Sunday, July 7, 2019

Windows 10

I see that Microsoft has discontinued support for Windows 7.  I hate Windows 10.  (Is that clear enough?)  It reminds me of a cell phone GUI that has metastasized I have disabled automatic update to Windows 10 on both my PC and my wife;s PC.  This page at howtogeek tells how to make Windows 10 look more like Windows 7. Has anyone tried this?  Are there any applications that do not survive the 7->10 change?  Anyone else who has resisted assimilation?

Yes, I love Linux.  But transitioning my wife to Linux might lead to murder.  To be honest, I have yet to see a completely reliable Linux, at least compared to Windows 7, which is a known set of problems.  I also need to retain Microsoft Office for compatibility with papers submitted by my students and I have yet to see LibreOffice do this perfectly.

Perhaps I could run Windows 10 under VMWare for a month or two before committing?

First step: Get my Windows 7 product key to download the Windows 7 ISO for VMWare.  The label Lenovo claims has the product key is not present, but they do have a dandy little VBS script to retrieve it here.  But instead of running it as a Visual Basic Script, it opens it in Bluefish, an HTML editor.

I verified that the VBS extension is tied to the wscript program in windows\system32.  I get no script engine for file extension ".vbs"

I tried installing Ubuntu 18.04 under VMWare Client, and it did the blue screen "I have no idea what happened" message that is only slightly more elegant than old blue screen of death from Windows98 days.  Twice.

I believe there is a way to boot Ubuntu from a USB drive.  I may try that as an experiment.  I have a spare 120GB USB drive.  Let's see if I can get the Lenovo to boot from it.  Yup. Not sure how to get it to tali to the Lenovo dockimg station.  Nothing obvious, check in the morning.

I was having trouble downloading the Windows 7 Professional ISO.  Microsoft Technical Support did a great job resolving it.

Unfortunately, Windows 7 Professional install in VMWare causes the blue screen "I have no idea what happened" message.


  1. What do you mean "completely reliable"???? I switched from Red Hat to Ubuntu years ago when Red Hat abandoned the personal market. I have found both to be more reliable than any version of Windows. By "more reliable" I mean doesn't hang, doesn't crash, software runs faster, don't have the virus problems, etc.

  2. Yes, using the windows seven interface is decent.

    Most programs survive the migration.

    I too resisted, then bowed to the inevitable.

    So far, it hasn't sucked.

  3. Anon: My problem is that everytime I try to solve a problem or install a program on linuxCNC (which admittedly is an old version of Debian) I can never find a solution. So what release of Ubuntu should I load into VMWare?

  4. I started using Unix in the early '80s, but I still limit my use of Linux. The problem is that it just doesn't have a lot of software that I need - especially software to interface will all sorts of devices, including a bunch of electrical engineering tools.

    So, reluctantly, I maintain a Windows 10 virtual machine that runs on my Mac via VMWARE. That way, I get a Windows, but it is running on very reliable and powerful Mac hardware. And, if it annoys me, I can just restore an earlier image, complete with all my software already installed.

    As to Windows 7 vs Windows 10 - they both suck, although 7 was a bit more natural to use, since it was sort of an adult XP, and XP had a good UI.

    Oh, another thing - I use Cygwin on any Windows installation. That give me a bash shell and Gnu utilities, which my fingers love a lot more than Windoze crap.

  5. I have no experience with VMWare.

    Ubuntu offers regular versions (that are only maintained for a year or two) and LTS (long term support) versions for which updates are available for many years. I use the most recent LTS, v18.04, which is supported through 2023.

    I use wine to run some windows programs, but many windows programs do not run on wine.

    Anon: My problem is that everytime I try to solve a problem or install a program on linuxCNC (which admittedly is an old version of Debian) I can never find a solution. So what release of Ubuntu should I load into VMWare?

  6. I've been using Windows 10 since it came out (and 8 before that). Yes, the "Metro" user interface is annoying. However, it can be replaced with the classical Windows interface since at least Windows 8.1. Having multiple desktops, improved search, more powerful command shell and more makes the update worthwhile.

    For a while, my EE CAD tool (Protel 99 SE, schematic capture/PCB layout/etc.) would fail under Win10. Virtual Box running Ubuntu running Protel under Wine(!) worked just fine. The need for that has long since gone as it runs natively again. I've run WinXP Pro and even Windows 95 that way as well.

    At work, some of the software we've created balks at Win10 but is being updated so it will run correctly. All the new PCs being issued run Win10; most existing ones (including this one) still run Win7 but will be updated soon.

    I understand your frustration, Clayton, and wish you the best of success in making Windows work for, not against, you!

  7. Yes, the "Metro" user interface is annoying. However, it can be replaced with the classical Windows interface since at least Windows 8.1.

    I dislike the Metro interface, too, but I never see it except in the Start menu. If that tiny bit of Metro bothers people, there are cheap, functional replacements like Start 10. (There are some good free ones, too.)

    My OS history: Mac OS9 > Win2k > WinXP > Win8 > Win10. I tend to stick with an OS until well after MS stops supporting it because I have strong, stick-in-the-mud UI preferences. Win10 (the main non-Metro components) is too flat for my taste, but I'm used to it now. Also, it's far and away the most stable OS I've ever used.

    My main, lingering objection to Win10 is that it seems by default setting to share an unnecessarily large amount of user data with MS. It would be nice if Trump's FTC did something about tech companies behaving like intel agencies, but the weight of "conservative" doctrine argues against that.

  8. Here are some recentish instructions on installing Ubuntu to a flash drive so you can run it from there:

    How old is your laptop? If you are considering Windows 10 at all, I would strongly recommend getting a new, mainstream laptop so you don't have to worry about hardware compatibility issues; there's a long history of "I bought a low-end laptop with Windows XP and when I upgraded to Vista half my hardware stopped working."

    If you do try out Windows 10, as long as you're on a recent version you can actually get Ubuntu 18.04 from the Microsoft Store and run it from inside windows, no VM. Not everything works, because a lot of the kernel calls are translated into Windows OS calls, but later this year they are going to re-release their Ubuntu version so there's an actual native Linux kernel, which should fix the compatibility issues. I've been using Ubuntu for a while and haven't found any problems, although having access to files in both OSes is a bit of work; you have to mount your Windows drives to be able to see them from Linux and I'm not sure how to go the other direction.

  9. I absolutely hate Win 7 and actually once sent back a computer that came with it, for that reason. I call it Windows 666. I have Win 10 and it is 100x better than 7. Just my $0.02.

  10. I have a Lenovo all in one desktop as well as a Lenovo laptop at home. I partitioned the hardrive on both with Linux CD's and have Windows 10 on one partition of each machine and Linux Ubuntu on the desktop and Linux Mint on the laptop. I normally use just the Linux operating systems but I keep the Windows 10 versions (and I update them regularly) just in case I need a Windows application to send or receive information for work or scan or print something that won't work with Linux.

    I did have some difficulties getting Linux to operate my printer/scanner but was able to resolve the problems with online help. This seems to be the best setup for me to avoid Windows unless I absolutely have to use it for some reason.

    By the way Clayton, your old adversary Michael Bellesiles is now a teacher at a local university hereabouts and lives just up the road a piece from here.

  11. Verde: I have had a dual boot machine in the past. The last time I tried tom do this I somehow created a Linux-only PC. In that case it was the notebook for the mill, so no big loss. I presume the button in Ubuntu 19.04 on my USB drive will do the dual boot thing correctly.

    Is there any way to share files between the two file systems? I do not remember?

    What university has Prof. Embarrassment now?