On Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 6:31 PM, Rugxulo <rugx...@gmail.com> wrote:

> 500 MB should be plenty for XP. Seriously, I know software is always
> increasing requirements, but it's not reasonable (IMO) to need more
> than that. While I can't say I've ever played Warcraft 2, I don't
> think it would need much RAM, relatively, compared to newer stuff.

XP itself should run in it.  The question if apps you will run under XP.

I recently inherited an Acer notebook originally belonging to the late
husband of a friend.  She didn't need it, and figured I could put it
to use as a traveling device.  It came with XP Home.  After applying
all available patches since it had last been regularly used (a couple
of years ago), then removing unneeded startup programs and turning off
unneeded services, I got the base memory XP required after boot down
to about 275MB.   The box has 1.5GB RAM, so I have some headroom.

(Nero Home Essentials, which I replaced with a few open source apps,
is a pig, and a fair bit of the gains came from taking it out of the

>> The scsi hard drive, despite being a Seagate Cheetah, really slows the
>> system down.  I don't let my Linux firewall allow this old machine to
>> access the Net, so there are a LOT of protection programs I don't need
>> to run.  I don't need spywareblaster, clamwin, spybot search and
>> destroy, crap cleaner, or Windows defender for starters.
> In fairness, it's not MS' fault that so many viruses etc. target
> Windows. And yes, antiviruses make things worse a lot of times. It's
> more painful on older machines.

I've rethought my position on this stuff in recent years.

Because it is the dominant OS on the desktop, Windows will be the
principal target for viruses and the like.  I have Windows Auto-update
turned on on XP, because the odd patch still gets issued.  I'm pleased
to see MS issuing patches and making it possible to push them out and
apply them automatically.  I just wish MS had recognized the severity
of the problems and started their security push years earlier than
they did,

The biggest net win was likely what they did with Vista and have
continued with Win7: the default user has a "Power User" profile,
which can run things, but not install them.  Most bad stuff needs
admin rights to do what it does, and bounces off if it can't get them.
 (I know folks running 2K and XP who deliberately set up Power User
profiles and run under those, becoming administrator only when
necessary for software installs and the like.  I've had the odd wish
that MS had started that practice back when NT was first released,
with the NTFS filesystem able to properly enforce permissions on a
user level.)

On my old Lifebook, my Win2K Pro install got hosed by a Symantec A/V
update, and I had to do a clean re-install and rebuild my config.
When I did, I left A/V *off*.  I also applied all available service
packs and critical updates, then turned off the Update service.  There
won't be more updates for 2K, so why leave the service up looking for
things that won't exist?  (Doing that saved me a SVCHOST process and
about 10MB RAM.)

Viruses and the like are infections, and infections have vectors by
which they enter the host body.  Rather than trying to treat the
infection once contracted (which is what many security programs try to
so), keep it from infecting in the first place.

The biggest vector for viruses is email attachments.  I use GMail as
my primary email account.  GMail is web based, and mail resides on
Google's servers.  I prefer the web interface, and have no need for a
local copy of 99.99% of the mail I get, so I don't download via POP.
Mail and attachments usually never reach my machine.  And GMail
implements viewers for most common file types, so I can look at
attachments without actually downloading them.  Other downloads are
all made from known good sites that scan on their end.

I no longer run A/V in Windows.

A/V does nothing to stop malware.   That I deal with by not running
IE, and using Firefox with the NoScript addon that blocks scripting if
the site isn't in a whilelist.  I have a few anti-malware tools like
Malware Bytes and Spybot, but I *don't* run the resident extensions
intended to do real-time blocking.   I run the occasional on-demansd
scan, and never find anything worse than "tracking" cookies, which I
can block in other ways if I care.  Usually, I don't.

I *do* use CCleaner, but that has nothing to do with viruses or
malware.  It's simply a hand janitor program, useful for removing
files like system logs I don't normally need.

>> I'm not 100% confident in the method I used to bypass activation.  Would
>> Microsoft please distribute an activation crack and let people freely
>> use 32 bit Windows XP at will?
> IIRC, Win2k didn't need activation and had smaller footprint, hence
> why many prefer it. But it wasn't ever targeted for home users, only
> pros. Still, you could probably find a copy on eBay.

Win2K had home and pro variants.  It does have a smaller footprint,
but a lot of stuff expects XP at minimum, and complains or won't
install if it doesn't see it.

It might be a good solution for the stated use case if the Warcraft
clients and networking run properly.  It's not a good general solution
unless you confirm everything you want to run will do so under XP.

> When XP came out, it had much higher requirements than Win9x. But it
> offered a lot more, including better stability. But of course the DOS
> compatibility is much lower.  :-(

All of the DOS apps I've played with work fine under XP.  But I'm not
a gamer, and while I have a couple of old DOS games in my mix, they
are character mode

> Though XP is light years slimmer and more functional (for DOS) than
> later versions, even with the bloated SP3. So I would definitely not
> use Win7 in any capacity for DOS stuff unless you were willing to live
> exclusively inside emulators (DOSBox) or hypervisors (VirtualBox), aka
> slow and buggy.

Unless you run a specifically 32 bit version of Win7, you have no
alternative to a VM solution.  64 bit Win7 does not support 16 bit DOS

> I know it's not saying much, but I suggest you find other games that
> you like that are better supported. Heck, even GoG.com sells lots of
> old DOS stuff (DRM-free) that usually works in DOSBox. Or stick to the
> super portables like Nethack or Quake or Freecell or similar.   ;-)

I have an SDL port of Nethack that runs on a PalmOS device... :-)

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