoody Plus

        The security of Linux lies in the fact that it is open source, and if you only use verified and safe modules, hackers can’t get access to your system. Because if a hacker inserts malicious code in a Linux module, it will be detected by others when testing the module.

         

        • #1988050 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Linux coders are still human. Security holes are found occasionally. Insufficiently paranoid input checking for data that is just exactly that much off and…

          Also, with Linux the kernel is written and tested by one bunch of people, then each separate background service process and each application is written and tested by separate teams more or less isolated from each other’s progress, then yet another team puts it all together … sometimes things can fall between the seams.

          Open source is no substitute for proper code review and thorough testing before release.

          Another thing with open source is that you’re never very strongly tied to a single supplier. Worst case, everything can be rebuilt from source code.

          (As an example – I mentioned somewhere else that I am… burdened with… ancient things that still require in-browser Java. Some Linux distributions no longer include that, so I built the plugin from source.)

      • #1988081 Reply
        JustAsking
        AskWoody Plus

        Yes, that’s true. But if you only use code that has been around for sometime, and already been ‘beta-tested’, you should be relatively safe, don’t you think? I mean there aren’t many reports of Linux being hacked, and it is probably not very interesting to hackers, as things are.

        • This reply was modified 11 months, 1 week ago by JustAsking.
        • #1988084 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Heh, I’ve been doing this since the 90s… I *have* seen Linux-targeting hack attempts every now and then. Including on one international company’s border router… which looked sort of like Linux but wasn’t, so the exploit didn’t work on it.

          Linux may not be very common on desktops but servers are juicy targets and people prefer to be quiet about that side of things.

          • #1988085 Reply
            JustAsking
            AskWoody Plus

            Ok – interesting. No one is safe. 😉

            • #1988130 Reply
              MrJimPhelps
              AskWoody_MVP

              I think you’re a lot safer with Linux than with Windows, but nothing is 100% safe. For example, if you don’t use common sense when opening emails and clicking on links, you might get stung even if you are running Linux.

              If someone really wants to, and they are an expert in that sort of thing, they can probably hack you no matter what you are running or how careful you are.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
              2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #1988248 Reply
        Charlie
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for the replies.  I know that I’m much safer on Linux that Windows, but I was thinking about further down the road at a time when Linux may have 80% of market share, and MS Windows (if it still exists) has less than 20%.

        Win 7, Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz, Linux Mint 19.1, Klaatu barada nikto

        • #1988324 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          I like your optimism!

          Even if that were to ever come to pass, it still isn’t likely that anyone knowing what distro you use (or that you used in 2019, when Linux was still at a paltry 2%) will make any difference.  They all use the Linux kernel and mostly the same packages for a lot of important things. Even if distro mattered, so many people change that so often that it would hardly matter what someone claimed to be using at any given time.

          Fortunately, the odds of someone specifically targeting any one ordinary person’s PC are slim… servers (as mn- mentioned) are another story, but they’re always on, accepting packets from the internet, by design, and they are often have access to a lot of people’s privileged information.  The threat profile is different, and the odds that someone is going to try to hack an ordinary person’s personal computer is pretty tiny.

          The bigger threat to regular users is malware.  It’s not a sophisticated, thinking hacker doing research on you, trying to get an edge… it’s an infected email sent by a bot, an executable program from an unknown source (sent by a bot or left to be discovered in some compromised repository), or (less commonly) a drive-by exploit of a browser or plugin zero-day delivered to anyone who visits the compromised web site.  It’s not one person targeted, but mass numbers of people, as many as they can get to take the bait.

          Of course, this malware is going to try to infect anyone that crosses its path.  It’s not able to figure out who you are on a given web forum and glean from that what distro you use… and it’s not particularly concerned about it.  Either the exploit works, and you’re compromised, or it doesn’t, and you’re not.  If it is programmed to detect the OS of the target and only act if it is a certain version of Windows or Linux or anything else, it will grab that data itself.  There are a lot of ways that a piece of malware can probe its target and figure out its identity.

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2022589 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        In February, in anticipation of Microsoft’s end of support for the Windows 7 operating system and uncertainty whether my seven-year-old Lenovo E-20 work station would support Windows 10, I purchase a brand-new sleek HP ENVY Desktop – 795-0050 Windows 10 Home workstation. A big and expensive mistake!

        Shortly after replacing the HP’s original C drive with a 2-terabyte solid state drive, getting the monster up and running, and using PC Mover to transfer software and files from the machine it was replacing I learned that Microsoft had a free Windows 7 to 10 upgrade. Since then, I have upgraded three old workstations (including two Lenovo E20 work stations) and two notebooks from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The free upgrade is available on Microsoft’s website at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10/. The installation is straight forward but time consuming. Prior to the installations, I cloned the C drives of each Windows 7 machine onto their D drives in case something went wrong during the upgrade. There are no guarantees that the upgrade will work on your Windows 7 or 8 machines but you can recover your old windows drive from the cloned drive. Also make sure that you have updated the drivers, etc. on your old system by checking the manufacturers support pages before attempting the upgrade.

        In addition, I discovered that we could upgrade the newly created Windows 10 Home computers to Windows 10 Professional by using the Windows keys from the old Lenovo workstations that had been running Windows 7 Professional.

      • #2037452 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        OP here with a follow-up report- several months on now, with Win7 about to be dragged away kicking and screaming… no, wait- that was me…

        All comments in my first post still apply.  Just added the same Mint distro to the other computer on our home network, using the same dual boot configuration. Yes, there is a learning curve with Mint vis-a-vis using the command line, but I’m told that Win10 is not really intuitive to Win7 users either, never mind the other reasons we didn’t go that route.

        My original thumbs-up still stands:-)

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2037512 Reply
          DrBonzo
          AskWoody Plus

          Thought I’d add my experience especially regarding intuitiveness and ease of use.

          I’ve been running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on a 10 year old laptop for about a month (not a dual boot, just a single). I like it a lot. The installation actually worked as described by the Installation Guide and it’s an easy to use operating system right out of the box.

          I’ve also been running macOS High Sierra and Mojave and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (updated to 18.04 LTS a couple weeks ago). To me it’s far easier to go from Win 7 to Mint than it is Win 7 to macOS or Ubuntu. In every day use you can do everything without using the command line – in fact, I haven’t needed the command line for anything yet. The same can be said for macOS, I just don’t find mac OS to be quite as intuitive, but your mileage may vary.

          If you’ve tried Ubuntu and didn’t like it but are still looking for something other than Windows, try Mint because it’s a lot different than Ubuntu. I tried Ubuntu and didn’t like it much but I kept it because I wanted a computer that would run if all my Win 7 computers bricked, and because I wanted to see how idiot-proof patching/updating was. It passed the patching test with flying colors: I’ve installed every patch presented through the update manager as soon as it was presented and have never had a single problem (started doing that in August 2017), and so far Mint is performing just as well.

          Finally, on-line support for Mint seems pretty good and the help forums are quite civil.

          5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2037527 Reply
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        I would agree with Dr. Bonzo concerning the user-friendliness of Mint, but will also grade this desirable property pretty high in macOS. Any operating system new to us requires some time and effort on our part to become lo sufficiently accustomed to dealing with it and its peculiarities to feel comfortable using it; peculiarities that, whether intended or otherwise, come inevitably packaged together with the good stuff. We might wax rhapsodic about how easy and intuitive is Windows 7 over and above anything else and make it the gold standard by which to judge any other system. But, forgive me for what I am about to write: Windows 7 is so friendly a system because we have, long ago, underwent the same troubling period of adjustment than with Mint or macOS now. We just don’t quite remember how that was like: the past, seen in recollection, is often as good or better than the now.

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

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2037621 Reply
          Cybertooth
          AskWoody Plus

          I view the Windows 7 user interface as fundamentally the same (with tweaks and refinements) as that of Windows 95/98. I never used Win95; I was still on Windows 3.1 when I bought my first Windows 98 computer.

          The difference was like night and day. There was no adjustment period, as the new UI with the taskbar and start menu was so much easier to use than the Win3.1 Program Manager: on 3.1, I never knew what were all the different applications I had open at any given moment, but with the taskbar I could tell at a glance without needing to click, tap, open, or close anything. Any transition phase involved not cursing, “why can’t they just do it the way it was before?”, but rather thankfulness that “they fixed this pile of garbage!!”

          Having never previously used the Windows 95/98 interface, I immediately knew (or figured out) how to use it without head-scratching. To me, that’s the definition of “intuitive”. It was a stroke of genius.

           

          • #2037644 Reply
            OscarCP
            AskWoody Plus

            Cybertooth: That kind of user-oriented interface design had been around before first 95, then 98 came out. I was using something very much like it, in general terms, years before those versions of Windows came out (and 95 and 98 were a real improvement over DOS and earlier Windows versions, undoubtedly). What GUI was that?  The GUI of Sun workstations running Solaris Unix! To me the Windows GUI was easy to use because I had already gone through the trouble of getting accustomed to working with something designed around the same basic concepts. And I was not one bit surprised, considering that Gates was so good at picking up someone else’s best ideas…

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

            • #2037842 Reply
              Cybertooth
              AskWoody Plus

              The story I’ve heard is that Steve Jobs “borrowed” the GUI idea from Xerox, and then Microsoft “borrowed” the idea from Apple.

              Anyway, your Solaris screens, did they look like this:

               

               

               

              • #2037906 Reply
                Ascaris
                AskWoody_MVP

                Gates and Jobs both stole the idea from Xerox.  After seeing a demo of the GUI Xerox had developed, Apple traded stock options for a detailed inside look at what Xerox was doing, including the full specification, but it was hardly a secret that MS would have had to steal from Apple.  Xerox demo’d the GUI to thousands of people in those early years, and the “copier guys” who ran the company had little interest in developing, licensing, or protecting Xerox’s innovations that didn’t relate to copiers.  Both Apple and Microsoft poached a number of employees who were right in the middle of the whole GUI development.  Gates was well aware of what Xerox was doing independently of Apple.

                At around this same time, Apple had contracted with Microsoft to write some of the first productivity applications for the Mac platform, and as part of that, Microsoft got a little bit more information about the Mac’s OS than they otherwise would have.  Microsoft agreed, as part of the deal, to wait until the Mac had been on the market a year before releasing any non-Mac software that used a mouse.  Unfortunately for Apple, the date in the contract was the original intended release date of the Mac, in 1983, so the timer started ticking before the Mac was ever released.

                That deal with Apple was supposedly also why Windows 1.0 lacked some UI features like overlapping windows, though I don’t remember the details.

                When Jobs saw that Microsoft had released Windows, he was furious, accusing Microsoft of “stealing from them.”  Gates quipped that it was like Gates has broken in to the rich neighbor’s house to steal the TV, only to discover Jobs had already stolen it.  The courts ruled that Microsoft had not infringed upon anything, and that Microsoft had lived up to the terms of the contract.

                Xerox upper management was full of “copier guys,” and they didn’t realize the value of what they had in the first GUI.  They essentially gave away the store.

                Jobs seemed to think that the backroom stock deal to get the full tech specs of Xerox’s GUI entitled them to rip it off in a way that Microsoft, having made no such deal, was not entitled.  It reminds me of how he reacted when Android smartphones dared to compete with their iPhone. It’s like he thought that releasing a product meant that its entire market segment was now the property of Apple, and that no competition would ever take place.

                Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

                3 users thanked author for this post.
              • #2037918 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Cybrtooth: There were more icons than those shown in your picture and always at the bottom of the screen.  In this Wikipedia article, the desktop I remember using is the early “Open Windows” one from around 1992 or 1993:

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solaris_(operating_system)

                Obviously, in this picture, the same GUI is being used in more recent times…

                Screen-Shot-2019-12-30-at-3.06.47-PM

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

                Attachments:
                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2037983 Reply
                Cybertooth
                AskWoody Plus

                @oscarcp, a quick question about that Solaris desktop that you used: was it possible to maximize a program window so that it would take up almost the whole screen, and if you did, could you still see any indication of what other windows were open?

                The Solaris images that I posted and then you posted, look not all that different from the Windows 3.1 desktop. But in Windows 3.1, if you maximized a program window, it took up the entire screen (no taskbar) and so you couldn’t tell what else may also be open at the same time. Since I kept my windows maximized for the largest possible working area, it was laborious whenever I needed to go back and forth between applications. I would also need to first minimize the current window if I had to open a new application in Program Manager. It was specifically the introduction of the taskbar, along with the start button and start menu, that I found so intuitive and which changed my attitude toward Windows from “meh” to “yay!”

                 

              • #2038000 Reply
                OscarCP
                AskWoody Plus

                Cybertooth, Quick answer to your quick question:

                I really don’t remember if there was the ability to maximize a window to full screen on the Solaris Desktop. I do remember that I could, and often did, make it wide enough to see the very long records of some ASCII files in their entirety across the screen. I might have used a button for that, if there was one, or else clicked on the right border and then dragged it to make the window wider. The picture I appended to my previous comment does not show any such buttons in the open window, just one for clicking the window off, so resizing the screen was probably something one did by hand.

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

                1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2039926 Reply
                mn–
                AskWoody Lounger

                I’m quite sure it was possible to maximize things on OpenWin, and already on SunView. Might have required defining your own keyboard shortcut or something, but possible. Though I last used SunView in 1997 I think…

                As for window listing… don’t recall what was the default but on anything X-based there’s a number of ways to manage your desktop, including several kinds of dock/panel/tray inventions.

                On old versions of SunOS and Solaris, lots of things were possible if you took the time to customize it. There were other versions of Unix that had a more… well, finished-looking… user experience but less versatility for customizing out of the box.

              • #2038008 Reply
                jabeattyauditor
                AskWoody Lounger

                I just remember using Alt-Tab to cycle through the the open windows (in 3.1, etc.) and Ctrl-Esc to pull up a list of open programs.

              • #2038070 Reply
                Cybertooth
                AskWoody Plus

                Ahh, I never knew back then about those Alt-Tab and Ctrl-Esc combinations! My Windows 3.1 experience might have been a lot more pleasant at the time.  🙂

                 

      • #2041179 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        OP here- our whole reason for going to Mint is the abandonment of Win7 by MS.  Due to a couple of programs not available in Mint that run locally (no need for Internet access), we are dual-booting the two OS’s in our computers.  Of course, we have stopped going on line with Win7.

        A question has come up- can we isolate our Win7 OS from the Internet?  I have not found an entry in the installed programs list that I can delete, and, of course, MS has always sent update notifications proactively.  Does this mean we are still exposed to invaders even if we don’t go on line ourselves?

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2041184 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Disable your NIC in devmgr

        • #2041224 Reply
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          A question has come up- can we isolate our Win7 OS from the Internet? I have not found an entry in the installed programs list that I can delete, and, of course, MS has always sent update notifications proactively. Does this mean we are still exposed to invaders even if we don’t go on line ourselves?

          I am not sure what you mean by “go on line ourselves.”  Most of us by now use an always-on internet connection, so the act of turning the PC on and booting into Windows 7 means it is online.  You do limit the exposure by not browsing with it, and if you are behind a NAT router, it will block the random unsolicited attack packets that may be out there, but there’s still some exposure.

          One solution, as anonymous said, would be to go to Device Manager, find your network card (ethernet or wireless, whatever it uses) under Network adapters, right-click it, and select Disable.  That will also disconnect your PC (while it is running Windows 7) from the LAN, which may or may not matter to you.  If not, you’re good!  This will not have any effect on the same PC running Mint… it will still work.

          Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2041253 Reply
            Slowpoke47
            AskWoody Plus

            We want to eliminate exposure to bad stuff via what will be a more vulnerable Win7 OS, so the disabling is an excellent idea.  At this point, could be the only app I need in 7 is camera software not available in Mint, and that gets only very occasional use.  Since all Win7 files are usable via Mint, we have only miniscule need to go to 7, and the time spent off the LAN is of no consequence.

            Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #2041247 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If you still want local networking set the default gateway on the W7 machines to 10.10.10.222.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2041323 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        If you still want local networking set the default gateway on the W7 machines to 10.10.10.222.

        cheers, Paul

        Could you please elaborate?  Where is this done?  Is that all I need to do?

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #2041688 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        The default gateway is where your machine sends things not destined for the local network, e.g. anything on the internet. An address like “10.10.10.222” is not available on your network so all external traffic will be sent to a place that does not exist, effectively disconnecting your machine from the internet.

        To set this you need to change the IP address of your network card manually.

        1. List your current IP address: Win+R. ipconfig /all
        2. Most likely you are using “automatic” settings so you want to retain the IP address but change the last number. e.g. 192.168.0.3 will become 192.168.0.103.
        3. Set the DNS to the same as the existing setting shown in step 1.
        4. Set the default gateway to whatever rubbish address you choose, e.g. 10.10.10.222.

        Make sure you recorded the initial IP settings so you can revert if it all goes pear shaped.

        cheers, Paul

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2042306 Reply
          jabeattyauditor
          AskWoody Lounger

          An address like “10.10.10.222” is not available on your network

          As long as that’s not the IP scheme you’re using… (it could be – it’s a private IP range)

          3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2140355 Reply
          garlin
          AskWoody Plus

          Not having a default gateway (blank) would be cleaner, and has the same effect.

          While it’s popular to blackhole traffic to a bogus route, your machine will still try to send outbound traffic because it believes a route exists.  The application will still have to timeout waiting for no response.  Under static routing, no default gateway means Windows can tell it’s impossible to send the traffic there and skip the network stack timeouts.

          But yes, controlling the gateway is the least intrusive way to restrict off-LAN traffic.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2043508 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        I’m recalling that the router itself is a substantial deterrent to viruses, etc, and since it is always on, the more likely threat would come from our own actions- an infected download or website.  It’s my understanding that malware is unlikely to get by the router without an invitation.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        • #2043531 Reply
          jabeattyauditor
          AskWoody Lounger

          It’s my understanding that malware is unlikely to get by the router without an invitation.

          That depends on the router and on whether you patch its vulnerabilities as they’re found.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2043572 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        That depends on the router and on whether you patch its vulnerabilities as they’re found.

        Ours is the one supplied by Verizon- AFAIK, we have never had any unwelcome intruders.  No idea what vulnerabilities we face that need to be patched.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        • #2043916 Reply
          jabeattyauditor
          AskWoody Lounger

          Questions:

          • What brand/model is the router?
          • Have you set your own admin password and configured your own wireless network?
          • Have you ever updated the firmware?
          • Have you ever logged into the admin interface of the router?

          Most ISP-supplied routers have standard credentials that are well-known. Many are configured with backdoors to allow for remote administration.

          I don’t trust ISP-supplied equipment to do anything beyond packet delivery to/from my doorstep.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2052376 Reply
            Slowpoke47
            AskWoody Plus

            Router is Actiontec m1424wp rev. 1.

            Only editing I have done was to check and reset the IP of the network printer, couple of years or so back.  Network currently working as expected.

            Linux Mint Mate 19.2

            • #2053817 Reply
              jabeattyauditor
              AskWoody Lounger

              From Actiontec’s support site:

              Unfortunately, the contract that we have with Verizon does not allow us to post any firmware for the devices that we have manufactured for them. They do this so that they know every device on their network has the correct firmware. So we would have to direct you back to Verizon to obtain the firmware upgrade.

              Not unexpected of Verizon, but still not very kind either.

              At the very least, make sure the admin password for your router is something other than the default, especially if that default password ISN’T the router’s serial number. (Early releases had an admin/easy-to-guess-password combination.)

              1 user thanked author for this post.
              • #2054748 Reply
                Ascaris
                AskWoody_MVP

                At the very least, make sure the admin password for your router is something other than the default, especially if that default password ISN’T the router’s serial number. (Early releases had an admin/easy-to-guess-password combination.)

                My ISP-supplied Actiontec VDSL modem/router comes with a random default password printed on the label on the bottom of the unit.  It’s separate from the serial number.  Still, it’s in “transparent bridged” mode, with the router section turned off, wifi radios powered down, and it’s acting strictly like a modem, where my real router handles the PPPoE authentication.  My previous modem, an ADSL model (also Actiontec) had the same setup, and I got that some eight years ago, so it has been a while since they’ve used the bad practice you describe, apparently, unless they have different procedures for different models or ISPs.

                The Actiontec page for my model flatly states that Actiontec does not provide any firmware for ISP-supplied modems, without any explanation or mention of a contract with anyone.

                Group "L" (Fedora 32 Linux w/ KDE Plasma).

                1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2054630 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        At the very least, make sure the admin password for your router is something other than the default, especially if that default password ISN’T the router’s serial number. (Early releases had an admin/easy-to-guess-password combination.)

        Good idea.  Thievery with a gun is so old-school.  Plus, the perp would have to be on-scene.

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #2068481 Reply
        Slowpoke47
        AskWoody Plus

        At the very least, make sure the admin password for your router is something other than the default, especially if that default password ISN’T the router’s serial number. (Early releases had an admin/easy-to-guess-password combination.)

        Checked this yesterday.  Turns out I did this almost a year ago, probably due to a suggestion here.  Short memory…

        Linux Mint Mate 19.2

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2086809 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Your solution is nice theory but doesn’t suit all individual circumstances. For example, I use Excel VBA calls to Windows libraries. Update to Win 10 is a bullet I may need to bite on.

        Eventually.

        • #2087102 Reply
          Slowpoke47
          AskWoody Plus

          The final straw against Win10 for me is telemetry that apparently cannot be defeated.  On top of all the not-ready-for-prime-time aspects, and the documented poor quality of support, I want no part of 10.

          Linux Mint Mate 19.2

      • #2087128 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        You can block all telemetry as per here https://winaero.com/blog/stop-windows-10-spying-on-you-using-just-windows-firewall/  Many third party tools also do it, and it can be proven that it worked by using a network monitoring tool or checking router logs.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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