Thursday, March 20, 2014

Windows XP Phasing Out

My Blogging friend Rick just reminded me that Microsoft will stop updating XP in mid April. I did know this but Rick also dropped this shocker, even anti-virus protection via Microsoft Security Essentials will end! Wow, I didn't know that! My Asus Netbook is the last computer I own still running XP and I want to keep it going. Mid April is before we get home so I had to come up with something.

I replaced MSE with BitDefender Free Anti-Virus. I found this program by doing some research on the "best free anti-virus programs" and BitDefender ranked among the highest of those tested. It is very unobtrusive and is reported to take up few resources. It just sits there and works.

The Asus is my oldest computer and has been bullet proof. It is just as good as the day I bought it. Better in fact because I added memory to it a couple of years ago. My long term plans for it is to load a Linux distro on it that was developed just for this computer. I will tackle this task in the summer. It will be a little more difficult because the computer has no CD drive, I will have to load Linux from a thumb drive or external CD drive. My main concern is losing the ability to run the only Windows program I cannot do without - Quicken. I am sure there will be a way through a Windows Emulator program. I will worry about it in the summer. I just have to make it to summer with XP!


  1. Ruth uses Windows XP on her little laptop. We've had "updates" turned off for quite a long time, so we don't really understand the big deal if Microsoft stops updating it. Still works fine for us. Just because they stop issuing updates doesn't mean that it won't work!

    We've also been running both laptops (mine with Vista) without any type of "security" for over five years. Yep, problem free.

    And we use many free wifi connections, do all of our banking and everything from them.

    The big difference is that we are aware of what we download and of what websites we visit. It's that simple.

    Just as with travel, the internet is not nearly as dangerous a place as the "experts" would have you think it is.

  2. In our house, we have Windows 7, Windows Vista and XP all running. The kids laptops all have XP running for their general educational use. I even have a Windows 98 laptop (ancient) for really old DOS games that rely on clock speed for operation. Try playing on a new PC, the game is way too fast to do anything. The loss of the updates will be fine. You can tinker with something for only so long before you tire of it and move on. That is where MS has gotten to.

    All of our computers are using AVAST (free) anti-virus. The only ones I have to really worry about are my wife's and I desktops, my 2 laptops that I use and the 2 servers. The kids laptops {only 7 of them, baby doesn't have on yet. ;-) } can only access our internal network and can't see the "internet". After many years of my wife "trying" out programs and such, then me having to rebuild her PC has taught her to be cautious of what gets installed. She usually just asks me if it's OK or not. The biggest culprit is usually "free" software that installs backdoor programs, such as toolbars or installers. They monitor and send data back to their servers to drop ads and "suggestions" on your browser. So many a PC I've cleaned that have 4-12 (yes 12) toolbars installed.

    If you kept your XP netbook, you'll be just fine. You've already added an anti-virus program. Just watch and be careful of what wants to install on it. I've even taken to reading the legal script as they have to identy what other programs will be installed.

  3. I use XP on my Mac Book Pro. By using bootcamp. When running windows on my mac I do not connect to the internet. I have both here and no antivirus needed.

  4. Maybe I am expecting things from my anti virus programs that they do not provide. I must admit that I have not had a real virus in many years and I have been crediting that to my anti virus program. I have always thought if I let my guard down, I would be vulnerable. I have had MSE inform me that it had blocked "something" but I have also had dozens of unwanted programs and toolbars install themselves with no objection from MSE or Avast before that. I have always been able to delete them. I have installed several free programs that I use and update periodically. I am sure that is where my undesired visitors are coming from.

    I once got a "porn storm" I think it was called when my computer automatically opened one porn site after another and would not stop. I guess that was a virus. I do not know how I got it and had a friend from work clean it out. That was back in the early 90's.

    Anyway, BitDefender seems to be doing it's job, I guess. Or maybe not, maybe viruses have no interest in me. Thanks for the advice Kevin and Pat, I feel a little more at ease now.