After Hours optimize

Living with elderly technology

The old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." New stuff is sexy, but sometimes there are good reasons for keeping older tools that are still serviceable.

The old saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." New stuff is sexy, but sometimes there are good reasons for keeping older tools that are still serviceable.

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One of my hobbies is video gaming. PC classics, newer console games, I love 'em all. I'm planning on using this long Thanksgiving weekend to get in some quality game time. Wrapping up my e-mail before the holiday, though, a newsletter from one of the gaming Web sites I follow caught my eye.

For the online magazine The Escapist, Les Chappell has written about the phenomenon of "abandonware." Abandonware is the name that the gaming community has given to software that is no longer being sold or actively developed by its publisher. No one is trying to make money off of the property anymore; it has been abandoned by its owners. A large community has formed online -- fans of these abandoned games who share the files with each other. Often, to take advantage of the game files provided by the community, players have to jump through quite a few hoops. Many of these games were distributed on floppy disk and were never designed to run on modern operating systems. For lots of people, though, the game play offered by these older titles is still perfectly worthwhile and worth a little effort.

The discussion of abandoned games got me thinking about IT and the issue of supporting legacy hardware and software. There isn't much business software that I would describe as abandoned, but there are a lot of instances where older IT solutions are still perfectly serviceable. Technology companies have us under constant pressure to upgrade to the latest and greatest products, but that is not always possible or advisable. There are instances where an outdated product may be the best tool for the job. I, for one, have held on to a copy of MS Office 2000 for years, long after most of the department has been upgraded to more recent versions. Reason being, I have one client with limited mobility who continues to use Office 2K because it works better with the voice recognition software she needs.

I'm interested in hearing about instances where you've decided that older tools are still worth keeping around, and what you may have had to do to make sure those solutions integrate well with newer technology. Tell your story in the comments below.

63 comments
cmcarlson.com
cmcarlson.com

Who would have thought that anyone would consider the need of us disabled people anymore.

user support
user support

Had a used IBM pc 8088 from 1986 to 1996 upgraded to 20 MB hard drive and 3.5 floppy disk drive. Played some games by Sierra and by Accolade and used First Choice Office Suite and Dbase 2 to do homework for college. 1996 upgraded to a generic PC with Cyrix CPU running Windows 95, Corel Wordperfect Suite and Netscape. Still using for school work and still playing games from Sierra and Accolade. PC's at work and military had different Office Suites such as Enable and Multimate (DOS) and later Microsoft Office. It became tedious to keep converting office documents back and forth between home, military and work. Bought low budget HP Pavillon XG922 with Windows XP for home in Nov 2001. Can't play the Accolade game any more as it was on 5.25 floppy diskettes. I copied onto 2 3.5 floppy diskettes but could not get the game to work. Turns out this is abandoned company and was absorbed by Atari. The game is done however. Lastly, another article in Tech Republic, told about new Task feature in Google gmail. I just found out today that it is only compatible with IE 7 and some other browsers. Home and work pc are on IE 6 because IE7 is not compatible with some of our legacy systems. I am still using Casio PVS-400 Plus no frills PDS and Nokia 1100 no frill cell phone. I am just beginning to appreciate the AS400. Altough we say that change is inevitable, sometimes too much change can be a disruption.

LeonBA
LeonBA

I like older technology; it has its own set of advantages. You reduce waste being sent to landfills and lower your carbon footprint, if those things are important to you. You also save significant amounts of money. I'm always at least an operating system behind Microsoft--when Windows 2000 was big, I ran 98SE; when XP ruled the roost, I ran 2000; and now I'm sticking with XP. When you're not looking for the latest Windows version, licenses tend to be cheaper and easier to come by. I also have a lot of legacy hardware--my LaserJet 4L (which I bought from a friend in 1999) is still going strong. It's not fast, but it's cheap to run and very reliable, and for the amount of printing I do it's entirely adequate. If I had gone with the latest inkjet printers I would have spent hundreds on cartridges over the years. I also find old hardware is ideal to refurbish and give away to people who don't have it: older friends and relatives who don't have a computer at all, for instance, and aren't on a tech's salary and only need basic word processing and Internet surfing capability. Of course, my affinity for old technology might just be that I like the stuff. I am, after all, still driving the Toyota Tercel I bought in 1994...

digitrog
digitrog

... now if all goes well for you ... sounds like you appreciate the finer aspects of computer gaming . I actually own over 1500 PC original games in all genres. I do prefer the Adventure types, but will on occasion kill off some aliens in a good action shooter, and have delved into some of the strategy and "god" games like settlers, civilzation, etc., and not to forget RPGs (role play games) , ... I've been into computing for more than 25 years, starting on the 8bit computers. I have a collection of computer types, ranging from the Spectravideo SV328's(with a ColecoVision adaptor module) & 318's, the MSX Sony HitBit and Yamaha CX5M2 [and a SVI728 MSX portable], an Amstrad 464 & also an Amiga A500 ... plus heaps of software for each ... ( most of the old computers are boxed away at present ) . My main internet PC runs Win98SE through Netscape 7.2, which I have networked (router modem & router hub) with a XP computer, and my 15 year old Pentium PC which now runs Win98SE, and also has Win4WG 3.11 + DOS 6.22, and MS Office 4.3 Pro which came with that computer. (and as someone mentioned in another comment XTree Gold - one of the best file managers, I have versions from XTree, XTree 2, XTree(3)gold and the XTree 4 for windows [aka SystemPoint Tools Filemanager for Windows]). And not to forget Geoworks Ensemble 2 - the ultimate GUI application and desktop publishing suite. Geos in its earliest form was on the Apple2 computers - way before windows, and funny thing - the Apple MAC desktop looks a LOT like GEOS. Geos was also available for the C:64, and eventually for the PC, by which time M$ had its early versions of windows on the market, and tried to sue Geoworks for "copying" the windows type GUI ! ( like who copied whom?!? ) I could go on... but time and space don't permit ... :)

john.childress.ctr
john.childress.ctr

Because I work on military systems, I must interface with legacy hardware. I still have one 486 machine that runs Windows 3.1; a P100 unit running Win 98; a PIII 900 MHz computer on Win 2000 and a P4 1.8 GHz running XP Pro. Each of these "paper weights" have specific uses on for non-supported legecy hardware that cannot be replaced with newer tech for a decent price. When it is no longer viable, each piece of hardware will, eventually, be replaced as costs come down. At present, the computers and OS's cost less than the supported equipment.

Jaqui
Jaqui

pentium 75MHz laptop with 16 mb ram? pentium-mmx @200 MHz laptop 64 mb ram? pentium-mmx @ 266 MHz laptop with 128 mb ram? all three work, with little idiosyncrasies.

blackepyon01
blackepyon01

I am 21, I have a Tandy 1000 HX computer (DOS 2.11). Doesn't do much, doesn't have a hard drive, programs are on 720K floppy, it's as old as I am, and it still works! :}

weicong888
weicong888

we're pushing vista now, and there are a couple of people complaining on this as the elder apps cant work better on te new os.

alxnsc
alxnsc

Some time ago I had to urgently create a system that had to manage data on million dollars amount trade transactions. Microsoft Works was the tool that allowed me make it in time and the quality due. I did it in 2 (TWO!) days. Two days on project, tests and implementation! Later I used it in governmental environment and had successfully and speedily implemented it. Instead of further developing Works, Microsoft abandoned it. What a stupid act was it to neglect and abandon this system!

guy
guy

My wife started here own business recently. She has a newish laptop but needed another PC as a word processor for a parttime employee. So I dug around the garage and came up with a Pentium II running Windows 98 and Office 2003, 128 Mb RAM, 2 GB HDD and no real graphics. But HEY!, it does the job it needs to do. We also have a 286 laptop at the office being used as part of a datalogging system. Again, it works!

wmarr
wmarr

I have 4 "elderly computers" They work fine, no bugs,will run my old office 2000 apps just fine. Kids are each using one for homework etc. chatting and music items (Ipods etc.) There is nothing wrong with the old stuff as long as it does what you need it to do.

mark.silvia
mark.silvia

XT Gold is an old DOS application from the pre-Windows era worked really well back then. I really miss it.

hstone111
hstone111

how about old working hardware? I have a few computers and several Xerox boxes full of DEC, HP etc. plug-in PCAs. Not to mention printers, phones and almost anything with a DIP (if you know what that is). If anyone is interested in anything in particular, let me know. All I will charge you is postage and a few bucks for gas to drive to PO. Ron

reisen55
reisen55

This singular dull and dead operating system is impossible to kill off. It lingers in large networks forever and ever. One dead technology. Windows 98 SE lingers on too, but it is not so bad. Older compaq computers, still rampant. Junk them.

jonkopp
jonkopp

My last major software purchase was in graduate school, where I got my copy of MS office 2000 at academic pricing. I also got shoved from Windows for workgroups 3.12, which I loved for it relative stability, to Windows ME--the switch occurred when my computer was fried by lightning and replaced by the insurance company in lieu of a cash settlement (my mistake, never again). I have been reluctant to make any further purchases in light of my experience with marketing puffery--every new OS seems to fix all the problems of its predecessors by introducing another set just as big if not bigger. Now I think I'm finally forced into an 'upgrade' to Vista since my printer port was fried in another storm and I can't add cable internet without upgrading to Vista (thank you, Time Warner). The current problems in the computer industry seem to be entirely caused by market share domination leading to inadequate competition and diversity. I'm almost constantly pissed off about it and wonder what to do beyond spending $600 or more on stuff I don't want or need simply because of corporate greed.

roc_a_chic
roc_a_chic

I still prefer XP to vista cos Vista simply makes everything too hard with too many clicksexcept that Vista's more attractive. Let's see how Windows 7 goes

halakar
halakar

I still play QuakeWorld online. Quake was released in 1996. I remember playing it on my Cyrix P200+ powered computer back in the DAY!

Gregory Smith-4355324
Gregory Smith-4355324

The PC is a very viable gaming platform. I am still playing Baldur's Gate (2000), Red Barron 3D (1997).

.Martin.
.Martin.

at school we have a few computers that run XP, but should only run 2000 or ME. I still have my copy of office 2000 installed on one computer at home, the computer is not used for anything flashy, so a resource easy office application is good.

williamjones
williamjones

Have a look at my original article: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/helpdesk/?p=320 Much as tech vendors would like us to be purchasing all new tools right now, most networks have some older hardware and software solutions that are still in place. We wouldn't keep these older tool around if they weren't doing the job, but sometimes concessions have to be made if the product is no longer supported by its developer or manufacturer. For instance, virtualization offers a great opportunity to let techs run older applications in a more secure fashion. What are some of the older tech tools that you still find perfectly serviceable? What have you done to make sure those solutions work with newer systems?

reisen55
reisen55

Oddly enough Linux, and I know you are a Linux guru, runs fabulously well on older systems. Touche!!! I was a doctor's office in a mall a few weeks ago having a free hearing test done and there, on the wall, was.... A HUGE TOKEN RING JACK. Ah, for days of IBM.

Tig2
Tig2

The SO has a TRS 80 that lives in a box in the closet. No hard drive, programs are on cassette tape. Runs like a champ. His kid was in Washington DC for an event and got to spend a day at the Smithsonian. He tells us that they have one too. Don't know if theirs works though.

digitrog
digitrog

I don't know what they are complaining about, as many of the so called "Vista - compatible" applications and games actually will not run on Vista! A friend had a Vista based computer which is now running WinXP, as XP runs the so called "designed for Vista" online games better and faster than when installed on the Vista OS ... (very fast unit)

h2owe2
h2owe2

We have more than a few Windows NT 4 PCs attached to laboratory equipment at our manufacturing plants. In most cases the operation of this lab equipment is tied to a particular version of software which will only operate with older PC hardware and software. This lab equipment can be very expensive and has a working life of 10 or more years. We have retained a number of suitable computers as spare parts in case of hardware failure in future. Another arguement for retaining older technology is increased ROI. Vendors will frequently quote favourable ROI (return on investment) as a reason to adopt their product. If an existing technology is continuing to reliably do it's job then the business is maximising it's return on investment and any proposed replacement will not improve profitability.

digitrog
digitrog

What you are refering to is Xtree Gold, a brilliant DOS based file manager. If interested - look for ZTree - a file manager for the newer Windows - which was designed to have the look, feel and function of Xtree Gold - but can handle long file names and the larger hard drives [the older DOS can really only handle upto a 325Mb partition ...]

critch
critch

There is a product out there named Z-Tree which will on XP

reisen55
reisen55

I have a legacy old DOS system I garbage picked and turn on every once in a while for amusement and to remember when booting up a system was really fast. LOL. And XT was a great program in all of it's various incarnations. There was a shareware spreadsheet by Public Brand Software called " AS EASY AS " --- 123 and as shareware it could be given out for free and was as good as old Lotus 123 in those bygone days. Zork anybody?

rpbert4
rpbert4

I still keep Microsoft Picture It! 99. Vista does not let it run so I keep it on my older machine which has XP, I have Photoshop Elements (original version-upgraded version was inferior ) which I use for editing photos but Picture It is much better for things like collages, in fact I haven't anything better for putting multiple pictures together.

digitrog
digitrog

A report I saw just over 14 months or so back - was supposed to be from Micro$oft, It stated that to their surprise - at the time of writing, over 65% of Internet users still run Win98SE ... And although support was supposed to have been officially terminated for Win98SE in June last year, M$ has given in to un-officially continuing an extended support to the 98SE for at least another 5 years!! Whereas of June Last year ALL other OS prior to WinXPSp2 - M$ have ceased support, WinME, NT, XPSP1, Win2k & the older win95 and win98(1st edition), etc. Yet this year M$ - due to the overwhelming dislike of Vista, they have had to re-support XPSp1 I personally prefer Win98SE. In all the time I have run it [on several computers] I have only had one hi-jacker get into the browser, which I was able to remove with an uninstaller from the web site it jumped from. Yet My XP computer has that much in-security, that even with all the AntiVirus and anti spyware etc, it has let in hi-jackers, trojans, and recently some little gremlin got in that took me nearly a full week to remedy. It firstly disabled the Task manager, so I had to power off the machine and then it went into a convulsive re-start loop. I then found to my horror that this little nasty actually Pssworded the Admin & Administrator portions of the Hard Drive as well, couldn't even get in with the recovery console. I fortunately have several emergency bootup utility disks with which I slowly chiseled my way in through the mess and eventually restored original OS - without resorting to reformatting. A collegue recently purchased a new laptop - with Vista, it came with Office 2007 installed. First time they went to write a letter with word 2007 - the OS states You Do Not have Permssion to alter this document, and just locked them out of the application! What sort of insecurity is this - IT is Your computer and you have to get Permission to use it ???? [ and from whom ??? ] Throw that in the "Go Figure" basket ...

Lovs2look
Lovs2look

Ha, LOL. I know what you mean. We are still running ALL our production computers on NT4 P300 or there-a-bouts with 64 or 128Mb RAM, 4Gb HDDs and 1Mb V-RAM. They are still chugging away (probably not for long tho as it's a harsh environment in the factory) still running the same software (upgraded a few times, but it does what it does well) all since 1999 when they were installed. Run by a NT4 server that was installed to combat the Y2K bug! We have newer servers running the "office" machines on W2k3, but production hasn't changed that much since 2000 and NT4 still works.

TechRepublic
TechRepublic

One of the perils of embedding PCs into mechanical equipment is that you usually build them with specific boxes, with specific drivers, and with specific OSes. My company has thousands of pieces of equipment around the world all running off of the same 300MHz Pentium PC that they were installed with from 1998-2002 and all running WinNT. Fortunately the equipment in question is quickly becoming obsolete, so service is becoming less of a problem - but I still have to walk a new technician through finding the IP settings in NT that are somewhat different that its XP counterpart. If you are thinking of embedding PCs in equipment, you had better commit to an OS (and its corresponding feature set) or commit to an upgrade schedule for the life of the equipment. Chris

tigua
tigua

Set it up for pass through. No software to install.

mattie289404
mattie289404

Once ok, but, twice getting fried by elecricity, dude, there are these newfangled hardware thingees called surge suppressors that can protect from electric surges. Forget about the new software you need to upgrade your hardware..

duwayne
duwayne

Ubuntu comes with almost everything an individual user could want, is faster than any MS OS, and all of the productivity tools are also provided.

mrkesik
mrkesik

I've got lots of reasons to stick with windows xp: vista takes too much resources which could be put to other use, vista is slow, i'm more used to xp, xp runs everything that vista does, xp is cheaper, xp starts faster, it can be tweaked to look exactly like vista, and basically it is a more productive operating system.

iggy186
iggy186

I still play Quake and Quake 2, Ultimate Doom for Windows 95, Warcraft and Warcraft 2. When my 11-year-old son comes over to visit we have a great time playing Doom or Quake over the network.

WoW > Work
WoW > Work

gog.com CD Projeckt (I believe it's them) created this site to buy old games (DRM FREE!!!) for $5-$10. Games like Fallout, you can digitally purchase, and run them on your current PC (I believe some have a DOSBox type software re-built in, but not 100% sure, need to read more about it.) Either way, classic gaming can continue.

JLHenry
JLHenry

Two of my favorites date from the early 80's: M.U.L.E. , and "Murder of the Zinderneuf", both from EA. I would love to see these two titles revived without having to boot up an Atari 800 Emulator. MULE was the first Game where players competed against each other. Before then, it was player 1 and player 2. And it's still a great game to kill time on.

firstaborean
firstaborean

As a writer, I find myself in need of more than one word processor. A modern version of Microsoft Word for Windows is necessary for compatibility with what I might receive or what a publisher might require, but I actually do my work in Word 6.0 for DOS. Why? I can work in what I call "job orientation" in the DOS version but not in the Windows version. Job orientation means that I click on a job icon, Word gets customized for that job in every way I please to customize it, and then it reopens the job just as I'd left it, however many files had been open, with the cursors where they had been when I'd last left off the job, not just one file open with the cursor at the top of that single file. When I leave off a job, Word goes right back to its previous defaults. I can store as many jobs as I please, and they all are kept straight. One cannot do this with Winword. I also can write complex macros in Word for DOS, including ones that make use of external programs. This "shelling out" is beyond Winword, too. I'm glad that Windows XP has the Virtual DOS Machine in it, making it really easy to set up all of this. In later versions of Windows, I'd have to virtualize an entire computer and install an operating system, such as DOS 5 or 6 or maybe Windows 95 on that virtual computer.

Murphy's_Brother
Murphy's_Brother

Two WinNT boxes as domain controllers for a 2003 server and a mixture of XP and 98 clients. Win 3.11 running a label printer that won't work with anything newer. And at home, a 286 DOS 6 to run an ancient version of Brother's Keeper. Something is only obsolete when it won't do what you need it to. Hey, that means XP is obsolete because it won't run that label printer!!!

Lizzie_B
Lizzie_B

we had two WFW3.11 systems running - one to support an ancient HP laser printer that still worked beautifully and the other to support two legacy apps - one of which was a keystone for the business. The machines were stable and we had spare parts on hand, so there was no reason to spend the money on upgrading.

pgit
pgit

I have an antique of a laptop that only enters BIOS, no OS. (though I have run puppy Linux live mode) But I depend on this machine quite a bit. This is because I have a newer Dell laptop that I do use, and it's battery charger doesn't work. As it happens the older one has the same batteries and the charger works. So basically I have a battery charger with 101 key keyboard and a 9 inch LCD screen.

GNX
GNX

I have a Gateway 2000 P120 PC with original monitor, keyboard and mouse still running!!! Bought in 1995 for the company and got to take it home at upgrade time. It has Word 6 and Excel 5 and 128 MB of EDO RAM

tony
tony

I remember years ago that I hung on to MS Word 2.0 years after several 32bit versions had been released. For straight word-processing, it was a gem, with a comparatively small footprint. I now feel the same way about Word 2003. The "ribbon" of 2007 leaves me cold, and I have too much time invested in the old interface to start again.

tundraroamer
tundraroamer

My now college age kids still like Man on Mars, a DOS based game from early 90's. There are a few others too from that time. We also have Office 97, Office 2007 (bought at the great student price deal about a year ago) and Open Office running on Vista. 97 does what I need. But then, I still have a 98 on on box too.

mystic100
mystic100

My daughter in high school does a lot of PowerPoint presentations for school. She insists that PowerPoint from Office 97 works better and is easier to use than PowerPoint in Office XP.

stu.field
stu.field

At home I use Wordperfect office 8, Professional File v2 a flat file database program and a couple old single use programs like Mylabel. All of these work perfectly well with some considerations for y2k. The output is just as good or better than I would get with the latest versions of Microsoft or other bloatware.

rmerchberger
rmerchberger

I still use my Tandy 200 very regularly. Best keyboard on a laptop *ever*, instant on, auto-power off, and 16 hours on 4 AA batteries. There's still a very active user base & support at www.club100.org, and even new software & hardware (read up on the new NADSbox)! Equipment isn't obsolete until it stops doing what you want! For notes, recipes, etc. my Tandy 200 is still the best!

weicong888
weicong888

the CRM clients the sales using, the oracle ebs suite the finance man using, the sql server the report team using etc, all of these applications that cant be running well or with bad performance in vista cause their complaint. it's really hard to persuade them as the fact tells the truth.

reisen55
reisen55

On a single, stand alone machine with minimal need for anything (a play machine for children in a room or some similiar usage), THEN GREAT. It is FAST and a stable version of Windows. I have one 98 box downstairs and still use it occasionally but really not often enough. I remember it fondly. Windows NT Workstation I hated BECAUSE YOU COULD NOT UPGRADE to it from anything. Everything was a re-install from scratch and that wrecked my enthusiasm for this piece of garbage. YET IT HANGS AROUND FOREVER. Windows 2000 Pro was the first very good version of Windows and XP Professional remains the gold standard. I am amazed at how many offices, though, run XP HOME EDITION which does not allow for joining a domain. Dell is running promotions, be CAREFUL, that advertise Vista boxes at a good price, but it is the HOME EDITION which does not support office networking. Anyone for OS/2 Warp?

reisen55
reisen55

Let me recommend something I have done with all of my accounts running Windows XP and even Server 2003 and that is to keep GHOST IMAGES of those hard drives. For critical and old systems, these images can be life-savers of a major order. Well worth the time and purchase of a large capacity hard drive for storage and recovery.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

In electrical engineering (this includes information technology), spikes are fast, short duration (from nano seconds up to about a second) electrical transients (usually in many hundreds to many thousands of volts) in voltage (voltage spikes), current (current spike), or transferred energy (energy spikes) in an electrical circuit. Fast, short duration electrical transients (overvoltages) in the electric potential of a circuit are typically caused by - lightning strikes - power outages - tripped circuit breakers - short circuits - power transitions in other large equipment on the same power line - malfunctions caused by the power company - electromagnetic pulses (EMP) with electromagnetic energy distributed typically up to the 100 kHz and 1 MHz frequency range. - Inductive spikes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage_spike, 4 December, 2008. Surges are of longer duration than spikes, lasting for a few seconds to several minutes; and typically only over a range from 140 to a few hundred volts. Users, and I.T. personnel have gotten lazy about the terminology over the years and typically are lumping surges and spikes under the term surge nowadays. The thing is, simple surge protectors (your standard powerstrip type) basically dump excess power to the ground, and then either trip a breaker or burn out a fuse in the protector; breaking the circuit and keeping the dangerous level of power from reaching your system. Of course that causes your system to shut down. Spikes are not protected by simple surge protectors as the jump in voltage is fast enough to get through the breaker/fuse before it trips, or is high enough to arc over the gap even if it burns out. And simple surge protectors do nothing about dips or drops in power; which can be just a dangerous to your equipment (especially motors driving cooling fans). Ideally, you want a solution that is a combination uninterrupted power supply, spike and surge protector, and line conditioner. The power supply kicks in to deliver adequate power during drops. The spike and surge protection works for both. And the line conditioner keeps you cycling at the necessary 50 or 60 cycles your system works best at.

mrkesik
mrkesik

Ubuntu is a great os, recently th7ey even added all these awesome 3D effects you can apply. First of all it's free, secondly it manages resources better than the overpriced vista does, it has better 3d effects than vista does. The problem is that it does not run any ms software which is the most popular and generally I like to try new software and not just stick to the basics but ubuntu is good for the average user or just impressing your friends.

pboyce
pboyce

Been doing Windows for quite a while since I am not fond of the command line. Finally built a cheap computer and am using Ubuntu Hardy Heron. The desktop does nearly everything now. So far I have had no problems with drivers. Open Office works fine and it's all free. But if you are migrating try the book "Ubuntu for non-Geeks" by Rickford Grant. It gets you over the hump and introduces to the basic Linux features.

Tater Salad
Tater Salad

I agree. I'm not a Word guru, but all the functions useful to me existed in version 2.0. I'm currently running the XP version at home that came with my computer. At work we use Office 2007 and completely changing the interface seems like an incredibly stupid idea to me. Why alienate your current user base and make everybody a beginner again? I'm not usually an MS basher, but they really screwed up a good thing. I have not seen a single logical reason for doing this. If I have to start from scratch, I might as well go with an open-source product.

digitrog
digitrog

Man On Mars ... what game is that ? Martian Dreams, Martian Memorandum, Ray Bradburys The Martian Chronicles, Mars Saga, Monuments of Mars, Vinyl Goddess from Mars ... ? and who is the author ? what company ...? Haven't heard of Man On Mars as a computer game ... [ don't mean it doesn't exist though ... ] ?:)

lastchip
lastchip

On the very rare occasions I use MS Office (I mostly use Open Office now), I also use '97. Why? Because for me, it does everything I need it to do and hence, there is no reason to pay out for a new version. I don't go along with the mentality that says, "must upgrade". There has to be a good reason and for me, one word processor is the same as another, likewise spreadsheets and so on. Essentially, they're all the same. The software houses are conning the industry, insisting on upgrades, by discontinuing support. I urge you all to wake up and smell the coffee. No such problems with open source.

husserl
husserl

Aside from DOS, I've got a rake of programmes that I like, particularly Top Copy Plus 1.17, which is 20 years old according to the splash screen. I've a copy of Multimate lying about. If I don't want to wait for XP to boot up, I can boot from a USB stick and get stuck in from the prompt, from which I can do virus scans, check drives, partition drives and even manipulate using (AIR) NFTS4DOS... ...these are NTFS aware of course, but it only takes seconds to boot up and do the job. Old games too. The original Prince of Persia is on my USB stick, but sadly doesn't recognise my sound card.

Tater Salad
Tater Salad

I used to love that game. I'm not sure what happened to my copy. The first time I ever played it, I shot down the Red Baron with a lucky long-range shot and I thought "This is too easy", but I played it for years after that and was never able to do it again. I felt like Snoopy.

gothsleepy1
gothsleepy1

That being said, I also do a lot of writing and report creation. They've made it a lot easier to make things look pretty in 2007, but I have to agree that some of the additions/changes are not intuitive. Took me a week or two before I realized that the little arrows in the corner of the ribbon actually opened the old context menus I'd been looking for. One step forward, two steps back til you find the learning curve.

paulmck1
paulmck1

On one of our databases, the only version of Access that we can get to work, is Access 97' Apparently MS did something right back in the 90's.

digitrog
digitrog

To get most of the Classic PC games to run under the newer OS's, some gurus have strung together a brilliant piece of emulation software known as DOSBox. [ http://www.dosbox.com/ ] It can be run from various computer platforms besides Windows, and it can be used to offset the problems associated with trying to get the classics running - where they either go way too fast or don't have the correct sound or video settings to match the new hardware. Another - older alternative which may get the sound to run on XP, NT & Win2k, is VDMSound. The VDMSound emulation package does what it states, emulates the sound card interface used in the older "legacy" software. [ http://sourceforge.net/projects/vdmsound/ ] The VDMSound, although it is still downloadable from the site, hasn't been updated for a while - as it is now incorporated into the DOSBox project ... Last version is VDMSound v2 - 2.1.0 as of AUG 2007. simply download, install, and run the VDMsound application - before the game file ... Hope this helps ... My primary Internet PC is still purring on Win98SE, and Netscape 7.2 ! [ My XP machine - even with all the A/V and anti-spyware, often suffers from trojan, virus and HiJacker attacks ! - last beast that got in took nearly a week to remove! Nasty gremlin actually passworded the ADMINISTRATION side of the hard drive ... I beat it without resorting to reformating! (didn't want to lose 40Gb of info)] [ ___ PS ___ Another tool is SCUMMVM . SCUMM is the software engine used to create many older games, and the SCUMMVM is a virtual machine engine which will run the heart of the particular game without using it's exe or com file. [ http://www.scummvm.org/ ] ]