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xp systems... any value?

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didds
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xp systems... any value?

#83608

Postby didds » September 26th, 2017, 11:48 am

I've been provided with a load of old xp systems, pcs and laptops. Before I potentially spend hours on them, do they have any value these days? This isn't expecting they will go for£100 or anything ridiculous - I was thinking £25 once tidied up and checked over. Aimed at school students needing something for homework etc rather than gaming for obvious reasons.


I could of course put Linux on them. But lets face it, that won't fly with anybody except nerds like us lot.

I do have an option to give to a abused families charity but tbh I need whatever cash i can get ar the moment.

Didds

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83613

Postby TedSwippet » September 26th, 2017, 11:53 am

didds wrote:I could of course put Linux on them. But lets face it, that won't fly with anybody except nerds like us lot.

Maybe turn them into Chromebooks?

NomoneyNohoney
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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83637

Postby NomoneyNohoney » September 26th, 2017, 12:53 pm

I was going to suggest the same: trying them out as Chromebooks.* Then I realised that I ought not to recommend something that I've not tried, so I'm currently loading the installer onto a USB stick, so I can experiment and see how well it works.


*https://www.howtogeek.com/217659/how-to-get-a-chrome-os-like-operating-system-on-any-pc/

didds
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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83645

Postby didds » September 26th, 2017, 1:05 pm

I've got to get a 8Gb usb drive to test it myself :-)

please let us know how you get on NMNH

didds

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83648

Postby Infrasonic » September 26th, 2017, 1:31 pm

Zorin OS (linux) is getting very favourable reviews for its ease of use for Windows transitioners.
Even has Wine included by default.

https://www.google.co.uk/search?num=30& ... C-bRMwZnTY

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83715

Postby BobbyD » September 26th, 2017, 4:11 pm

At £25 a pop you probably aren't going to want to be paying shipping, I'd look at local free ads. Perhaps one or two which require least effort could be cleaned up to see how they fly?

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83718

Postby kiloran » September 26th, 2017, 4:22 pm

didds wrote:I could of course put Linux on them. But lets face it, that won't fly with anybody except nerds like us lot.
Didds

Linux Mint is extremely similar to Windows in many ways. My wife is the ultimate technophobe and is quite happy using Firefox on Mint.

With the increasing security risks with XP, I would have reservations about using it, except perhaps as an offline word processor (using LibreOffice, for example)

Chromebook is an interesting idea but you may have issues if printing is required. Many modern printers should be OK, but most older ones won't work with Chromebook.

--kiloran

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83822

Postby NomoneyNohoney » September 26th, 2017, 11:46 pm

That was hard work!
I had an old netbook, which was running FreeNAS, from when I wanted to have my own private cloud system. Having set up the netbook to run FreeNAS, I lost interest at that point, so elected the netbook to be my Chromebook. Simple specs: 1.6 gig processor, 1 gig ram, 80 GB hard drive.

To start I formatted a 32 GB USB flashdrive, download the install program onto it and then set it to work on formatting & installing on netbook.
Tried this three or four times over a couple of hours, but something wasn't working. Redownloaded and reinstalled the loader but still nowt.

Remembered seeing some warnings about "only use 8GB or 16GB flashdrives." Didn't have a spare flashdrive, but had a spare 8GB SD card, and as the netbook will boot from SD card, reinstalled the loader onto that and then plugged that into netbook. Chose to format netbook HD and not dual-boot. 20 minutes of chugging away, and finally success. Maybe their admonition to only use 8/16 GB install devices is based on something sensible - it'd be nice if they explained why they recommend that.

Once its running, its very similar to an Android phone. You do everything using Chrome browser, and the preinstalled apps are:-
Google drawings - a drawing program
Google forms - seems to be basically questions & responses
Google docs - Word equivalent, will save in docx, rtf,pdf,txt, as web page and -interestingly - as epub
Google sheets - Excel equivalent
Google maps
Google files - a file manager program

Because you need to login using a google address, it gives you access to your Google drive, which can be used for your storage.

It has access to the Play store, so apps should be available from there.
Just because I could, I installed into Chrome browser the Hola extension, which is a VPN. (There have been massive security problems with Hola before - this version claims that it is not a peer-to-peer network, and protests its safety. As I'm really only experimenting, still went ahead.)

Hola seems to work fine, it immediately connected me via a USA server, and straight away I was heading into trouble. Had a look at KAT's website, up came a message saying it had been seized by the US authorities, and there was a flag showing my location as USA. Still, at least the geo re-location works!

Generally, the Chrome book feels quite sprightly, webpages are loading without delay, and it's just getting used to a different way of doing things. I look at all the different programs I bounce between on a windows laptop, and do think it'll be hard to find equivalents for all of them though.

Will keep the Chrome OS for a while, as it makes the netbook more useful than before, when it only had FreeNAS, which I had no real use for latterly.

(Without boring you with all the trials and tribulations of installation, one thing that I would mention is that I loaded a live version of Knoppix earlier in the proceedings. Using the Chrome browser feels much more Windowsesque, than using Linux...)

Now Didds, as an aside, have you kept your Windowsphone, or have you been forced over to the Dark Side? Really like my 640XL, but I have a Moto phone as daily driver, seduced by all the apps...

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83952

Postby NomoneyNohoney » September 27th, 2017, 3:15 pm

They say its bad form to reply to your own posts, but so what? Sue me...

I've been thinking about this Chromebook stuff since I started experimenting yesterday, and have a few more thoughts about it.

First - why do it? Answer - to try and use a better OS than XP, which is out of date and a security risk day by day.
Also, to try and maximise the system's usefulness, by removing drag and bloat.

Now that Ive played a bit more, I actually think its a dead-end, particularly with old hardware.

First, a Chromebook needs to be connected to the web, to be able to use programs that are less effective than those likely to already be installed.
If you already have a version of Word or Excel on your laptop, then that has greater functionality than the web only version. And you can use it offline.
Hence, installed programs work anywhere, while Chromebook programs only work where you have a wifi connection, or I guess, where you've set up your phone as a hotspot.

Next, you can use a far greater range of programs than just the emasculated ones in the Windows store. And, as we Windowsphone users have found to our cost, you don't lose use of a program just whenever when the developer decides to no longer support it.

That then indicates that as the hardware level is suitable for running XP initially, it is still suitable. All your data is held locally, rather than in cloud storage (aka "somebody else's computer!")

It's the security side of things that needs real consideration.
XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, but there are still two years of XP updates available for Windows XP point of sale version. A small registry hack allows these updates to continue. Google quickly finds this for you.

Using WSUSOffline allows download of any and all Win XP updates previously available, so you could have all official updates till cut-off date, plus the extra ones provided afterwards, if you use the registry hack.

Internet Explorer is vulnerable to exploits, so switching to using Chrome as the browser gets as safe as is reasonably possible to get greater protection (inbuilt sandbox I believe).
Change windows firewall for the Comodo one, install Malwarebytes and Bit Defender (free) antivirus and you are as safe as is reasonably possible to get. Use all your standard Windows programs that you're used to, and if you're still worried, then dual or treble boot between Win XP, Linux and Chrome OS, whichever floats your boat.

I think I'll keep the chrome stuff on the netbook, but will reinstall XP, for all the above reasons. That way, when I drag it out of the cupboard once a year or whatever, I know it'll still work. No wondering if the Chrome OS people have turned it off or killed it or anything like that, just good old XP waiting to live again another day.

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Re: xp systems... any value?

#83964

Postby TedSwippet » September 27th, 2017, 3:48 pm

NomoneyNohoney wrote:First, a Chromebook needs to be connected to the web, ...

This is apparently no longer as true as it once was. It might be a bit of a fiddle to set up some things, but you can now accomplish quite a few useful tasks on an offline Chromebook, including docs, sheets and slides.

I have a genuine Chromebook(*), and honestly, I have not used any other laptop now in over a year. And so far I haven't found any significant limitations in what I want to do (although admittedly, I no longer need to write and compile large C++ programs while on the move in the way I used to while employed!).

On the other hand, the fact that all my spreadsheets, docs, and so on are in the cloud and therefore seamlessly available to my tablet, phone, and any remote device or location I might visit, is very handy indeed.

[ (*) Perhaps the Cloudware implementation for PCs differs in that it is somehow less offline-capable than 'real' Chromebooks? Don't know; I only possess the 'real' version. ]

didds
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Re: xp systems... any value?

#84473

Postby didds » September 29th, 2017, 12:01 pm

BobbyD wrote:At £25 a pop you probably aren't going to want to be paying shipping, I'd look at local free ads. Perhaps one or two which require least effort could be cleaned up to see how they fly?

Yup - totally BobbyD - I entirely agree,. Shipping/posting is too much hassle anyway.

cheers

didds


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