OT Windows 10

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I have to build some computers for homeless teens. I'm unsure if we'll be able to get W7 licenses (MS has tried to dry up the availability of older OS's to push everyone to their latest).
W10 allegedly is rife with spyware ("data collection" that MS no doubt uses to sell *you* to THEIR customers; you are no longer a customer but, rather, a commodity).
Does anyone have first-hand experience with how pervasive this is? And, if there are *reliable* ways to disable it?
Finally, how much risk these students will later be at (for it to reintroduce itself to their machines) as they accept future updates.
[I prefer to lock-down these sorts of machines so the student doesn't come looking for "support" (from me) later when an update mucks something up...]
[[I'm sorely tempted to install a FOSS OS but figure that would leave them even farther out on a limb...]]
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On 2/20/2016 11:37 AM, Don Y wrote:

Why do you "have to"? Is it a court order for your probation?
I'm on XP, and pleased with how it handles.
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On 02/20/2016 10:37 AM, Don Y wrote:

FWIW: When I worked as a volunteer computer refurbisher for a cash-poor NPO, I set the machines up with Linux.
Even unsophisticated users had no trouble.
It turned out to be the least expensive way to go, and no one ending up damaging the OS.
Using WINE, even many Windows applications will run.
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On Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 10:50:06 AM UTC-6, philo wrote:

I agree, but I doubt Mr. Know-it-all will!
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On 2/20/2016 9:50 AM, philo wrote:

The problem is that these kids are still in "primary school". So, they aren't likely to encounter other users -- nor the computers to which they have access at school, public libraries, etc. -- who can help them with non-Windows issues.
[One school district has standardized on Mac's; I don't deal with their students -- only so many hours in a day that I can share between *my* needs and those of charities :< ]
I typically have to address dozens of different make/models *and* somehow keep track of what I've done (so I can repeat the exercise when/if someone else donates an identical/similar machine!)
So, there's a lot of effort (i.e., my unpaid time) that is involved in researching each donation, chasing down the appropriate drivers (or, "restore disks" from the manufacturer), removing cruft that shouldn't be there (e.g., manufacturers often install "sample ware" that expires in 60/90 days and just proves to be a nuisance, thereafter; so, remove it BEFORE the student even encounters it!), configuring basic settings...
*Then*, tweeking the machine so the student can "self-restore" the image (even if the machine itself doesn't provide that option).
When I first started doing this, I naively expected the users to be somewhat competent and protective of their machine (freebie!). I quickly discovered that they were not! Machines would come back within a month, "broken": "I don't know what happened. It just stopped working!"
So, spend MORE time to discover that it's just loaded with spyware and malware. Carefully remove that -- trying to preserve their "user data" (as I would for a friend/neighbor).
And, see that same machine a few months later, etc.
I donate about 500 hours annually. So, every time I "repair" or "assist" someone, it means someone *else* doesn't get addressed. So, I want to be able to offload as much of the trivial support issues ("How do I install a new printer driver?") to other folks who *probably* can handle these things in their normal school venues.

But the students don't tend to have control over which applications their school system will want/require. I can install OpenOffice/LibreOffice as a productivity suite -- but, if everyone in the class is using MSOffice, then the instruction they receive will be inappropriate for *their* environment.
There's a good chance they're currently sleeping on a couch at a friend's family's residence. And, may be asked to move along soon enough. It's silly to throw yet another problem in their way... whether that problem is dealing with a non-Windows OS *or* a windows OS that will screw them over (in subtle ways).
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On 02/20/2016 12:14 PM, Don Y wrote:

Getting right to the point, the people I worked with were mentally disabled, so if they could figured things out without a problem I bet the kids you deal with could too.
The learning curve going (for example) from XP to Win8
Is considerably higher than in going to Linux.
I put the stuff they needed, such as an Internet browser and they just got right to work.
Maybe you should just set a machine up with a simple distribution such as Puppy Linux ...and see how it goes.
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On 2/20/2016 1:16 PM, philo wrote:

How do I create a table heading that spans two columns? How do I set the shading for every other row to be light/dark? How do I import this photo that I downloaded from Wikipedia into my report? How do I print JUST page 3 of my report? How do I connect to the printer that my host/foster family has installed at their house?

And *which* student should get that machine? Will his first period teacher be accommodating (whereas all the other students are working under Windows)? What about his second period teacher? Third period? etc. What about the teachers he has for the second half of the year? Or, next year? Or, at the NEW SCHOOL that he's now attending (because a space in a foster home in a different school district on the other side of town opened up, suddenly)?
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On 02/20/2016 03:08 PM, Don Y wrote:

None of the above can be accomplished by Windows or Linux on their own, all that kind of stuff is dependent on which application you are using.
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On 2/20/2016 4:23 PM, philo wrote:

Exactly. The OS is just a scaffolding.
Now, how do I run Office 2K13 on Linux?
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On 02/20/2016 06:25 PM, Don Y wrote:

Never figured kids would need much more than a word processor. I had no idea you were talking about running spread sheets which I thought was college level.
Microsoft Office will need to run on Windows machines and will cost quite bit of money. I thought you just had a small budget, but if you have a lot of money then sure, get Win10 machines and all necessary software.
That said, even if you have a large budget, why waste money?
You should easily be able to purchase a new machine with Win10 installed, for less money than you could build yourself and purchase the OS separately.
It's for that very reason that I rarely build machines any more, I just refer my friends to Dell. Thus far, zero complaints/
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On 2/20/2016 6:52 PM, philo wrote:

Schools now do *lots* of stuff on machines that was previously done with scraps of paper, index cards, etc. Many school districts even provide "courseware" (what we grew up calling BOOKS) in electronic form. So, you have to be able to support whatever DRM the courseware provider has adopted.

Microsoft makes available certain pieces of software to 501(c)3's for peanuts. No doubt, they write off the difference between the few dollars they charge (us) for a volume license against the list price for that same software license.
(you get no media -- just a *single* master disk and a number written on a form telling you that you are legally entitled to install the software using *that* license key on N machines)

We get machines for free. Businesses go through periodic "upgrade cycles". So, you may end up with 50 of a particular machine. Or, 20 of one type and 40 of another. The next donation may be of an entirely different machine, etc.
(Many of businesses have *thousands* of seats so there is no shortage of HARDWARE. Some businesses are obligated to dispose of their surplus equipment *to* non-profits -- that's the case with some of the hospitals, here... a few thousand seats going up for grabs every few years!)
But, you ("I") have to do all your own record keeping. I.e., I have to keep track of which machines have which software, which drivers, etc. I have a large collection of "install disks" as each was intended for a particular make/model machine.
Once I have built a system, I image the disk and store that image on a server, here. So, if I encounter ANOTHER batch of those same machines next week/month, I don't have to do any of this legwork, again!

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On 02/20/2016 08:04 PM, Don Y wrote:
<snip>
Now that you've stated all the facts, I'd just go ahead and use Win 10
Here is one anti-spy utility
http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/destroy_windows_10_spying.html
Plenty more out there.
I have Win10 on one machine just for testing purposes, which isn't really used , so I am not concerned with spying
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On 2/21/2016 3:46 AM, philo wrote:

I don't see that I have much choice in the matter. If 7even was at EOL, then I'd repeat my XP approach: install ALL the updates and then disable the update mechanism. I.e., "this is as good as it's going to get".
But, as MS doesn't truly BUILD on past products (i.e., so each has NONE of the flaws of its predecessors) but, rather, likes to keep reinventing the (buggy) wheel, I imagine 10 will be years getting to "stable" -- esp when effort is diverted from providing stability and robustness in favor of "spying" and countering anti-spying techniques!
[There is often an issue of protecting IP from theft in my business. You're always faced with the question of "how much of my resources do I want to devote to safeguarding my IP -- preventing theft and/or counterfeiting -- and what would be the relative value of spending those resources making a BETTER PRODUCT"?]

If all they are doing is tweeking registry settings, then a good article is just as effective for me. And, one less piece of software that I'd have to install and maintain.

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On 02/21/2016 08:54 AM, Don Y wrote: resources making a BETTER PRODUCT"?]

I thought it said it was portable, so you don't have to install it, but it can tweak the settings a bit faster than if you did so manually.
Anyway there are tons of Google hits with all the info you need
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On 2/21/2016 9:00 AM, philo wrote:

I like to KNOW what a tool is doing. And, once I "make the adjustment" the first time, the changes (along with the rest of the installed software) will just be cloned onto new machines. So, you only "save" once.
I build a log file that documents all of the steps that I take when creating a machine. "Install this", "configure that", etc. Any registry settings are included in the log file in a way that I can just copy them into a FOO.REG file and install them from there. Then, delete FOO.REG. Omits typing and reduces chance of typographical errors.
Also lets you (me) see what is being done -- instead of HOPING everything has been done.

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On 02/21/2016 10:23 AM, Don Y wrote:

I just glanced at the webpage but it appeared to have full documentation of everything it does
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On Sun, 21 Feb 2016 07:54:22 -0700, Don Y

Actually, Microsoft DOES build on their products.
Up until Win98 they all still had the original DOS core hidden in them.
XP was a fresh re-write of MOST of the OS (compared to win98), but it was actually based on the NT core which had been around for over a decade,
Windows 7 built on top of XP code, 8 was an extention of 7, and 10 is a major revision of 7 - apparently a parallel upgrade to windows 8.
Not too much that was actually solved in one version re-appears as the identical problem in the next release.
What's hard to figure out is not how certain problems filter down from version to version, but how the operating systems operate at all, given how they are programmed. Millions of lines of code written by programmers across the world - each working on a separate part of the OS - with those parts combined together into the final release by a relatively small cadre of programmers at Redmond. Most of the code is generated in places as diverse as Ireland, India,China, France, Turkey and Singapore.

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On 2/21/2016 2:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Buffer overrun exploits? C'mon, you see this problem *once* and you put mechanisms in place to ensure it never appears again, in any newly developed code.
Unless, of course, you've got lousy development practices!
Why do file sizes get reported differently depending on the "viewport" through which you are examining them? Isn't this a problem that you solve *once* and then reuse? Or, do you let each developer come up with his/her own notion of how to report a file size?
Why can I create paths that are too long to actually traverse? Isn't there ONE set of routines for manipulating these "objects"?
Didn't they "learn" that startup macros were A Bad Thing in the EARLY days of MSWord/Excel/etc.? So, why create the exact same mechanism with autorun? Then, require you to edit registry entries to "fix" the problem (again) -- that THEY had introduced?
Etc.

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On 02/21/2016 03:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:
[snip]

They tried to hide it, but ME was just as much DOS-based as 98.
[snip]
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Mark Lloyd
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wrote:

I never even think of ME - it was such a non-event
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