My need to use Windows XP.........

Story: Moving to LinuxTotal Replies: 16
Author Content

Jun 27, 2010
3:27 AM EDT
The article is very well written, but what fascinated me more was this statement in the writer's "About Me" note:

But, I've been asked to move back to Windows, at least for work. The difference between Windows and Linux has been shocking, to say the least.

I have been placed in a similar situation after having used openSUSE Linux only for the past 9 years. Like many of us, I started with Windows95 but then graduated to Red Hat and trials, finally settling on SuSE as it was then and using Win4Lin as a virtual machine for items such as Photoshop and Quicken8. Now, of course, I use Crossover Office very effectively and it really has been all of about 10 years since I actively ran a Windows operating system by itself. There have been some rather unusual situations where I have been contracted to run specialised software, but since it was Java based, it was able to run with no problems on my openSUSE 11 system. As a consequence, I have no idea as to what Vista or Win7 do and don't wish to go there. August last year I was requested to undertake a major piece of contract work for a Queensland University and the software involved is not Java based and will only run on Windows. Luckily, I now run two separate laptops, so it was a matter of seeing a local friend of mine and a perfectly legal copy of Windows XP has now been installed on a separate hdd on the secondary laptop... Using that Windows system has been "interesting". I made a deliberate decision that it was NOT going to be connected to the internet and would operate as a stand-alone computer....too much depended on that machine continuing to operate satisfactorily and steadily. All was well until like an idiot, I connected briefly to a fully protected and safe Australian government site to obtain one bit of data, only to find that without my permission, that Windows OS had contacted Redmond and downloaded the Windows Genuine Advantage nonsense, as well as upgrades that I do not want.

Needless to say, never, never, never again......I can turn the WGA off each time I use the laptop, annoying though it is, and I could of course let it run because what I have is totally legal.......but I resent very, very strongly that Redmond invaded my privacy without my "say-so". It is strange, but I turn the Windows XP system on now, with a great deal of uneasiness and concern. Foolish no doubt, but it is there. I do not feel secure any more when using that OS, and I fully intend to archive that hdd as soon as my contract work is finished. It was a shock to find daily warnings about virus upgrades and other items that I had forgotten Windows is subject to and believe me, a return to the Windows fold for serious computing is one that I will never, never take.

On another aspect, the writer mentions problems with inkjet printers. May I seriously recommend Turboprint. It is a commercial organisation with binary driver sets, but for around $50 you get a driver set that has never failed me in connecting to an inkjet printer.....even the latest Canons. Turboprint also provides a superb software package for monitoring and controlling the printer, even down to ink levels and I think it is absolutely brilliant.

PS.........I am not a Turboprint employee or agent, just a person who really appreciates their software.


Jun 27, 2010
10:21 AM EDT
You can download RemoveWGA to remove the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications which dial to Microsoft server every time Windows boot:

But I think it doesn't do much to simply block Microsoft. You can use the software and find the range of Microsoft IP addresses to create a custom block list out of (Moblock have a list of Microsoft IPs), but I bet Microsoft have tons of proxy.

For Cr@pdows it's more important to have a good virus scanner like Avira or Kaspersky (despite some people will say you don't need or FUD, I have fixed few Windows computer for friends that are malware free). Unfortunately many companies seems to force its employee to use a licensed copy of Norton *cringes*. If you are concerned about internet security, just like for any system, get on a secure VPN network. is a free VPN service with okay speed for browsing, they only disable torrenting.

Before switching, I was using Windows exclusively for 10years. I don't know when it was in the process that at one point I actually cringes when I have to use XP anymore, especially that saturated blue color theme. The experience actually feel strange. I still boot into Windows 7 now and then to play on Steam, running steam on Linux is easy, I still need the graphic performance for the headshots.

For more paranoia, NSA helped with Windows 7 development:

Quoting:a perfectly legal copy of Windows XP
My brother being a developer could get Microsoft software on discount and he offered to get me a copy of Office 2010. I said no thanks, I'm using OpenOffice. He said, "but its official from Microsoft."

Jun 27, 2010
12:33 PM EDT
I second the awesomeness of TurboPrint. Their customer support is good, and you get a generous allotment of free upgrades. As I recall you don't have to pay again until there is a major release, and then you get a nice discounted rate. Plus you get some super-nice control panels that show job progress during printing, ink levels, control of hue and brightness, and so on.

Jun 27, 2010
5:32 PM EDT
Thanks Tuxchick. I still find it amazing that Turboprint is not more widely used, or perhaps not advertised enough. I realise too that some "purists" may reject it as it is not strictly GPL'd open source software and only available as binaries, however I am very, very pragmatic/practical in my use of Linux and I prefer to use the software that works with the minimum of fuss. Turboprint just does the job and for Canon inkjets, it leaves the rather primitive Canon binary drivers standing still at the station. As one would expect, the Windows driver sets appear to have the same facilities (or possibly less) than the Turboprint drivers.

Also, thanks "tmx".......I could do as you suggest, but I am so wary of the fragility and stability of WinXP, and the fact that this particular installation has at least worked so far, that I prefer not to touch it in any way. I have a friend who uses Linux at home and like the writer of the article is forced to use/administer Windows at work. He tells me constantly about the absurdities of the Microsoft Windows systems he runs and how what will run and work one day, simply will not occur on the next. I keep watching this WinXP system and hoping it perseveres. No doubt it will, but the difference in mental approaches to Linux with its security and stability and Windows with the suggested opposite is not one I would wish to continue with once this work is done. I used to use Norton as a registry cleaner, but I no longer have any auxillary and parasitic Windows software.........Linux really is a blessing to computing.

Jun 27, 2010
5:45 PM EDT
Is there turboprint for BSD?

Jun 27, 2010
5:50 PM EDT
I had my first exposure to Windows 7 over the past couple of weeks - setting up two laptops for networking, printing, cr@pware removal.

Like many, I also have a Windows XP box at the office, which I'm able to do production and some Web development on. And yes, it's a pain to administer.

I thought that maybe, possibly, probably things would be different in Windows 7.

Nope. Setting a static IP is just as hard as in XP. On one of the Win 7 laptops printing was supposed to be plug-and-play for USB printers ... except that Windows 7 insisted on downloading the non-PNP drivers, which Windows 7 refuses to use. We had to find the HP PNP drivers on our own. Setting up this same HP printer was a nightmare in Mac OS X, too. The only place it was easy to set up has been in Linux (Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora thus far).

There's nothing about networking that's easier in Windows or OS X.

I expected tons of bling, new features, etc., in Windows 7. But it's more the same than different. That should comfort those who love XP. But for others, you wonder why there hasn't been more progress since 2001. Still using NTFS? That's unbelievable. And I don't trust it at all. No multiple desktops.

And while I recognize that Microsoft is constrained by antitrust concerns, aside from the cr@pware I've dumped between six and 12 applications per install) there just isn't much software that ships with a Windows 7 preload.

How Dell doesn't market Ubuntu as a complete application-packed solution vs. a barebones Windows installation packed with cr@pware, that I'll never know.

Jun 27, 2010
5:52 PM EDT
Quoting: How Dell doesn't market Ubuntu as a complete application-packed solution vs. a barebones Windows installation packed with cr@pware, that I'll never know.

Oh, I think we know why.

Jun 27, 2010
6:45 PM EDT
Ubuntu is in a position to pick up the slack here, but I don't see them targeting anybody but the already converted.

Jun 27, 2010
7:00 PM EDT
Actually, no vendor who sells competing brands is going to do any kind of "Foo is better than Fee" marketing. But Dell could do a better job of marketing the Linux boxes' strengths and features.

Jun 27, 2010
7:44 PM EDT
If I were Dell, I would market Windows all I could. All the side sales, Office, antivirus, on and on, plus if you use Windows, you're always thinking about buying a new computer. Recently someone told me, "I just bought it nine months ago, and it's so slow. I'm ready to go buy a new laptop." Dell loves to hear that. Sell Linux, five years later the user is still happily working away. I've got an eight year old Compaq desktop that will do anything I ask of it. Hardware vendors hate that.

Jun 27, 2010
9:10 PM EDT
For chalbersma ~ here's the link to Turboprint, but my initial look indicated that BSD is not supported.

Jun 29, 2010
9:26 PM EDT
That sux.

Jun 30, 2010
12:13 PM EDT
Something I never believed existed in practice, but I came across a while ago:

Someone had a €500 (or so) PC, and Windows didn't boot anymore. Than this person said: "OK, so that basically means we can throw it away and buy a new one". I heard these stories before, but didn't think I'd ever encounter it in practice, but I was wrong it seems. Basically, they knew things could be repaired, but it was just frustration it seems, and the easiest way out.

I offered to try to fix it, but boy, fixing Windows when it doesn't boot is hard! I've encountered an unbootable Linux-box from time to time (most of the times because I screwed up), and I've always been able to recover (ok, except for 1 time). Most important part of it is, a recovery-plan , made before disaster strikes.

However, the recovery plan of Windows normally isn't much more than running it in 'recovery' mode, telling Windows to 'recover', and if it doesn't do so, you're out of luck.

I think I touched a Vista-computer once or twice, though it was different than XP, it seemed I could work with it. Last week was my first time with the 'Ribbon' interface, it goes without saying I was completely lost (and so was my mom). I once encountered a Windows 7 box, where - after a friend of mine bought it - he forgot his password. There are some things you could do while installing to create 'bypasses'. But if you fail to do so.... You can reinstall the whole thing. The friend mentioned did, because there was nothing on it yet, but it seems working with these boxes is still a PITA.

Something to remember next time Gentoo is a PITA again. Since the option of skipping 'failing packages' however, I can't complain that much anymore: 1Gb compiled and only three of ~300 packages failed (so the old ones still used). OK, and X didn't boot anymore which made me quite desparate. It turned out it was because I manually had to remove the current running nvidia driver (somehow I hadn't thought of a simple reboot yet - that's what happens when you're not used to Windows). But I know that issue for the next time.

So I think most important is planning the recovery, and apart from that, having the right knowledge and tools to do recovery. Though my knowledge of Windows-recovery is quite small, it seems there aren't many useful tools and diagnostics, and that's one of the reasons why I still use Linux. Even if the latter fails from time to time.

Jun 30, 2010
2:54 PM EDT
Hans, native Windows recovery and fixit tools are few and sucky. A SystemRescueCD/USB is almost always better. And even then it's often faster to just reformat and reinstall, but deity help you if you don't have the exactly correct disk, skillion-digit blurry CD key, and all the other cr@p they put in your way.

Jun 30, 2010
4:23 PM EDT
> I once encountered a Windows 7 box, where - after a friend of mine bought it - he forgot his password.

Trinity rescue kit (found at ) has a utility to reset Windows passwords. I can't swear it will work with Windows 7, but I don't know of any reason it shouldn't. It's available with other live CD's too (SystemRescueCD is probably one such).

Jul 01, 2010
6:10 PM EDT
> Oh, I think we know why.

Here I thought I was the paranoid conspiracy type here.

Oh, sorry, different set of conspiracies. Never mind.

Jul 01, 2010
6:11 PM EDT
I keep WinXP for two reasons, NetFlix streaming and HP photo printing.

I keep a WinXP _disk_ so I can sell the service of fixing people's machines.

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!