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New Computer--Windows XP or Vista?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Sgt. Mike, Apr 8, 2009.

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  1. Sgt. Mike

    Sgt. Mike TS Member

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    We are going to be getting a new computer. Since Windows XP seems to be getting near the end, is Vista as good as it's supposed to be? The main programs will only support XP or Vista. I did a search and saw some good information from last February, I believe.

    The computer will have a 22" monitor as we need outstanding graphics. The important program will be a computerized sewing system that hooks to a Husqvarna Viking Machine. What should I include as far as memory, back-up hardware/software and anything else you can think of? I had an old 3.1 system with a tape back up but I'm not sure that is an option any longer. All help is appreciated. Thank you in advance. Michael and Jane
     
  2. bigdogtx

    bigdogtx Well-Known Member

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    Vista had a LOT of problems when it first came out. Do a google search and see some of the computer BB's and see if it is fixed,,,,otherwise get XP. I really like it.
     
  3. BRGII

    BRGII TS Member

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    The new edition of Vista far out shines XP. I would go with the new technology as it will be old in a few months. R
     
  4. missemucho

    missemucho Member

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    When I ordered my wife's laptop I specified XP because Microsoft seems to have the bugs out (finally). A llot less trouble with periperals.From what I hear, Vista has been such a headache that they're already working hard on the replacement, no matter what propaganda you hear to the contrary. Get as much memory as you can afford (3 gig minimum) and a good graphics card (256mb minimum; 512 would be better).
    John
     
  5. Ken X

    Ken X TS Member

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    My son is a computer engineer for a hotshot hi-tech company with about 500 compters owned. They DEMAND XP or will buy from another company! They relent and load new stuff with XP. MUCH fewer problems, MUCH more stable. I did the same with my recent new one.
     
  6. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Now there is a complex question...

    The problem with Vista when first released was that there were essentially two versions of it, but you could not easily tell which version your machine would load.

    Over simplified - computer manufacturers, with lots of 'old' parts on hand panicked when they saw the hardware specs for Vista. To calm them MicroSoft made a 'dumbed down' version that would work on machines that technically did not meet the standards set for the OS, but gave the consumer no easy way to tell which version you would get. The 'full' version is OK (after all the updates), but the 'light' version was very problematic - these are the people who are bettered served with XP Pro.

    So, to try and answer your question...

    Check the software aspects of your primary program - is it 32 bit, or is it 64 bit capable??

    If 32 bit, then you might be better off with XP Pro (NOT Home or any other version - go with XP Pro).

    If it supports 64 bit processing then Vista (again with all the updates) might be a better choice in that it handles this 64 bit processing fairly well.

    If you go with XP Pro you want as much RAM as you can put into the machine (most will hold 4 GB, but XP 'sees' only 3.5 - sort of... There are certain aspects of the machine that can use the extra RAM, so it might be worth the extra investment).

    If you go with Vista (get Business or Ultimate - I pasted a link above) max out the RAM in the machine if you can - you will not regret it, in that Vista is a memory hog.

    You will want a 'fast' machine (Pentium IV - near 3.0 GHz or above), but the video card, sound card, etc. is where the hardware issue really occurred so buy a 'better' quality machine (don't settle for a 'budget box').

    Good luck.
     
  7. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Since you say the computer will be used as part of a computer controlled sewing machine, the first question might be, what does Husqvarna say are the recommended specifications and operating system(s)? Do they offer software for either or both operating systems or do you have to get it from a third party?

    Next question, have you found any user forums or such for the sewing machine you are mating to the computer? Such forums or user groups could provide useful information based on their experiences with various OS's.
     
  8. Bob_K

    Bob_K Well-Known Member

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    VISTA goes away next year and will be replaced by Windows Version 7. I don't think I'd invest in VISTA at the moment.
     
  9. jimrich60

    jimrich60 Member

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    +1 on Bobk's comments. VISTA has been so problematical for users that Microsoft already has the beta (test) version of Windows 7 out to beta testers. Expect it to be released by the end of the year, or early next year. If it were me, I would, if at all possible, get a Windows XP Pro machine now, and then if needed, upgrade to Windows 7 next year. VISTA is, for all practical purposes, already a dying and soon to be dead operating system. Altho "retired" I still consult for selected small businesses and have them all with XP Pro still, even those who recently bought entire new networks (which I set up) because they need the best reliability possible. And that is not VISTA in my opinion.


    Jim R
     
  10. wireguy

    wireguy TS Member

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    If you buy a machine with Vista pre-loaded be forwarned that the hardware may be configured to only work with Vista. My HP Pavillion is that way. It was tough to dump Vista and get it to load XP, and in fact HP couldn't believe I had successfully done it. There are driver issues that require a lot of time to resolve if you switch operating systems. I still can only access the internet using the card from my old computer. When you buy your new computer make sure there are several empty card slots. Mine has only one.
     
  11. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    The first and most important question is to determine what your Husqvarna software will run on. If it's Windows 3.1, it's either 16-bit or 32-bit. Unmodified, it might not even run under XP, let alone Vista. New hardware will probably require a software upgrade, or some expert fiddling with Compatibility Mode.

    Monitor size doesn't matter, and it's a cheap luxury. A 22" monitor is no longer a big deal - less than $200 retail - and well worth the money if you have geezer eyes like I do. Based on the age of your software, a low-end video card is probably all you need, but it will still look better on a big monitor.

    HP sells business class machines with both XP Pro and Vista Business installed, plus a three year warranty. They're not bad machines, once you scrape off the crap software that almost every manufacturer insists on putting on new machines. They come with XP Pro installed, and that's all I ever use. Based on some pretty sorry technical experience with Vista, I no longer recommend it to my clients, nor do any of my colleagues. It's OK for a home email machine, but I wouldn't (and don't) bet my business on it. If you do, make sure you make the recovery CD's (if they don't come in the box) when the machine is new. When Vista fails, it goes down in flames.

    Give some serious thought to backups. For simple applications, look into Norton Ghost and an external USB hard drive. It runs completely automatically, and can be rigged to run until full, and then clean off the oldest backups automatically. The whole deal costs under $200.00. The only exception is that it doesn't handle SQL Express apps like Act! very well. Other than that, it runs like a Swiss watch.

    I don't follow the 64-bit comments above at all. The only thing I'm aware of is that it allows you to run more than 3GB of memory, which almost nobody needs. I won't waste any time looking it up again, but the last comment I saw about 64 bit Vista was to avoid it unless you had a serious reason to use it. It doesn't belong on a home machine, and I'm pretty sure you don't need it for this application.

    I read yesterday that Microsoft plans to offer XP downgrade rights on both Vista AND Windows 7, which is unprecedented. Microsoft is finally waking up to the idea that they no longer dictate hardware and OS upgrades like they used to.

    Pay attention to market penetration. I checked a popular blogsite (hotair.com) this morning, and out of 260,000 visitors this week, only 6% or so of them were running Vista. 13% were running Macs, and about 80% were running XP. And these are actual, real, online machines. Bottom line, Vista is nowhere near the runaway success Microsoft says it is.

    So unless you have a serious technical reason to go to Vista or Vista-64, I would recommend staying with XP Pro. PM me if you have questions.
     
  12. trim tab

    trim tab Active Member

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    If you are buying a Dell, tell them that you want the Windows XP professional as your operating system. They will then load Vista on your computer and you can switch over at anytime down the road. This worked great for me as I just bought anew Dell Inspiron 530. Didn't need monitor, speakers etc.
     
  13. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    The decision would be based on what your primary software requires. The sewing program takes precedence. If it will run on Vista without issues, then you can go with that. If you need XP, several OEM suppliers will downgrade your machine to XP Pro. One such OEM is Dell. Their business machines will usually have the option. Avoid HP at all costs. They have the worst support of any manufacturer I have ever encountered. Their machines aren't the greatest either.

    A call or email to the software supplier should get you the information on which OS is compatible. I like XP Pro, but at some point, Microsoft will pull the plug on support. That will probably happen a lot sooner than Vista.
     
  14. zzt

    zzt Well-Known Member

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    Sgt. Mike, I've been running Vista Business on my business computer for two years without a problem. It happens I built this computer, but you can buy one with a modern Core 2 duo processor and 4 gig of memory for well under $1000. That's fine.

    Almost every program I need to run runs well under Vista, or in an XP compatibility mode. I even run programs originally designed for Windows 3.1 without compatibility mode, with no issues. There are a couple of legacy, specialized programs that are not compatible with Vista that will not run in a compatibility mode. Since I absolutely needed those programs, I installed Microsoft's free Virtual PC software and created a virtual XP SPIII machine. I already owned a previous version of retail XP, so I didn't have to buy it again.

    Quack made a good suggestion. Make sure your sewing program will run on Vista, or on Vista in compatibility mode. Vista includes compatibility modes from Win95 through XP SPII.

    The vast majority of people badmouthing Vista have no earthly idea what they are talking about. Most who are pitching XP don't remember how big a hue and cry arose when it came out replacing 2000. XP didn't "get real" until Service Pack 2. That was many years after launch. Windows 7 is essentially Vista SP II. It will use the same drivers, etc. It is a slimmed down, faster version with less bloatware. You will have the option of installing that crap, but it isn't going to install by default anymore.

    BTW, I'd personally suggest a 24", 1920x1080 resolution monitor.
     
  15. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    I agree with the post about HP tech support. They are terrible, simply AWFUL.

    I am also on my second Pavilion notebook and it has touch pad problems that have not been repaired with two trips to the HP repair depot and a OS restoration.

    It took two weeks for a case manager to get back to me and I am now waiting for another callback from the same case manager. That department is as bad as the HP tech support (Did I mention they are terrible?)

    Rollin
     
  16. fritzi93

    fritzi93 TS Member

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    I doubt you need 64 bit architecture, the field where the extra memory is most useful is in non-linear video editing/rendering. Then again, some (many?) programs are problematic on a 64 bit OS.

    If you can't purchase a "clean" computer (i.e.without pre-installed "crapware") try PCDecrapifier (free) at link above.

    Vista got off on the wrong foot with the "Vista Capable" fiasco. Remember that? Computers got sold as adequate for Vista but weren't. Although I'm sticking with XPPro, all I've read leads me to believe that Vista has been substantially improved. The thing is, there's nothing (yet) that Vista can run that XP can't, usually better. (Do a search on Vista versus XP benchmarks).

    If you purchase a Vista machine planning to format and install XP, make very certain that XP drivers are available for the hardware.
     
  17. bobdog

    bobdog Active Member

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    Actually, zzt, I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to XP and Vista. It's my business, and has been for 26 years. I was a systems manager for a Fortune 500 company before that. Sorry you don't agree, but you're making some big assumptions about my background that aren't justified.

    I've had mixed results with HP tech support, but there is a huge difference in support quality between their retail computers and their business computers. They're all pretty bad, but Dell doesn't do too well in surveys. Fact is, it's a tough industry to make a profit in, and free support is expensive as hell. I'm surprised when a support call is actually useful.

    Here it is, courtesy of 2 minutes with Google: "According to a survey by The Customer Respect Group, Dell ranked 12 out of 18 in terms of its online customer support, with HP taking the top spot. The difficulty of locating Dell's support pages contributed to its low ranking." Infoworld, February 2008.

    That's not to say HP is perfect. I've had some bad experiences and some good experiences, including really annoying issues like Rollin's touchpad problem.
     
  18. The Kissable Wanker

    The Kissable Wanker TS Member

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    If Vista is so good then why do AV and Firewall vendors still have problems all this time after Vista's launch?

    How come so many SW programs go kaflooey with Vista and not XP?

    How come new hardware is only a 50/50 chance of working out of the box because Vista's drivers are worthless?

    Vista only works well with MS products and that's it!
     
  19. lefty1100

    lefty1100 TS Member

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    I have 2 compute rs with XP justpurchased a laptop with Vista as XP was unavailable VISTA IS CRAP MICRO SOFT SHOULD FIRE THE PROGRAMERS THAT CAME UP WITH IT. MOST PRINTERS WONT WORK WITH IT AND IT IS VERY HARD TO LOCATE EVERY DAY UTILITIES. VISTA IS BEING REPLACED
     
  20. The Rock

    The Rock Active Member

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    Vista is fine if you get enough ram for it 2 gigs or more.

    Rock

    jim
     
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