The old boy is making a change…..

I want to first want to thank all those who commented on my last post. At the time I was making a choice of either upgrading Norton 360 for another year at a price of 60.00 or go with one of the online free programs. I received a huge amount of feed back from the blog world. There were comments sent to my blog, email and from where my blog is also posted.  I have decided to go with AVast for my PC online protection. There were lots of great suggestions and I even found out about some free software I never knew was out there. Thanks again for all your feedback. Now onto the next blog post......

As most of you know Windows XP has come to an end….. and how does that affect WinXP users.....will  WinXP refuse to start up?……no it will start,  will your programs start up and run……yes your loaded program will still run. So what's the big deal you ask? The end of Windows XP means Microsoft no longer "supports" XP and if you serf the net this could be an issue as you will no longer receive security updates. (maybe you could get past this issue with 3rd party virus protection) If you are a big IE browser fan and you continue to use it you will  do so at your own risk as there is no updates.  If your XP machine is just used to run off line ham and family related stuff you are good to go…….UNTIL… want to upgrade to a new program as most programs may  stop supporting Windows XP platform as well. Windows XP was released in 2001 and it's hard to believe it has been around that long. In the past Windows has had some bust OS's for example ME, Win98 and Vista. If you have a PC that is not going on the net and your only going to use the programs that are on your PC I would think you could stick with XP! As for me Windows XP is really the only OS I enjoyed using and really had no troubles with. It has been around for a long time and those high up at Microsoft felt it was time for a channel change! My PC is on the net all the time both for ham radio and personal use. For this reason it is time for an OS change at VE3WDM. I chose to go with Windows 7. It has been around for some time ( released in 2009) and has good reviews, one bonus for me is you can run XP programs from within Win7. My PC will have no problem with Win 7 as the processor, ram and HD memory are well within spec's of whats required to run Win7. I have ordered Win7 and it's on it's way and my first decision is…….upgrade PC to Win7 or clean install ? So blog world give me your feedback!!

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

12 Responses to “The old boy is making a change…..”

  • bdm:

    Good move going to win7. As a director of information systems and user of MS Technet i get to play with all of MS software and i do love windows 7.. BUT, you are going to have a problem upgrading as the upgrade path from XP to Windows 7 requires a stop off at Vista.

    So looks like a clean install is in your future.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening bdm, well the bus does not stop at Vista here! Thanks for the positive outlook on Win7 good to know I am moving in the right direction.
    bdm, thanks for taking the time to comment

  • Dave W8EIR:

    Have to echo BDM’s comment. Windows 7 is a good choice.

    If you want to look at alternatives any distribution of Linux or Apple iOS. Linux is free, is easy to install, though it can be a be daunting to some folks and a slightly steep learning curve. iOS requires new Mac only hardware, and it is pricy.

    Lots to consider. 🙂

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    I am a resistive person to operating system up grades. Took me a while to get past Win95, then went to Win98. Did a I ‘told you so’ with ME. Was forced into XP and once the bugs were pretty well worked out have been extremely happy with it. Vista came out and I had a bad feeling about it from the start and glad I avoided it. Got to help a few people with Win7 and was plseasd with it. XYL still has a Win7 laptop and no issues. My Win7 box took a hit and I was forced into Win8 kicking and screaming. Downloaded the free after market START button and really set out to prove Win8 was a mistake. Could not. The more I used it the better I liked it. My couple of Win8 boxes had a free upgrade to Win8.1. It has taken me months to get brave and do the upgrade. So far so good, and 8.1 has couple of nice features. All in all I am happy with Win8/8.1 and not shy about recommending a machine made for it. The key is making sure you have a box or laptop that has enough processing power and ram. If you do I would say go with it. 99% of my software has has work flawlessly. Office 2000 was not happy with win7 or 8 so download the Free Openoffice (you can also download Libraoffice free). All my ham radio software works. One note, if you have any USB products using the Prolific products, dump them and get only FTDI products. Prolific and Win7, 8 and 8.1 has issues. FTDI USB drivers just work, and that is all the counts…

    My 2 cents worth based on lots of hands on here at this QTH and helping many friends with there products. BTW I use AVG, Malwarebyte and Spybot-search and destroy for years and still do under windows 7, 8 and 8.1

    73 Harry K7ZOV

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Dave, I do have 2 mac here along with a laptop that has Ubuntu on it….the issue I have had is with the ham software. I idd run windows parallel on the Mac and did try whine but some programs did not work to well. Then there was as you said the learning curve! I am writing this on a Mac Air and at times there still is a learning curve as I try to windowize a step and nothing happens.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Top of the morning Harry, thanks for the really detailed look at your experience with Win8. I am like you I am always very resistive when it comes to leaving one OS for another. At this point it’s Win7 for me and in time I will look more into Win8. I think all my USB are FTDI products, I do know for sure that my Elecraft USB is. Thanks for the security recommendations.
    Have a good second half to the week.

  • Peter kg5wy:

    I have had win 7 for a long time. It is very good and easy to install.
    Don’t worry about a thing. However, I will not install win 8. Win 8 is extremely different.

  • Bob KE5VLI:

    Upgrades always make me nervous. I recommend:
    1. Backup all your data onto a thumb drive.
    2. Make sure you have the media to reinstall your apps.
    3. Do a clean install of Windows 7.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good evening Peter, very good to know Win7 is the way to go and having said that the CD just came in today so I may do the install on the Easter weekend.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Hello Bob, that is what I have been reading as well and they also say that when you do just an upgrade you carry over all the problems with you onto the new OS. As for all the disks I have them in a folder put safely away as I used them when I used to do a clean install of WinXP.
    Thanks very much for the info.

  • Cliff KU4GW:

    Hi Mike,
    I just wanted to let you know that if you run any of your gear with XP or do digital modes with it using Prolific cables and PL2303 drivers you will need to purchase FTDI chipset cables to use with Windows 7. I ran into this when I upgraded from Windows Vista to Windows 7. The Prolific cables would work for a little while at a time, but then just stop communicating. I purchased some FTDI cables on Amazon and problem solved. Windows 7 already had the FTDI drivers and installed them as soon as I plugged the cables into the USB ports. I’ve heard that you can get the Prolific cables to work with Windows 7, but you must install a older version of the Prolific PL2303 drivers, but I never tried that mainly due to the fact I had already purchased the new FTDI chipset cables prior to learning this. Also, be careful because I’ve heard that there are also some counterfeit FTDI cables out there! Good luck and very 73!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Cliff, great news to hear and thanks very much for passing along this news. I will have to check into this and I do know my Elecraft USB’s will be fine as they are FTDI. I will look into this before I run into the problem of things just stopping.

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