SHCC WYSIWYG Article from January 2008

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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 January 2008 WYSIWYG newsletter.

WinXP Again

by Don VanSyckel

Well I did it! Again! I put Windows XP on my 'new' laptop. Actually the 'new' laptop is a few months old but it hasn't seen much use because it came with MS Vista and MS Vista throws up roadblocks to getting things done at every turn. The 'again' is because I put WinXP on the laptop the second day I had it. But I made a mistake, no, WinXP was not the mistake; I had neglected to record the models of the various built in peripherals such as the network interface, the wireless adapter, etc. Without the models I couldn't look for drivers.

Well, like I say, I might be crazy but I'm not stupid. I had made the system backup / recovery CD for the laptop before I did anything else. I put the CD in and restored MS Vista back on the laptop. I've been real busy with some other things and it took a while to locate the WinXP version drivers for the laptop. The problem is the laptop has some devices in it that weren't around when WinXP was current.

Recently I had time to put WinXP on again. I loaded the device drivers I had collected. Things are a lot better than the first time; everything but the network (wired) is functional. For now the wireless is getting me by, but the system is now usable. No more intrusive questions every third click!

I had to have a usable stable laptop because I received a GPS road map package for Christmas and had to have something to put it on. I didn't get a hand held unit; I opted for a laptop based system that I could actually see. I don't wear glasses for driving but can't see to read anything small without them. The hand held I need would have a screen 3 or 4 times as large as the one in the current popular models.

OBTW, do you realize that all the GPS systems use data from the government for the maps. You and I fund the government. So the next time your GPS vendor wants to change you an arm and a leg for an update, remember, you, er we, paid to generate the data and your vendor is simply repackaging the data into their proprietary format. To say nothing of the advertising dollars they rake in to tell you there's a Wendy's at the next corner. I have been told that some or all of the boating info is now available for free. I look forward to the day when an open source group supplies data and mapping software.

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