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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.

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