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An OS of infinite jest, of most excellent utile: he hath borne me on his back hundreds of thousands of times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!

It is with great sorrow, I must start bidding my old friend, Windows XP, goodbye. BTW, so sorry William Shakespeare for skewering (though I controlled myself) your eloquent Hamlet speech.

Windows XP Computer Tech raleigh nc

Windows XP Pro – For REAL users back in the day

I remember my first experiences with XP – that annoyingly cheerful pastoral scene splayed across my monitor. Where was the beloved blue background that made the computer seem – computerish? What was this mockery? An attempt to open the computer to the masses? I want my computer to be a computer – a cold tool to do my bidding – not a fanciful scene of green grass. After coming from my beloved LiteStep windows manager on XP’s older brother, Windows 2000, XP was an upstart. I took to him none too kindly.

But XP grew on me. As each different customer called me with new problems on this upstart, I knew I would have to deal with them. There were admittedly some nice things about XP as it got more and more familiar. It perhaps did open up the world of computing a bit more to the masses and maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. It more often recognized new devices and was able to handle them far easier for the common man/user. The world of wireless networking started to open up under the reign of this operating system. Sure, we had wireless even as early as Windows 98, but it came into it’s own under XP.

Updates were easier, though still confusing at times. During then tenure of the beloved operating system, Microsoft Automatic Updates came into the picture in a big way – making the lives of countless computer repair techs easier for the most part. Originally part of the Windows ME (we won’t even acknowledge THAT OS more than this once) and the SP4 release of Windows 2000, Windows XP made high use of the Automatic Updates utility. It certainly allowed the average user to be more proactive with keeping their own computers up to date. The updates went from the web to a backend system that was far more efficient than the “Here are all the updates. Choose the ones you need” from the earliest Windows 95 and 98. For the average user – “How do *I* know which ones I need???” Though when it failed, it still created lots of fun. Troubleshooting background processes and other such merriment.

XP Dekstop - Pastoral Scene - Raleigh NC Computer Tech

XP Dekstop – Pastoral Scene

Gaming saw a lot of progress under the XP operating system. I remember playing the original Diablo still on XP, the original WarCraft games – and then even World of Warcraft as time progressed. I would still whip out my copy of Quake (the original one) on my XP box. For me, I have to admit, XP was the heyday of my game playing days. After that, life took on a more serious tone. While I personally still would love to play games, life has other plans for me. But I love to get a call from a serious gamer that wants “The Ultimate Gaming Machine” for their game playing needs.

XP ran like a monster with 4 GB of RAM. These days we often see a minimum of 4 GB of RAM (sometime down as low as 3 GB – manufacturers – WHY????) on machines and that will provide the absolute bare minimum of process speed. With XP and 4 gigs of RAM – you seriously had a machine to be reckoned with. Well, for a while. As XP progressed though, that 4 gigs seemed smaller and smaller as programs got larger and larger. The 64 bit version of XP could support more memory, but that particular version was never widely implemented (at least in our experience) due to somewhat lackluster support for hardware and software running on it. I believe I never saw the 64bit XP OS running on any customer machine. Probably fortunate 🙂 The 64 bit OS is now becoming the norm which supports more memory than the 32 bit OS versions – and that paves the way for even heavier and heavier software.

Though XP will likely remain around for a few years more on various computers – just like the Windows 95 machine that was brought into our shop just a few years ago, it will become increasingly rare. And eventually when antivirus software manufacturers stop producing compatible versions for XP, that’s when it will truly go bye-bye.

Windows XP - End of Support

Windows XP – End of Support

In all seriousness, do you need to stop using your XP machine RIGHT NOW? No, we don’t think so. As long as you can find decent antivirus, you will likely be safe in the near future. If you do rely on your computer, do online banking, and generally have potential security situations that may be exploited in the future, it’s probably time to plan your next computer purchase. It doesn’t have to be today or tomorrow, but that XP machine is likely getting pretty long in the tooth. The next time you get it fixed, it will probably be starting to get to that “wash” stage where you may be better off putting a few dollars more into things, get a new machine, and relax knowing that everything is still current and you should generally be protected on all angles.

Yes, Windows XP, I knew you. I’ll miss you buddy.

Side note: I will NOT wax poetic in any shape for or fashion when EOL on Vista comes. But in the interim, call us for Raleigh computer repair or Clayton computer repair when you need us.  Actually anyplace in the Raleigh Triangle…