Friday, 13 December 2013

Returning to windows.

I'm being boring - a computing equivalent of Mondeo-man (for those that don't live in Blighty, the Ford Modeo was a bland, large and convenient family car, a mark of being boring) and taking the easy option. There's a piece of software that I want to use, and it requires either OSX or Windows, and will not run under WINE. I'd have quite liked to make a Hackintosh, but TBH it's too much trouble right now, though I may attempt it later.  I'm also hoping that XP, with it's small footprint and low memory overhead will be a more efficient and faster option than bloated OSX, with it's poor memory management and much larger install.

Mind you, install hasn't been completely without it's challenges.

XP is now >10 years old, and the version I'm using (our 'spare' copy) is an early version with SP1. XP isn't compatible with AHCI, and to install it is necessary to turn off AHCI in the bios, which caused a certain amount of hunting around until I found the correct switch. Then I pulled the CD (yes, it's so small it fits on a CD!) after it had completed the first install stage, and it hunted for the disc, unsuccessfully, even after it was replaced, but in the wrong DVD drive. D'oh.

So, 30min later XP is installed, now with SP2 going on (from a CD I created some time back) shortly to be followed by IE6 (be still my beating heart at the thrill of new software - IE6 was a ghastly piece of junk - a real turd on the pavement of browser development) to enable windows update to take place. SP2 is important because the firewall is at least sort-of functional, and there's no way I'm connecting this machine to the www without it, even through the corporate network that's behind some kind of gateway. There will also be the Gigabyte drivers, NVidia graphics card driver updates etc etc. The M$ service pack 3. I hope by lunchtime I'll have a safe, secure-ish and functional XP PC, ready for the install of PhotoDirector.

But XP is being discontinued, isn't it?

Good point. I've no plans to use this as my regular OS, but solely for image editing. We'll have to wait & see.

I was disappointed at how sluggish it all seemed, until I installed Nvidia drivers for the graphics card. Just wow. I'd forgotten what old software on (relatively) new hardware was like in a new install. I doubt it will remain like this long as it gradually gets buried below updates and the system crufts up, but it's pretty good, even running off a slow old Seagate 250Gb SATA drive. Not so good is Windows update, which apparently doesn't.

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