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> Windows XP support ending impact on retrogaming, Damn you microsoft!
Wounded Ronin
post Apr 1 2014, 08:05 PM
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So I've been reading how Microsoft is going to end support for Windows XP in a few days. They're probably still bitter about how people resisted Windows Vista and that's why they're ending support.

Anyway, I've got an XP gaming machine I left in another country but which I might have access to in a year or so. It's got some old games on it, as well as Steam and some newer ones.

What do you suppose the impacts on running older games would be if I transitioned to Windows 7?

I've got Windows 8 on this computer I'm using it now and my initial dislike of it has grown into a deep and persistent loathing. Why does Microsoft have to keep trying to humiliate and railroad its customers into doing things that are profoundly distasteful, like Windows Vista and Windows 8?

The Microsoft website wants to help you "upgrade" to Windows 8, but I say no thanks, I'd rather use Windows 7.

That gaming machine was created in 2007, but the last time I used it, it was still powerful enough to run all games. The hardware is good so it would be a shame to discard the machine based on OS. And it seems like it would be a bit roundabout to buy a new machine for day to day use, and leave the XP machine offline and only install games on it while trying to keep it virus free by never taking it online.
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Sengir
post Apr 1 2014, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Apr 1 2014, 09:05 PM) *
So I've been reading how Microsoft is going to end support for Windows XP in a few days. They're probably still bitter about how people resisted Windows Vista and that's why they're ending support.

Anyway, I've got an XP gaming machine I left in another country but which I might have access to in a year or so. It's got some old games on it, as well as Steam and some newer ones.

What do you suppose the impacts on running older games would be if I transitioned to Windows 7?

I've got Windows 8 on this computer I'm using it now and my initial dislike of it has grown into a deep and persistent loathing. Why does Microsoft have to keep trying to humiliate and railroad its customers into doing things that are profoundly distasteful, like Windows Vista and Windows 8?

The Microsoft website wants to help you "upgrade" to Windows 8, but I say no thanks, I'd rather use Windows 7.

That gaming machine was created in 2007, but the last time I used it, it was still powerful enough to run all games. The hardware is good so it would be a shame to discard the machine based on OS. And it seems like it would be a bit roundabout to buy a new machine for day to day use, and leave the XP machine offline and only install games on it while trying to keep it virus free by never taking it online.

If the games are old enough to run only on XP, they should easily run inside a virtual machine (running XP) on a semi-modern PC. If they're even older than that, DOSBox runs on W7 without problems (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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Wounded Ronin
post Apr 1 2014, 08:42 PM
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Hmm, interesting. Just did a little bit of reading on this.

http://www.zdnet.com/windows-xp-phantom-wi...ine-7000027921/

QUOTE
According to AppSense, 77 percent of UK organisations will still be running Windows XP within their business when the deadline passes. An additional concern is that 68 percent of businesses admit they have "no plans" to pay for extended support despite numerous warnings of the vulnerabilities inherent in the operating system -- many of which may be stored up by cybercriminals until the deadline passes and no patches for new exploits will be issued.


I wonder if third party XP support will emerge. That would be hilarious and awesome insofar as it could frustrate Microsoft efforts to make people use Windows 8 and force them to pretend that their desktop computers are tablets and that a hidden, invisible Control Panel is "intuitive".
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Sengir
post Apr 1 2014, 08:45 PM
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Companies are usually at least a few months back on patches, so it might be years before some even notice that there are no further updates in the pipeline (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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RHat
post Apr 1 2014, 08:53 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Apr 1 2014, 02:05 PM) *
So I've been reading how Microsoft is going to end support for Windows XP in a few days. They're probably still bitter about how people resisted Windows Vista and that's why they're ending support.


They've been trying to end support for ages; in business terms, they want to be supporting as few versions of their products as possible.

Virtual machines are gonna be the way to go, though.

And on another note, Windows 8 is actually barely functionally different from Windows 7 - which is, I'll note, still available in retail and still supported. Bitch about Microsoft all you want, but at least do it in a way that's consistent with the facts...
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Blade
post Apr 2 2014, 10:29 AM
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Transitionned from XP64 to Windows 8 more than a year ago, and haven't seen any difference in support for older games.
But it might be useful to get a VM with an old 32 bits Windows for some very old games.
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mister__joshua
post Apr 2 2014, 10:48 AM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Apr 1 2014, 09:53 PM) *
They've been trying to end support for ages; in business terms, they want to be supporting as few versions of their products as possible.

Virtual machines are gonna be the way to go, though.

And on another note, Windows 8 is actually barely functionally different from Windows 7 - which is, I'll note, still available in retail and still supported. Bitch about Microsoft all you want, but at least do it in a way that's consistent with the facts...


I gotta agree with RHat here. Windows XP should have gone end-of-life a long time ago. It's now 3 operating systems old. They can't be expected to support everything back to 3.1 and DOS days. The fact that XP is still in use is partly because Vista was a bit of a hash in terms of system requirements. 7 doesn't really have these problems and is a lot more lightweight. I installed 7 onto all of our old XP machines and 95% took it fine.

Windows 8 for me is an oddball. I really don't like it on desktops. Still, 7 has 6 years of life left so hopefully they'll release a new proper desktop OS before then (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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RHat
post Apr 2 2014, 11:02 AM
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See, here's what I don't get: Your primary interface is still the same as before. The Start menu changed, but how much time do you spend there anyways? How can the same primary interface be so much worse for desktops than before?
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mister__joshua
post Apr 2 2014, 12:34 PM
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Well I use my start menu all the time. I found that finding things like Control Panel or Computer or Network Settings quickly was a pain and a bit clunky. Partly this will be because I don't use it regularly. I like menu driven things though, rather than random flying buttons.

From the opposite point of view though, after years of successful menu driven OSs, what does Windows 8 do that makes it better than those for desktops?
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binarywraith
post Apr 2 2014, 02:00 PM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Apr 2 2014, 06:02 AM) *
See, here's what I don't get: Your primary interface is still the same as before. The Start menu changed, but how much time do you spend there anyways? How can the same primary interface be so much worse for desktops than before?


The way you use your computer is not the way everyone uses their computers.

I have to use Win8 at work, and frankly it has been nothing but a UI-based annoyance to me in nearly every way compared to the Win7 I run at home. So far as I can tell, the sole point of Win8's crap UI is to try and acclimate people so they'll be more comfortable buying similarly-operated Windows Mobile powered phones.

Note that both Win8 and Windows Phones have had pretty remarkably bad uptake by the consumers. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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nezumi
post Apr 2 2014, 04:35 PM
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On running games ... Sengir is right. A VM should work fine for most stuff. VMWare offers a VM version which is free, just install any old version of XP on there (pirated or not) and you should be able to play with it to make it work. On top of that, Windows 7/8 includes some significant compatibility tools, which should address most of your issues with much less complexity. When a program fails to run, Windows 8 actually asks me about it and troubleshoots it for me to some limited degree.

On running the computer ... No, there will be no third party client to provide regular updates. Microsoft is keeping the code closed-source, so it's very difficult for anyone to patch that software while also respecting the law. HOWEVER, you may not care. A computer which is unplugged from the Internet is not especially vulnerable, and if it doesn't have any sensitive data on it, you may not care. You may want to consider setting this up as a dedicated retro-gaming machine; install a firewall and set all the Internet settings as restrictive as possible. Disconnect it from the Internet when not in use. Don't use it for personal stuff like email. That's about it. It's not like your computer will catch fire if it misses a patch (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Regarding Windows 8 ... I got Windows 8 for $40, and that's about what I'd say it's worth. An OS has two purposes; to run my programs (which it does fine) and provide a user interface for me to use my programs (which it sucks at). 8.1 is much better, but still not there. I use Windows 8 for Windows games and running my office's cruddy VPN software because they haven't configured it correctly. Aside from that, I've gone fully over to Linux. If anyone would like a laundry list of what does not work in Windows 8, I'm happy to share my thoughts. Don't think I hate the OS, I don't. They just made a lot of things less convenient by eliminating multiple ways that I, the user, can do things.
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Wounded Ronin
post Apr 2 2014, 09:38 PM
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QUOTE (RHat @ Apr 2 2014, 07:02 AM) *
See, here's what I don't get: Your primary interface is still the same as before. The Start menu changed, but how much time do you spend there anyways? How can the same primary interface be so much worse for desktops than before?


What bothers me is that you have to memorize where certain things are because they're invisible unless you know the secret way to unlock them. I have trouble activating control panel and shut down settings with the swipe of the trackpad...it always comes up when I don't want it and doesn't come up when I do want it. If I have a mouse it's easy enough to pull up but I am exclusively using laptops these days so I won't always have a mouse.

It's like somehow they assumed the average user was too stupid to use control panel so they decided to hide it.

They also hid a lot of the applications. In order to access all my applications, I have to go from desktop to metro mode, and the I have to know the secret way to pull up "All Apps" in order to get the application I want.

I am even furious that they call them "apps" instead of "application". When I was taking programming classes in high school a long time ago, it was explained to me that "application" was basically a program that had a beginning and an end, which is what differentiated it from an "applet" or anything else. So why would you spread misleading and potentially incorrect vocabulary by calling them "apps" instead of "applications"?

Also, Windows 8 machines default in many cases to trying to open files in the bullshit tablet mode applications, which also in some cases refuse to run unless they're updated which apparently they need to be on an individual basis. The Windows Store doesn't work for me for whatever reason and I don't want my video file or whatever to kill my desktop so I have to toggle back to it with at least 2 mouse commands. Why would I possibly want that? So I basically have to spend a certain amount of time and energy setting file types to not open in Bullshit Tablet mode and trying to suppress or avoid Windows 8 sucking me in and shooting me out into the Windows Store that doesn't work, so I can use 2 commands to toggle back to the desktop.

It's like they tried to somehow make Windows 8 cool and hip by inserting stupid colloquial jargon into the OS, and then by hiding everything that I want to access, including applications that were deemed unworthy by Microsoft to make the first page of the Metro interface.

After having Windows in general badger me for years about "You have unused icons on your desktop, dumbass, let us wipe your ass for you by moving them into a different folder", I kind of got conditioned away from Windows 3.1 mode, where there was no start button, into Windows 95 mode, where you use the start button and don't put anything on your desktop so that Windows won't scold you over it.

Now that I've been conditioned not to create shortcuts, Windows has now picked an excellent time to hide the applications I want to use such as Calculator, Wordpad, etc. on a day to day basis behind an additional layer of interface and a secret right click I had to find myself through trial and error.

I don't want a tablet. I have no plans to buy a tablet. In fact, I've permanently turned off my droid smart phone I used to use, and have downgraded to running a first generation Motorola Rockr, which is the very first generation multimedia capable Motorola cell with a super rudimentary user interface and extremely limited memory. Being constantly reminded that Microsoft wants to sell me a tablet is a daily reminder of the soul-crushing consumerism and me-tooism that is helping to blind Americans to the economic and social challenges facing us all and helping to distract us from addressing these problems and moving forward in history. Instead all this mental energy gets sucked into, among other things, tablets and smartphones that are basically low-powered computers with limited GPS capability, and yet everyone seems to be willing to spend hundreds of dollars to get one and enthusiastically download largely pointless software for them little by little over slow wifi or 3 or 4g provider connections. Of all the things to be our undoing what could be more pathetic?

EDIT: In fact, on my last business trip, I did the opposite. Instead of carrying a tablet or something light, I carried TWO LAPTOPS. Including 2 ac adaptors, and 2 wireless mice, all in the same laptop bag. So if anything I was going down the road of replicating the classic heavy and bulky feel of the laptop. It was deliciously heavy and compensated a bit for my limited ability to lift weights at the gym while travelling.

I guess that every time I see the Metro interface on Windows 8 I'm reminded of consumerism and it makes me feel upset.
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Wounded Ronin
post Apr 2 2014, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi @ Apr 2 2014, 12:35 PM) *
On running games ... Sengir is right. A VM should work fine for most stuff. VMWare offers a VM version which is free, just install any old version of XP on there (pirated or not) and you should be able to play with it to make it work. On top of that, Windows 7/8 includes some significant compatibility tools, which should address most of your issues with much less complexity. When a program fails to run, Windows 8 actually asks me about it and troubleshoots it for me to some limited degree.

On running the computer ... No, there will be no third party client to provide regular updates. Microsoft is keeping the code closed-source, so it's very difficult for anyone to patch that software while also respecting the law. HOWEVER, you may not care. A computer which is unplugged from the Internet is not especially vulnerable, and if it doesn't have any sensitive data on it, you may not care. You may want to consider setting this up as a dedicated retro-gaming machine; install a firewall and set all the Internet settings as restrictive as possible. Disconnect it from the Internet when not in use. Don't use it for personal stuff like email. That's about it. It's not like your computer will catch fire if it misses a patch (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Regarding Windows 8 ... I got Windows 8 for $40, and that's about what I'd say it's worth. An OS has two purposes; to run my programs (which it does fine) and provide a user interface for me to use my programs (which it sucks at). 8.1 is much better, but still not there. I use Windows 8 for Windows games and running my office's cruddy VPN software because they haven't configured it correctly. Aside from that, I've gone fully over to Linux. If anyone would like a laundry list of what does not work in Windows 8, I'm happy to share my thoughts. Don't think I hate the OS, I don't. They just made a lot of things less convenient by eliminating multiple ways that I, the user, can do things.


Appreciate the advice. The custom machine should be able to run Windows 7 so for practical purposes the virtual machine sounds like it's the way to go. Of course since it's a custom build and the store that built it is out of business I'll be on my own and have to do all the troubleshooting on my own, which could end up being time consuming if things don't go 100% smoothly. I generally am against taking computers to mainstream service places like Geek Squad as the pretty much have one-size-fits-all solutions that don't feel totally satisfactory. Plus for all I know those guys probably push Windows 8.

I'd actually consider using Linux but I don't think I'll have the time to install it and learn how to use it.

Actually listening to myself talk, maybe it would be a lot easier to just use my current laptop when I return and keep the custom machine offline. If anything goes wrong with the windows 7 install or I have to fiddle around with the BIOS it could end up taking up more time than I anticipate. If I want to install more games on it I could always put them on a flash drive, scan it for viruses using a newer machine, and stick it on the XP machine the old fashioned way.
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nezumi
post Apr 3 2014, 01:45 PM
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WR, the little search 'charm' is your friend. I never use the metro interface itself, I hit that little magnifying glass to find all of my 'apps'.

Also, I'm bit by bit removing all of the file associations. Pictures, videos, etc. all open in software I downloaded specifically for the purpose of not using the awful Windows 'full screen only' applications. I am disappointed the Windows store doesn't offer a windows version of solitaire, but somehow I shall survive.

Normally I'd say that upgrading to Windows 7 should be super-easy, however you're saying your computer is very, very old. Unfortunately, some drivers may not be supported any more, so upgrading *MAY* possibly result in something not working. And since the computer is so old, if something like your hard drive stops working, buying a replacement IDE hard drive isn't really an option any more, you'll need to upgrade the motherboard to support that. And that means new RAM, new video card, etc. I.e., a whole, new computer. (I recently had this problem when my XP box had a component failure. Of course, upgrading the motherboard means that XP, which shipped with the computer so was 'keyed' to that motherboard, stopped working too. Hence the unexpected 'upgrade' to Windows 8.)

So yeah, if you can afford to keep your retro gaming box offline, that's probably the method that requires the least work and stress on your part. But I would explore using VMWare and compatibility mode now with your laptop, so you know what to jump to when your other box finally bites it.
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RHat
post Apr 3 2014, 11:53 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Apr 2 2014, 03:38 PM) *
What bothers me is that you have to memorize where certain things are because they're invisible unless you know the secret way to unlock them. I have trouble activating control panel and shut down settings with the swipe of the trackpad...it always comes up when I don't want it and doesn't come up when I do want it. If I have a mouse it's easy enough to pull up but I am exclusively using laptops these days so I won't always have a mouse.
[snip]


All reasonable and fact based. Though, I will point out that the "search from start" functionality was maintained (want the Control Panel, just type "Control Panel" from the Start Menu/Screen). Also, Winkey+X is a hilariously useful shortcut - brings up a context menu from which you can get at things like Shut Down, the Command Prompt, Control Panel, File Explorer... If you can remember the right letters, it even becomes like emacs shortcuts (Winkey+X, U, U to power down, for example).

Overall, I'm sure I could live with Windows 8 - functionally, the differences are in terms of a bunch of new shortcuts in service of the new secondary interface - though there are some interesting ways that the full screen apps synthesize with desktop use. Don't see much reason to actually switch over, though.
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ShadowDragon8685
post Apr 4 2014, 11:07 PM
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I feel obliged to point out that a lot of the people who are sticking with XP is because newer Windows editions have lost the ability to talk to equipment they still possess and which is in perfect working order.

So "upgrading" won't be just the cost of new Windows machines for them, it'll be the cost of new equipment which works with Windows 7/8. Not a terribly huge deal if the equipment in question is a printer, which you probably replace every two months because buying a new one is cheaper than buying ink anyway.

When it's $1,500,000 worth of computer-controlled automatic lathes and whatnot?


Suddenly you start to grok the reason why people are reluctant to switch over, especially since the company that made said lathes is now defunct, but the equipment is still perfectly serviceable.


Or else you may be dependent upon record-keeping software which is not updated to Windows 7/8. Which is bad when it's, say, transaction history, but when it's vital patient medical records, there's absolutely no flexibility there. You have to maintain your old systems.
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nezumi
post Apr 5 2014, 11:47 AM
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It's true. I can name a major organization (I won't, but you know them and use their products regularly) who is still tied to 2000 because the company that made their $50+million in equipment is out of business.
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Sendaz
post Apr 9 2014, 07:27 AM
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Britain and Dutch governments just paid Microsoft the other day to extend XP support for an additional year to allow them a bit more grace period to transition their systems.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014...p-public-sector
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