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  • Question

  • Time has come, and I'd rather jump off a bridge.  I'm IT mgr for 30yrs.  I am a whiz on computer, and do things very FAST and EFFICIENTLY - minimum keystrokes, minimum sliding silly mouse around all day.  I have dozens and dozens of software packages, some pre-XP (no win install executable) that I manually installed to run on xp by putting files in correct (expected) directories.

    Now I know, a bunch of you are shaking you heads and saying, "Get a look at this old broad, she's living in the past."  I will use one single piece of software to make my example.  In the 90's, I BOUGHT in a STORE, Parson's Address Book.  The company was bought out by another, who dead-ended the product several years ago, and told me their 'better' bigger product would do 'almost' everything the other did (SO NOT TRUE!!).

    Let me tell you, this Address Book software is the BEST program I've EVER SEEN to keep up with names, phone numbers, fax, cell, business, alternate everything, custom fields, categorizing, grouping, and a full report-writer built in to print it all or quickly selected groups to labels, organizers, full paper, anything you can define, any number of columns or lines, customize every field that goes where, etc.  This thing has saved me TENS OF THOUSANDS of hours of my time since about 1998.  I've tried to do the same with Access and many personal information manager software, and NOTHING compares to this product.  It is JUST what I need and NO MORE, no overhead, no fancy ____.  So, I've been using it to collect information for 15 years, think I want to lose all that?    I use this software multiple times/day.  It loads in 5 seconds.  One keystroke takes me to the name I'm looking for.  Unloads in 2 seconds.

    I got it to run on xp by tweaking, but have no confidence it will run on Windows 7 compatibility mode.  Can one go to the c:\programs directory in compatibility mode and MANUALLY COPY a folder and it's subfolders to run their?  (because the path is hard-coded into the software, going back to an earlier version of Windows)

    Some other things I won't live without and use daily and PAID MONEY for, unless otherwise noted:
    Nirsoft METARWeather - freeware - use 5-10 times each morning to produce a report for a website 365 days/year
    ws_ftp pro - use about 100 times/day, loads in 3 seconds
    NoteTab Pro vs 2001
    Photoimpact XL
    Ulead Gif Animator 5
    Ulead Cool 3D 3.5
    Locate 32  (freeware)
    PDF Tool 3.5
    ATF Cleaner  (freeware)
    NIYoW - file naming utility but latest version is free - creating 100 new files in 30 minutes every morning, can't live without this

    Other things I PAID FOR that likely I'll lose, not all mentioned here, just the favorites:
    brainsbreaker (jigsaw game)
    PC study Bible (1998)
    Quickbooks 2006 and up - some clients on 2006, so I can't upgrade THEIR data while I'm working on it, or then they must

    Now lets talk about MS productivity software:
    all day long use Word, Excel, but version 2003 - I HATE 2007
    The biggest argument against is I have Excel macros for PAYROLL files using Visual Basic Editor, which MS in their assinine 'wisdom' TOOK AWAY in 2007vers
    The payroll package took thousands of hours to write, and still works with Excel 2003 - should I rewrite it just because MS doesn't want backward compatibility?
    Can I run MS Office 2003 on Windows 7 compatibility pack? (with Visual Basic Editor?)

    Hey Microsoft, I'm now telling my clients small business owners to buy Apple, their investment will hold it's value much longer, and they will be treated better.  Never thought this day would come!  Shame on you, Bill!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 3:41 PM

Answers

  • Time has come, and I'd rather jump off a bridge.  I'm IT mgr for 30yrs.  I am a whiz on computer, and do things very FAST and EFFICIENTLY - minimum keystrokes, minimum sliding silly mouse around all day.  I have dozens and dozens of software packages, some pre-XP (no win install executable) that I manually installed to run on xp by putting files in correct (expected) directories.

    Now I know, a bunch of you are shaking you heads and saying, "Get a look at this old broad, she's living in the past."  I will use one single piece of software to make my example.  In the 90's, I BOUGHT in a STORE, Parson's Address Book.  The company was bought out by another, who dead-ended the product several years ago, and told me their 'better' bigger product would do 'almost' everything the other did (SO NOT TRUE!!).

    Let me tell you, this Address Book software is the BEST program I've EVER SEEN to keep up with names, phone numbers, fax, cell, business, alternate everything, custom fields, categorizing, grouping, and a full report-writer built in to print it all or quickly selected groups to labels, organizers, full paper, anything you can define, any number of columns or lines, customize every field that goes where, etc.  This thing has saved me TENS OF THOUSANDS of hours of my time since about 1998.  I've tried to do the same with Access and many personal information manager software, and NOTHING compares to this product.  It is JUST what I need and NO MORE, no overhead, no fancy ____.  So, I've been using it to collect information for 15 years, think I want to lose all that?    I use this software multiple times/day.  It loads in 5 seconds.  One keystroke takes me to the name I'm looking for.  Unloads in 2 seconds.

    I got it to run on xp by tweaking, but have no confidence it will run on Windows 7 compatibility mode.  Can one go to the c:\programs directory in compatibility mode and MANUALLY COPY a folder and it's subfolders to run their?  (because the path is hard-coded into the software, going back to an earlier version of Windows)

    Some other things I won't live without and use daily and PAID MONEY for, unless otherwise noted:
    Nirsoft METARWeather - freeware - use 5-10 times each morning to produce a report for a website 365 days/year
    ws_ftp pro - use about 100 times/day, loads in 3 seconds
    NoteTab Pro vs 2001
    Photoimpact XL
    Ulead Gif Animator 5
    Ulead Cool 3D 3.5
    Locate 32  (freeware)
    PDF Tool 3.5
    ATF Cleaner  (freeware)
    NIYoW - file naming utility but latest version is free - creating 100 new files in 30 minutes every morning, can't live without this

    Other things I PAID FOR that likely I'll lose, not all mentioned here, just the favorites:
    brainsbreaker (jigsaw game)
    PC study Bible (1998)
    Quickbooks 2006 and up - some clients on 2006, so I can't upgrade THEIR data while I'm working on it, or then they must

    Now lets talk about MS productivity software:
    all day long use Word, Excel, but version 2003 - I HATE 2007
    The biggest argument against is I have Excel macros for PAYROLL files using Visual Basic Editor, which MS in their assinine 'wisdom' TOOK AWAY in 2007vers
    The payroll package took thousands of hours to write, and still works with Excel 2003 - should I rewrite it just because MS doesn't want backward compatibility?
    Can I run MS Office 2003 on Windows 7 compatibility pack? (with Visual Basic Editor?)

    Hey Microsoft, I'm now telling my clients small business owners to buy Apple, their investment will hold it's value much longer, and they will be treated better.  Never thought this day would come!  Shame on you, Bill!

    I installed Office 2003 in Windows 7 fine, then I installed my Office 2007 disk on top of it, and again no problem. Nothing broke. 3rd party software is often at fault, so a virtual machine can cope here.

    As for the rest of your software stack, Windows 7 can open XP in a virtual machine if you cannot get the program working natively in Windows 7.

    I am able to fix most excel problems as I use it daily in my shop. I use it to micromanage everything.



    Vote if answered or helpful, I am running for Office (joke)! IT/Developer, Windows/Linux/Mainframe

    Server: ASRock P4-2GHz, 1.5 GB RAM, Linux Server, need IDE/SATA disks for my chess site

    Workstation: Asus M2NBP-VM CSM, Athlon64 X2 4200+ 65W CPU, 2GB RAM, NVIDIA 8600GT, 320GB + 160G backup, Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
    Saturday, December 19, 2009 1:17 AM
  • I can say that Microsoft has put a lot of effort in to making Windows 7 compatible with older applications.  Most applications I've tested have worked just fine on Win7, and most others work by selecting the compaitibility option in the properties of the application.  XP Mode or Virtual PC can be used to run older versions of Windows if there are some applications you cannot get to work otherwise and are easy to use (and don't cost $200): http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/default.aspx

    I encourage you to give Windows 7 a try.  Windows 7 is covered by Microsoft's return policy which states you can try it out for 45 days and uninstall and return it for a refund if you aren't satisfied:
    http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/productrefund/refund.mspx
    -Matt
    Monday, January 4, 2010 8:45 PM

All replies

  • there are always alternatives. just as you suggesting your clients to buy Apple. However, in your case an alternative could be virtualization. try installing older operating systems in virtual environment and enjoy your legacy applications.
    Monday, November 30, 2009 11:55 AM
  • Hi oldtimeITer,

    While I'll be the first to say that there are things about Windows 7 that seem at first blush to be a step away from "get work done" and more toward "be entertained by the computer", I will tell you this:

    Don't be scared of it.

    You can copy things to folders and get them to run, just like in XP.  You can set a path.  You can run Office 2003 without invoking any compatibility mode whatsoever (I do).  You can run command prompts.  You can configure it to work.

    In short, it's still Windows.

    I'm not saying everything you have is going to run just perfectly, but I'll bet you'll be able to get most all your things working, and the experience of using them might just be more pleasant than what you're used to.

    Try not to let your resistance to change show.

    -Noel


    P.S., I've got 34 years experience with computers, since they were the size of buildings and took punch cards.


    P.P.S., You use ws_ftp...  I used to as well.  Consider looking into WebDrive.  It's even easier and more integrated - it makes the FTP site into a mapped drive on your system, and you can just drag and drop files through Explorer, or XCopy, or...

    Monday, November 30, 2009 2:06 PM
  • One other thing:  Jumping to a new OS doesn't have to be an unplanned jump into the black...  Do you have a powerful enough computer to run a virtualization system (e.g., VMware)?

    Here's what you do:

    1.  Buy and install VMware Workstation (it's not free, but it's not going to break the bank at 200 bucks).

    2.  Buy Windows 7.  Not cheap, but probably still better than jumping off the bridge.

    3.  Install Windows 7 in a virtual machine - and take some time to get used to it.

    4.  When ready, buy a new computer pre-configured with Windows 7.  Don't try to upgrade your old one; instead keep it going during your transition as a fallback, where you can still get things done, and where you can compare your VMware setup with your real new computer.  The new computer will be more powerful than your old one, which means it will run Windows 7 better anyway.

    This method (which I am using) is GREAT for a) learning all about the new system and b) verifying all the installs, etc. that you will need to do.  It will even tell you when Windows 7 is mature enough to support all your needs.

    A virtual machine is like having another whole computer conveniently located right on your desktop just to test things on, try things on, install things on, to build your confidence that you will be able to survive the upgrade to Windows 7 with your sanity intact.

    I predict that in 3 months you'll be the local expert, the go to girl for all things Windows 7.  Management will be impressed.

    -Noel
    Monday, November 30, 2009 2:13 PM
  • Thanks for the suggestions, Noel. 

    Well, I've been sick lately, and my income this year has yet to reach $15,000, so .... not going to spend $200 or anything BEFORE I can get an answer to my original question:
    "Can one go to the c:\programs directory in compatibility mode and MANUALLY COPY a folder and it's subfolders to run their?  (because the path is hard-coded into the software, going back to an earlier version of Windows)"

    It seems it should be possible to find out what is going to work before I spend money I can't afford and then find out I wasted it and can't earn any income.
    Friday, December 18, 2009 3:10 PM
  • Unless someone has the same app as you for testing, it would hard for someone to say Yes it will work without guess at it.

    As stated above it is still windows and I have not found any apps which would not work, I run a bunch of portable apps on my win 7 netbook.

    And "telling my clients small business owners to buy Apple" would just amke them hate you...Apple would just add the compatibility cost.

    As for VM's virtualbox is free it cost nothing.

    "and they will be treated better"

    I would also suggest you have a good at Apples track record with dealing with customers, this is just not the case, there new 27 " macs are going out DOA,
    Apple responses with "Ok it worked when we shipped it...send it back, the customer pays the shipping and MAYBE they will send you a new one..maybe they send a refub.

    Dell would dispacth a tech over night or ship a new PC and send a pick by UPS.

    Do a little research...80 plus pages on the MAC forum and still no a peep from MAC.
    one customer I know purchased four new boxes..1 DOA and 2 the video was not working after boot, the MAC expert claims it must be the power in the building causing the issue, he stared twice they have had ZERO returns on the product (but he said he never reads the MAC forums).

    I still remember the IMac trash they sold..all-in-one with a handle on top, so when you got ticked off you grab it by handle and toss in the trash where it belonged.

    • Edited by Bubbapcguy Friday, December 18, 2009 4:30 PM added rant about Apple
    Friday, December 18, 2009 4:20 PM
  • "Can one go to the c:\programs directory in compatibility mode and MANUALLY COPY a folder and it's subfolders to run their?  (because the path is hard-coded into the software, going back to an earlier version of Windows)"

    The short answer is:

    If you could do that with an earlier version of Windows to get the application installed, then you can very likely do it with Windows 7.  It's still Windows and looks similar under the covers to its predecessors all the way back to NT.  Unless your software is ill-behaved and really requires some specific things that only XP would have provided, it will also quite possibly not involve compatibility settings.

    No dis intended here, just honest opinion:  Even part time contract IT desktop folks should be making more $$$ than what you noted.  I suggest you ask for a raise if they're expecting you to coordinate a move from XP to Windows 7.

    I'm also a little surprised you feel confident in advising people to buy Apple (per your original post), given you seem to know almost nothing about the newest versions of Windows.

    -Noel
    Friday, December 18, 2009 4:33 PM
  • I can say that Microsoft has put a lot of effort in to making Windows 7 compatible with older applications.  Most applications I've tested have worked just fine on Win7, and most others work by selecting the compaitibility option in the properties of the application.  XP Mode or Virtual PC can be used to run older versions of Windows if there are some applications you cannot get to work otherwise and are easy to use (and don't cost $200): http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/support/default.aspx

    I encourage you to give Windows 7 a try.  Windows 7 is covered by Microsoft's return policy which states you can try it out for 45 days and uninstall and return it for a refund if you aren't satisfied:
    http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/productrefund/refund.mspx
    -Matt
    Monday, January 4, 2010 8:45 PM