SHCC WYSIWYG Article from December 2013

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the December 2013 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Win 8.1, Upgrading, and Seattle's' Wireless Web

by Don VanSyckel

Win 8.1 is available. If took a LONG time to download, overnight but then I don't have the very fastest internet. I still find Win 8.1 intrusive, cumbersome, and hampering. Apart from this it's great. I predict it sells a lot of MACs. Moving on, when I get a break in the action I plan to load WinXP on the new desktop. I figure WinXP will be good through at least the end of 2015. The only hesitation is new computers have new devices in them and new devices need new device drivers. If the new devices haven't been shipped in OEM WinXP PCs the new devices might not be supported with WinXP device drivers.

This happened with a laptop I bought three years or so ago. Brand new HP laptop delivered with Win Vista. Well Vista had to be removed. The good news is I made the system backup before doing anything. Then I loaded WinXP and the video, sound, and network were not supported. It was even difficult to determine the device types. I load Vista back on the laptop from the system backup and easily recorded the various device types. I hunted around and found some on the device drivers for WinXP. The network card device driver was a generic one and the sound card had no device driver at all. Eventually the network card device driver for the specific card was available and a few month's later the sound card device driver became available.

I'm not sure I want to go through what happened with the laptop with the new desktop so I think Iíll cruise around the web and check out the device driver situation and collect what is needed before jumping in.

Have you heard about the grid of wireless access points that the city of Seattle has installed. They're part of a system that can real time track all the wireless devices in the grid's 'sight'. This information is bumped against other information sources to provide the device owner's identity. Some people might say this is pretty cool. In actuality, some unelected bureaucrats now have access to everybodies' comings and goings in the Seattle area. We all know how people are, they start out with good intentions and then for some reason there's an axe to grind or an advantage to be had and information is improperly used. How do you feel about this? Is it an advantage for public safety or an intrusion in personal privacy? Think about it.

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