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Your OSes/Rigs - What Do You Use Them For?


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In recent years, especially with XP's EOL upon us, I've come to feel like I'm an odd duck for sticking with my OS of choice and finding it better suited to my needs. Looking around MSFN, though (especially at the poll thread), I see that I'm hardly the only one who's sticking with a legacy OS, and that both warms my heart and makes me curious.

So! I'd like to hear. What operating systems are you guys running, and what purposes do they serve for you where you find that they are better to have compared to the latest stuff from Microsoft?

To start off:

My main desktop, which I use for heavy-duty multitasking, 3D modeling and animation, and other CGI projects is running XP Pro x64. I bought that over Vista back when I did my last major overhaul of the rig in 2008, because I wanted the reliability and (relatively) less memory consumption of Windows XP while still having access to 64-bit computing when I needed it. The ability to naturally use more than 4 GB of RAM was also a big selling point, though I've yet to fully take advantage of this.

I've also got a laptop that's running XP Home x86, which I mainly use for "do-everything-on-the-go" mobile computing as well as the odd bit of legacy computing (for programs or games that would run best on XP 32-bit, or thereabouts). I'm going to have to look into ways of securing it with the EOL around the corner, but I've no intentions of replacing its OS with newer stuff as, again, I like having more RAM on hand to do things.

In the future (when I have the living space to speak of), I plan on bringing back an old 95 machine that was the first IBM PC my family owned, a Gateway P5-120. I want to use it for more legacy computing, mostly old DOS and 16-bit gaming. I don't know if it could serve a practical purpose beyond that (which is partially why I'm interested in hearing what you guys do with your OSes!).

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After testing Vista beta2, Vista RC1 and Ubuntu, I started using XPx64 on my desktop. This was just after SP2 was released for XPx64 back in 2007. Got tired of seeing 32-bit XP under-report the 4GB of RAM I had, and it has worked out well for me since then. It serves as my everyday PC where I mostly websurf and play games. But it is also the household file server since it's the only machine here that's not a laptop. It has older hardware with proper drivers and I see absolutely no need to spend the money on an OS that likely won't run well on it. What I have is perfectly suited for my hardware. I'm competent enough to know how to maintain, troubleshoot, and keep it running smoothly for several more years.

The laptops here run Win7x64 because that's what was preinstalled when they were purchased. Again, I see no need to upgrade since they still work very well as they are. Besides that, I view laptops as disposable. When they die they'll be replaced with newer hardware and a newer operating system to match the capabilities of that hardware.

For me, the issue is not security. The machines I use don't get hacked because I do have some common sense. I have a good hardware NAT router, and my machines all have an up to date antivirus running full-time. For me, the choice of operating system is about what the hardware was meant to run.

Edited by 5eraph
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My main computer is a pentium III, 866mhz with Windows ME.

I use this computer mainly for listening to MP3s, burning/ripping audios CD's, and I got all my digital photography stored on here as well. And I also use it for web surfing.

Not worried very much about security. Dont' buy anything online, have ClamWin and several other programs installed. Javascript is always turned off, and I have a firewall. If I'd listened to all the naysayers, then I should've been hacked a million times by now. My computer should be having one crash after another, endless blue screens of death, etc etc. Sorry, hasn't happened.

It's also a glorified typewriter. Any RTF editor with a spell check will do the job.

Plus I've got a few DOS games and other programs that I want to keep using... stuff that I've kept since my first computer back in the early nineties.

Edited by LostInSpace2012
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My main computers are a Hp Pavilion p6510y- Windows vista x64,12 gigs of ram,2.8 gh, And the other one is my Custom built Stop and Shop PC- Windows Me (I also have crunchbang Linux on another HD but only there so I can get malwarebyte protection on Me),1 gig of ram,1.6 gh.

I use both of my computers to heavily search the web. I am a heavy multitasker, and search the internet on one computer, while watching a video on the other. I have up to date antivirus, and anti-spyware on both computers, with a software firewall, and a router firewall. I use vista for modern games, and Me for old dos games like Battlezone. If security is your issue than look here http://secunia.com/community/advisories/product/ .

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My main workstation is as follows:

HP xw8200 Wokstation

Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition (SP2)

7 GB DDR2 RAM, Two Xeon 3.68 GHz Netburst style processors, Two U320 SCSI controllers each with a 73 GB HDD.

*** I use this as my everyday productivity workstation. I edit documents, speadsheets, record/edit audio, burn CDs for the car, browse the web and send/receive email. Until February, I was running Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. ****

HP xw6000 Workstation

Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition (SP2)

4 GB DDR RAM, Xeon 2.66 GHz Netburst style processor, UltraSCSI controller with a 36 GB Boot HDD, Two 80 GB EIDE HDDs

*** I use this machine as a file server and a music server. I use radio automation software to play non-stop audio and route the output of the sound card to a transmitter. Then I can play my music on any FM radio in the house. ***

Dell D610 Notebook

Microsoft Windows XP Professional (SP2)

1 GB RAM, Pentium M Processor at 1.8 GHz, 40 GB HDD.

*** I use this notebook to browse the web and read email wirelessly. As of next month, I will be running Precise Puppy Linux v5.7.1. ***

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Both of my actual-use PCs run Windows 7 Pro x86. My desktop I use for web use, playing games and listening to music. I also have a netbook with Win7 Pro x86 that I had used for music, but now I use it to access the internet from other parts of the house. Mostly the reason for this is because it is wireless and much better than using a phone to do it. This is also what I take with me when I'm traveling.

I also have a couple other systems I hope to make use of later this year. One is a mini (AOpen Digital Engine) with XP Pro SP3 that I will use for playing music and maybe streaming video. I have to test it to see if it will be reliable enough for streaming.

My other PC is a Windows98FE that I had primarily used as a backup PC in case my main wasn't working. It hasn't been used in recent years, probably because I have the netbook now. It had been used in the past as a dedicated Quake 3 server and also a Shoutcast server.

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My rigs of the past....



386 cpu


Cirrus Logic video card with 1mb RAM

PC Speaker only, but I remember this DOS program that could play MP3's through the PC Speaker

They sounded like the worst AM transistor radio you could imagine, but they worked!

DOS 5.5

Windows 3.1

... I used this computer until, oh, the year 2000 :-)

mid to late nineties

Some random Dell that I really should have kept :-(

486dx2 CPU

Doom worked on this one, but not on the computer above

I miss this one

Gateway 2000

AMD K62 - 400 MHz

My introduction to Windows 98, having skipped 95 entirely

Terrible OS (at least I thought back then)

this was back when Kazaa was big, and firewalls didn't ship with your computer

it was a recipe for tons of malware and viruses

blue screens of death on hourly basis :-)

Edited by LostInSpace2012
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My PC are:
- desktop PC PIII 700MHz 512 MB ​​RAM (year 2000, now less used) with Win98SE for gaming, dos programs and 16-bit programs use, not internet connected
- laptop PC Pentium M 1.6GHz 512 MB ​​RAM (2006 year, now used daily) with WinXPSP2 for office use, cd-dvd, play video clips, general image editing, not internet connected (not updated in order to avoid incompatibility with some 16-bit programs and some dos games and programs)
- netbook 1.6GHz 1GB RAM (2010 year, used for internet browsing) with Win7 connected by a mobile internet key.

In my early years of computing experience (2000-2007), I had two chances of being infected by a autorun virus coming from a usb key on Win98SE PC that behaved like an antivirus itself, because the virus was looking for some WinXP services and then it was easly removed.

In more recent years (last 6 years), increasing my user experience (but I'm not really an expert), I have not had any virus infection by any media, using some common sense (safe site surfing, preferably installing portable software downloaded from trusted sites, scanning everything; only after I decide to transfer the downloaded files to the other older PCs. If I need to transfer some my files to an untrusted PC using my usb key, I will write protect it before the transfer operation).

For the next few years I plan to buy a used laptop with Win 7 with at least 4Gb RAM and to run Win98SE and WinXPSP2 in virtual environment only, hoping to benefit from the great electric power consumption improvements of the latest laptop PC and avoiding the old PC maintenance costs for the aging components.

In this regard, I am really impressed by the last generation notebook (i5-i7), that usually consumes only 10-25 Watts of electrical power against the 150-250 Watts of a desktop PC (moderate use, not in idle state, and EXCLUDING the monitor electrical power consumption).
I have already improved the old notebook PC Pentium M WinXP power consumption and CPU cooling using the RMClock utility.

Edited by I41Mar
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It occurred to me that we have this topic already:


I will merge this one into there soon, likely tomorrow. I already moved this topic to the Hardware Hangout.

I also had this old thread here you can check out:


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Tripredcaus ... are you sure? This thread is less about hardware and more about operating systems. I was curious about what people use their legacy Windows OSes for if they have any, not necessarily about the hardware specs of their computers.

That's why I posted the thread in the General Discussion subforum ...

Edited by TrevMUN
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I live in two country

In Spain:

My main PC have XP SP3, is a Pentium D with 2GB ram, i use for everything, burn CD/DVDs, scan, print, web, programing, multimedia etc

In my bedroom, I have a two computers, first a AMD 5x86 133 with 32mb ram, with DOS and Win95, i use for dos games, and listen to music, mp3 and mods

Second, a Thin Client, a futro S500, Athlon 1ghz, 512mb ram, with XP SP3, I use it for emulators. Is connected to a Sony Trinitron TV, using RGB at 15khz

In Japan:

A nice All in one computer, Pentium 4 with 1GB, using XP SP3, for everything, burn, scan, print, programming, etc

In my bedroom I have two computers, first a Ibook G3 900 with OS9.2.2, that i use almost all time for music, and a Toshiba 50CT with DOS and Win95, for old DOS games

And for both country, a great Pentium M 1.2ghz laptop with Win2k SP4, when im not in home, same function like destop, programming, web, music/videos, etc

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  • 1 year later...

I stay a few generations behind to get things on the cheap. Since I still use XP Pro SP3 x86 I have no need for a high end machine. I have two Dell Inspiron 530's that I got for next to nothing. Both have Core2Duo CPU's, one an E8300 and an ATI Radeon 3650 video card. I connect it to my TV via HDMI. I don't play new PC games, pretty much retro and it's plenty sufficient. And watch Youtube videos and whatnot. And use it for other multimedia. It has a Wireless AC 1750 network adapter. Router is a Netgear R6300v2. 4 GB of RAM (1GBx4), and is upgradable to 8 GB so even if I upgrade to a 64-bit OS the boxes are plenty sufficient for it.

The other has an E8400 and just onboard video & sound, hardwired to the router. I use this one for browsing and general use.

And I also have a Dimension 3000 that I used for years until I recently got these Inspiron's. Has a Celeron CPU @ 2.4 Ghz and 2 GB of RAM. I just use it as pretty much a retro gaming console in a gaming room, offline. And to convert/burn stuff. And as a word processor, I do some writing on it.

Then I have an old laptop, an Inspiron 4100. It has a Pentium III CPU @ 1.2 ghz I believe, that's the best it can use. And 1 GB of RAM, and a wireless card. I have emulators and retro games on it too, and music/VLC. And do some writing on it too. It runs XP well enough as stripped down as I have it.

I do have 1 nice toy though/exception. I treated myself to a Dell Precision M6800 Mobile Workstation. It has a Core i5 CPU @ 2.7 Ghz and 16 GB of RAM @ 1866 Mhz, and an nVidia Quardro 2200 video card w/ 2 GB RAM... hardly high end but sufficient enough. Didn't feel like playing a grand more. Again I don't play newer games really. And runs on a Samsung 850 EVO mSATA SSD. Wireless AC 1750 WLAN Mini-Card. 2 more ports for regular SSD's. It's the only nice computer I've really ever owned. I do everything on it really, but love hooking it up to my 47" LED TV via HDMI and playing retro emulators/games on it. NES & Genesis games never looked so good. I run Win7 Ultimate on that mSATA chip. I have another one I swap in & out with XP Pro SP3 and Debian in a VM on it... a setup I use for more sensitive type stuff.

And also have an EMachines ETower 500is laying around. A 500 Mhz CPU and 256 MB of RAM with 98SE on it. But it pretty much just collects dust. It was my first computer. I have been thinking lately about using it for something though.

Edited by lucid717
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