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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    Computer OS question

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    Hey there.
    Well, after coaxing my p.c. through over 8 years of use, I think it's time to finally pull the plug and upgrade.
    I'm not looking for anything fancy - just with plenty of memory and power to handle my aimless computer play time, and not get hung up or fried in the process. Something that will make our cable ISP worthwhile.
    I have a very computer tech savvy friend helping me in my search - who will also help in set up.
    My friend, who is a Linux user, is viscerally opposed to Vista, and recommends at any opportunity that I dump any Vista OS and load up XP.
    I did a search in this forum, cuz I know it's been discussed here before. But most of the Vista vs. XP vs. Linux vs. Mac discussions are over a year old.
    My current p.c. runs XP. Couple of questions for you computer savvy folks:
    1. Has Vista improved any over the last year? Is the current thinking still "dump Vista, go with XP"? Assume for the moment that I don't care to venture into Linux territory and a Mac is also out.
    2. Could I transfer my XP from my current p.c. to a new one - i.e. "overwrite" any Vista OS it may come with?
    3. Will my programs work with Vista (if I kept it)? I'm thinking primarily my Garmin training center and some photo and printing software that came with my Canon printer (and camera, for that matter). Okay...for discussion sake....would those programs work on a Mac, or would I need to get all new programs??
    Anything else I need to know???
    Thanks all.
    7
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    715
    I'm no expert, but I agree with staying away from Vista. If you get a MAC, which is what I have, you will need a partition running Windows in order to install/run any of the software you are using on your old PC. MAC won't run any of it and chances are you won't be able to find a version of your software made for the MAC. If you're on a budget, probably Dell has the best prices for what you get and if your tech friend should be able to set you up similar to your current P.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    "I never made "Who's Who"- but sure as hell I made "What's That??..."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
    Posts
    2,131
    For what it's worth, considering I'm only a tech geek wanna-be:

    I've heard all the grumbling about Vista, but I've been using it for over a year with no problems. All of the chat/music/photo-editing programs I used with my XP machine loaded onto my current PC just fine. I don't like the visuals used for Vista so I switched to classic view, but other than that I haven't noticed much difference.

    There might be issues with your peripherals depending on how old they are, but hopefully you'd be able to download current drivers.

    Now, Microsoft Office 2007 I've got some issues with...



    Regina, I have to ask-- What are lunch legs?
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vermont
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    1,414
    Quote Originally Posted by tctrek View Post
    I'm no expert, but I agree with staying away from Vista. If you get a MAC, which is what I have, you will need a partition running Windows in order to install/run any of the software you are using on your old PC. MAC won't run any of it and chances are you won't be able to find a version of your software made for the MAC. If you're on a budget, probably Dell has the best prices for what you get and if your tech friend should be able to set you up similar to your current P.
    I think Mac is still behind the curve in compatibility with training software (Garmin, Polar etc), but it's just not true that "chances are you won't be able to find (most of the software you run on your PC) for Mac." Most (though not all) popular software is available for Mac. I have MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc) on my Mac, I know you can get Adobe suite for Mac, you can get Internet Explorer for mac (although I can't imagine why you'd want to use IE if you could use Firefox, Opera etc instead). I'm sure there are some technical/specialized software packages that aren't available in Mac versions, but that's what boot camp/parallels/etc are for -- and if you're mostly just puttering around with word processing and email/web, then it's not likely to be an issue.

    Edit: look -- Garmin finally has Mac software: http://www8.garmin.com/macosx/. So no need to partition/run dual OSs for that.
    Last edited by VeloVT; 03-01-2009 at 03:42 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I switched from a PC to a Mac last September. One software that is better on a PC is Quicken. If you use Quicken extensively as I do (I've been using it since '92), you will not be happy with Quicken for Mac. Thus, I used Boot Camp and set up a partition to run Windows programs. It really sucks!

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    In that vein... you still do have to buy a copy of Windows, but I've been running XP Home under Parallels on my Mac. It's fairly seamless and you don't have to re-boot into Windows as you do with Boot Camp. Supposedly VMWare Fusion is even nicer, but I've never tried it.

    Besides the fitness software, there's no good mapping software for Mac. DeLorme StreetAtlas and Microsoft Streets & Trips ... unfortunately neither of them does everything, so you may need them both, but neither of them has a Mac version.

    Garmin Training Center has a Mac version. It's not identical to the PC version, and actually I use them both. Both are free. SportTracks runs fine under Parallels. My Canon G9 came with a disc that has both Windows and Mac software. Printer drivers are free downloads. If you want to print wirelessly from Mac, you have to jerry-rig it with some printers, but the software is free and very stable.

    DH is mostly a PC guy, but he's a semi-pro photographer, and bought a Mac last year just for his image processing. He says there's a significant advantage. He also just got a new laptop with Vista. With that one, he's having trouble printing wirelessly to his Epson printer, and Epson says it's not compatible with Vista, but other than that, no problems.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,845
    Skip vista. Either run windows XP or wait for windows seven.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2341805,00.asp


    I'd avoid a mac, but that's me. Some people seem to love them. I hate them with a passion And you'll end up spending more.

    Yes, if you are no longer using your old PC, you can use your old windows XP disk & license - you just can only have it installed on one computer at a time (you can't have 2 computers connecting to microsoft update using the same windows xp copy & serial #)

    Depending on what your old computer is vs. your new one, you may be able to just take your old harddrive out of your old computer and plop it into the new one instead of ghosting it or reinstalling. And then use the new harddrive as a 2ndary harddrive for more storage.

    Depending on the age of some of your accessories (printer, garmin) - there may not be drivers for them that support using them in vista. You should check that specifically.

    My little brother does run vista on two computers - and while he seems reasonably happy with it... it's been in a HUGE pain in my *** when I have to trouble shoot the computers when something really screwy happens on them, which tends to happen. The computers are also significantly slower than they were when they were running windows xp... So if you're going to buy the fastest newest computer - bogging down it's speed with a bloated operating system isn't quite how you're going to maximize it's potential.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    399
    I teach computers and I HATE VISTA!

    Every time we get a pre-loaded computer that has Vista on it, we reformat it immediately with Windows XP.

    Lynette

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
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    4,172
    Hmmm....sounds like the battle still rages on Vista.
    Thanks, all...and thanks Cat....it's helpful to know I may be able to transfer my XP os. Yes, I would probably send this old junker off to recycling or something (or...it will just end up in a box in the furnace room like DH's old p.c. ). This thing has a 20 GB hard drive, plus a larger extra one for storage. That second one I'd move over....the small one is useless at this point.
    Looks like I've got some homework ahead of me.....
    Thanks all.
    Oh...and KD..."Lunch Legs" is a term my friends and I use in skiing to describe the rubbery state of our legs after we take our lunch break. Ski strong, all morning long. Take a break....and the legs just don't work the same. You be suffering from "lunch legs." Kind of describes me lately....out to lunch and just not up to snuff.
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,409
    For what it's worth-

    Assuming that Windows 7 is going to be an improvement over Vista...
    I have read from Windows 7 beta testers that it's substantially more of a PITA to upgrade a PC from XP to Windows 7, that's it's way easier to upgrade a machine from Vista to Windows 7. Something to keep in mind perhaps.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,604
    bit late...

    +1 about skip Vista.

    If you want to transfer XP onto a new computer with new motherboard, new hard drive... you will need to call microsoft and transfer the license onto a new computer. You can do this only so many times 3 or 4 times. Other issues are not pertinent to you so not worth talking here. Oh and you taking your old hard drive with XP and installing into a new machine will not allow you to run XP. There is a minor thing called registration (XP keeps track of your hardware and its setup). If you change enough of it, XP no like and will tell you so.

    Increasing the memory capacity of your old computer may give you what you want. 7 year old computer may be using a hard drive interface called ATA-100/133 this is lot slower than SATA. Slower transfer from your hard drive will slow your machine down.

    Memory in your older machine may be using an older memory sticks. Again, its transfer speed is much lower than the newer ones like DIMM2s.

    And finally, the processor is not duo-core.

    XP will support the newer hardware but it may not take full advantage the hardware on the down side. The upside is its still better than VISTA. XP will run much faster on a newer machine. And be sure to have at least 2Gbyte of RAM, and preferably 360G hard drive or bigger. Check prices on newegg.com for cheap complete computers.

    LINUX is something I would not recommend unless you have a special need or tech savvy. There are things like VMware which allows you to emulate XP machine and run just about all XP based software. There is also WINE which runs on LINUX to do the same thing. And several more. VMWARE is probably the easiest. and its also free. I have VMWARE on my office computer and it runs just as fast as native XP machine.

    I have a special need so I run MANDRIVA LINUX. Another nice one is UBUNTU, and several other releases. With Linux you do have to pay attention to the hardware you want to addon/purchase since it may not be supported. So for you, I would stay away from LINUX.

    Stay with XP. and stay away from blunt/bleeding edge of technology. Wait for windows 7 to mature a bit.

    I run XP only when I have to. I don't bother with VISTA. and MAC is good. I know several people who swear by them. All of them are way beyond geeks and know how to recompile a OS release from source code. They are GODS! And another one who has a hackintosh. (don't ask what that is). And she too being a GOD, loves her hackintosh. I'm not even a demi-god so I stay with Linux. oh I think you can google hackintosh. TMI

    smilingcat

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    444
    My 2cents. Wait for windows 7. My hubby works for Microsoft and is really liking the beta. If you can't wait go for windows XP it's better then vista.
    For more details, check out my blog! http://stubborntriathlete.blogspot.com/

    For all the randomness, follow me on twitter! http://twitter.com/ShootRunTri

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
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    2,131
    Purely out of curiosity, since I'm apparently in the minority of problem-free Vista users: This thread is full of "I HATE VISTA, skip it, here's how you can put XP on a new machine", but no one seems to be explaining why Vista's a PITA. Just what sort of problems have people been having?


    And again I'm weirdly contrary to other people: I tend to be groggy and stiff in the morning, so I do better after my lunch break. So for me, "lunch legs" would be a good thing.
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    I worked on a Vista machine all last year. Some minor adjustments with the bundled version of office, but otherwise few problems. I noticed it worked a lot faster (Adobe and CAD are a big drain on even the most state-of-the-art hardware) if I set the desktop color to black and the display to emulate XP. In other words, turn off all graphics effects in Vista that try to make it look more like Mac OS X.

    As for your training software, you should be able to go to the product websites to verify compatibility with whatever OS you decide on.

    Our travel laptop is running Linux, but we are using it for bare-bones internet and word-processing. It's good for our purposes, but we have not yet had occasion to try out any 3d party software on it.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    307
    I think the main complaint about Vista I've heard is that the feeling of using the software is not so intuitive? Maybe because people had been used to the old XP, and now all the buttons are in different places. Can be very frustrating. And for most people, the OS bogged down their systems? I guess it required a significantly higher processor speed, so if you didn't have a top of the range computer then programs would hang very often.

    Which goes back to the problem with windows that I hate the most, hanging, and viruses. Personally I like a mac because if one program hangs I can just turn it off and not have to restart the whole thing. I'm also not really bothered to learn all the fussy things just to get work done on the computer.

    I've had my mac laptop for five years now, and the original OS is going strong (10.3.9)(But I need to upgrade the OS now, because they're not making updates for the flash player and java anymore so it gets annoying when i need to ibank and I can't upgrade the thingys). Only problems were hardware failures...

    I think paying the extra money is worth it to have a reliable machine (in terms of everyday work stability) and not have to worry about getting virused all the time. You probably pay more when u need to fix yr computer because u forgot some update or another and got a virus. The downtime would cost you plenty.

    just my 2 cents..
    D

 

 

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