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Old 08-23-2020, 09:28 AM   #1
hazel
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Two UK ambulance services are still using Windows XP


This is according to the New Scientist. The authorities concerned are North East and Yorkshire. Of course XP is no longer supported and no longer gets any security updates. It is vulnerable to malware like wannacry.

The devices that are running XP are actually supplied by a company called Terrafix; basically they do gps work, but they also provide access to the location of patients, so there are privacy issues too.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 12:47 PM   #2
cwizardone
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Some corporations and governments are paying mickeysoft beaucoup bucks a year to provided continued support for Xp. Perhaps, this company is one of them? Just a thought.
Of course, by now, some of them may have upgraded to windows 7.

Last edited by cwizardone; 08-23-2020 at 12:56 PM.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 02:01 PM   #3
remmilou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
Some corporations and governments are paying mickeysoft beaucoup bucks a year to provided continued support for Xp. Perhaps, this company is one of them? Just a thought.
Of course, by now, some of them may have upgraded to windows 7.
Or even worse...: downgraded to Windows 8
 
Old 08-23-2020, 04:40 PM   #4
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remmilou View Post
Or even worse...: downgraded to Windows 8
Windows 8 wasn't that bad. It was at least as stable as W7... And still Windows underneath. It only took a few minutes of playing with it to become familiar with the different interface. I used it productively for more than 3 years, and never once experienced any issues relating to stability.

As for XP, which hasn't been supported for more than 5 years, well you can bet that any version still being used commercially is minimal and highly customised and nothing at all like the consumer version, sharing not much more than the name. It would certainly not be running any services which are vulnerable to well-known attacks.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 08:16 PM   #5
frankbell
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Quote:
Windows 8 wasn't that bad. It was at least as stable as W7.
I agree. I have Win8 in a VM and it is quite serviceable, if you must use Windows.

The main problem with Windows 8 was that stupid interface, which was a symptom of the phenomenally wrong-headed "convergence" notion that everyone would want to have the same interface design on every device.
 
Old 08-23-2020, 08:58 PM   #6
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
......The main problem with Windows 8 was that stupid interface, which was a symptom of the phenomenally wrong-headed "convergence" notion that everyone would want to have the same interface design on every device.
I can't recall if I've ever used win8, but is it possible it was worst that win10?
Attached Images
 

Last edited by cwizardone; 08-23-2020 at 09:01 PM.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 02:33 AM   #7
elcore
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I hope eventually they will share the source at least for UI part of XP, so that it can be used on modern systems.
Because their tablet type of UI is a disaster on desktop, I think it was called METRO or something. Possibly the worst UI I have ever seen, and I did see a lot.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 03:55 AM   #8
TenTenths
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elcore View Post
I hope eventually they will share the source at least for UI part of XP, so that it can be used on modern systems.
Because their tablet type of UI is a disaster on desktop, I think it was called METRO or something. Possibly the worst UI I have ever seen, and I did see a lot.
I use Start10 from Stardock https://www.stardock.com/products/start10/ on Windows 10 as it gives me the menu / UI that I prefer.

Regarding the Original Post, there are many "embedded" systems that were using XP as a core, from memory a LOT of bank ATMs were still on XP when it was near EOL.

As for paying MS for continued extended support, depending on the size of the "estate" there's a break-point where it's more economical to do this rather than have a major project / capital expense to upgrade hardware and software.

Run XP machines on a segregated network, maybe even with full physical segregation, with no internet connectivity, and disable any removable media and you can have a pretty secure setup.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 04:49 AM   #9
elcore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTenths View Post
I use Start10 from Stardock https://www.stardock.com/products/start10/ on Windows 10 as it gives me the menu / UI that I prefer.

Regarding the Original Post, there are many "embedded" systems that were using XP as a core, from memory a LOT of bank ATMs were still on XP when it was near EOL.

As for paying MS for continued extended support, depending on the size of the "estate" there's a break-point where it's more economical to do this rather than have a major project / capital expense to upgrade hardware and software.

Run XP machines on a segregated network, maybe even with full physical segregation, with no internet connectivity, and disable any removable media and you can have a pretty secure setup.
Thanks, I don't host/use windows 10 but I'll remember this info, stardock did skins for a long time 11-12 years or more since I checked it out.
Maybe they've got source, maybe not, but I'm pretty sure they did skins on top of toolkit so it would still be a same resource hungry aero UI underneath.
And one can't simply setup a GTK1 on top of most recent kernel, while most linux distributions can do this easily.

The thing with organizations like this ambulance example, is they recieve the source which they can audit.. so they can basically keep using old hardware until hardware malfunction.
Not the home users though, they're expected to upgrade hardware because, you've guessed it, the brand new and exciting interface requires it.
And this is really the core of the issue, it's not that the new kernel doesn't run on these old buckets of bolts, it runs just fine, it's the rest of the system that's just not backwards compatible.
Organizations know that, and it's way cheaper for them too keep the old gear until it breaks.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 08:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
Windows 8 wasn't that bad. It was at least as stable as W7... And still Windows underneath. It only took a few minutes of playing with it to become familiar with the different interface. I used it productively for more than 3 years, and never once experienced any issues relating to stability.
I agree. I also have to say that the difference between 8 and 10 isn't so great once you've configured it and exorcised some of the privacy concerns. Both 8 and 10 perform better than 7 anyway and have less annoyances. The "metro" UI doesn't bother me as I don't use it much. I remove all the preinstalled apps and just add what I want - then it's just a case of hitting the windows key and clicking. I configure Windows 10 the same way (with full screen start) because the quasi start menu is awful In the past I've tried "open shell" which is a "start menu" for 8 and 10, but never really used that either.

As with anything else, including Linux distributions, the "out of the box" desktop "experience" is not going to suit everyone. The same with a new Linux user who starts with something like Ubuntu and just presumes that gnome is the "Linux UI" and either loves it or hates it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
The main problem with Windows 8 was that stupid interface, which was a symptom of the phenomenally wrong-headed "convergence" notion that everyone would want to have the same interface design on every device.
The old UI elements are still there, co-existing with the new. For example if you access "printers and scanners" from the start screen/menu on Windows 10, you will get the new style "app". Enter "control printers" as a command and you will see the old Windows 7/8 style control panel version (you can even access the old Windows Vista style "printers" from Windows 8 and probably 10 as well, but that's another story).
Quote:
Originally Posted by elcore View Post
Possibly the worst UI I have ever seen, and I did see a lot.
It wasn't great, but you don't really have to use it and it's been avoidable since Windows 8.1, if not before that. In my view gnome is also a horrible crock, tailored towards tablets and restricting user customisation.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTenths View Post
Regarding the Original Post, there are many "embedded" systems that were using XP as a core, from memory a LOT of bank ATMs were still on XP when it was near EOL.

As for paying MS for continued extended support, depending on the size of the "estate" there's a break-point where it's more economical to do this rather than have a major project / capital expense to upgrade hardware and software.
+1
 
Old 08-24-2020, 10:02 AM   #11
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elcore View Post
.....And this is really the core of the issue, it's not that the new kernel doesn't run on these old buckets of bolts, it runs just fine, it's the rest of the system that's just not backwards compatible.
Organizations know that, and it's way cheaper for them too keep the old gear until it breaks.
Mickeysoft has gone so far as to somehow "persuade" (ha!) motherboard/bios manufacturers to make it nearly impossible to install any version of windows, but win10 on newer hardware. Xp flat out will not install. If you plug-in a hard drive that already has Xp installed, it will refuse to boot it. I did manage to get win7 installed, but once done, mickeysoft refused to provide the updates. This was back when win7 was still supported. Perhaps, they don't do this to corporate/commercial customers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenTenths View Post
........As for paying MS for continued extended support, depending on the size of the "estate" there's a break-point where it's more economical to do this rather than have a major project / capital expense to upgrade hardware and software.

Run XP machines on a segregated network, maybe even with full physical segregation, with no internet connectivity, and disable any removable media and you can have a pretty secure setup.
It is all a matter of cost. Even the airlines will keep older aircraft in service if it is cheaper to fuel and maintain fully paid for equipment than buy new airplanes. Aircraft converted to freighters fly a decade or two longer than passenger versions. Before they merged with another airline, IIRC, Northwest Orient had a 747 that was approaching 40 years of age and still in service.

It wasn't too long ago that I was in a local bistro when the owner walked in, noticed someone had unplugged the jukebox and plugged it back in. It was one of those Internet connected jukeboxes, i.e., it doesn't have any music installed, it goes out via the Internet to the company providing the service, finds what was requested, and streams it. I happened to look over towards the jukebox as it was plugged in and was very surprised, shocked actually, to see the Xp logo on the screen for several seconds as it booted up.

Last edited by cwizardone; 08-24-2020 at 10:19 AM.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 11:13 AM   #12
KGIII
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Last I knew, you could change a registry setting in XP and you'd still get the occasional security update because XP is still in use as a POS system. (That's point of sale - not the other one!)

Huh... I decided to check and I'm wrong - it just ended at the end 2019.
https://www.crn.com/news/security/30...or-updates.htm

I'll still include/submit this so that folks can see it. You could conceivably still grab the existent updates, but you're on your own as of 2020.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 11:26 AM   #13
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After the end of mainstream support for XP / Server 2003, support did not end entirely, but migrated to "Custom Support". i.e. paid support for organisations large enough to afford it.

The paradox is that while upgrading an OS seems like a great idea. Unsupported OS have unpatched vulnerabilities, etc, but new OS come with bugs. Bugs which could put you out of business. Sometimes going to your customers and saying "it's Windows 10's fault" doesn't work - especially as you had a working solution before, regardless of how obsolete it may have seemed.

Last edited by cynwulf; 08-24-2020 at 11:29 AM.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 08:39 PM   #14
rkelsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
Mickeysoft has gone so far as to somehow "persuade" (ha!) motherboard/bios manufacturers to make it nearly impossible to install any version of windows, but win10 on newer hardware. Xp flat out will not install. If you plug-in a hard drive that already has Xp installed, it will refuse to boot it.
Naw... They just stopped updating it. It's nothing to do with the hardware. It's the software that's not capable of running. Windows XP was originally designed to run on 32 bit single-core uniprocessor machines with (in modern terms) limited RAM and storage. It's no surprise to me that it won't even boot on a modern machine. I remember being unable to boot Windows 98 on a 1GHz P3 with 1G RAM for exactly the same reason.

Anyhow, Windows is Windows... I don't understand why you'd want to use XP or 7 anyway. They're both less capable than 10, and basically the same sh_t underneath.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
Perhaps, they don't do this to corporate/commercial customers?
Any versions of XP which are still in use are not anything like the consumer versions, and would not be fit for general purpose computing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
It is all a matter of cost.
Exactly. Why should they spend time & money updating older versions to run on modern hardware? How different would the end product be to what is currently available?
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwizardone View Post
I happened to look over towards the jukebox as it was plugged in and was very surprised, shocked actually, to see the Xp logo on the screen for several seconds as it booted up.
Again, that's a specialised application. You couldn't run Command & Conquer on that jukebox.
 
Old 08-24-2020, 09:48 PM   #15
cwizardone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkelsen View Post
.....Anyhow, Windows is Windows... I don't understand why you'd want to use XP or 7 anyway. They're both less capable than 10, and basically the same sh_t underneath......
As I've said before, while Hewlett-Packard provides excellent Linux support for its printers and all-in-one office products, they do not provide good support for their flatbed scanner. If I were to add up all the hours I've spent over the years trying to get good, clean quality scans using Linux, and I've tried all the alternatives, it would add up to several days, if not a week.
OTOH, the hp drivers for windows that came with the scanner produce perfect scans the first time and every time. So, I have Xp running in VirtualBox for just that purpose.

Under the heading of, "while I think about it," some banks ran their ATMs on
OS/2 for years, even long after IBM abandoned the project.

Last edited by cwizardone; 08-24-2020 at 09:54 PM.
 
  


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