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Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Windows XP, internet death sentence?

Asked by Jonesn4burgers (7191points) March 12th, 2014

I have an old Microsoft laptop, Windows XP. I can’t afford a new computer, not on trade in or anything. Is the internet going to be unattainable for me next month, and thereafter?

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24 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Not unattainable, but you won’t ever get an upgrade to your OS. It’s not like XP is going to time out or expire, it just won’t be supported.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Microsoft will stop sending patches and up-dates.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

There are people still using ME and windows98 for internet use,like the others have said there just wont be any updates or support.

filmfann's avatar

You may have trouble if you are using Internet Explorer for XP.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 People used Windows ME? I remember when that came out I got a copy and within a week I had gone back to 98 lol

jerv's avatar

It will still be usable, but not secure. Microsoft is continuing limited support for another year, partly because over 90% of ATMs use XP, but you really ought to save up for a system built in this decade; by the time you save up $300, XP will lose the limited support it has. Not to mention that a machine of that’s vintage on the ‘net is like a horse and buggy on the interstate.

XOIIO's avatar

good luck installing it, original cds have screwed up installations with countless problems to fix, it’s a huge pain.

jerv's avatar

If you have anything on your computer that you wouldn’t want posted on Facebook, I can think of two options to keep yourself secure.

1) Upgrade to Win7 – Anything that can run XP can handle 7. Of course, with Microsoft pushing Win8, you might have a hard time finding a Win7 upgrade disc, and it’ll probably run about $100-ish.

2) Linux – Totally free, and simpler than many think. If you know what language you speak, what time zone you’re in, and can remember your name, you can install many Linux distros; quite a few are designed specifically for those of limited computer literacy. Unfortunately, even the slightest hint of xenophobia will paralyze you with fear, and blind you to the fact that Linux really isn’t any more complicated than Windows or OS X.

Strauss's avatar

A lot of excellent suggestions. While you make the decision, you may want to switch to a different browser than Internet Explorer. Firefox and Chrome are two of the most popular, and both are free.

bolwerk's avatar

I agree with @jerv‘s last post, but I would caution that the upside to Windows and Apple is at least there are usually people on hand to help you if you’re computer illiterate. With Linux, you likely really are going to be leaning on Google results.

Of course, if you’re even reasonably computer literate I don’t think this will be a problem.

ibstubro's avatar

Find a local geek and buy a new-to-you, used laptop. If it was a desktop you wanted, we get them at the auction and they never bring squat. I have a fantastic Win7 desktop I keep putting off installing that a guy gave me. He couldn’t find a school or charity that wanted it and he was afraid of having it ‘out there’ with his information on it.

You might try Craigslist – perhaps even run a want ad someplace. There are tons of machines out there that are not being used, but that people are afraid of getting rid of. You might also contact local charities, telling them your situation – they might run into someone like my guy who wanted to be rid, but didn’t want it re-sold to a stranger.

jerv's avatar

@bolwerk Even with Windows and OS X, you’re often relying on Google results, though I feel that any repair tech that cannot handle Linux probably shouldn’t be fixing computers anyways. That goes double for Apple techs since OS X is so similar to Linux; both are UNIX-oid. Difference is, people trust the same thing more when they pay $2000 for it.

bolwerk's avatar

@jerv: I wasn’t even thinking of techs. Just having a buddy around to lean on who knows more is nice for some people. Windows is still ~90% of the desktop market, Apple is ~6–8%, I don’t think Linux breaks 2%, and that’s before considering every flavor has its own design philosophy.

That’s why I still usually just urge computer illiterates to stick with Windows. I feel dirty doing it, but Apple has pretty much all of the bad qualities of Windows, without any redeeming good ones that overwhelm the sheer practicality of Windows’ ubiquity. And Apple’s corporate practices are arguably more evil. I’m happy to evangelize free software, but I don’t think it’s a win if newbs end up confused and wanting to go back.

bolwerk's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers: FWIW, if you can consider Linux, I found libreoffice a great drop-in for Office 2003. I can’t think of anything else XP on an old laptop might be good for.

jerv's avatar

@bolwerk My wife and pre-teen cousin have both used Linux systems I’ve made, so use isn’t an issue. Unless you try doing esoteric stuff, it maintains itself and any programs you get from the repository (which is more than Windows does), and the new installers are so simplified that the only people who would be confused are dyslexics. When I said you only need to know your name, native language, and time zone to set up Linux, I wasn’t kidding! LibreIOffice and Firefox are often installed by default, so you usually don’t need to do anything in order to get internet access and Office compatibility.
It’s all about marketing, and part of why Linux is free is a lack of high-dollar ad campaigns.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Wow! I had to be gone a day, and when I come back, you guys have given me a huge chunk of meat to chew. I appreciate the help, and I’m glad to know I have options open to me. I really like my little laptop a lot. It has offline options I make use of daily, and I really dig how small it is. The screen is about tablet size, making avitars difficult to see unless I visit profile pages, but having it so small, it travels well. My daughter and I did some cross country travel on AMTRAK,and it was so handy to have then. I could get AC next to my seat, and Wifi in certain locations. My camera could upload directly to my laptop. I could work on my scripts. I have a slot for memory card, USB ports, etc. It lets me arrainge an office to go. I hope to make another trip or two like that in the future. The old girl still works so well, I hate to give her up. What I use her for mostly is offline, but I want online to not stop existing for me.
I’m going to look over these suggestions carefully.
Thanks to all the jellies, for your thoughts and expertise!

jerv's avatar

That small? Is it an old netbook?

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Aspire One. When I got it seven years ago, all I knew about computers was how to send and receive mail on Yahoo. I didn’tknow what USB was, or how to surf. I wanted a way to type manuscripts. My typing was awful, and believe it or not, it was quite a chore remembering I could go back and make corrections without backspacing and deleting all I’d written after. I’ve had my little machine a long time now, and I still don’t know more than a tenth she’ll do. I took to Askville, and then moved to Fluther to get accustomed to typing, and watching for my mistakes.
I was hit by a van one day which had left me impaired badly from brain damage. I lost huge chunks of my life. I couldn’t remember how to cook. I was in a real way. I was in a new town where no-one knew I was a genious just days before. I was in no shape to be on my own, but having always been bright, and independant, it didn’t occur to me I was too damaged to take care of myself. I went through a lot before I finally felt swift enough to start learning again.
When I got my laptop, I had a long ways to go to be ready to market anything. Now I’m ready to present my work, but I need to learn e publishing, which blossomed and became a must while I was learning again how to remember my own address and phone number.
I’ve taken good care of my little laptop, and I’ve learned a lot using her. I’d hate to have to give her up because the world is against keeping anything more than two years.

jerv's avatar

My first non-desktop was an 8.9” first-gen Aspire One. When I got my Toshiba T135, I wiped my Aspire and installed Ubuntu on it; the old Netbook Remix version with a UI specifically tailored for it’s 1024*600 screen. My wife (an ex-Mac user) used it for a while then my cousin (then 13) got it. He thought it was nifty, and liked that it was simpler and he didn’t have to worry so much about security and antivirus stuff since that was all automated (Like many, he grew up on Windows.).

While the newer ones can blow the old ones away (the Atom N270 CPU is ancient),many Linux distros are less demanding and thus can run fine on older hardware. Lately, I’ve been grooving to Mint; the Cinnamon UI beats what Ubuntu has, and Mint was specifically designed for ease of migration.

bolwerk's avatar

A fucker I know always asks me to help him with Mint. I never used it otherwise, so it’s utterly non-intuitive to me, so I have to VNC in to help him. It’s probably minimally troublesome for a Linux newb though.

@Jonesn4burgers: what kind of e-publishing? Do you mean blogging or art or what?

jerv's avatar

@bolwerk I think that Mint may be easier for newbies than for those that have to unlearn a few things. My wife finds it simple, I occasionally get nailed by the fact that Mint puts things in different places than Ubuntu or SuSE, and our roommate has the hardest time with Mint despite (or maybe because of) running Debian for over a decade.

bolwerk's avatar

@jerv: yeah, I agree. The people who will have trouble switching are those just sophisticated enough to have ways to be set in.

I think because of is probably right. I frankly find that whole constellation of “simple” Linuxen a little offputting myself. Arch lured me away last year, but before that I was on Slackware, which imitates a BSD. And I still use FreeBSD and am even considering it for a small file server so I always have it handy.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

@bolwerk, book publishing. I have two manuscripts hand-written, the first partially typed to a flashdrive, right now I’m working on a children’s story. I spent so much time on the first two books of my trilogy, I need to cleanse the palate a while. I had started the first before the accident which left me recovering from dain bramage. I wrote and wrote when I finally could recognize written language again, even though I knew I was writing at a fourth grade level. I had to at least get the details written. It could be cleaned later, but I ended up working for months going over it repeatedly, doing rewrites on top of rewrites. Time went by, technology changed, and I was still trying to graduate from $5 words to $50 words. Now I’d like to publish my children’s story and just get something going while I work on my other projects. I have ideas stacking up, and nothing going out. I do have one video game I’m trying to write too, though I have no playwriting experience, and I imagine it should be laid out that way.

bolwerk's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers: ah, I was asking because I was wondering if you needed any special software. If you’re doing your own desktop publishing, InDesign is hard to beat. But it sounds like you’re sending a manuscript to a professional publisher, so I guess it’s not a problem.

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