The post-XP world..

.. starts in just a few days, seven at the time of writing.

Your XP is going to be on its own as are you if you can’t or won’t let it go. Some anti-virus suites will still work for a while as will Malwarebytes and similar, but the authors will lose interest over time and you won’t even get basic protection.

XP users have stated to me that they only go online to get email, but that is like the argument for the ‘five second’ rule relating to food dropped onto a less than clean surface. It takes just milliseconds for food to pick up bacteria and for computers to pick up malware. So forget any concept you have about time because you don’t have any. It happens one hundred times faster than you can blink an eye.

Understand that I will make nothing from introducing awareness to you. I have no vested interests in you buying anything new, but I do feel that you should know what is going to happen.  If your XP machine is old, pre 2005, not only is it an incredibly poor candidate for upgrading to a higher level available Windows version, but also the current Linux distros too.


New, the best option even if you don’t like Windows 8. It can be manipulated to look, act and feel like earlier Windows releases.

Refurbished.. Not new but maybe not that old either. Machines may have Windows 8 or 7 on them so shouldn’t be older than 2009 . ‘Refurbished’ machines are supposed to have been done by the original manufacturer and the boxes should be clearly marked..

BUT, I have come across three, two of which were claimed to be manufacturer refurbs and one ostensibly new, that obviously hadn’t seen any official work done as all of them had previous owner accounts still in existence, two of which were FULLY accessible..

Off-Lease, .The deals look good, under $300 many of them, but look at the specs very carefully. Vista machines can date from early 2007, that is SEVEN years old which is getting on for end of life for many hard drives, especially those in laptops.

On the subject of hard drives, off-lease machine hard drive sizes tend to be small because they would have been connected to servers which saved any data files produced. As long as the hard drive could reasonably contain the operating system, business users have no interest in the cost of providing hard drive space that will never be used.

Linux: There was a time when a Linux distro would run on anything. It isn’t like that anymore because, competing with Windows, a GUI is added and as soon as you have a GUI, you have more severe hardware requirements.

So, don’t expect the latest Linux release to run on your aging ‘baby’. Looking for an earlier release is not hard. The authors always have oe or two kicking around which will run on lesser machines.

OK, so you have an operating system, but it will not natively run Windows programs. You have to work at it a little.. . see here.. 

Of course, if you are not too fussy about what you run, Linux is a good option, but if you are still entrenched in Microsoft Money, Lotus Organiser or another early PIM, you may not be able to find alternatives which have the same feature set and functions that you may be used to seeing or using.. On the bright side, you are getting it all for free, Don’t complain. It looks bad..


Nobody can choose for you. Buying anything other than new will present you with limitations, and even buying new may also include a new printer, scanner, webcam etc. Do the research and make sure that you understand the implications of your choice before you hand cash over.

Good luck.. .

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