[lug] Windows XP End-of-Life: April 8, 2014

Robert Racansky robert.racansky at gmail.com
Wed May 7 11:44:02 MDT 2014

On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 8:49 PM, Robert Racansky
<robert.racansky at gmail.com> wrote:

> At last night's meeting, I mentioned that I was trying to get Windows
> XP users to switch to Linux Mint, because Microsoft's support for
> Windows XP ends 4 months from now.

> What this means in the short term is that, after April 08 2014, there
> will be no more security updates.  How many zero-day exploits will be
> used after that is unknown, but it's more than zero.   In the medium
> and long term, this also means no more feature updates, bug fixes, and
> application updates (including anti-virus updates) for Windows XP.
> So for those people I know who don't want to shell out $100+ (or
> whatever) for Windows 7 or Windows 8 *, I've been trying to convince
> them to switch to Linux Mint Xfce, because
> (1)  it's free
> (2)  Linux Mint comes with most applications, codecs, plug-ins, etc.,
> "out of the box" that most people will need.
> (3)  Xfce is "lightweight", so should run on the older hardware that
> many people are currently using to run a 12 year old operating system
> (4)  Xfce has the most "Windows" like interface, so the learning curve
> is low -- possibly less than switching to Windows 8.

> On a related note, OSNews had an article earlier this year by a
> support technician who switched his office to Linux Mint Xfce that
> worth reading in it's entirety.   Here's an excerpt:
> http://www.osnews.com/story/27144/What_Users_Want_--_Selecting_a_System_for_i_Their_i_Needs
> What Users Want -- Selecting a System for Their Needs
> posted by Howard Fosdick on Mon 24th Jun 2013 03:00 UTC

I was recently contacted by a friend-of-a-friend for advice on what to
do with an old laptop, circa 2003, that she's planning to donate.  Of
course, I suggested installing Linux Mint Xfce on it, instead of
re-installing Widows XP.  She's a non-technical user, and located in
California, so this was not something I could do for her.  This was a
few weeks ago.  I sent her a follow-up e-mail earlier this week,
because I am genuinely curious if it was good advice.  Here is what
she told me:

From: Carol
Date: Wed, May 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Subject: Re: Remove data from XP laptop
To: Robert

Super duper easy......so easy even a girl can do it.

I ended up just ordering the disk for $5 from Linux....I didn't want
to deal with downloading the OS and downloading the tool to verify
that my download was complete and not corrupt.

I did have to be smart enough to boot from disc and not the hard
drive.  It had a very simple menu that asked me if I wanted to install
Mint next to Windows or replace it, which of course I replaced it.
Unfortunately the computer is so old that some of the Linux graphics
aren't quite clear.  LOL  I did find my original Windows XP 2000 OS,
so I'm giving it away with both OS disks in case they'd like to
reinstall Window, but I'm also including the Linux user guide I
downloaded.  While the install was going, it had a fun little tutorial
tour you could do.

I did poke around a bit and agree it was very Windows like and easy to
find the equivalent tasks.

I asked some other folks and general consensus is this is all I have
to do to successfully have wipe the hard drive....no extra cleaning
necessary.  I happy to see it go to good use for someone that couldn't
afford one, rather than in an ewaste landfill somewhere.

Thanks for all your help!

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