New Windows XP user - Questions
blackbird71 last edited by
I will get a good 'puter grease monkey, and have my old pc upgraded--people do this all the time.--i have seen it work. --very well. --Because my engineer friends who worked for big pc companies, tell me the new pcs are getting WORSE than the old ones.; I can't ruin the last few yrs of my life,(Im 70) struggling with even WORSE PCS than i already have!!I won't do it!!! I have HAD IT.
There are some problematic factors to keep in mind when considering investment into upgrading an old PC.
While a number of things can be upgraded on a truly old computer, depending on age, there are built-in physical limitations that prevent old hardware from being made fully compatible with newer computer standards, at least with any favorable degree of cost-effectiveness. Truly old hardware, while perhaps originally more robust, was designed and built to now-old standards and protocols. These act to limit compatibility and capacity when newer standards and protocols must be utilized to get full computer functionality with modern software and websites. Think in terms of a refurbished car designed to run on leaded gasoline and 10W40 motor oil, but now facing a supply marketplace dominated by unleaded gasoline and 5W30 (or even 0w20 synthetic) motor oil... it can be done, but at what cost and trouble?
Moreover, with age, some hardware physically deteriorates (fans, hard drives, and power supply or motherboard capacitors being common examples), and these can create weaker performance that causes increasing intermittency and/or startup failures. Many of the computer's hardware parts require software 'driver' programs written by their makers to properly connect the hardware with the operating system installed on the computer. For a lot of older hardware, the hardware makers no longer write updated drivers compatible with requirements of newer operating system software, forcing the user to stick with an old and obsolete operating system. But that, in turn, increasingly blocks a user from using newer application program versions written around newer operating systems, as well as exposing the user to increasing numbers of now-unpatched security exploits out on the Internet.
In my own experience, some computers can indeed run for 10-20 years or even longer, particularly if well-maintained and with occasional replacement of fans and drives, as well as a new power supply or two. At this moment, I'm sitting next to a fully-functioning Micron Win98FE system dating from 1998 that I still use occasionally to run DOS and very old Windows programs. But that's not to say such old computers will support installation of a modern operating system, and it's not to say the systems would be safe if taken online with their original operating system and compatible software. It's certainly not to say that putting much rebuild money into such an old system could be justified except by a business necessity of running certain ancient business-related programs.
My advice would be to take a very long, hard look at the cost-return trade-off before putting much into a physical upgrade of an old computer. It might be simpler or more cost effective to get a simple, information-appliance type of small and cheap computer for the usage you have.