Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

XP End-of-Cycle | What Happens Next?

A reader submitted a question that I think merits a short posting, regarding the demise of “Microsoft support” for Windows XP.

This reader is one of many people who have – for various reasons – remained staunchly loyal to Windows XP, and was afraid that the end-of-life “phasing out” of XP would force them into installing and learning Linux.

Q: I read that Microsoft will stop supporting XP in April. Does that mean my computer will stop working? I absolutely refuse to use Vista, and want to keep using XP!! What do I have to do to keep my computer functional?

A: Microsoft is indeed ending full support (called “mainstream”) for Windows XP SP3 on April 14th. It will then offer a much more limited support level – called “Extended” – until April 8, 2014. Of course, this is subject to change, but, basically 5 more years.
When those dates are reached, no – your copy of XP will not “stop working”, it just will be incredibly obsolete, and after 2014 no new security patches will be released.. which will make it a golden target.

What happens in April this year? Microsoft defines “Extended Support” as follows:

3. What is the difference between Mainstream Support, Extended Support, and online self-help support?

Support provided

Mainstream Support phase

Extended Support phase

Paid support (per-incident, per hour, and others)

X

X

Security update support

X

X

Non-security hotfix support

X

Requires extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending.

No-charge incident support

X

Warranty claims

X

Design changes and feature requests

X

Product-specific information that is available by using the online Microsoft Knowledge Base

X

X

Product-specific information that is available by using the Support site at Microsoft Help and Support to find answers to technical questions

X

X

Note A hotfix is a modification to the commercially available Microsoft product software code to address specific critical problems.

* Hopefully before 2014 arrives, you will find an OS to your liking (https://techpaul.wordpress.com/2009/01/11/a-techs-first-impression-of-windows-7/) and you can let XP retire into pleasant memory..

For more details see, the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ.
Also, for other Microsoft products, click here.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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February 11, 2009 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, News, tech, Windows, XP | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

40 Days To Armageddon

(Or, Are You Ready For The Digital Switch?)

In just a few short weeks the world will come to an end, and life as we know it will cease to be.

Of course, what I’m referring to the upcoming digital TV transition.
Congress mandated that February 17, 2009 would be the last day for full-power television stations to broadcast in analog. Broadcast stations in all U.S. markets are currently broadcasting in both analog and digital. After February 17, 2009, full-power television stations will broadcast in digital only.old_tv_set

What do I need to do to be ready for the end of analog TV broadcasting?

If you have one or more televisions that receive free over-the-air television programming (with a roof-top antenna or “rabbit ears” on the TV), the type of TV you own is very important. A digital television (a TV with an internal digital tuner) will allow you to continue to watch free over-the-air programming after February 17, 2009.

However, if you have an analog television, you will need a digital-to-analog converter box to continue to watch broadcast television on that set. This converter box will also enable you to see any additional multicast programming that your local stations are offering.

Analog sets should continue to work as before if connected to a subscription service such as cable or satellite TV. Also, analog sets should continue to work with gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products that you use now.

Will I need a special antenna to receive DTV over-the-air?

In general, dependable reception of over-the-air digital TV programming will require the same type of signal reception equipment that currently works to provide good quality reception of analog TV programming. If you need a roof-top antenna to receive analog TV broadcasts, the same antenna generally will work to receive digital TV broadcasts. You should not have to purchase new antennas that are marketed as “digital ready” or “HD ready.”

What is the Converter Box Coupon Program?

To help consumers with the DTV transition, the Government established the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program. Every U.S. household is eligible to receive up to two coupons, worth $40 each, toward the purchase of eligible digital-to-analog converter boxes.

The coupons may only be used for eligible converter boxes sold at participating consumer electronics retailers, and the coupons must be used at the time of purchase. (Please note that these coupons will expire 90 days after mailing). Manufacturers estimate that digital-to-analog converter boxes will sell from $40 to $70 each. This is a one-time cost. For more information on the Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program, visit www.dtv2009.gov, or call 1-888-388-2009 (voice) or 1-877-530-2634 (TTY).
[note: the coupon program’s funding has already been reached, and if you’re just acting now, you’ll be put on a first-come-first-served waiting list which may, or may not get you a coupon.. depends on how many coupons are cashed/expire.]

Today’s free link: The place to get answers to all your questions about the digital transition (in fact, the info above was largely copy > paste from there) is the special website provided by the Federal Communication Commission, http://www.dtv.gov/consumercorner.html

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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January 8, 2009 Posted by | advice, HDTV, how to, News, shopping for, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments