back to article Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

You're a Reg reader so chances are you're also informal, and unpaid, tech support for all manner of family members and friends. But with fewer than 60 days left until Microsoft more-or-less pulls the plug on Windows XP, Redmond wants you to stop sharing your expertise and just tell those you know and love to buy a new PC. …

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James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

"You can't update-and-keep data from early versions of OSX like tiger to 10.9 without buying and installing intermediate OSs first."

Actually... you can. You do a clean install and then import the data (and apps) from your backup. Warning: a lot of the apps may have problems, thanks to Rosetta having been eaten by a Lion. A bunch more got flooded out by the waves of Mavericks. Your data, now, your data's good. And it's easily moved.

Yes, I have machines (two of them...) running Tiger right now. They're due to be retired shortly, as, well, they were never particularly fast (1.25 GHz eMacs) and now they're INCREDIBLY BLOODY SLOW. The data on them will be moved to either Mac minis or iMacs. Pity. I quite liked the eMac design, though apparently I was in a distinct minority.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: If they have to buy a whole new machine...

I was doing XP to Win7 rollout for a local council, and 90% of the work was the 10% of systems with AutoCAD, as the version they were using would not run without whole-system administrator privileges, and Eric The Pickle has insisted that councils not spend money on irrelevant fripperies like buying updated software.

Anon for obvious reasons.

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

"would you be so kind as to be specific? What functionality do you require in a spreadsheet is not present in an FOSS tool (e.g. libreoffice), other than "works with M$ Office"."

I think you'll find that "works with MS Office" _is_ the killer feature required. A substantial subset of the world uses MS Office. You don't have to like this. I don't. However, I must deal with it. FOSS office suites simply have too much trouble with formatting Office files; such files quite often cannot be round-tripped, they become unreadably screwed during the process. (Some are merely unreadable.) And, yes, I'm quite sure that this is deliberate on the part of Microsoft; files from older versions of Office are often hard to round-trip, too. (Go on. Open a heavily formatted Powerpoint file, created in Office 2000 (Windows) or 2001 (Mac) in, say, Office 2013. Notice how elements are all over the place. Fix it, save it as a PPT (and not a PPTX) file so that in theory it can be read by the older version of Office. Watch the user's face when they try to access that file.) No, like it or not, many people not only have to have MS Office, they have to have multiple versions of MS Office so that they can actually get work done. I'm typing this on a Mac mini running OS X 10.9; it has Office 2011 and 2008 installed, and the only reason it doesn't have Office 2004 is 'cause 2004 won't bloody work on OS X 10.9. My laptop, sitting in my laptop bag, runs Win 7. It has Office 2003 (and a right pain it was to get that installed) and 2010 (the version I usually use) and 2013 (the version I have to use to deal with a certain customer's stuff). And, yes, I know, Microsoft discourages that kind of thing.

Yes, I do have LibreOffice on both the Mac and the laptop. No, I don't often use it, because LO usually screws up the formatting if the document was created with anything above the most basic level of formatting. Sorry to rain on your parade, man, but that's been my experience. YMMV.

Davie Dee

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

I commend you on the total disregard to your own safety!

Openly speaking such Heresy in these parts will get you bombed with down votes.

No, you must conform to the "fact" that anything MS, oops, I mean M$! is utter crap.

You know whats really odd though, all these people who have allegedly been converted by tech specialists to using Linux and LOVE it more than life its self, and there must be quite a few tech folk if the proportion of Windows haters / users here is anything to go by, all those family and friends now tapping away on a Linux based machine and yet none of them use the internet, its crazy!

Its a very odd situation, because basically the lack of internet usage of all those people means that Windows (as a whole) market share accounts for over 90% of the desktop market, give apple around ~7-8% and the remainder divided up in to others with Linux sitting in there between 1.5-2%

Instead of moaning about how crap windows is perhaps you should get all your friends and family to jump on the internet and become a statistic for Linux bolstering those market shares a bit.

As the commenter above more or less said, Linux has a place, it is useful in many ways, but its not for a huge proportion of people, forcing people in to it on principle is a complete abuse of your position and may bring the reputation down for the rest of us. As professionals you have to weigh up everything, you can not make decisions based on your opinion alone, what i see here on this website is open distaste for anything to do with MS, irrespective of anything else, I seriously hope you don't use such judgment in the real world or I pity your clients.

John Savard
Silver badge

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

Yes, but you can't upgrade without moving your data at all, the way you could by moving to the immediate next release.

Since Windows 7 wasn't that much different from Vista, not being able to do this when upgrading directly from XP to 7 was clearly a deliberate money grab by Microsoft. Whether or not there are valid technical reasons in the other cases, I don't know. But people should be free to skip releases - the operating systems should sell on their merits, and they're purchases, not rentals.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

err full VBA compatibility?

Trevor Gale

Re: If they have to buy a whole new machine...

Whilst I avoid MS Windows OS and MS applications in general (my desktop(s) and others are Fedora Linux) I do take issue about PLC and FPGA, and PLA devices and programming. Yes they are 'text-driven', but that's fine as far as it goes. Once you've defined your states, rules and equations and written them all nicely into a (text) file, they have to be compiled - using a tool. The output of that tool is another recognised standard format file. Then you have your device programmer peripheral and its interface; these last two things are often only supplied as or with drivers and packages that are based to run on an MS Windows OS. I don't care much about a GUI for using these, but that's how they're supplied... and I spend enough time designing prototypes such that I don't particularly wish to chuck loads of stuff down the bog and scratch around endless forums to find a new set of tools that just might do what I'm already used to doing. That doesn't make me an idiot: it makes me one of many sensible hardworking Engineers.

Snapper

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

Er....you do know that Excel is available on the Mac, don't you? Or are you a Windows user who thinks nothing works outside the whole Win/PC environment?

I have met so many SysAdmins with that level of intelligence.

Robert E A Harvey

Re: If they have to buy a whole new machine...

VFD -variable frequency drive. Yes you /can/ enter basic parameters through the keypad, but debugging and tuning requires a monitor. And those run on windows.

https://customer.honeywell.com/en-US/support/commercial/software/vfds/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.nidec-asi.com/english/ARTICS_sw_platform.php

http://www.abb.com/product/us/9AAC113388.aspx

And are you seriously telling me you can write programmes for a PLC5 or an S7 with some sort of text terminal? Because I doubt that very much.

http://www.industry.siemens.com/topics/global/en/tia-portal/pages/default.aspx

https://www.rockwellautomation.com/rockwellsoftware/design/rslogix5/overview.page

http://www.mitsubishielectric.com/fa/products/cnt/plceng/items/index.html

John Doe 6

No Microsoft...

Friends don't do tech support for friends with Windows, the only tech support they get is "Buy a Mac or install Linux" and they can get tech support for both.

LaeMing
Coat

I don't have any friends.

Will you be my friend?

(the really really creepy coat is mine).

080

Re: I don't have any friends.

If you fix my Vista box I will be your friend.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't have any friends.

If you fix my Vista box I will be your friend.

Ways to terminate a friendship.

#234: can you fix my Windows computer?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't have any friends.

Actually, its good for free alcohol or other 'favors'...

Trainee grumpy old ****
WTF?

Re: I don't have any friends.

>> If you fix my Vista box I will be your friend.

> Ways to terminate a friendship.

> #234: can you fix my Windows computer?

#234? It must surely rank much higher than that.

Frank Zuiderduin

Exit microsoft's products

Suggesting Slackware may be a bit much, but I see no reason why the people *I* help couldn't switch to a Debian based Linux distro like SolydXK.

AnoniMouse

The ethics of the IT industry

1. If users are forced to buy a brand new PC, they will be far more likely to consider an alternative - a MAC or a tablet (not Win 8).

2. Users who do want to persist with Windows are likely to be doing so because they have invested a large amount of time, money and their lives in applications that run on the PC and data locked up in those applications. This forced transition to a new platform, which frequently does not support the original applications (and strongly discorages the use of the original data formats), is abuse of MS's monopoly position, as a means of attempting to shore up revenues from their proprietry technology.

3. MS is positively engendering a digital throaway society - not just gadgets, but data as well. We should be ashamed that old fashioned technologies such as pen and ink will far outlast the information sustainability of which their modern counterparts are capable.

4. The ethics of a product strategy that focuses on the new and shiny rather than on the maintenance and evolution of things that work are highly questionable. The disruption to business and personal users of moving to a new platform is hugely costly. It may generate huge turnover every few years for the IT industry, but the net benefit to the economy and to society of continually starting over, only to reach much the same functionality - a liitle more here, a little less there (albeit re-skinned) - after considerable effort, is minimal. And the industry cannot plead "consumer demand" as mitigation - the industry invests hugely in stimulating this demand.

Anonymous Coward
Big Brother

Re: The ethics of the IT industry

"We should be ashamed that old fashioned technologies such as pen and ink will far outlast the information sustainability of which their modern counterparts are capable."

Oh no, no, no not at all, your data will be sustained FOREVER. But not on your device and it just... won't belong to you anymore.

The Real SteveP

Re: The ethics of the IT industry

First I have to say that I am not a fan of Microsoft - and even less a fan of Apple.

The first part of point 2 is absolutely spot on. The second part though is a complete load of rubbish. Current versions of Office allow almost ANY file data formats including the internationally accepted standards. Any ancient MS Office-saved file can be opened in any version of Office, and all accepted standard formats too.

As for point 3, I rather think that Apple leads the world in encouraging the digital throwaway society - they were among if not the first to install non-replaceable batteries for example.

Point 4 (the first sentence) is a rather concise description of Apple's ethics..

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: The ethics of the IT industry

The IT industry doesn't do ethics. There is a very good chance over the next few years that many homes and small offices will migrate to Chrome systems as they are inherently cheaper.

Roland6
Silver badge

Re: The ethics of the IT industry

>Any ancient MS Office-saved file can be opened in any version of Office, and all accepted standard formats too.

Obviously haven't had to do this with versions of Office since Office 2003 SP3... otherwise you'd know you can't open say Powerpoint 95 files in Office 2007... And even pre-97 Word documents are problemmatic.

Not That Andrew

Re: The ethics of the IT industry

Hell, even Office 2007 documents can screw up in 2010 and later. Microsoft don't do compatibility very well.

James O'Shea
Silver badge

Re: The ethics of the IT industry

"Hell, even Office 2007 documents can screw up in 2010 and later. Microsoft don't do compatibility very well."

It's only February and already we have a winner for Understatement of the Year.

Jess

Re: Any ancient MS Office-saved file can be opened in any version of Office

If the version is too old, then you have to be careful the convertors are installed. (doesn't happen by default).

In my experience it isn't always perfect. In fact (with most files), openoffice does as good a job as the wrong office.

Is it common knowledge that word and powerpoint 97 can use the office 2007 compatibility pack? (excel doesn't work before 2003 sp3) (Never tried 95)

Caesarius
Meh

@Not That Andrew Re: The ethics of the IT industry

I'd go further and say that opening a MS file you saved five minutes ago can go wrong.

And yet I find MS products useful much of the time. Maybe it's because I am always skeptical of any tools I use. Any run of success just sets you up for a fall. It's always been the case with technology, as in "How do you get these new flint arrowheads to stay on?!"

Eeyore was an optimist.

nematoad
Silver badge
Windows

No

“The easiest path to Windows 8.1 is with new devices,”

Anyone who tells you this is no friend, but a shill for Microsoft.

BTW anyone advocating using Ubuntu, should think about Linux Mint instead, it's how Ubuntu should be.

Richard Jones 1

Re: No

I completely agree, MS simply do not understand how large parts of the rest of the world work. The OS is an unseen tiny part of the ecosystem that either makes things work or breaks them. Printers, scanners, network hardware all add up to an excessive cost. M$ have seen fit, (as have too many stupid vendors) to use their new crappy implementation of an OS to break the relationship with both expensive hardware and software. They should not be surprised that real people who work to pay for things are NOT impressed by the heap of ,(it's unmentionable) that breaks carefully established set ups and delivers a demand for piles of 'learning experience'. Couple that with what is for many a degraded if not degrading experience and it is not surprising that the 'no thanks' club remains popular.

While flavours of UNIX have some appeal, they to would carry the same 'break too many things baggage' as windows H8.

Someone must have a shed load of appreciating Windows 7 copies, I wish I could find the key to the fault, at least most of my hardware can be hacked to work with that last of the line package.

Fuzzysteve

Re: No

If it runs on 7, it'll run find on 8, in my experience.

Steven Raith
Meh

Re: No

I hate to burst your bubble, but the easiest path to Windows 8.1 (specifically) from anything older than Vista often is a new device - with current hardware, warranty, etc.

Very few people I come across who are still running XP are running a machine that would be happy with Win 8.1 (we're talking single core - maybe with HT - with 1 or 2gb RAM - in the real world, very few people bought high spec XP machines - most normal people bought the cheapest thing they could) without a few choice upgrades. Priced up DDR RAM recently? It ain't cheap because no bugger is making it any more. Throw in a Win 8.1 license and your labour, and you're paying near (or north of in some cases) £200 for a machine that is well over five years old, won't run that nicely anyway, and might not end up being that reliable just down to it's age (yes, I know, depends on the hardware, environment etc - but an older machine will tend to be less reliable than a new one).

Or throw somewhere south of £400 at the problem and get a machine that has warranty, current hardware, better connectivity, and will draw half the power under full load of the old machine at idle.

So yes, new hardware is a better option for many XP diehards who want Windows 8.1

The big question is, do they want Windows 8.1? And that's a different debate entirely. Bang a Linux distro on there and you still have the same speculative hardware reliability problems down the line, but you gain base level stability and security of the OS for the most part, and at least at that point it's only cost them an hours labour/beer and pizza, rather than north of £100 for the OS alone...

My brother runs Ubuntu for interweb and document stuff, and he's fine with it. Means I don't have to be tweeking the machine every ten minutes to remove crapware...

*Pats Multi-install USB pen with Debian, Mint, Ubuntu*

Steven R.

Not a shill, but I do work in the real world with real people. I wish I was a shill, I might be able to afford a newer car. Or at least to fix the broken bits on my car...

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: No

I would disagree on both points. I think that telling someone that "while you are my friend, I can't act as your tech support at the drop of a hat every time you need something, just buy a new sodding computer." is pretty reasonable.

Also, you illustrate the problem with the "popular" Linux distributions - they change every six months. I'm not going to advise my semi-IT-literate friends to install Linux because I'll say install CentOS, then they'll read on the Internet that they should have installed Ubuntu, no Mint, no XYZ distro, etc. you then end up having to keep up to date with all the Linux distros there are and all the different windowing systems.

Richard Jones 1

Re: No

Too many things would not work reliably when I tried to evaluate Win H8 one caused full system resets, while 7 has not missed a step. Mind you when they crippled WinH8 to only run under DEP, I lost the will to fight. I was not going to risk a production personal device on something already found worse than useless.

Davidoff

Few people who are still running XP are running a machine that would be happy with Win 8.1

"Very few people I come across who are still running XP are running a machine that would be happy with Win 8.1 (we're talking single core - maybe with HT - with 1 or 2gb RAM"

Maybe those that bought their systems in XP's early years, but the 13 years of XP cover a much wider hardware selection than those crappy Pentium4's. For example, most Core 2 Duo PCs probably came with XP, and they will generally run Windows 7 and even Windows 8.1 just fine.

Ken Hagan
Gold badge

Re: No

@Fuzzysteve: My experience is that some older printers work fine with 7 but the vendor couldn't be arsed to make the necessary tweaks (*) for 8 and so they flat out don't even get recognised. However ... my experience is also that those same vendors have a shit driver for Linux so perhaps it is just time for a new printer.

(* Heaven knows what those are, since Win8.1 is kernel version 6.3 and therefore almost the same beast as Win7 (kernel version 6.1), but they managed to break it somehow. Sigh!)

Ken Hagan
Gold badge

Re: No

" I'll say install CentOS, then they'll read on the Internet that they should have installed Ubuntu, no Mint, no XYZ distro, etc."

But everyone here knows that those articles are written by people who *enjoy* the bleeding edge experience of using distro-du-jour, whereas the family and friends that we're speaking to are the exact opposite and would presumably be quite understanding if you explained, "I've chosen CentOS because I believe it will "just work" with no need for you or me to maintain it.".

bjr

Re: No

For someone who needs more than a Chromebook can provide but doesn't need things like video editors, a RHEL clone like CentOS is definitely a great choice. XP users clearly don't embrace change so an ultra stable distro like CentOS is the perfect choice. It doesn't break and it will be supported for a very long time, Redhat intends to support RHEL 6.x for another six or seven years. The user interface of the 6 series is Gnome 2 which is menu based so XP users won't be confused. If they got their copies of MS Office at the same time as they got XP then they are going to be on Office 2K, 2003 or 2007. The UI of OpenOffice is very similar to the classic versions of MS Office, certainly much much closer than the current UI on MS Office is.

Steven Raith

Re: Few people who are still running XP are running a machine that would be happy with Win 8.1

Davidoff, survey of one and all that, but I can count on two hands the number of machines I've seen in the last year that have had a decent Core2Duo in them, are capable of taking more than 2gb of RAM, and also have XP on them. The sort of people who bought high end XP machines like that - and they were high end machines - have already upgraded years ago.

Yes, in the geekerati (IE us lot) there are plenty of holdouts, but in the general retail world, most people bought budget machines ten years ago and never upgraded them because MS kept on extending support and extending support.

Those machines now are no longer fit for purpose for current Windows OSs - and I'm not being hyperbolic in that; a Celeron with 1gb of RAM will not run Windows anything from Vista onwards in any meaningful sense - hence why if you still have XP, and you want to get off of it because of end of support, and you still want Windows, new hardware really is the most sensible way to go in, from what I see, around three quarters of all cases that cross my path.

There is no economically viable way to update a machine like that to run anything newer than XP from MS, period. Hell, bad blocks and XP SP3s larger footprint than SP0 means that even some of those machines are pretty much unusable as it stands for XP itself...there's more of that than you'd believe...!

Also, end of sale on XP was 2010, not 2014 - have a look at when systems with Core2 processors capable of maxing out at more than 2gb RAM started filtering down to the sub £500 price range (I was there, it was towards the end of the decade unless you were spending decent money) and you'll see why most machines still running XP in the retail space, where people spend sod all, need replacing, not upgrading.

I remember speccing machines (DC7800s) in 2008/9 with XP on them - getting a Core2Duo on that was still around £500 per box even then - unless you wanted a celeron or a single core P4 hyperthreading <spits> system, which was about all you could get for under £500, and that was buying 200 of them at a time through a distie for a high school.

And those won't run Win 8 very well either.

Again, survey of one, but believe me, I'm having to explain this to five people a week, and I'm not the only one doing that at my place. And trust me, we'd rather sell a cheap, usable upgrade than tell someone they have to fork over £400 for a new system...

Steven R

Mikel

Chromebooks

A Chromebook has likely got what they need. A performance boost and the price is right too.

NogginTheNog
FAIL

Re: Chromebooks

And if THAT'S not a wall garden, I don't know what is!

Anonymous Coward
IT Angle

Re: Chromebooks

Its not, its a cell.

James 51
Silver badge
Joke

That bloody turkey farmer, voting for Christmas again.

Matthew 17

Probably going to need new hardware regardless

An old XP machine is likely to be a bit old and naff and unlikely to have the horsepower to run Windows 8 effectively.

I've tried converting people to Linux before but they always run into problems with propriety devices, media etc, compatibility etc so I usually just recommend a Mac when it comes to them getting a new machine, I help them get all their data across and after a little bit of handholding to get them started they never have to ask me for help again. My family members that are still using Windows plague me with 'can you look at my laptop?!' questions on a monthly basis.

Marketing Hack
Silver badge
Windows

MS should realize that there is a huge market for a REAL Win XP upgrade

Why are about 1/3 of desktops still on XP? Because the 3 OS releases since then do not offer enough value for people and organizations to upgrade. Especially considering that a lot of households and businesses are still cash-strapped after the "Great Recession".

If I could avoid MS' lawyers, I would happily help to start up an OS vendor that could produce a humane upgrade from XP. You could count on 20%-30% of the market and you would be the computing hero of the common man, and you would probably have a big future market in emerging and frontier markets.

Brewster's Angle Grinder
Silver badge

Re: MS should realize that there is a huge market for a REAL Win XP upgrade

Actually, what that 20-30% want is continuing support for XP. Why faff around with an upgrade on a machine that's working fine?

Roland6
Silver badge

Re: MS should realize that there is a huge market for a REAL Win XP upgrade

>what that 20-30% want is continuing support for XP

This is where MS's chosen business model falls apart. MS decided to effectively bundle bug fixes and updates for 10+ years in the purchase price, rather than do as AV and other vendors do and charge an annual fee for the updates.

So actually what MS need to do is release an upgraded license key which replaces a user's existing licence key and so entitles them to continuing support for another n years, where n is a range of numbers, each with a price attached that is affordable to home users. However, I suspect this level of business thinking is beyond the abilities of TPTB in Redmond.

Shrimpling

I am the only person working in IT who doesn't do tech support for their friends?

I always tell them I make websites for a living... if they want help with their website I will see what I can do but I can't help them with their rubbish laptop.

Luckily none of them have ever taken me up on the offer of helping with a website!

VinceH
Silver badge

Re: I am the only person working in IT who doesn't do tech support for their friends?

"I always tell them I make websites for a living... if they want help with their website I will see what I can do but I can't help them with their rubbish laptop."

Nice.

I wish I could get away with something like that - but the problem is my mob (family in particular) have known me since long before computers were something the average Joe (i.e. they) could either afford or would even want. For me, they'd see it as the lie it is.

Funnily enough, though, on the subject of this slightly odd MS 'advice', I was fiddling with an XP machine yesterday, and I drew a somewhat cynical conclusion about something in the OS.

Specifically, the battery supporting the RTC had died - so whenever the computer started, XP would throw up an error about the clock not being set, and it was defaulting to 1/1/1980 (or 1/1/1980 for the benefit of any Overpuddlian readers).

The computer's owner (in fact my step dad, who I had let have the machine for a small sum when I resurrected it recently, when it seemed to be working fine) got a bit worried - understandably, given that he doesn't do technology at all - when he visited a website after the clock stopped working, and Firefox threw up a big scary warning about an invalid certificate.

I looked at the clock settings, and made sure it was set to synchronise with a time server - which I thought would solve the problem. It wouldn't do so, though, complaining that it couldn't synchronise the time, because the date was wrong.

My first thought? Piss poor programming: It should be setting the date as well as the time as part of that process. I then installed nettime, which does exactly that. So XP now throws up an error about the clock while booting, but once it's booted and connected to the internet, nettime puts the clock right.

My second, more cynical thought? I wondered if MS had deliberately opted not to only set the time, and fail to do even that if the date is wrong, so users of machines in that situation would go out and buy a new computer, which would (most likely) have a new copy of Windows on, thus equating to one more copy sold for them.

Meanwhile, the big scary warning has sufficiently frightened my step dad enough that he doesn't want the computer back, because I can't get it through to him that the big scary warning was the computer thinking there was something wrong with the website, rather than the website warning him that there was a security problem on the computer, which is what he thinks, so I've paid him back the sum he paid me for it.

Instead, he intends to look at second hand computers, and wants me to glance at any he might consider to see if they're okay - which means even more of my time. And I have to try to explain to him that the sort of once over I can give a computer in that situation isn't really sufficient, so I can't guarantee that a computer that I think seems to be okay after spending n minutes with it in someone's house, or a shop selling second hand tat, won't turn out to be a complete lemon when it's being used "properly".

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: I am the only person working in IT who doesn't do tech support for their friends?

While 2nd hand used to be cost effective, right now with sub £300 laptops available, its barely worth the time if all you use it for is the internet.

VinceH
Silver badge

Re: I am the only person working in IT who doesn't do tech support for their friends?

"While 2nd hand used to be cost effective, right now with sub £300 laptops available, its barely worth the time if all you use it for is the internet."

Funnily enough, I've just got off the phone to him - he rang to ask me about a computer in a second hand shop: £150 for a Win7 machine, which comes with a free penny. He gave me some of the specs, as listed on the display, and I had to explain (not for the first time) that while they don't sound too bad, it doesn't mean a jot about what the computer is like, because you don't know where it's been, what it's been treated like, etc.

I suggested, as you rightly point out, that if you're going to pay that much, you may as well consider new. He can't really afford to go to £300, but I took a quick look online at his local Currys (I know, I know - but he'd rather buy and have now than wait for something to be delivered) and found a couple of Chromebooks at just under £200. A Chromebook is probably ideal for his needs - which is nothing more than a bit of browsing.

Whether he'll actually go for one, I don't know, but I've managed to persuade him to at least wait until I've finished work, and I'll pop over to look at them with him.

Davidoff

Re: I am the only person working in IT who doesn't do tech support for their friends?

No, you're not. I try to generally avoid getting involved into tech support for consumers, no matter if it's for friends or not (the exception being my close family of course). Giving some advice is fine, but the time lost on 'support tasks' and the headaches involved are just not worth it.

VinceH
Silver badge

Re: I am the only person working in IT who doesn't do tech support for their friends?

Just to finish the story off... he bought an Acer Chromebook for £198.99 from Currys.

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