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

On 18/04/10 17:31, Barry Watzman wrote:

Programs that trigger UAC usually do it by attempting to write to the data folders. Programmers who write code that does that may have other unsavoury habits. It's best to avoid using programs from companies like that.
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In Bernard Peek typed on Sun, 18 Apr 2010 18:05:42 +0100:

Wow really? Why is the folder called Data if you are not supposed to store data in them? Is this the same folder as Application Data found in Windows XP? If so, I have lots of applications that stores stuff in these folders which are highly respectable programs. Heck I see Microsoft using the Application Data folder too. That is where the address book is stored for one.
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On 19/04/10 19:08, BillW50 wrote:

My mistake. I should have said program folder.
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In

Heck lots of applications write in the Program Folder. Off of the top of my head, instant messengers (which stores the chat logs there), anti-virus software (which updates the virus database there), Microsoft Office (which stores saved templates there), Faststone Capture (stores saved screen shots there), etc.
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On 19/04/2010 23:13, BillW50 wrote:

Well, not any more ...
UAC File & Registry Virtualization sends the actual writes (and eventual reads) somewhere else. It's a process that mostly works if all applications are fooled by the redirection. Doesn't always work though :-(
Like last week installing Apache on Vista I found Apache had set the documents directory 'htdocs' straight in the midst of 'Program Files' and steadfastly served http from that location. Copying web files there from my editor program (Eclipse) was futile, they disapear somewhere else and Apache never got the chance to serve them.
The workaround was to configure Apache to support the htdocs folder relocated somewhere else, and keep UAC active. I won't turn that off.
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In the most common cases, the problem is caused by using software for older hardware. Two examples, both happen to be scannes, an HP 5490C's HP Precision Scan Pro, and a Nikon LS-2000's Nikon Scan. There is nothing wrong with the programs, they were written at a time when the way that they were written was perfectly fine.
But the only alternative is to replace the HARDWARE.
And that is not feasible.
Nikon has stopped making film scanners, no one else ever made comparable 35mm film scanners, and even the later Nikon scanners that they did make don't scan 35mm NEGATIVES as well as the LS-2000.
As for the HP scanner (this is a conventional flatbed document scanner with ADF), I have never found a scanner/software combination as good as the HP 5470/5490 series and HP Precision Scan Pro [the SOFTWARE base that HP began using after HP Precision Scan Pro is what I call "toy scanning software" and is junk].
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BillW50 wrote:

I have a fully up to date XP sp3, and I would like to hold onto that as long as possible. However, speed seems to decrease after each update nowadays. How essential have those updates become? Browser and mail Thunderbitd and firefox. I am starting to think it would be smart to quit XP udate in the near future. Any opinions/suggestions?
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Sjouke Burry wrote on Sun, 18 Apr 2010 17:51:38 +0200:

Yes! I have some systems with updates and some without. And the ones without are not getting infected with viruses anyway, so what's the point?
Some updates adds features or fixes bugs. Although if the feature(s) doesn't interest you, I don't see the point. And bug fixes are only useful if they fix your problem you are having. Otherwise they don't have anything to offer you. And they can cause a new problem that you never had before.
I personally believe in the old saying, don't fix something that ain't broke. So while I am in the minority, I believe in time more and more will also be convinced that OS updates are not necessary a good thing to blindly always do.
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When the problem is a "security hole", the "brokenness" may not be obvious.
BillW50 wrote:

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In Barry Watzman typed on Sun, 18 Apr 2010 12:34:25 -0400:

Yes I admit on paper it looks good to update all of the time. Although in practice, it looks far better avoiding updates.
I started learning this truth during the OS/2 switchover from Microsoft code over to IBM code. As many recall OS/2 v1.xx was all Microsoft code. OS/2 v2 was almost all Microsoft code too. Then Microsoft and IBM parted company. And IBM was left with OS/2 v1 and v2 code and Microsoft's OS/2 v3 code stayed with Microsoft. And Microsoft's OS/2 v3 code turned into Microsoft's Windows NT.
IBM tried to make their own OS/2 v3 and it was a real disaster. They really tried to rewrite OS/2 with all of their own code. And every OS/2 update that IBM put out was called fixpacs. And every fixpac just made things worse and worse and at some point they had to plug in the Microsoft code back in to make it work again. What a mess!
I gave up with OS/2 and IBM after OS/2 v3 ordeal and the dozens of fixpacs that didn't work right. I hear tell that IBM did finally got it right later with v4 and I think there was a v5 too. But IBM had lost a majority of OS/2 users by this point that most left for something else that worked. Usually this was towards Windows, IBM's competitor.
Since day one of personal computers, I believed in having more than one computer. This allows for many things. As no fear of one computer failing is one big plus right there. Plus you are free to experiment on a spare that you would never do with a single computer system.
And years after that OS/2 ordeal, Microsoft updates started to have their own problems too. As I remember Explorer breaking on some of my systems with every other update. And the next update without any input from me would fix it once again. It just seemed to be a normal part of keeping Windows up-to-date. Thank goodness for spares around that I didn't update to get my work done in between.
Since some of my spares I stopped accepting any updates, all is fine with them so far for the past number of years. So I am highly considering reinstalling Windows XP SP2 without any other updates just to see what happens. Heck I haven't ran the original Windows XP release in so long, I might even experiment there as well.
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On Sun, 18 Apr 2010 14:42:36 -0500, BillW50 wrote:

Well, no. They started again...with a new architect.

No, they never trioed to rewrite it. They added their own user interface (which was good) and they tuned it to run on cheaper hardware. But there was never a rewrite. Most of the code was the same model until the end.

There were equal number of fixpacks for version 1.

Complete fabrication.

v3 always worked smoothly for me, on varied hardware. v2 was iffy until they got the Microsoft bugs out.

There was no version 5. It stopped at 4.5.

Nothing at all to do with the fact that Microsoft told every hardware manufacturer that, if they bundled OS/2 with just one machine, they'd have to pay much more for Windows?
I don't have problem with Windows updates. They just work. When I have to use Windows, which I admit isn't a lot.
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In Bob Eager typed on 18 Apr 2010 20:22:50 GMT:

That isn't what I heard. As Microsoft wanted OS/2 v3 to be Windows compatable and IBM was totally against that idea. Microsoft's OS/2 v3 wasn't finished or anything. And it became clear to Microsoft that IBM wanted to own everything. As IBM didn't want to make the same mistake with PC-DOS vs. MS-DOS ever again.
So Bill Gates knew if Microsoft was to survive, that IBM and Microsoft had to part company. And I am sure Microsoft made a lot of changes to NT (aka OS/2 v3) that they wouldn't have otherwise. But deep down it was based on Microsoft's OS/2 v3 code I was told even by IBM insiders. Who by the way saw some of the source code.

What new interface? I used the last version of OS/2 v2 a lot (I dunno, was it OS/2 v2.11?). And yes OS/2 v3 (aka Warp) the interface changed. I don't know if I would call it good or not. But it wasn't a big change per se. Sort of like between Windows 2000 and XP are different I would say. And like the difference between Windows 2000 and XP, OS/2 v2 and v3, the core was mostly the same.

Whoa! I didn't see this at all. As OS/2 v2 would run on almost anything. Well a 386 or better I think. And OS/2 v3 (aka Warp) required something like a Pentium (aka 586).

I was a beta tester for OS/2 v3 for one. And second of all I had lots of insider talks with IBM programmers. And they wanted for some reason (I think because they had to pay Microsoft a fee for every copy of OS/2 with Microsoft code in it) and to get rid of all Microsoft code. This was a big priority for them. And it was easy with a simple text editor to read any file to find Microsoft copywrites in plain ASCII in many OS/2 v3 files.

I am clueless about running OS/2 v1, so you got me there. OS/2 v2 didn't go too high from what I remember. But OS/2 v3 was over 35 plus fixpacs and I lost count after that. And IBM spelled it Fixpac and not Fixpacks, btw. Oops! Even I got it wrong. It was spelled Fixpak now that I think about it.

Really? I was in direct contact with IBM programmers and giving them a hard time about all of this. It is funny before OS/2 Warp (aka OS/2 v3) release. We beta testers had two versions to test and it was going perfectly. It was really solid and I liked it a lot. Then unknown to many of us beta testers, a tiny group of others got a third version. I don't know who these people were, but IBM got a green light from them and they released OS/2 Warp (aka v3). What a disaster! The biggest difference between the second and third beta copies were IBM rewrote many of the drivers. And this was the released version which many of us beta testers couldn't ever get the dang thing to install. What was IBM thinking?

I dunno somewhere around fixpak 40 something, OS/2 v3 did start to come around. And OS/2 v3 the last version wasn't too bad from what I recall. Far better then the early OS/2 v3 versions anyway.

Are you sure? As I heard it stopped at v4 for consumers, but for some commercial customers actually got v5. Of course we OS/2 users were promised that IBM would never abandon OS/2 users and keep supporting it forever. Well that all changed when they were losing money from OS/2 (I not not sure if they ever made any money from OS/2 to be honest) and we see how well IBM promises are.

And nothing to do with the fact that IBM said internally that IBM will never sell any IBM machine with Windows anymore (this has been verified) eh? You don't understand, this means IBM declared war with Microsoft. And in war, all is fair. And Microsoft easily won once IBM customers started to drop off in droves because IBM machines didn't offer Windows and they didn't want that OS/2 crap. At the time IMHO, OS/2 didn't hit crap status yet, but the majority of the people had voted with their pocketbooks nevertheless.

It depends on many factors. Odd third party drivers for one plays a big part. Cheap inexpensive computer manufactures taking shortcuts are another. I too on some computers things went very smoothly. But for some others, not so well.
The jump to Windows XP SP2 upgrade was the worst for me. I updated 4 or 5 computers and yes they worked per se. But the performance went down the tubes. I was a big believer that SP2 was just trash until I learned that if you grabbed a Windows XP SP2 install disc, everything works just fine. So a clean install of XP SP2 works really nicely. Some people swear that they had no problems with upgrading to SP2. And I don't doubt them at all. But some of us really did have tons of problems with the upgrade too.
I really believe that Microsoft does learn from mistakes they made from the past. At least the ones that really mattered. And that was the last time I had seen Microsoft make a really bad mistake (although Vista some feels was another one, but I don't think it was that bad as what I mentioned). The two ones before that was Microsoft Bob and Windows ME. Otherwise they seem to know how far they can push it without losing too many customers.
Btw, Windows ME from all I have heard... half loved it and half hated it. And I don't doubt for a second that it worked well for half of the users (I almost got Windows ME working pretty well myself - although that means if you got it working well, don't mess with it!). Although working well for 50% IMHO is still a pretty sad number. So I have no problems as rating it one of the worst that Microsoft OS had ever produced. And as for MS Bob... did anybody like that one? Personally I have never heard from one single individual that did. But I am sure there must be one out there that did. Pretty sad, eh? Version 1 of MS Bob and that was the end of the line. <wink>
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On Sun, 18 Apr 2010 20:08:25 -0500, BillW50 wrote:

They employed Dave Cutler, from DEC. NT was really 'son of VMS'. And that's obvious if you look at the internals. And I have seen the source code. There is nothing much in common with OS/2 v2.

In OS/2 v2. The Workplace Shell was *entirely* IBM's, and the reason OS/2 v2 from IBM was delayed about a year.

I don't know what you were trying to do. But OS/2 v3 was a LOT leaner than v2. In the same way that 1.3 (IBM only) was an improvement on v2.

Of course. And they *never* got rid of the MS code, right to the end.

It changed over time...Fixpack and Fixpak. But never Fixpac!

I sdon't know why you seem to have had so much trouble, I really don't. It just ran for me, no problem.

I had a commecrcial maintenance contract, and was also in contact with many users. 4.5 (well, the 4.52 update) was the last release. Yes, big boys could continue maintenance for a very high price.

Well, I don't use cheap hardware, never have. My machines run until they get too old to run the code.
I principally use BSD now, and that's good because I've used it for 33 years now!
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In Bob Eager typed on 19 Apr 2010 06:02:22 GMT:

Oh okay that is good to know. How close was DEC RT-11 compared to VMS?

Oh okay.

Oh okay. I remember it just the opposite. Btw, my OS/2 Warp won't install on anything with a drive larger than 512MB I think it was. As it reports the drive is too small. Great IBM quality, eh?

Oh okay. No wonder they killed it. Sounds like they where just paying Microsoft for every copy they sold anyway. I remember Microsoft taking IBM to court. Because IBM told MS that they only sold some low amount of OS/2 copies. But bragging elsewhere they sold a much larger amount. And I guess the real truth never came out in court. But IBM ended paying the difference to MS anyway.

Well I remember just FixPak. Could have been since OS/2 Warp.

OS/2 had lots of driver issues. Some worked and some didn't. I had to use some of the drivers from the beta copies to get OS/2 up and running. I also remember OS/2 being really picky about the timing of the RAM. So some RAM would work and some wouldn't. The same RAM that wouldn't ran fine under Windows.

Lots of cheap hardware keeps on running 20+ years believe it or not. I still have lots of them from the 80's still running just fine. These cheap netbooks for example, costing about $200, I am expecting they will keep running for the next 20 years too.

Well that is good to hear. ;-)
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On Mon, 19 Apr 2010 17:37:21 -0500, BillW50 wrote:

Nothing like it at all. I once had the RT-11 source code, and brought a system up from scrtafch using just that.
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The reality is that you WILL lose.
If you update all the time, a few updates will bite you.
If you don't use automatic update, you will miss an update whose absence will bite you.
The system is rigged; we [users] lose. Either way.
But, overall, for most people, doing all "CRITICAL" updates (e.g. auto update on ... which ONLY installs CRITICAL updates automatically) is the better course.
[In large part because for most real-world people, anything other than "auto updates" becomes, in reality, almost no updates at all, almost never.]
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In Barry Watzman typed on Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:49:02 -0400:

You say so, but facts are facts. I know a few people personally who doesn't grab security updates for their computers. No downside for them for many years now. Most stopped because they had been burned when a security update messing something up.

Why take the chance?

That is what most experts will claim. But facts are facts and many actually don't use security updates and things are fine. I have never heard anybody on the Internet complaining that they forgot to get a security update and now they are infected. At least those with updated anti-virus software anyway.

First of all. Here is what works for me for security.
1) One really needs a stealth firewall. That keeps hackers on the Internet from knowing that your computer is even connected. The Windows XP one is one of these.
2) Use a good anti-virus program. Having a good one will block anything trying to make its way through any port, security hole in the OS, or from any other source your computer is connected too.
Since you have the firewall and anti-virus watching your back, your OS could be littered with security holes and what would it matter? As they still can't get through to infect your system anyway.
Plugging security holes is only important if you want to use your computer without any firewall and anti-virus checker. Now and only now it matters a lot. But that wouldn't be such a hot idea anyway now would it?
I actually tried this once as a test. Installed the original Windows 2000 release, no firewall, no anti-virus, nor any updates back in 2002. Although I had it networked to another computer and that one was setup to scan the unprotected one. And that was very interesting. Two servers slipped two viruses on the computer within 90 seconds and I didn't even access any of those servers. Those bots finds unprotected computers really fast. Pretty clever! But not clever enough to fool me. lol
Just think, there are tons of people running older unsupported Windows OS that hasn't seen a security update in many years. Yet these people are not getting infected with viruses now are they? There is a good reason why not.
And I have been using this one as a test bench and I quit all updates since last May. Works just like it always have and I haven't had one single problem. And I quit updates on my other computers for a couple of months now and they too are fine.
Remember too, there are always security holes in virtually any OS. And they seem to be never ending and you will never plug them all anyway. So you should never trust plugging any of them will really help anything. Because security updates only help on computers without real-time scanning anti-virus software. And even then viruses can still get through anyway. So what's the point?
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Was this -directly- connected to the net, or via a ADSL/Router NAT unit like a lot of people now use?..
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In tony sayer typed on Thu, 22 Apr 2010 08:52:42 +0100:

Hi Tony! It was connected up by dial-up. If it had a router connected, that never would have happened (well a correctly setup router anyway). And the viruses were inert until the user rebooted the computer. Then the viruses would install themselves and infect the system.
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Indeed.. but surely these days would anyone connect -directly- to the net?.
Seeing that wireless routers with inbuilt NAT seem to be all the rage these days?..
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