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Comment Re:Me, too (Score 1) 81

For a good long time, he dropped in here at fairly regular intervals for about a week each time. My theory was that he was slow getting some meds refilled and dropped by when he was out.

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

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

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 Re:Me, too (Score 1) 81

Barbara's real life impeded on life on Slashdot. Somewhere on Facebook, I've got an update from her from a couple of months ago.

Regarding APK, previously, I thought he was a mentally damaged troll. But tonight I've been wondering if the person(s) posting as apk on /. aren't a bizarre act, like the doctor of homeopathy or whatever the hell it was a year or two ago.

Tom, apk will go away when he finds another target. He bugged me for a few weeks. My only complaint is that the message notifications on /. were impossible to use since the apk troll's replies caused my 25 messages to roll over. Otherwise, I figured I was doing slashdot a service by 'taking one for the team'. So long as he was focused on me, he wasn't bothering other people.

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