I have been yakking to several people who continue their use of Windows XP as their operating system, and who see no real reason to upgrade. It seems extraordinary that of the estimated 1.5 billion PCs in use world wide, almost 28% of them still use XP.
It appears many cruising people are using two computers. One for navigation (generally the one with XP installed) and a second for the same sort of use that Landies have. Google, email, gaming, downloading entertainment etc.
My original concern with buying my dedicated nav computer, concerned Microsoft's abandonment of the XP platform. It does appear there will be some risks associated with going online, but the cost associated with an upgrade to either a complete new OS, or as FiOS-Dave suggests, running a parallel virtual machine on the same computer may not be as necessary as I had first thought.
I guess my own path for the moment will be to wrap the Toshiba Satellite i7 running Win7pro, in cotton wool and to follow some of the security advice contained in the following link regarding the continued use of XP, although to a relative amateur such as I am, some of the procedures seem a little 'foreign'. How can I use Windows XP safely now it's no longer supported? | Technology | theguardian.com
I read plenty about continuing with XP, but as with everything else on the net there is always a doomsday waiting around the corner. So to balance the above link, there is this one. Windows XP: The end of the road
I guess my future problem will be with going ashore. Dinghy-ing to shore in a slop, with the Win7 machine to check emails will present some risk, doing the same with a military Toughbook, will be far less risky. But once in the coffee shop or laundrette, the risk of using XP over Win7 is far greater.
The option of simply replacing XP with Win7 on the Toughbook, does have some basic appeal. A bundle containing Win7pro and Norton, is now cheaper than ever (Amazon.com Software: Microsoft Windows 7
) and I wonder how easy it is for a relative neophyte to make the swap, or indeed how much it would cost to give the whole shebang to a pro and have them do it for me. There is a lot of dedicated software installed on the computer and I wonder how easy it may be to jump all of this into Win7 if I took that path. For people who know more than me on this, here is a basic overview of the new machine:
Contains a new AIS receiver and a USED Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 MK4, military grade laptop, Pent 1.6 GHz Intel Centrino CPU, 1.0 GB RAM, 40 GB Hard Drive, CD ROM drive, Big 13.3" Color LCD, WITH
Touch Screen, Back-lit Keyboard, Ridge handle, external sealed USB GPS receiver, WiFi (54g), 2 USB 2.0 Ports, RS232 Serial 9 Pin Port
, SD Memory Stick Slot, Sound, Audio/Mic Jacks, External Monitor Port, AC Power Adapter and, Working Battery. Has Win XP Operating System loaded with OpenCPN Charting & Plotting program and 2 free raster chart sets of your choice. (I have chosen central Americas Pacific coast and the Pacific) Also included are other software, Tide, Federal Light List, USCG Coast Pilot and a Word processor, and some small Games to keep the kids busy when your are not navigating.
This is more difficult than beating off a lee shore.