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29/01/2020

Support for Windows 7 has stopped.  Before it did I installed all updates, but it appears that the system, even after all this time has security risks. (Basically it is too complicated). 
I use the laptop for banking and I am worried that, if I get robbed, the bank will blame me for running an out-of-date operating system.  So I had to get a Windows 10 laptop.

But I followed my usual cheapskate style.
The Lenovo Thinkpad I am typing on now has been trouble free since I bought it from ebay five years (Jan 2015) ago for around £100. It would have been made between 2008 and 2010 and sold for $2078.

But it is too old to update to Windows 10, apparently due to the graphics card. So, using the same philosophy of buying an old business type of machine I ordered an old HP EliteBook 2540p with Windows 10 Home edition installed from ebay for £120. It would have been made in 2010 and sold for $1629.  Last time I bought a 6 year old machine and used it for 5 years, and now I am buying a 10 year old machine!

It took a couple of days work to get to get to where I was before Microsoft scrapped Windows 7

 The Red Queens race

I may be wrong, but I don't really think using windows 7 is a threat if you are sensible.  I have been running it with no anti-virus and updates disabled for two years.  I have had no issues.  I run msert  regularly and it has never found anything wrong. But being a cynical paranoid, I think a bank would try to blame me for their shortcomings.

TheHP arrived around eighteen hours after ordering from ebay.
Battery was flat, but charges OK
The Windows 10 installed was last updated May 2019.  So it took 2 hours to download updates and three and a half hours to install.

It's difficult to believe how slow the software is on a machine that operates at  2,700,000,000 operations per second. 

A Hardware Engineer's main role in life is to develop faster and faster hardware to compensate for the inadequacies of the Software Engineers.


After that it seems to be working fine.  I've installed all my old go-to software.

I don't find the HP any better or worse than the Lenovo. It has a disc drive which is handy, but it seems to pop out so easily which is a pain.  I taped it in.
It has a mouse pad and a tracker ball.  The Lenovo only has a tracker ball and I am very used to it.  If I need a proper mouse (for photoshopping) I use a wireless mouse.
The HP is heavier than the Lenovo (and I thought the Lenovo was heavy) 

So how do I feel about the change?
Not impressed to be honest.  The HP running Windows 10 is no better to use than the Lenovo running Windoows 7.  It has taken me two days work and cost me £120 (much lower than Microsoft advised for a new PC).
I have had to change (I refuse to say upgrade) because Microsoft software is full of bugs which need constant changes to keep secure.
Windows 10 does handle updates better.  I suppose that is an acceptance that Microsoft know their software is bad. They have reached the second stage of competence.

  1. Rubbish, but don't realise it
  2. Rubbish, but they know it
  3. Good, but have to constantly work at it
  4. Good, and it just comes naturally. (Maybe by Windows 20?)

So I now have two machines running the same programs one in Windows 10 and the other in Windows 7. 

But in a few years Windows 10 will go obselete and I guess I'll start again. I suppose if Microsoft  managed to bring out a completely safe and bug free operating system that would be their job finished and they would get no more sales. 
Someone WILL come along with a better system though, that's how free markets work, but the entry barriers are huge in this case due to the massive installed base.

Update 23/05/2020
I have taken to use my old Lenovo on window 7 for most tasks.  I have time to write this on the Lenovo because I am copying  files from one hard drive to another on the HP.

 It has decided to start running very slowly, and it seems that the antimalaware program is completely hogging the CPU and the disk. And I can't stop it.  
The transfer should have taken a few minutes but will take almost an hour.

When will Microsoft get it right?

Update 5/11/2020
I have given the HP to my wife, but I have a login to access the bank. 
I have started to look at video editing and have revived my old Samsung RV11 for that job. I bought it new for my photography business in 2010. It is not very portable and the battery does not last very long but it has a faster processor and more RAM than the Lenovo so is better for video editing.  It also has a 250GB hard drive. I am now using the Samsung for video and photo editing and storage and backing up on the Lenovo.
I use the Lenovo for documentation and website maintenance and general browsing and back up on the Samsung.

Thinking of a Change

My Windows machines are all old and slow by modern standards. Two run windows 7 and one runs windows 10.  The Windows 10 one is the slowest.
So I am thinking of getting a new laptop especially for editing videos.  Years ago I would not have considered a Mac as they were so expensive, but the new Macbook air looks like a good buy.
The 8GB/265GB one is just under £1000, but the 16GB/512GB one is £1450.

In reality, I probably just need the 8GB ram 256GB ssd version.  I am not a professional video producer and I don't play games.

The software would need to be addressed

Slot in replacements

Filezilla
I use this for FTPing my websites - but MEW4 does it more easily. There is a Mac version but it doesn't look like I'll be doing websites on the Mac

Calibre for managing my e-books  has a Mac version

Vee Cad
for laying out Veroboard designs

Easy alternatives

Photoshop CS2
This was a key part of my business before I retired.  I am fairly certain I can find a free or low cost replacement for the mac

xplorer 2 lite
I use this for all my file management on the windows machines. I'll have to find a replacemnet - maybe the native mac one will be OK.

Ice Mirror v2.
For backups.  I can probably find a mac alternative

Microsoft Office (2003 version - bought many years ago)
I will need to find something that can open and edit Excel and Word files. Libre Office will do it I suppose and there is an Excel and a Word on the mac store.

Tiny Cad
for my electronic design - there may be an alternatives

Problematic

Microsoft Expression Web 4.
This is probably the biggest reason I'll have to retain a windows computer, at least until something come out for the Macbook. It probably never will.  People don't design sites from scratch any more.

Subscription services

The internet seems to be turning to subscription services. There ar some programs I would like to have, but they can't be bought but only rented.  The annual cost ends up quite high.

For example Adobe creative cloud will charge £239.64 per year for Photoshop, or Premier Pro, or Dreamweaver (or others). £593.28 buys access to everything. That, in my opinion is a lot of money for someone who is not using the apps for their work; but it's a great deal if it is their profession.

It's not my profession, but I'm not ruling it out yet.
Gimp is a photo editor that works on windows and macs so I'll try that out on windows as photoshop alternative.
Videopad seems like an OK video editor so I'd use that as opposed to Premier pro.


Conclusions

I could switch to a Macbook for everything except website design and editing. I would need to keep a Windows  machine just for that purpose.

Maybe a Macbook is not such a good idea. One of my main hobbies is my website work and I'd have to retain a windows pc to run EW4. This is probably the deal breaker.

The Macbook air is £916 with 8GB from Amazon

The Dell xps 13 with 16GB is dearer at £1300.

But really - all it would do for me would make it faster to render a video.   This is hands-off time anyway.  I have two windows PCs and while one is rendering I can use the other for other jobs.

I'd probably still  keep one PC for backing up data amyway - and there may be problems backing up between a macbook and a pc.

I'll stick with the t



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