• Richard Merchant

    Richard Merchant


    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 96 total)
    • in reply to: Saving history #2541521

      If you come across a storage device that is 20 years old and contains important data, you haven’t been doing things right.

      Regretfully there are plenty of things I haven’t done right in my time, and others that I can identify of my friends and colleagues.  I’ll wager there are many old drives around that folks will discover they want to ‘investigate’.  Hopefully not important ones.

      I’ve a stack of old drives around that I’ve stored/piled up: I need to look at them and then do a ‘final discard’.  Saved for what I imagine seemed like good ideas at the time.  I don’t think any have data on them.  I think I had an idea for using the shiny silver platters for artwork…

      These days 5 years seems to fly by frighteningly quickly.  Covid is now >3 years old…


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    • in reply to: Saving history #2541310

      Ok, I went back and followed the whole thread  (on initial read I didn’t pay attention to the fact that it was a long thread).  And while Will responded after me I completely defer to his opinion as it is informed, as opposed to mine…

      Then I just wondered what the internet would say on this.  Quick google find a lot on this – I liked this analysis:  (from http://www.datarecoveryspecialists.co.uk/blog/the-lifespan-of-hdds-vs-ssds)

      Most people would assume that if you left the device in optimal conditions, in the correct temperature and humidity, then the drive will last forever. This is actually untrue; data stored on a hard disk drive will gradually degrade, and data stored on a solid state drive will actually degrade faster. This is because NAND flash stores data as electrical charges, which leak away quickly in comparison with changes in magnetic domain polarity. In saying this, data on an SSD won’t start degrading for about ten years, although this can vary depending on the type of NAND memory used.

      In terms of storage, factors such as temperature and humidity can have a big effect on the lifespan of a drive. Humidity for example can lead to oxidisation of metals inside both hard disk drives and solid state drives. High storage temperatures are particularly problematic for SSDs, as data degradation in flash memory occurs at a faster rate.

      For day to day laptop or PC users, you don’t need to worry about the lifespan of your drive, whether it’s an HDD or SSD. With mobile devices that are carried around more, you need to take particular care not to drop them. If you’re looking to store data long term, it might be best to choose an HDD over an SSD.

      Unfortunately I don’t know how old that article is, so the info may be passe…  However I think the absolute key advice may be to (a) have several backups and (b) refresh the backups regularly (i.e. at least q5years).

      Finding the article on a data recovery service website, this gave me to think of the question, “if you don’t follow that (b) advice and come across your storage device in 20 years, and it’s corrupted, is one more likely to be able to recover from the corruption with a flash or ssd device vs a conventional platter?  A recovery service may be able to dismantle the conventional hard drive and rescue information from it (at some extraordinary expense) but can the same happen with solid state?

      The final comment would be about ssd or flash drive quality.  With the plethora of cheap options around it would be good to know which of the conventional suppliers are offering the best quality product.  (I bought, on a lark, a cheap high capacity device which was exactly what one might have predicted – a scam of a poor, unreliable, low capacity piece of silicon  (inside a rather nice looking aluminum case) The supplier, and Aliexpress, predicably refused refund.  But it was cheap.).



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    • in reply to: Saving history #2541275

      You’ll get lots of answers from people smarter than me, but if was me I’d copy them all to a big conventional hard drive.


      1. you’ll always be able to read a hard drive (I’m going to guess).  USB interface etc is going to be around for a while.
      2. Form-factor is fine.  Drives are relativley small and self-contained.  Easy to put a mirror (or several) in your safety deposit box elsewhere.
      3. backup down-the-line is easy.  Just mirror to another drive.
      4. to me the ability to index is key.  No value in a pile of data that you cannot sort or access.  Today I use a program called ‘Everything’ which would do well for indexing file names.  There may be  (should be!) a program that could be resident on the drive, store it’s indexes on the drive, and index the file names +/- content etc.


    • in reply to: “Install date” #2528272

      Revo Support did give you somewhat more detail than they gave me….

      You can change the way Revo Uninstaller freeware lists program by going to the Options menu (Alt+U shortcut), from there go to the “Uninstaller” section and from there in the “General” tab click on “Use program’s uninstall data to get the Install Date property“

      I can’t confirm that this is completely true.

      I went to Revo – Options – “All Programs“- General tab – “use install date….”

      However I still have many programs showing the current ‘update’ date (11-1-2023) inclucing some shareware programs (Belarc, Glary, and the like) and the oldest date of any program is showing as 06-2022 which is, I would guess, the date of the previous major Windows update.

      So I interpret that the dates are still not showing correctly, either in Revo or under Windows on my system.   Still not the most important of problems…


    • in reply to: Saving history #2526266

      My current project, which is now about 75% complete, is digitizing my LP collection (about 300 records). I considered buying a new turntable with USB output, but it was hard to justify the price for what would be a one-time project when I already had a good, audiophile quality turntable and sound system that still worked.

      Thanks to DG1261 for all that.  I’ve done just about everything he says.

      For vinyl I bought a relatively inexpensive USB ‘sound card’ and us an old laptop and my turntable to digitize records.  No problem at all with that. The software I use is “Spin-it-Again” by Acoustica which is years old and no longer supported (but it is sold!) and requires a fix for full function, but works perfectly.

      For VHS tapes I bought a a-to-d converter, USB again, and converted my small collection too.  My VCR had broken (a single capacitor, I guess from google advice, but repairing it failed) but the local thrift stores still have lots of VCR’s so hope for them is not lost.

      The Epson V600 I confirm is quite a good solution, along with either Epson software or Vuescan – both work well.

      It is a ‘time investment’ project!!  Maybe ‘labor of love’ – and I’ll hope that perhaps the work is worthwhile, assuming that I eventually have a second generation to offer stuff to  (the first generation indeed doesn’t seem too interested).

    • in reply to: “Install date” #2525332

      Interesting.  I wonder what is different about your system.

      However what you say is certainly not true, as pointed out by several of us (and the reference from 2018):  lots of non-Microsoft store apps have had their install dates changed on our systems.


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    • in reply to: “Install date” #2525184

      Thanks for your post – I just read it more carefully, and the link you posted.

      So this seems to be behavior expected by Microsoft, related to the version update process.  The logic they give is, in my view, an excuse, not a reason, and isn’t in fact very logical to me.  “A random set of programs need to pretend that they’ve been reinstalled”??  I won’t call that an explanation.

      I’m guessing that not too many people notice it, nor complain via the Feedback Hub link they give.

      I think it’s annoying enough to make that complaint and I’ll do so.  Certainly not mission-critical for me, though I could imagine it being so for some, and I’d describe it as a bug that should be repaired.

      I’ll mark this as “Resolved” as the behavior has been noted and ‘explained’ (albeit not truly resolved).


    • in reply to: “Install date” #2525012

      I see no evidence this is an issue with Revo.  I simply was using the program to notice this.

      Here’s further interesting stuff.

      7-Zip files located on my system.   The StartMenu folders have been re-dated.  The file shortcuts themselves have not, and indeed the program executive files have not been re-dated either.

      I searched the registry for 7-Zip.  Every entry in the registry has a date of 2023-01-11 or later.

      So I interpret to mean that the registry itself has been (entirely?) rewritten by the update.



    • in reply to: “Install date” #2524718

      Well, I thought it was weird, and interestingly inconsistent.

      I agree that many of the Microsoft Apps appear to be dated as of “install” but not all.  Various MS Visual C++ 20xx versions are all 2023-01-11 and I don’t think they would have been changed with the 22H2 update.

      Randomly scanning, I see there are two ‘Microsoft Windows Desktop Runtime’ versions – 3.3.32 (x64) and 6.0.13 (x64), both dated 2021-01-11.  Are those actually different programs?  They are apparently something to do with .NET which is above my pay grade.

      The programs which have changed dates, and those which don’t,  have no discernible pattern.  There must be something but it isn’t obvious to  me.  Having said that, all of the programs that show up in Revo have the changed date.  And I would guess that Revo gets it’s information from the registry so might it be that programs that were installed using some other – ‘non conventional’ – technique are not identified by Revo and not changed by the Win10 update process?

      This is all above me.  One could wonder whether it could cause problems, though – does anything (program permissions, activation, etc.) depend on information about the program installation date recorded in the registry?


    • in reply to: “Install date” #2524686

      Yes, it could be a Revo thing I’m sure (but presumably Revo gets the information from somewhere – the Registry?)

      And quick look at ‘file properties’ for a few programs do not reflect the wrong 2023-1-11 date but rather what I think would be the correct earlier installation date.

      I went to the Control Panel, programs and features and they too show many – albeit not all – programs being installed on that common date of 2023-01-11.  I’m not counting because I have far too many programs installed (my bad) but I would estimate about 50-60% of the installed programs listed there show that common date.

      The others show earlier dates – albeit not as early as some were installed – but likely dating back to a previous operating system install/update.  I’ve not done a ‘fresh install’ for some time because trying to reinstall all those vitally important programs (not!!!) would be such a pain.  Lazy.  Maybe time to do a fresh windows install sometime, but it would be painful – and that’s another topic.

    • in reply to: AOMEI : The Biggest Christmas Carnival Giveaway #2505971

      Hard to know.

      Always curious, I tried.  One of the ‘download’ links doesn’t work.

      Another worked but on installation it is a ‘one year’ licence which pops to an offer for a permanent one at cost.

      Not horrible but not perhaps exactly what was advertised or implied.  But it is a business after all.

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    • in reply to: Windows 10 Upgrade Annoyances #2505964

      I see those notifications as “advertising” and have disabled them too. I need to be paid to watch advertising!

      And, as much as MS is a pain with their upgrading difficulties, they are not the worse. Most of my legacy programs work just fine – Eudora, which was written in the early 1990’s and last upgraded in 2006 works well with only small hitches and is infinitely preferable to Outlook. I use Alpha5 as well, which I cannot install on another machine because the company has disabled the verification server, but it works just fine on an old machine that I keep partly for that purpose.

      On the other hand…  There’s Apple. I’ve got a perfectly functional iPod Touch that I purchased solely for running a particular app. It’s a “6th gen”, 2015, and the operating system cannot be upgraded (thanks Apple) and most of the apps that I bought the device for and would upgrade will not upgrade because of the older operating system. Apple used to be touted because of it’s “usability” and in my view it is in fact “useless”.

      Sorry for the off topic rant.

      You Win 8.1 machine will continue to work for the majority of programs I would guess. Have you looked for a browser that supports Win 8.1? Perhaps that’s a way of avoiding the operating system upgrade if that’s what you want (though I wouldn’t recommend it as 8.1 is undoubtedly not adequately secure in this day and age).

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    • in reply to: Behind the scenes: The newsletter #2502198

      With regards to the statement, “I turned to a dead Microsoft product, Expression Web 4 (EW4, the successor to FrontPage). Discontinued since 2012 and turned into a free download at that time, it turns out to be almost perfect for our purposes. The article you are reading was authored not using Word, but EW4.

      There are some drawbacks to EW4. It knows very little about HTML 5 and CSS 3, which somewhat constrains its use. It is fine with XHTML, despite that being somewhat retro...”…

      I continue to use Eudora for email (last version 2006) and Eudora doesn’t understand modern HTML  (it uses an old IE engine).  So with your “older” HTML I get very nice, very understandable messages that tell me what I want to know.  You don’t need to use fancy HTML5 and all that stuff for me!

      With many other messages I have to view them in a browser window – functional but a pain in the bu**.  I’m happy with functional old formatting.

      Thanks  Richard


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    • in reply to: Moving from old to new Windows 10 Workstation #2495853

      With all due respect, what you have just started is a “new topic”.   According to the lounge rules, you should have started a new topic.

      Inasmuch as the moderator corrected the error which the initial author (almost certainly) erroneously made, and nobody can now see the error, I don’t think your comment helps the discussion!!!

    • in reply to: Moving from old to new Windows 10 Workstation #2495514

      I myself used Laplink a few years ago and was happy with how it worked.  Assuming it now works as well theen it seems reasonable to use it as you have described.

      Having determined that, then you want to decide if you are happy with the old application software.  You will eventually be using the new Win11 software?  New machine software but old application software?  Not completely consistent.

      Then, to move or reinstall.  Up to you.  If you have a lot of configuration material you wish to retain then move makes sense.  I like to reinstall software to get rid of debris  that has become embedded over time.  Perhaps takes more time but ? how much more than installing and configuring laplink and making the move.

      Seems to me it is a personal decision.  Certainly there is no one right way annd probably not a “better” way.


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    Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 96 total)