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New Laptop - which flavour of Windows? (and other issues)

Discussion in 'Notebooks' started by Roger Mills, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Flightless Bird

    I'm in the market for a new laptop computer. I need to have access to the
    same software and data files at two different locations, and have decided
    that a single laptop is preferable to maintaining two lots of hardware and
    trying to keep them in synch.

    Much as I would like to get away from the clutches of Microsoft, I *need*
    Windows because I've got lots of software which won't run on anything else.

    My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needs to
    be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    laptop.

    Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98, Design CAD
    3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work under 7.
    Is this likely? Is there a solution? Would I also need new drivers for all
    my USB-based devices?

    Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to avoid!)
    or would I face the same issues as with 7? [One or two
    half-way-decent-looking 'refurb' laptops are seemingly still available with
    Vista].

    How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the latest
    version.]

    Other Issues:
    How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    drives? In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from which to
    boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!

    Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    _______
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    checked.
     
  2. D.M.Chapman

    D.M.Chapman Flightless Bird

    In article <7vv2rbFst9U1@mid.individual.net>,
    Roger Mills <watt.tyler@googlemail.com> wrote:

    >My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    >essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    >and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needs to
    >be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    >printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    >laptop.
    >
    >Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    >suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98, Design CAD
    >3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work under 7.
    >Is this likely?


    It's possible, yes. Some might work under the compatibility options in
    Win 7. Some may just never work.

    > Is there a solution? Would I also need new drivers for all my USB-based
    > devices?


    Depends. Some will just work under Win 7 (probably). Some might have new
    drivers available. Some won't. It's all a bit hit and miss.

    >Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to avoid!)


    No, no one is *ever* better off with Vista IMO.

    >or would I face the same issues as with 7?


    Yes, but with less chance of being able to fix them. Win 7 is largely Vista
    but fixed. It's far from perfect but a whole lot better than Vista.

    >How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    >solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    >scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the latest
    >version.]


    Getting harder and harder particuarly for laptops. We have plenty of laptops
    here that just won't run properly with XP as there are no drivers available
    for the hardware.

    >Other Issues:
    >How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    >drives? In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    >into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    >internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    >creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    >would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    >Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    >correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from which to
    >boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    >I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!


    This isn't really my area, but running an image of your old XP machine under
    a virtual environment is a possible option if your new laptop is powerful
    enough. VMware (can't remember what the free version is) or the Sun^WOracle
    Virtualbox might be worth a look. You'd need something that offers the
    physical to virtual migration tools. Get a laptop with decent amount of RAM
    and if your existing machine isn't huge it might just work.

    I have an XP, a Solaris and a Win 7 VM on my macbook and it works fine
    under VMware for what I need.

    >Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    >particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.


    I'm writing this as a Solaris and MacOS user - but windows 7 is much better
    than Vista. As for XP on new hardware - it's getting harder and harder.

    Darren
     
  3. Huge

    Huge Flightless Bird

    On 2010-03-12, dmc@puffin. (D.M.Chapman) <dmc@puffin> wrote:

    > I have an XP, a Solaris and a Win 7 VM on my macbook and it works fine
    > under VMware for what I need.


    FWIW, I run Windows XP, Solaris, Ubuntu(*) and Plan9(+) under VirtualBox under
    Ubuntu.

    (* Playing with new versions.)
    (+ Very slowly. But it runs.)

    --
    downy sins of streetlight fancies
    email me, if you must, at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
     
  4. Clive George

    Clive George Flightless Bird

    On 12/03/2010 14:52, Roger Mills wrote:
    > Other Issues:
    > How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    > drives? In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    > into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    > internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    > creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    > would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    > Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    > correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from which to
    > boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    > I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!


    Macrium reflect? The free one does what I need it to do, and runs from a
    CD for recovery.
     
  5. Bernard Peek

    Bernard Peek Flightless Bird

    On 12/03/10 14:52, Roger Mills wrote:

    > My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    > essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    > and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needs to
    > be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    > printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    > laptop.


    Most applications will run under the 32-bit version of Windows 7. Some
    older programs won't install under the 6-bit version. If you are going
    to have 4Gb or more of memory then the 64-bit version is definitely
    recommended. If you buy a machine with an OEM license you have to choose
    32 or 64 bit at the time of purchase. Take a look at the Microsoft site
    to compare the different versions and licenses.

    >
    > Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    > suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98, Design CAD
    > 3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work under 7.
    > Is this likely? Is there a solution? Would I also need new drivers for all
    > my USB-based devices?


    That depends a lot on the devices. Common types of devices from major
    manufacturers will probably be OK. Obscure devices from obscure (and
    possibly long-gone) manufacturers may have problems. Those will be worse
    with the 64-bit version.

    >
    > Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to avoid!)
    > or would I face the same issues as with 7? [One or two
    > half-way-decent-looking 'refurb' laptops are seemingly still available with
    > Vista].


    There is nothing that Vista gives you that isn't done as well or better
    by W7.

    >
    > How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    > solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    > scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the latest
    > version.]


    XP or W2K should install on modern hardware, but you may have trouble
    finding drivers for very new devices.

    >
    > Other Issues:
    > How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    > drives?


    Thumb drive or possibly built-in memory-card slots. External USB
    hard-drives or DVD.

    In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    > into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    > internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    > creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    > would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    > Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    > correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from which to
    > boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    > I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!


    The machine is likely to come with a bootable recovery disk that will
    restore the disk to its ex-factory state. Personally I would get a
    humungous external disk-drive or two and back up an image to that,
    probably using Linux. I might even configure it with a minimal host OS
    and do all of my work on virtual machines that can be cloned at will.

    >
    > Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    > particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.


    If I was buying a new Windows machine today I would go for 64-bit Windows 7.


    --
    Bernard Peek
    bap@shrdlu.com
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Flightless Bird

    On 12/03/2010 15:12, D.M.Chapman wrote:
    > In article<7vv2rbFst9U1@mid.individual.net>,
    > Roger Mills<watt.tyler@googlemail.com> wrote:
    >
    >> My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    >> essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    >> and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needs to
    >> be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    >> printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    >> laptop.
    >>
    >> Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    >> suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98, Design CAD
    >> 3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work under 7.
    >> Is this likely?

    >
    > It's possible, yes. Some might work under the compatibility options in
    > Win 7. Some may just never work.
    >
    >> Is there a solution? Would I also need new drivers for all my USB-based
    >> devices?

    >
    > Depends. Some will just work under Win 7 (probably). Some might have new
    > drivers available. Some won't. It's all a bit hit and miss.
    >
    >> Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to avoid!)

    >
    > No, no one is *ever* better off with Vista IMO.
    >
    >> or would I face the same issues as with 7?

    >
    > Yes, but with less chance of being able to fix them. Win 7 is largely Vista
    > but fixed. It's far from perfect but a whole lot better than Vista.
    >
    >> How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    >> solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    >> scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the latest
    >> version.]

    >
    > Getting harder and harder particuarly for laptops. We have plenty of laptops
    > here that just won't run properly with XP as there are no drivers available
    > for the hardware.
    >
    >> Other Issues:
    >> How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    >> drives? In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    >> into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    >> internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    >> creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    >> would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    >> Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    >> correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from which to
    >> boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    >> I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!

    >
    > This isn't really my area, but running an image of your old XP machine under
    > a virtual environment is a possible option if your new laptop is powerful
    > enough. VMware (can't remember what the free version is) or the Sun^WOracle
    > Virtualbox might be worth a look. You'd need something that offers the
    > physical to virtual migration tools. Get a laptop with decent amount of RAM
    > and if your existing machine isn't huge it might just work.
    >
    > I have an XP, a Solaris and a Win 7 VM on my macbook and it works fine
    > under VMware for what I need.
    >
    >> Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    >> particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.

    >
    > I'm writing this as a Solaris and MacOS user - but windows 7 is much better
    > than Vista. As for XP on new hardware - it's getting harder and harder.
    >
    > Darren
    >

    Generally agree with you Darren.

    For compatibility, you might need to stick to the 32-bit version of W7.

    Do remember that with W7 Pro you get a full copy of XP as a virtual
    machine in with W7 itself. (You might have to download it, but you are
    immediately licensed for that virtual copy of XP.) Make sure you have
    plenty of memory and processor power if you wish to use virtual machines.

    Another option might be to leave your main computer (of whatever sort)
    at one location and use another to remotely access it - whether using
    LogMeIn, RDP, VNC or something else to do so. It could leave you free to
    get a lightweight (physically and in terms of performance) laptop to
    take with you. And no need to sync as everything is really on the main
    computer. WIth Wake-on-LAN facilities the remote machine doesn't even
    have to be running all the time. Might be totally useless to you, but a
    thought.

    Indeed, if you have some things that won't run any other way, you could
    remote access your current computer.

    --
    Rod
     
  7. Invisible Man

    Invisible Man Flightless Bird

    On 12/03/2010 15:49, Rod wrote:
    > On 12/03/2010 15:12, D.M.Chapman wrote:
    >> In article<7vv2rbFst9U1@mid.individual.net>,
    >> Roger Mills<watt.tyler@googlemail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>> My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and
    >>> lots of
    >>> essential applications - many of which came free with various PC
    >>> magazines,
    >>> and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop
    >>> needs to
    >>> be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    >>> printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with
    >>> the new
    >>> laptop.
    >>>
    >>> Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    >>> suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98,
    >>> Design CAD
    >>> 3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work
    >>> under 7.
    >>> Is this likely?

    >>
    >> It's possible, yes. Some might work under the compatibility options in
    >> Win 7. Some may just never work.
    >>
    >>> Is there a solution? Would I also need new drivers for all my USB-based
    >>> devices?

    >>
    >> Depends. Some will just work under Win 7 (probably). Some might have new
    >> drivers available. Some won't. It's all a bit hit and miss.
    >>
    >>> Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to
    >>> avoid!)

    >>
    >> No, no one is *ever* better off with Vista IMO.
    >>
    >>> or would I face the same issues as with 7?

    >>
    >> Yes, but with less chance of being able to fix them. Win 7 is largely
    >> Vista
    >> but fixed. It's far from perfect but a whole lot better than Vista.
    >>
    >>> How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    >>> solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    >>> scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the
    >>> latest
    >>> version.]

    >>
    >> Getting harder and harder particuarly for laptops. We have plenty of
    >> laptops
    >> here that just won't run properly with XP as there are no drivers
    >> available
    >> for the hardware.
    >>
    >>> Other Issues:
    >>> How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have
    >>> floppy
    >>> drives? In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to
    >>> boot
    >>> into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to
    >>> another
    >>> internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the
    >>> option of
    >>> creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    >>> would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    >>> Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running.
    >>> Is this
    >>> correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from
    >>> which to
    >>> boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks
    >>> like
    >>> I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!

    >>
    >> This isn't really my area, but running an image of your old XP machine
    >> under
    >> a virtual environment is a possible option if your new laptop is powerful
    >> enough. VMware (can't remember what the free version is) or the
    >> Sun^WOracle
    >> Virtualbox might be worth a look. You'd need something that offers the
    >> physical to virtual migration tools. Get a laptop with decent amount
    >> of RAM
    >> and if your existing machine isn't huge it might just work.
    >>
    >> I have an XP, a Solaris and a Win 7 VM on my macbook and it works fine
    >> under VMware for what I need.
    >>
    >>> Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    >>> particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.

    >>
    >> I'm writing this as a Solaris and MacOS user - but windows 7 is much
    >> better
    >> than Vista. As for XP on new hardware - it's getting harder and harder.
    >>
    >> Darren
    >>

    > Generally agree with you Darren.
    >
    > For compatibility, you might need to stick to the 32-bit version of W7.
    >
    > Do remember that with W7 Pro you get a full copy of XP as a virtual
    > machine in with W7 itself. (You might have to download it, but you are
    > immediately licensed for that virtual copy of XP.) Make sure you have
    > plenty of memory and processor power if you wish to use virtual machines.
    >
    > Another option might be to leave your main computer (of whatever sort)
    > at one location and use another to remotely access it - whether using
    > LogMeIn, RDP, VNC or something else to do so. It could leave you free to
    > get a lightweight (physically and in terms of performance) laptop to
    > take with you. And no need to sync as everything is really on the main
    > computer. WIth Wake-on-LAN facilities the remote machine doesn't even
    > have to be running all the time. Might be totally useless to you, but a
    > thought.
    >
    > Indeed, if you have some things that won't run any other way, you could
    > remote access your current computer.
    >

    I have just gone from XP SP3 on my old PC to Windows 7 64 bit on my new
    one. Only had problem was with Alk co-pilot 7 which apparently is not
    and will not be supported for Windows 7 64. I eventually googled enough
    to find a workaround via a registry hack.
    What I do find aggravating are the pop-up thumbnails from the taskbar. I
    haven't managed to find a way to turn them off but have now set the
    delay until they appear to 20000 (milli seconds).
    Also disabled one of the security options in IE (which I very rarely
    use) to save me having to override warnings every time I open digiguide
    from a link in the taskbar.
    One day I will find time to take a look at ubuntu but for the moment I
    find windows 7 stable and quite good. Just a battle to do things my way
    instead of how ms think everyone should do things.
    I have got an overclocked core 7 cpu and 6gb of ram which probably helps.
     
  8. Jules Richardson

    Jules Richardson Flightless Bird

    On Fri, 12 Mar 2010 14:52:56 +0000, Roger Mills wrote:
    > Much as I would like to get away from the clutches of Microsoft, I
    > *need* Windows because I've got lots of software which won't run on
    > anything else.


    Personally, I run Linux as the host OS and Windows in a VM for when I
    absultely have to use it for something (extremely rarely in my case). I
    really wouldn't trust Windows as the host, in part due to poor design and
    in part simply due to it being the target of most security threats.
    Having it in a VM makes it very easy to back up the raw data and restore
    from a previous point if some nasty does get in.

    > How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have
    > floppy drives?


    I've used g4l (ghost for linux) before, booting from a CD, to do a raw
    backup of a Windows machine. Make sure that your target backup machine
    can handle the size of the file (I need to tweak my current Linux desktop
    as by default it won't create anything over 2GB in size) and that if
    you're using FTP to transfer the data, your target FTP server can cope
    with the size (some Windows flavours seem to quietly stop accepting data
    beyond 4G8)

    cheers

    Jules
     
  9. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Flightless Bird

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion, Rod
    <polygonum@ntlworld.com> wrote:
    >
    > Do remember that with W7 Pro you get a full copy of XP as a virtual
    > machine in with W7 itself. (You might have to download it, but you are
    > immediately licensed for that virtual copy of XP.) Make sure you have
    > plenty of memory and processor power if you wish to use virtual
    > machines.

    Can you run USB-connected physical devices in a VM, or only software
    applications? I'm thinking of things like my Midiman Uno MIDI interface, for
    which there doesn't appear to be a W7 driver.

    > Another option might be to leave your main computer (of whatever sort)
    > at one location and use another to remotely access it - whether using
    > LogMeIn, RDP, VNC or something else to do so. It could leave you free
    > to get a lightweight (physically and in terms of performance) laptop
    > to take with you. And no need to sync as everything is really on the
    > main computer. WIth Wake-on-LAN facilities the remote machine doesn't
    > even have to be running all the time. Might be totally useless to
    > you, but a thought.
    >


    That would presumably require a fairly fast internet connection at both
    ends? At my main location, I have wired BB with a D/L speed of about 2Mbps
    (U/L much slower) and at the other location, I'm currently using '3' mobile
    internet, which struggles to get up to 500kbps (D/L) and 100kbps (U/L) - so
    I guess that remote access would be pretty dire!
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    _______
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    checked.
     
  10. Huge

    Huge Flightless Bird

    On 2010-03-12, Roger Mills <watt.tyler@googlemail.com> wrote:
    > In an earlier contribution to this discussion, Rod
    ><polygonum@ntlworld.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> Do remember that with W7 Pro you get a full copy of XP as a virtual
    >> machine in with W7 itself. (You might have to download it, but you are
    >> immediately licensed for that virtual copy of XP.) Make sure you have
    >> plenty of memory and processor power if you wish to use virtual
    >> machines.

    > Can you run USB-connected physical devices in a VM,


    You can in VirtualBox.

    --
    downy sins of streetlight fancies
    email me, if you must, at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
     
  11. Rod

    Rod Flightless Bird

    On 12/03/2010 17:08, Roger Mills wrote:
    > In an earlier contribution to this discussion, Rod
    > <polygonum@ntlworld.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> Do remember that with W7 Pro you get a full copy of XP as a virtual
    >> machine in with W7 itself. (You might have to download it, but you are
    >> immediately licensed for that virtual copy of XP.) Make sure you have
    >> plenty of memory and processor power if you wish to use virtual
    >> machines.

    > Can you run USB-connected physical devices in a VM, or only software
    > applications? I'm thinking of things like my Midiman Uno MIDI interface, for
    > which there doesn't appear to be a W7 driver.
    >
    >> Another option might be to leave your main computer (of whatever sort)
    >> at one location and use another to remotely access it - whether using
    >> LogMeIn, RDP, VNC or something else to do so. It could leave you free
    >> to get a lightweight (physically and in terms of performance) laptop
    >> to take with you. And no need to sync as everything is really on the
    >> main computer. WIth Wake-on-LAN facilities the remote machine doesn't
    >> even have to be running all the time. Might be totally useless to
    >> you, but a thought.
    >>

    >
    > That would presumably require a fairly fast internet connection at both
    > ends? At my main location, I have wired BB with a D/L speed of about 2Mbps
    > (U/L much slower) and at the other location, I'm currently using '3' mobile
    > internet, which struggles to get up to 500kbps (D/L) and 100kbps (U/L) - so
    > I guess that remote access would be pretty dire!


    I spend a considerable proportion of my working life connected to
    various machines across the country. No control over the net connection
    at the far end. Varies from brilliant, through mostly fine, to a few
    which are not much fun. At a guess, the ones that are not good are on
    bottom end ADSL connections which are being used for many purposes other
    than my access to that location. Wish I had some real numbers to give
    you but we don't actually measure anything like traffic. Perhaps someone
    else could advise?

    The best technologies minimise traffic by caching and all sorts of
    clever tricks. For me the best user experience is with RDP over a VPN.
    (I just don't like the effect of connecting and disconnecting VPN
    connections all day. But if it is all day to one location that is not
    much of an issue.) Main reason is that RDP will set itself to use the
    size of monitor you are connecting with (quite large in my case) whereas
    LogMeIn and VNC use the real monitor size - and some sites I connect to
    have postage stamps for monitors. But it is also quite fast and fluid.

    I'd suggest you simply try it. For simplicity set up free LogMeIn on
    your computer and try to access it from somewhere else. (That will need
    a browser plugin on the computer you connect from. Works fine in IE and
    Firefox.)

    --
    Rod
     
  12. jkn

    jkn Flightless Bird

    On Mar 12, 3:31 pm, Huge <H...@nowhere.much.invalid> wrote:

    [...]
    > FWIW, I run Windows XP, Solaris, Ubuntu(*) and Plan9(+) under VirtualBox under
    > Ubuntu.


    Out of interest, what do you run Plan9 for?

    Thanks
    J^n
     
  13. Barry Watzman

    Barry Watzman Flightless Bird

    Some of your applications are REALLY old. Quicken 98? Really, you
    should make upgrading to later versions a bit of a priority. [In my
    case, I upgraded from Quicken 98 to 2000 to 2003 to 2006 to 2010]. One
    problem is that you have waited SO long that you may not be able to move
    from 98 to 2010; you might have to try to find someone who actually has
    installation CDs of at least one or a few intermediate versions.
    Similarly with the other products.

    I would recommend that you go with Windows 7 Professional, 32-bit. This
    will give you the most options and backwards compatibility. Most things
    will probably work, but it's absolutely the case that not everything
    will. The reason I suggested Professional instead of Home Premium is
    that with Professional, you have the option, at least, of using "XP
    Mode". I think that Win 7 is better than Vista in just about every way.

    Also, be certain that the CPU in whatever laptop you are going to get
    supports "Intel Virtualization Technology". This is required for
    running "XP Mode", and is only supported by about half of current CPUs.

    You can ALWAYS take a bootable floppy and make a bootable CD that will
    behave EXACTLY like the floppy (although, of course, you won't be able
    to write to it).


    Roger Mills wrote:
    > I'm in the market for a new laptop computer. I need to have access to the
    > same software and data files at two different locations, and have decided
    > that a single laptop is preferable to maintaining two lots of hardware and
    > trying to keep them in synch.
    >
    > Much as I would like to get away from the clutches of Microsoft, I *need*
    > Windows because I've got lots of software which won't run on anything else.
    >
    > My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    > essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    > and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needs to
    > be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    > printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    > laptop.
    >
    > Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    > suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98, Design CAD
    > 3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work under 7.
    > Is this likely? Is there a solution? Would I also need new drivers for all
    > my USB-based devices?
    >
    > Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to avoid!)
    > or would I face the same issues as with 7? [One or two
    > half-way-decent-looking 'refurb' laptops are seemingly still available with
    > Vista].
    >
    > How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    > solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    > scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the latest
    > version.]
    >
    > Other Issues:
    > How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    > drives? In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    > into DOS from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    > internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    > creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    > would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    > Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    > correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from which to
    > boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    > I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!
    >
    > Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    > particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.
     
  14. Bill

    Bill Flightless Bird

    In message <hne62q$96c$1@news.eternal-september.org>, Barry Watzman
    <WatzmanNOSPAM@neo.rr.com> writes
    >I would recommend that you go with Windows 7 Professional, 32-bit. This
    >will give you the most options and backwards compatibility. Most
    >things will probably work, but it's absolutely the case that not
    >everything will. The reason I suggested Professional instead of Home
    >Premium is that with Professional, you have the option, at least, of
    >using "XP Mode". I think that Win 7 is better than Vista in just about
    >every way.
    >
    >Also, be certain that the CPU in whatever laptop you are going to get
    >supports "Intel Virtualization Technology". This is required for
    >running "XP Mode", and is only supported by about half of current CPUs.


    I've just been through this choice process with a friend.

    Many business laptops come with Win7Pro with a separate XP Pro DVD to
    enable you to revert if necessary, and that's what I would definitely go
    for.
    Win7 Pro lets you make a Microsoft full backup, so it's easy to be sure
    you have a chance of reverting back to Win7 if you feel the need and you
    should have all the bits to do this with no hassle.

    We looked at machines between about 450 and 1200 uk pounds, and
    eventually she chose one at the low end because she didn't seem to see
    much difference, and liked that keyboard.
    I suggested Win7, 64 for future proofing, but there seemed few of these.

    I've run virtual machines, but I really think that on a laptop
    simplicity is all unless there is a real reason for multiple OS's.

    At the moment she is still on 32-bit Win 7, having got most of her old
    programs to run. This included an old version of Quickbooks.
    She found the Win7 "import all your old stuff" application a nightmare.
    It took all night to do it and put the old software all over the place
    in her new machine. She is still sorting through it.
    --
    Bill
     
  15. NT

    NT Flightless Bird

    On Mar 12, 2:52 pm, "Roger Mills" <watt.ty...@googlemail.com> wrote:
    > I'm in the market for a new laptop computer. I need to have access to the
    > same software and data files at two different locations, and have decided
    > that a single laptop is preferable to maintaining two lots of hardware and
    > trying to keep them in synch.
    >
    > Much as I would like to get away from the clutches of Microsoft, I *need*
    > Windows because I've got lots of software which won't run on anything else.


    Have you tried it in virtual windows on ubuntu? Apps run almost
    seamlesly like that - the almost comes from the fact that ubuntu
    doesnt seem to create file associations in the win registry, but I've
    probably just not yet looked to see how to set it to do so.


    > My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    > essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    > and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needsto
    > be able to run all of these.


    most windows stuff runs on ubuntu now

    > I've also got a number of USB devices -
    > printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    > laptop.
    >
    > Most new laptops seem to come with Windows 7 - and I'm hearing comments
    > suggesting that elderly software applications (e.g. Quicken 98, Design CAD
    > 3000, etc.) which work perfectly well under XP may refuse to work under 7..
    > Is this likely? Is there a solution?


    ubuntu?

    > Would I also need new drivers for all
    > my USB-based devices?


    all built in with ubuntu - even windows 98 doesnt need usb driver
    installs if you install the nusb3.1 driver.


    > Would I be any better off with Vista (which I've so far managed to avoid!)
    > or would I face the same issues as with 7? [One or two
    > half-way-decent-looking 'refurb' laptops are seemingly still available with
    > Vista].
    >
    > How easy is it to 'downgrade' a Vista or Win7 PC to XP - and would that
    > solve my problems? [I have a valid XP-Home licence from a PC which I
    > scrapped - and some original (may just be SP1) media - but not the latest
    > version.]
    >
    > Other Issues:
    > How the heck do you backup and restore systems which no longer have floppy
    > drives?


    insert ubuntu cd, switch on, and just copy across whatever you want
    to. This will copy windows or your data to a thorough extent that
    windows itself won't. If win breaks, just copy the image back to the
    laptop.


    > In my current setup, I have Norton Ghost 2003 which needs to boot
    > into DOS  from a floppy - and can then clone a drive or partition to another
    > internal or external (or network) drive. It doesn't provide the option of
    > creating a bootable CD. Come to think of it, I'm not at all sure that it
    > would recognise SATA disks! I get the impression that later versions of
    > Ghost can backup the system disk while Windows is actually running. Is this
    > correct? Also, they seem to come with a bootable 'recovery' CD from whichto
    > boot in order to restore a backup. Does this work ok? Is so, it looks like
    > I'm going to have to invest in the latest version of Ghost!
    >
    > Your comments - particularly regarding the best choice of OS for my
    > particular circumstances - will be greatly appreciated.



    I know I sound like a broken record on this, but seriously all these
    concerns and many more are non-issues if you try Ubuntu. Linux has a
    poor usability reputation, but ubuntu is the distro that's really
    changed that. It costs nothing to try, and if for some reason you
    still want to get windows you can buy it if and when you find linux
    isnt what you want. The days of linux being only for geeks are
    history.


    NT
     
  16. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Flightless Bird

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion, Barry Watzman
    <WatzmanNOSPAM@neo.rr.com> wrote:
    > Some of your applications are REALLY old. Quicken 98? Really, you
    > should make upgrading to later versions a bit of a priority. [In my
    > case, I upgraded from Quicken 98 to 2000 to 2003 to 2006 to 2010]. One
    > problem is that you have waited SO long that you may not be able
    > to move from 98 to 2010; you might have to try to find someone who
    > actually has installation CDs of at least one or a few intermediate
    > versions. Similarly with the other products.
    >


    But why? My attitude is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"! Quicken 98 does
    everything I want - so why upgrade? [I did get a free millennium-proof
    upgrade for it - but it probably wasn't necessary because my wife is still
    using an even earlier version quite successfully!]

    > I would recommend that you go with Windows 7 Professional, 32-bit. This
    > will give you the most options and backwards compatibility. Most things
    > will probably work, but it's absolutely the case that not
    > everything will. The reason I suggested Professional instead of Home
    > Premium is that with Professional, you have the option, at least, of
    > using "XP Mode". I think that Win 7 is better than Vista in just
    > about every way.
    > Also, be certain that the CPU in whatever laptop you are going to get
    > supports "Intel Virtualization Technology". This is required for
    > running "XP Mode", and is only supported by about half of current
    > CPUs.


    Useful advice - thanks!


    > You can ALWAYS take a bootable floppy and make a bootable CD that will
    > behave EXACTLY like the floppy (although, of course, you won't be able
    > to write to it).
    >


    Yes, I guessed that that must be possible. Would you care to elaborate as to
    how to go about it?
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    _______
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    checked.
     
  17. Roger Mills

    Roger Mills Flightless Bird

    In an earlier contribution to this discussion, NT <meow2222@care2.com>
    wrote:
    >
    >
    > I know I sound like a broken record on this, but seriously all these
    > concerns and many more are non-issues if you try Ubuntu. Linux has a
    > poor usability reputation, but ubuntu is the distro that's really
    > changed that. It costs nothing to try, and if for some reason you
    > still want to get windows you can buy it if and when you find linux
    > isnt what you want. The days of linux being only for geeks are
    > history.
    >


    Sorry - I accept that it's probably a failing on my part, but I can't get on
    with Ubuntu. My current machine dual boots between Ubuntu and Win XP - and I
    spent quite a lot of time trying to get to grips with Ubuntu - and failed -
    so I never use it now. Even simple things like getting it to accept a fixed
    IP address seemed to need a script of some sort to be written, and I just
    couldn't be arsed!
    --
    Cheers,
    Roger
    _______
    Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
    checked.
     
  18. geoff

    geoff Flightless Bird

    In message <4b9a604d$0$2483$db0fefd9@news.zen.co.uk>, Bernard Peek
    <bap@shrdlu.com> writes
    >On 12/03/10 14:52, Roger Mills wrote:
    >
    >> My current - rather elderly - laptop is running Win XP Home Sp3 and lots of
    >> essential applications - many of which came free with various PC magazines,
    >> and would cost a fortune to replace or upgrade - so my 'new' laptop needs to
    >> be able to run all of these. I've also got a number of USB devices -
    >> printers, scanners, MIDI interfaces, etc. - which need to work with the new
    >> laptop.

    >
    >Most applications will run under the 32-bit version of Windows 7. Some
    >older programs won't install under the 6-bit version.


    I can see how that might be a problem



    --
    geoff
     
  19. geoff

    geoff Flightless Bird

    In message <7vv2rbFst9U1@mid.individual.net>, Roger Mills
    <watt.tyler@googlemail.com> writes
    >I'm in the market for a new laptop computer. I need to have access to the
    >same software and data files at two different locations, and have decided
    >that a single laptop is preferable to maintaining two lots of hardware and
    >trying to keep them in synch.
    >


    Ask me when I phone you when your fan's ready

    I have a few pointers



    --
    geoff
     
  20. Clive George

    Clive George Flightless Bird

    On 12/03/2010 19:52, Barry Watzman wrote:

    > Also, be certain that the CPU in whatever laptop you are going to get
    > supports "Intel Virtualization Technology". This is required for running
    > "XP Mode", and is only supported by about half of current CPUs.


    At a guess, AMD virtualization (AMD-V) will also work.
     

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