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Comment: Cutting out the middleman... (Score 1) 6

by MonTemplar (#46698939) Attached to: Reminiscence XP

...yeah, if I've gotten a slipstreamed install disc with SP3 on it, I could have saved myself a lot of time when I did the same experiment. *shrug*

Out of interest, which version of IE did it have after install completed? I see you were prompted to upgrade to IE8, but my memory is hazy on whether IE7 was ever included on later XP install discs.

Comment: Re:XP is (nearly) dead - long live Windows 7! (Score 1) 7

by MonTemplar (#46688293) Attached to: Tomorrow Windows XP dies, long live Windows XP!

But XP? Not so simple. XP has lower system requirements, it works well on systems that are dog slow under 7. It's STILL BEING SOLD for that very reason, and the machines that ship with it will generally not work with other versions, either from lack of resources, lack of drivers, or both.

I'm aware you can still get XP discs second-hand or ex-stock here in the UK - Amazon lists several versions, although some look suspiciously like they may be OEM versions that are tied to specific brand/model PCs. I'm not aware of any PC maker here in the UK offering an XP options, though - maybe Windows 7, for business systems and workstations.

Ultimately I will probably just put Slackware on the machine that's running XP now but if ReactOS were a little more mature I might use it instead.

I recently wiped my old (2003 vintage) laptop, which originally came with XP, and installed Linux Mint - considering the machine's specs, it works fairly well.

I've read about ReactOS, but given the slow pace of progress I regard it as curiosity rather than a viable alternative.

Comment: XP is (nearly) dead - long live Windows 7! (Score 1) 7

by MonTemplar (#46682747) Attached to: Tomorrow Windows XP dies, long live Windows XP!

Seriously. I remember trying out the preview version on my then-XP-running PC back in 2009, and being blown away by a) how much easier it was to install and get going, b) how well it ran all my existing software, c) how it let me finally use all of the memory installed in my machine, d) how much better it was than Vista. I pre-ordered a copy soon after, and the rest is history. Now, on my Mac, I have my Windows 7 VM for running various applications I still use.

Installing Windows XP today is not nearly as fun as you might think, particularly if you've got a pre-SP2 copy. When I tried it, I had to manually install some patches just to get Windows Update working, then some more before I could install IE8, and some more before I could install MSE. And then all the patches to bring the whole lot up-to-date - that took hours and hours to finish. I'd only recommend trying it if you're installing onto a machine that you don't actually need to use for a good while.

As for the 'but it's tried and tested" argument for hanging onto XP, I would point to the number of flaws that are still being uncovered in the Windows codebase, many of which are also in XP. Yes, you can mitigate against some by hardening your system, running only as a standard user, etc. - but for most current XP installs that will probably mean extra aggravation caused by third-party software written back in the Bad Old Days that expects to run with full admin privileges.

The only excuse for continuing with XP, to my mind, other than sheer obstinacy, is where you've got systems that absolutely, positively require XP running on physical hardware - specialised hardware or software that won't work via a VM because they need direct access through physical ports. Such systems should be segregated from local networks and the Internet as much as possible.

Comment: App installation + uninstallation (Score 1) 19

by MonTemplar (#46463641) Attached to: Couple Weeks With A Mac

I come at this from a completely different viewpoint, having only recently dipped my toes into Linux - for me, a package manager is a relatively new concept. The nearest I've come to it previously has been with Apple's App Store, both for iOS and now OSX - plenty of choice, sometimes too much choice.

As far as manually installing apps goes, it usually boils down to double-clicking on the DMG file to mount it, then either running the installation package or dragging the app file to your Applications folder.

In theory, uninstalling apps is as simple as dragging the app file to the Trash. I say 'in theory' because apps do leave behind some detritus formed by using them - thankfully not to the same degree as Windows, but it is there. For suites of apps like Microsoft Office or Adobe Creative Cloud, there tends to be a lot more extra stuff deposited onto your system besides the apps themselves.

Sadly, updates do tend to be on a per-app basis, with the exception of those acquired through the App Store, which handles the update process.

Comment: My list, plus a few I miss (as a Mac user) (Score 1) 531

by MonTemplar (#46390649) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

First, the essentials for me, on my iMac (many of which moved with my from PC background) :

Google Chrome - go-to web browser. (Safari just doesn't cut it, Firefox is good but doesn't work quite the way I'd like it to.)
VLC - the media player that will play anything!
F.lux - mentioned elsewhere in comments, this adjusts monitor brightness from daytime to nighttime.
Pathfinder - excellent power-user file manager for OSX.
DaisyDisk - find where all that hard disk space has gone.
CleanMyMac 2 - scrub the detritus from OSX and apps.
Torrent - for my torrenting needs. :)
Parallels Desktop - for when I need to run Windows software.
Mozilla Thunderbird - my mail manager of choice.
FontExplorer X Pro - organise and manage font library, root out dupes and duds. - because here in the UK at least, I can still listen to full tracks. Still the best way to find where to buy particular tracks.
Spotify - I still love my MP3s, but this way I can legally share the love.
Sophos Anti-Virus - because I know better than to believe the hype about Macs being less at risk.
LastPass / XMarks - recent addition, no more hassle losing passwords or bookmarks between browsers.
DesktopServer - for Wordpress site development and deployment.
Toast Titanium - still need to burn the occasional disc.
Steam - need I say more?
Pocket - where my read-later stuff goes.
Alfred - Like Spotlight, but with brains.

There are a few Windows apps that I miss, because there isn't a good Mac equivalent :

TeraCopy - Pathfinder does bulk copy operations, but doesn't support CRC checking / diff.
Everything - Spotlight is good, most of the time, but not fast. Alfred is better, but still no speed demon.

Comment: Re:Windows file management ... (Score 1) 531

by MonTemplar (#46388681) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

I used to use Beyond Compare for work purposes back when I was involved in USB flash device duplication - great for checking master copies prior to duplication, and double-checking selected duplicate sticks during duplication.

Along those lines, I'd also recommend TeraCopy - fast file copying with the option of CRC checking to spot any corrupted or missing files.

Comment: Re:MS Office (Score 1) 531

by MonTemplar (#46388615) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

I must admit, I didn't buy a new version of Office for personal use for a long time (last PC version was Office 2000), and only got Office 2011 for Mac because I was found a cheap deal off eBay, plus Pages couldn't digest some of the Word documents I needed to use.

Given that there's no indication that Microsoft are going to do a new version of Office for Mac any time soon, I'm now looking into trying LibreOffice.

Worst part is that because I only occasionally need to crack open Word, Excel or Powerpoint, when I do want to do so I invariably have to wait whilst Microsoft AutoUpdate installs the latest update.

Best part, though, is that Office for Mac has an actual proper menu - I would probably go insane trying to use the fecking Ribbon!

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.