XP

Off topic discourse and banter encouraged.
User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 4469
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

XP

Postby orin stepanek » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:10 pm

I love my Windows xp; today windows sent me an email that it will no longer support xp! it was suggested that I upgrade to Windows 8 or get a new computer! I don't know if my unit can handle a windows upgrade to Windows 8! I hate to start downloading A newer version only to find out that it won't work! I think I'll keep using this old heap until it quits working! :( :p:
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8604
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: XP

Postby geckzilla » Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:53 pm

Yup, if you have an old computer you are stuck with old operating systems. If it keeps running, eventually you can lay claim to your own personal piece of historical computing. There are plenty of people out there who still have rooms full of very old hardware and their hobby is to get the computers working by scavenging parts from ebay or wherever and maybe seeing what kind of funny things can be done with it, like creating a new OS, for instance. It's surprisingly hard to find original, working programs on 5 1/4" floppy disks!
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:11 pm

geckzilla wrote:It's surprisingly hard to find original, working programs on 5 1/4" floppy disks!

Let alone 8-inch hard sectored floppy disks!
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8604
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: XP

Postby geckzilla » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:27 pm

I haven't ever seen one.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:31 pm

orin stepanek wrote:I love my Windows xp; today windows sent me an email that it will no longer support xp! it was suggested that I upgrade to Windows 8 or get a new computer! I don't know if my unit can handle a windows upgrade to Windows 8! I hate to start downloading A newer version only to find out that it won't work! I think I'll keep using this old heap until it quits working! :( :p:

You'll probably be okay for a while. The main issue is that the system will become less secure. Make sure you are using Firefox or Chrome, not Internet Explorer. The versions that run on XP are less secure than later versions (which won't run on XP), and IE will be one of the targets that hackers go after. Keep Flash and Acrobat up to date. Be extra careful about opening files you obtain over the Internet. And keep in mind that it will become difficult to add hardware- if you need a new printer, it probably won't come with any support for XP. And increasingly, programs you might want to install won't run under XP, either. But if you're mainly using the computer for web browsing and email, not much is going to change for you when XP goes out of support.

Realistically, when you're ready to upgrade the OS you'll need a new computer. So holding out a bit makes sense. By most accounts, Windows 9 will be out next year, and should fix most of the stupid interface changes that MS put in Windows 8. That would be the time to upgrade.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 4469
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: XP

Postby orin stepanek » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:38 pm

Well; it still works fine! If it gets bad I'll replace it! In the mean time; I'll save what I consider important on it! :lol2: I still have an old 95 sitting out on the patio that I took the hard drive out of! I guess nothing lasts forever!
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:50 pm

geckzilla wrote:I haven't ever seen one.

Had one on my first computer. Built from scratch before microprocessors. Core memory (bet you never saw that, either). And serial number 2 of the very first floppy disk drive every designed, one of the first two from the development lab at Calcomp.

v16.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8604
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: XP

Postby geckzilla » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:36 pm

No, there are a lot of things I have only read about or seen museum specimens of. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing some low-level knowledge about computers because of the way older stuff gets phased out and replaced with high-level operating systems and components so quickly. It seems like everything will someday be stacked so high that no one can even remember what was at the bottom.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
Ann
4725 Å
Posts: 8429
Joined: Sat May 29, 2010 5:33 am

Re: XP

Postby Ann » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:39 pm

Geckzilla wrote:
It seems like everything will someday be stacked so high that no one can even remember what was at the bottom.


There were turtles, I'm sure.

Ann
Color Commentator

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:11 pm

geckzilla wrote:No, there are a lot of things I have only read about or seen museum specimens of. Sometimes I feel like I'm missing some low-level knowledge about computers because of the way older stuff gets phased out and replaced with high-level operating systems and components so quickly. It seems like everything will someday be stacked so high that no one can even remember what was at the bottom.

I've had some interesting computer hardware over the years. I started with this stuff when I was still in High School, in the 1970s. I was very good at getting companies to donate parts and equipment, because there just weren't kids doing computers yet.

Ferrite_core_memory.jpg
Core memory is cool. A gridded net of wires, with a tiny ferrite toroid at each intersection. By controlling the current through a horizontal and vertical wire pair, you could magnetize the toroid ether clockwise or counterclockwise. That defined a one or a zero. These things were all made by hand- usually by women sitting at tables with magnifying lights, threading thousands and thousands of beads onto the wires. Individual modules were typically between 1K and 8K bytes (so 8192 to 65536 ferrite beads). Makes me think of the weavers in the Middle Ages who supposedly went blind producing ultrafine tapestries.

640px-Torsion_wire_delay_line.jpg
I also had a chance to play with a very short lived memory phenomenon, acoustic memory. These modules had a carefully mounted spiral of magnetostrictive wire, with a little coil at each end. When you drove one coil, it constricted the wire, sending an acoustic pulse down it. A few milliseconds later, it arrived at the other end and could be detected with the coil there. To keep the memory active, you then had to rewrite that bit at the start. You could keep a few thousand bits circulating that way at one time. And like a disk drive, you couldn't read data until it came around to the end. Although the spiral of wire was mounted on little vibration isolating grommets, a good whack with the hand to the top of the computer would completely scramble all the data in memory.

I also remember my first hard disk, years before they showed up in home computers (a few years before there actually were home computers, in fact). That puppy had more storage than I could ever imagine using- 2.5 MB. It was 5 inches high, 19 inches wide, and 30 inches deep. It weighed over 100 pounds, and when the head moved, the lights in the house flickered. I've still got the platter from inside it (I also kept the head positioning electromagnet assembly, which has enough power to break your arm if you get too close). The data platter is a ferrite coated, polished aluminum disc 15 inches across.

There was no commercial software, so the operating system and Basic compiler were homegrown. Written in assembly language. Along with a few games, like the ever popular Nim. And a nice version of Conway's Game of Life.

Fun days.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
MargaritaMc
Look to the Evenstar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: 28°16'7"N 16°36'20"W

Re: XP

Postby MargaritaMc » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:12 pm

orin stepanek wrote:Well; it still works fine! If it gets bad I'll replace it! In the mean time; I'll save what I consider important on it! :lol2: I still have an old 95 sitting out on the patio that I took the hard drive out of! I guess nothing lasts forever!


I don't know of this if any use as an idea, but I installed Ubuntu (a free operating system based on Linux) on my old mini laptop, an Acer Aspire. I've now also got a new laptop (just because I needed a larger screen and more RAM) which came with Windows 8.1 installed and which is less horrible than Windows 8, I've been told.

My first action was to stop the Microsoft programs being the default ones, and install nice no nonsense stuff such as VideoLan and Libre Office. And Firefox and Chrome of course.

It now is set up to bypass the foul Windows 8 start screen and goes - usually - to a familiar looking desk top.

I've not used it much yet, as my tablet is so handy, but if it does get irritating, I'll install Ubuntu on it as well and dump Windows.

Margarita

PS. Chris, that memory lane computer hardware is marvellous. My first encounter with a computer was when I was an undergraduate in 1969. I was reading Politics, but the university said that EVERYBODY had to do a foundation course in computing. The university's computer took up a whole room and only the priest, sorry, TECHNICIAN, was allowed in to take it the offerings from folk like me. Instructions were via punch cards: you gave your pack to the technician and went back the next day for the print out.
I'm sorry to admit that I was a total dunce and haven't a clue how I passed. But it did mean that when, in later years I got a personal computer, (500 Mb hard drive, I think, or maybe 1Gb, 16 Mb RAM), the first thing I did was get a techie friend to help me to take it to pieces so that I could see what was under the bonnet (hood).
Last edited by MargaritaMc on Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8604
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: XP

Postby geckzilla » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:26 pm

Acoustic memory? How quaint. I have never heard of that. So you could erase the memory with either a magnet or a whack. No wonder it didn't last very long. Very amusing stories, Chris.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 4469
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: XP

Postby orin stepanek » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:34 pm

Chris; I remember the Computer at the company where i worked! It was as big as a bus and had to have a whole room full of key punchers! I believe it was an IBM!

I do have Firefox on my computer; I'm thinking of making it my default browser!

Electronics is fast changing the world; I still have a few 8 track tapes downstairs that I haven't thrown away yet! I gave the player away 20 years ago! Oh; and I still have some 33's; 45's; and 78's with plenty of rock on them! 8-)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:43 pm

orin stepanek wrote:Chris; I remember the Computer at the company where i worked! It was as big as a bus and had to have a whole room full of key punchers! I believe it was an IBM!

When I was in high school, I was able to use the computer at UC Irvine, just down the road. It was a Xerox Sigma 7, and like the one Margarita used, in its own glassed off section of the computer center. At the time, one of the UC students claimed he could write a program that would physically destroy the computer. The engineers at Xerox said that was absolutely impossible. The student offered to demonstrate, and Xerox took him up on it. That computer had these huge memory units called drum memory, similar to disk drives, that were the size of washing machines. He wrote a program that drove the heads back and forth at the resonant frequency of the entire machine. They literally shook themselves to pieces (like when you have a shoe in your drier, but a lot worse). Those engineers were embarrassed! After that they put hardware filters in their memory units that snuffed resonant motion.

Funny thing is, I was just reading last night that somebody at a hackers conference demonstrated a software approach to destroying the electronics in Macs running OS X. In fact, they could actually set the machines on fire. The problem these days is that most hackers don't ask first- they just launch destructive software and let it fall where it may.

Oh; and I still have some 33's; 45's; and 78's with plenty of rock on them! 8-)

Well, 33s are popular again. No idea why, but some of them can be worth quite a lot if they're in good condition.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
MargaritaMc
Look to the Evenstar
Posts: 1823
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:14 pm
Location: 28°16'7"N 16°36'20"W

Re: XP

Postby MargaritaMc » Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:14 am

Chris Peterson wrote: At the time, one of the UC students claimed he could write a program that would physically destroy the computer. The engineers at Xerox said that was absolutely impossible. The student offered to demonstrate, and Xerox took him up on it. That computer had these huge memory units called drum memory, similar to disk drives, that were the size of washing machines. He wrote a program that drove the heads back and forth at the resonant frequency of the entire machine. They literally shook themselves to pieces (like when you have a shoe in your drier, but a lot worse).


The author Terry Pratchett might have heard of that, because he has a similar thing happen in his Discworld novel Going Postal, with the mechanical semaphore system that is the Discworld replacement for the internet.

Orin wrote
and I still have some 33's; 45's; and 78's with plenty of rock on them! 8-)


Did you ever have a wind-up gramophone? My aunt gave me one when I was fifteen, along with her collection of 78s! I've still got most of the 78s, but nothing to play them on. The gramophone was marvellous - it had a little slide out corner drawer to hold spare needles and the sound level was adjusted by stuffing more or fewer of my Dad's old socks in the speaker. It wasn't a trumpet, so was quite modern!
M
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 4469
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: XP

Postby orin stepanek » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:49 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
Did you ever have a wind-up gramophone? My aunt gave me one when I was fifteen, along with her collection of 78s! I've still got most of the 78s, but nothing to play them on. The gramophone was marvellous - it had a little slide out corner drawer to hold spare needles and the sound level was adjusted by stuffing more or fewer of my Dad's old socks in the speaker. It wasn't a trumpet, so was quite modern!
M


No: but I did stay---oops! :lol2:
No but when we were kids there was a fishing hole by the local dump! ( Wasn't called a landfill back them) Anyway after we got tired of fishing we walked through there and found a bunch or old records! We took some home, but not having a phonograph; I decided to build one. I made a paper cone and used a stickpin in the small end! We turned the record by hand and lo and behold it worked a little! Turned out they were old advertisements for Chevy cars! :wink: :mrgreen:
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 4469
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: XP

Postby orin stepanek » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:47 pm

I got a new windows 10 and after 4 mos. I am finally getting it to be mine! After weeks of fighting all the aps popping up: I finally got rid of enough of them that I can use it some! My gosh; it sure had enough junk files on it that it was slower than my old XP! Right now; I still like my XP better!
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:52 pm

orin stepanek wrote:I got a new windows 10 and after 4 mos. I am finally getting it to be mine! After weeks of fighting all the aps popping up: I finally got rid of enough of them that I can use it some! My gosh; it sure had enough junk files on it that it was slower than my old XP! Right now; I still like my XP better!

Download Classic Shell. It's free, and gives you back a proper desktop experience. You can get a normal start bar and disable all the apps. Gives you the better user interface of Windows 7 (or XP if you like), but retains the robustness of Windows 10.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
orin stepanek
Plutopian
Posts: 4469
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2005 3:41 pm
Location: Nebraska

Re: XP

Postby orin stepanek » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:32 am

Chris Peterson wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:I got a new windows 10 and after 4 mos. I am finally getting it to be mine! After weeks of fighting all the aps popping up: I finally got rid of enough of them that I can use it some! My gosh; it sure had enough junk files on it that it was slower than my old XP! Right now; I still like my XP better!

Download Classic Shell. It's free, and gives you back a proper desktop experience. You can get a normal start bar and disable all the apps. Gives you the better user interface of Windows 7 (or XP if you like), but retains the robustness of Windows 10.


Sounds like good advice; I may try it! 10-Q :D
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

User avatar
THX1138
Emailed Bob; Got a new title!
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:27 am
AKA: Wile-e-coyote super genius
Location: west covina california

Re: XP

Postby THX1138 » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:33 am

key punchers (circa) 1975 still remember the three languages....Cobol, fortran and Rpg I believe they were IBM and what a hassle those were.
Chris, I about fell out of my chair laughing about the resonant frequency thing with the Xerox Sigma 7 thank you so much for sharing that story
Good old xp, the nerve of them to pull that (you're operating system is no longer going to be supported) gig on everyone. Not that way with apple as you know.
The downloading of this classic shell, you bet I'm going to do so as soon as i submit this reply
I've come to the conclusion that when i said i wanted to be somebody when i grew up i probably should have been more specific

User avatar
rstevenson
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Posts: 2427
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2008 1:24 pm
Location: Dartmouth, NS, Canada

Re: XP

Postby rstevenson » Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:59 pm

THX1138 wrote:... Good old xp, the nerve of them to pull that (you're operating system is no longer going to be supported) gig on everyone. Not that way with apple as you know. ...

Alas, 'taint so. Apple is as ruthless -- or practical if you prefer -- as any other large company. And I say that as someone who bought his first Mac in August of 1985, and have used Macs ever since. (I just sold that still operational Mac 512ke last week, to a local collector.)

Last September, Apple pulled a fast one by releasing iOS 9 without telling anyone that it required a new version of iTunes if you wanted to backup your iOS device to your Mac -- and that new iTunes version wasn't being released for older Macs. So I was suddenly unable to backup my iPhone to my 7-year old and very dependable iMac because I had trustingly allowed the upgrade to go ahead. (And Apple makes downgrading iOS nearly impossible, quite deliberately.)

And don't get me started on Apple's Mac OS "upgrades" which remove or hide features, degrade the visibility of controls, require vast computing resources to support new eye candy, and contain truly astonishing visual interface inconsistencies. Each time I upgrade I have to fight to retain some semblance of control over my computing environment, and it's getting harder every time. Apple, like Microsoft, seems to have lost sight of what should be an obvious goal: use the extraordinary hardware power we have available to make using the computer easier.

Rob, the thread derailer

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:19 pm

THX1138 wrote:Good old xp, the nerve of them to pull that (you're operating system is no longer going to be supported) gig on everyone.

Well, good for them. Everything gets obsolete, and that includes operating systems. Why should they keep supporting software that no longer works well on new hardware, which no longer supports new software, and which drops below sufficient market share? Especially when that software represents a bigger and bigger security risk to the entire infrastructure.

I'm glad that the software developers are more willing to stop supporting old stuff, and to not worry so much about backwards compatibility. It helps things move forward.

Not that way with apple as you know.

Methinks you have little experience with Apple.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
Chris Peterson
Abominable Snowman
Posts: 13193
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: Guffey, Colorado, USA

Re: XP

Postby Chris Peterson » Fri Jul 15, 2016 1:24 pm

rstevenson wrote:And don't get me started on Apple's Mac OS "upgrades" which remove or hide features, degrade the visibility of controls, require vast computing resources to support new eye candy, and contain truly astonishing visual interface inconsistencies. Each time I upgrade I have to fight to retain some semblance of control over my computing environment, and it's getting harder every time. Apple, like Microsoft, seems to have lost sight of what should be an obvious goal: use the extraordinary hardware power we have available to make using the computer easier.

New features don't bother me. Things that break old software don't bother me. The demand for greater machine power doesn't bother me. But the steady trend towards less efficient user interfaces sure does. For Windows, I think interface usability peaked around Windows 97, and has declined steadily since. They've largely abandoned standardized menus, they've flattened interactive components (like buttons) to the point that you have to wave your cursor all over the place just to figure out what to click on. And with every release, they rename features or move where you access them. User interface design has become the domain of artists, not people who understand user interfaces. It's a problem with Windows. It's a problem with Macs. And it's a problem with all mobile devices.
Chris

*****************************************
Chris L Peterson
Cloudbait Observatory
http://www.cloudbait.com

User avatar
geckzilla
Ocular Digitator
Posts: 8604
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 12:42 pm
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: XP

Postby geckzilla » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:19 pm

Apple is, for some reason, who designers look up to for interface design. That one button mouse, that one button tablet... so sleek, so simple... so ENRAGINGLY MYSTERIOUS.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

User avatar
Fred the Cat
Theoretic Apothekitty
Posts: 378
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:09 pm
AKA: Ron

Re: XP

Postby Fred the Cat » Fri Jul 15, 2016 6:46 pm

Our IT guy at work is trying to get me to try a Linux operating system for my home PC. Any words of wisdom?
Feynman's Felicity "Only ascertain as a cat box survivor"


Return to “Open Space: Discuss Anything”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot] and 0 guests