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...]]
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.
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
*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
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
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).
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.
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)?
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
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
It's for that very reason that I rarely build machines any more, I just
refer my friends to Dell. Thus far, zero complaints/
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!
On 02/20/2016 08:04 PM, Don Y wrote:
Now that you've stated all the facts, I'd just go ahead and use Win 10
Here is one anti-spy utility
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
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.
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
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
Also lets you (me) see what is being done -- instead of HOPING
everything has been done.
Actually, Microsoft DOES build on their products.
Up until Win98 they all still had the original DOS core hidden in
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
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
On 2/21/2016 2:29 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org 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?
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