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General Chat Thread, Unfriendly Article vents at Edugeek and its members in General; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook As for the example you use about the software development and the stuff needing XP SP1, ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    As for the example you use about the software development and the stuff needing XP SP1, etc ... what I would like people to talk about is how they spoke with that teacher instead of just the behind the red door rant about how such and such was stupid enough to ask for something that will not work. What was done to look at what it was needed for? What was done to look for an alternative? How was that costed and how much time did it take? Did they go for the alternative in the end? Was there any retraining needed for staff and students? How long did that take? What was the impact of having to do all of this on the support for the rest of the school?

    *That* is what I want to talk about ... not just head in the sand stuff. The approach some people take is a block to that ... and that is something that also frustrates me (see previous post). If people don't want that to talk about it ... then fine, I'll piss off to the back of the class ... but if people are not willing to help themselves / each other, find out how other schools are doing things differently or even discuss things ... well, no-one else will anymore.
    On the first point I may be seeing some of your issue, this is after all a voluntary forum that people post to and read because they get something out of it. Asking for information, showing off their accomplishments and learning from others. In the world of books and movies there are not that many epic tales of compromise and unatainable goals. For the most part they would be depressing or boring to watch and probably to write. Although the content may be of interest to some and in fact valuable they are probably not the most enjoyable things to write for most and so are written about less. Like writing documentation for fun, I do know someone who does that but tey are a rareity rather than a majority.

    As far as I could tell most of the posts in this thread were in fact reasoned and not head in the sand stuff. Yes they disagreed with the post but provided very valid reasons why including the whatever is popular is not always right viewpoint.

    I still struggle to see how these anarchist schools actually work where everyone can do whatever they want and IT must run about cleaning up or provide everything in raw text so that anything digital can read it. Worksheet by SMS anyone There must be some bounds placed or a one to one IT staff ratio or something if it is fully unrestricted and yet fully supported and dependable.

    As an ammusing afterthought I wonder if the teachers demanding it would be happy to expand the same complete freedoms to their students in class

    There so needs to be a chaos smiley

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    A quick point on BSF and schools falling apart, a number of LAs and schools (some of which had the maintenance budget given to them already) decided not to do anything to fix the failings as there was little point in wasting the taxpayers money fixing something due to be replaced. Catch 22 ... fix a problem in a building that will be knocked down in anything from 1-3 years and get grief in the press or from politicians about waste of money, or don't fix it and get grief for letting the kids learn in terrible conditions ... but have a bit more money to spend on other things including the new build when it arrives.
    This is very closely mirrored in NZ with ICT at the moment, there is an 80% funding project for networking in schools comming to around 80 schools a year. There are now a bunch of schools not spending anything on ICT while they wait to win the funding lottery.

    @Drummer_boy - it depends on the place, I work in a software dev house that is all Windows 7 x64 apart from one XP and one Vista machine for legacy testing. It just depends on where you are I guess.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 23rd February 2011 at 04:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The cynical amongst us might even look at those who intentionally did nothing so that the terrible state of the buildings in a few of the schools might push for everyone to jump onto BSF that bit sooner ... possibly.
    You mean like those members of staff who deliberately misuse their old but still functioning laptop so that they can get a nice new one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    On the first point I may be seeing some of your issue, this is after all a voluntary forum that people post to and read because they get something out of it. Asking for information, showing off their accomplishments and learning from others. In the world of books and movies there are not that many epic tales of compromise and unatainable goals. For the most part they would be depressing or boring to watch and probably to write. Although the content may be of interest to some and in fact valuable they are probably not the most enjoyable things to write for most and so are written about less. Like writing documentation for fun, I do know someone who does that but tey are a rareity rather than a majority.
    I am lazy ... I prefer to let others write it ... partly because there are folk far better than me out there at doing it and partly because I come across a tad dictatorial when I do it ... Not quite as bad as some wikipedia editors when it comes to getting it right, but why do something vague which allows for mis-interpretation.

    As far as I could tell most of the posts in this thread were in fact reasoned and not head in the sand stuff. Yes they disagreed with the post but provided very valid reasons why including the whatever is popular is not always right viewpoint.
    Some of the 'head in the sand' has not just been in this thread, but on a raft of similar discussions ... again ... a personal perception of the comments of some folk, but one that has come about after a number of such discussions on here, via email and in person. My main gripe at the start was the personal nature of the attacks on the author of the original article rather than tackling the points raised. Those who have taken a more analytical approach, I salute you ... but I stand by my distaste at personal attacks. I would do the same if it was a member on here attacked in such a manner (have done in the past, as have many others). That has now morphed into what the discussion is now ... this was not my intent (as I have already started this elsewhere and would like to get back to that thread, but I am having to wait on some other stuff first.

    I still struggle to see how these anarchist schools actually work where everyone can do whatever they want and IT must run about cleaning up or provide everything in raw text so that anything digital can read it. Worksheet by SMS anyone There must be some bounds placed or a one to one IT staff ratio or something if it is fully unrestricted and yet fully supported and dependable.
    The article's main premise is that there are plenty of tools out there which mean you don't have to have folk running around. Systems can (and the author claims that they should) be set up in such a manner that the tools should be agnostic and available to all, however they want or need it. This is what I am interesting in discussing to see what the technical, political, educational and financial benefits and issues are. The author could be taken as throwing down the gauntlet and seeing whether it would be picked up or whether folk would just moan about the mess the chunk of metal made on the polished floor.

    As an amusing afterthought I wonder if the teachers demanding it would be happy to expand the same complete freedoms to their students in class
    If you fancy reading about that side of things the purpos/ed, #edchat, #ukedchat and Learning Without Frontiers would be a good start ... the discussions get even more heated than on here.

    There so needs to be a chaos smiley

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    I'm not sure who John Spencer is (somebody that has taught IT for the last 30 years apparently) but he must have had bad dealings with an EduGeek member at some point. It is clear that he doesn't read EduGeek or he would know that EduGeek members were the first in the world to deploy Windows 7 and Office 2010 across whole sites and we lead the way in discussions regarding virtualisation and other technologies.

    We'll take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh about it with the guys at Microsoft next week
    I was thinking the same, Edugeek has been a way for me to keep in contact with the "Know How" of the "REAL WORLD". And I say real world because you are all working in not just business areas but education as well. With budgets you can not simply move to windows 7, then you have to worry about the impact of students+staff using some thing new. Not forgetting you also have 50+ software packages that are relied upon by Departments.

    I have been pushing windows 7 as much as possible here in the last 12 months but I have realised it isnt as simple as 1 2 3. We have had some issues and we are finding more as time goes by. Which requires us to find the time to research in to permanent solutions. We only have 3 staff to deal with everything for a 1600+ user 800+ Computers on a heavily used IT system....

    I have currently a virtual server setup which I have been playing with for about 2-3 weeks now, windows 2008 r2 x64 which again I have encountered issues with. This will replace Printserver/EPO/Programs (so I have had to play around with that too). I also have on delivery Exchange 2010, which I again will have to play with. I am hoping to get Exchange 2010 in place by Xmas or September, depending how much time it requires etc.

    So as a edugeek member, how am I going to be stuck on XP by 2013

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    I just wanted to add some perspective from the US - this forum is the best forum I've found for discussion Windows 7 issues in education! I'm sure there are many other districts in the US moving to Windows 7, but they aren't discussing and sharing issues like you are in the UK. My issue with Win 7 home folders being deleted, for example ... in the early days of my issue, I found no other site where any school aknowledged that this was also happening to them. I've been thinking how progressive y'all are here at edugeek!

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  9. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by mthomas08 View Post
    I have been pushing windows 7 as much as possible here in the last 12 months but I have realised it isnt as simple as 1 2 3. We have had some issues and we are finding more as time goes by. Which requires us to find the time to research in to permanent solutions. We only have 3 staff to deal with everything for a 1600+ user 800+ Computers on a heavily used IT system....
    That's pretty much the same story for me!

    So as a edugeek member, how am I going to be stuck on XP by 2013
    That was my argument too! He seemed to be tarring everyone in education with the same, very broad, brush!

    Our biggest problem is moving over to Office 2007.

    It is fine on the student side of things, but on the staff side...... Well, we're slightly hamstrung by aging developers who do not want to move their databases over to 2007, much less 2010. This is proper "head in the sand"!

    I will continue to push out W7 onto any desktop (for students) that can take it, and also onto any staff laptop that I can. Any problems that DO come up.....A quick trip to the tech forum soon sorts it out!

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    I was asked a few days ago to find out when XP would be out of support as some schools are going to be sticking with it until they have to move, either due to lack of support or the hardware fails. They cannot afford to go to EES as a licence scheme or to purchase replacement licences, are going to have to use the kit for 6-7 years (being realistic), have a presently working solution ... and so will stay as they are. They are, thankfully, sticking money to one side to try and cover the change when it appears, but they think it might be more cost effective to invest that in there wired / wireless network to allow students to bring their own devices instead.

    Hard choices ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I was asked a few days ago to find out when XP would be out of support as some schools are going to be sticking with it until they have to move, either due to lack of support or the hardware fails. They cannot afford to go to EES as a licence scheme or to purchase replacement licences, are going to have to use the kit for 6-7 years (being realistic), have a presently working solution ... and so will stay as they are. They are, thankfully, sticking money to one side to try and cover the change when it appears, but they think it might be more cost effective to invest that in there wired / wireless network
    to allow students to bring their own devices instead.
    Hard choices ...
    But surely the problems then become about safeguarding? Are their laptops/phones going through your web filter? If not, then what about undesirable content? Or Games?

    As much as we like students to bring their own laptops in, and go onto the student WLAN, we still have to keep some control on what they do.

    If I could show you some of the requests that have come through our system........ Make your skin crawl!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The article's main premise is that there are plenty of tools out there which mean you don't have to have folk running around. Systems can (and the author claims that they should) be set up in such a manner that the tools should be agnostic and available to all, however they want or need it. This is what I am interesting in discussing to see what the technical, political, educational and financial benefits and issues are. The author could be taken as throwing down the gauntlet and seeing whether it would be picked up or whether folk would just moan about the mess the chunk of metal made on the polished floor.



    If you fancy reading about that side of things the purpos/ed, #edchat, #ukedchat and Learning Without Frontiers would be a good start ... the discussions get even more heated than on here.



    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...s_star.svg.png
    If by tools they means phones and stuff then there again needs to be a culture change from users. If its for work instantly IT will be expected to support and configure it, unless they are willing to supply massive training or up pay for ICT by at least 10 times to buy gear to play with then this is unsustainable.

    There is also the race to the bottom issues when resources have to work on all devices and where my SMS quip came in. First staff must actually pick resources that can support this kind of deployment and then you have to pick a lowest supported thing. Probably WAP or at most HTML3 with no java to support all sorts of phones, even old ones unless you are mandating much newer suff etc.

    As to the other forum I think I will leave it to others, I am not a teacher, they should be the ones reading this and explaining what they want/need cohesivly . I will provide suggestions from my field of study and even read some education stories but it is so not my job or within my ability (as no-one would listen) to rearchitect the way stuff is taught. That and I think that more of that kind of throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks thinking would give me a massive headache.

    Also that chaos arrow is a very poor representation, all those equal vectors heading off from a single central point would result in an overall movement of nothing. Equalness and a lack of movement is possibly the worst representation of chaos that I can think of and those wiki writers must have some strange ideas, I hope they had the appropriate citations

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I was asked a few days ago to find out when XP would be out of support as some schools are going to be sticking with it until they have to move, either due to lack of support or the hardware fails. They cannot afford to go to EES as a licence scheme or to purchase replacement licences, are going to have to use the kit for 6-7 years (being realistic), have a presently working solution ... and so will stay as they are. They are, thankfully, sticking money to one side to try and cover the change when it appears, but they think it might be more cost effective to invest that in there wired / wireless network to allow students to bring their own devices instead.

    Hard choices ...
    This kind of thing makes me mad as a failure of the school and its budgeting. I may be comming at it from a better funded prospective but if they had planned within their means and kept depreciating and upgrading a little each year alog with keeping their ICT at a managable size for their budget then they would not have as much of a problem. Computers and software do not last forever but there seems to be a beleif in some places that it does.

    A propper understanding of this and budget for it should result in a propper refresh cycle and the oldest primary workstations being 5-6 years old. A small RAM upgrade and these computers will run Windows 7. I can see the liscencing costs as a valid obstical but again this can hardly have come as a suprise and by waiting until the very end of the XP lifecycle they are guarenteing that it will be about as difficult as they can make it. Difficult for software movement, training etc, who is going to be still left with fresh migration memories to ask questions of.

    Putting off all investment in preperation of future devices is also a tad unfair to the current students which cycles back to the have and have not debate again. You are right, they are hard choices.

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    I was asked a few days ago to find out when XP would be out of support
    Well someone has to say it: Mr GrumbleDook, how dare you berate us for this and that aspect of our future plans for our systems when you apparently don't have such a fundamentally significant date, one I'm reasonably confident is known by most of us, at your finger tips? ;b


    --

    Meanwhile, questions for GD, Spannerwotsit or any other folk who do Authoritative[tm] for a hobby:

    1) List some compelling, pragmatic reasons why a system happily running XP, IE8, FF-de-jour or whatever together with a large prior investment in software for that platform, shouldn't keep doing that until at least 2013 (when the next Windows *may* hit the streets). Please skip the old drivers for new h/w issue, we all know about that. Don't forget to include any supporting evidence re. improvement in educational attainment.


    2) Do Primary schools exist?
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 23rd February 2011 at 10:32 PM.

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    Partly devils advocate, partly opinion as my tone can easily be considered authoritive at times.

    1) It can and may keep running for that long but the older it gets the more issues it will cause. It is already a second class citizen with regard to secuity and speed (on newer hardware). You are also saving up all of your pain for a single killer blow, why save up problems so that the only solution is to nuke the lot into the ground and start again. I seriously don't know why people have such issues with a dual platform setup. Have 7 on the new ones and work through the issues now rather than digging a deeper hole. This also gently eases people through the training rather than simply ripping the carpet out from under them.

    We went from XP to Vista and then to 7, these incremental changes meant that it was a progression which most found easy rather than a flat out jump to a completely alien system, for staff as well as techs.

    I have no issues with the older gear running XP if it has to to extend its life but buying backwards is paying money to dig the hole deeper. If the new ones come with 7 it is one less thing to buy later.

    Some software does not work on 7 but a large amount of it does and for stuff that does not there is XP mode.

    Do multiple (to a certain extent) platforms harm education, probably the opposite and kids cope fine with them, so do most teachers despite any complaints. Windows is also easy to manage from the same core place (AD) even with different versions and even with old server versions (2000).

    2) Yes, I work in a bunch of them but the smallest is 450 pupils and all are in a different counntry to you so I don't know your situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post

    1) List some compelling, pragmatic reasons why a system happily running XP, IE8, FF-de-jour or whatever together with a large prior investment in software for that platform, shouldn't keep doing that until at least 2013 (when the next Windows *may* hit the streets). Please skip the old drivers for new h/w issue, we all know about that. Don't forget to include any supporting evidence re. improvement in educational attainment.
    It's only going to be a problem if you will be buying windows software that has been coded to not run in XP. I personally don't see a significant functional difference between XP and w2k, but things like SIMS etc are not supported or designed to run on w2k. Rather than face the 'single killer blow' as synack puts it, you can start mitigating these problems by centralising how software is procured. A few key decisions will assist your migration to other platforms, for example; moving services such as email, wordprocessing, spreadsheets, eportfolios to the web. Insist that educational applications are SCORM compatible and will run over the web in your VLE (most major educational providers do this now, even boardworks has finally removed its insistance on MSPowerpoint). Make sure any other software will work on terminal servers to publish to incompatible clients.
    Taking these simple steps will ensure you'll be able to cater for a much larger range of clients, including some mobile devices.
    Last edited by CyberNerd; 24th February 2011 at 10:15 AM.

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    But sometimes we're at the mercy of the software developers and can't do a thing about it.

    For example, one of our departments needed a particular program. There wasn't anything else like it on the market.

    The program was awful, it looked like it had been coded for Windows 3.1. The compatibility specs were something like "Windows 95, 640x480 resolution, 64Mb of RAM, 100Mb of drive space". When you see those specs you just know its going to be bad.

    And it was. It turned out that after the install I had to mess about unregistering and re-registering DLL files just to get it working on XP. There are loads of apps our school uses which just wouldn't run on our bench test Vista and 7 computer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Partly devils advocate, partly opinion as my tone can easily be considered authoritive at times.

    1) It can and may keep running for that long but the older it gets the more issues it will cause. It is already a second class citizen with regard to secuity and speed (on newer hardware). You are also saving up all of your pain for a single killer blow, why save up problems so that the only solution is to nuke the lot into the ground and start again. I seriously don't know why people have such issues with a dual platform setup. Have 7 on the new ones and work through the issues now rather than digging a deeper hole. This also gently eases people through the training rather than simply ripping the carpet out from under them.

    We went from XP to Vista and then to 7, these incremental changes meant that it was a progression which most found easy rather than a flat out jump to a completely alien system, for staff as well as techs.

    I have no issues with the older gear running XP if it has to to extend its life but buying backwards is paying money to dig the hole deeper. If the new ones come with 7 it is one less thing to buy later.

    Some software does not work on 7 but a large amount of it does and for stuff that does not there is XP mode.

    Do multiple (to a certain extent) platforms harm education, probably the opposite and kids cope fine with them, so do most teachers despite any complaints. Windows is also easy to manage from the same core place (AD) even with different versions and even with old server versions (2000).
    I agree with your sentiments here. Here are my main points about this issue.

    1) The OS should fit the hardware and requirements - We're running an almost 100% Windows 7 here in the Secondary School. There are a few Vista machines we've yet to upgrade due to their importance and compatibility with software (especially in the bursary department). XP we keep to our technical machines (for my network management) and to very OLD hardware that benefit from XP and drives don't work/exist for Windows 7. On the counter-balance; our prep school have XP running on the IT suite computers and Windows 7 on teachers laptops/office machines. The pure reason is that most infant/primary school software is poorly written and is a bugger to work on Windows 7. Our current technician is testing all software Windows 7 and I'm leaving it to him and their IT co-ordinator to plan a Windows 7 upgrade. I've given him the tools to do so.

    2) Upgrades in OS shouldn't be hesitated in light of biased views of an OS and educational benefits. This is more relational to GCSE/A-Level students. Why keep to XP when in the big world, loads of companies are moving to Windows 7 and new hardware is pre-installed with 7? I know it isn't detrimental, but you can imagine students moving onto University or going into jobs being totally baffled by Windows 7 / Office 2007/2010. Progression change is healthy and since going through the Vista/Office 2007 pains, Windows 7 has been sweet to deploy and users aren't disorientated after using the previous OS. XP to Windows 7 is a big change. Not all students/staff/teachers can adapt as easily with less confidence in computing.

    3) Hardware life-cycles are important as well. If you've got old hardware needing to be replaced, why struggle to license or fit XP in the Windows 7 glove of hardware? It's more hassle than it's worth. As I said above and SYNACK has mentioned, a mixed set-up is probably the best thing.

    I don't accept the bashing the original article made against EduGeek members. At the end of the day, that can be ignored as most of us have greater knowledge and know-how about the way the education sector works. However, I do think there always needs to be a proactive approach when developing and upgrading systems. Options do depend on hardware/cost/suitability. I have seen negativity against upgrading to Vista in the past here and Windows 7 as well. Maybe it's the frustration education management in schools still doesn't take IT important enough, especially in Secondary/Higher education. I'm talking experience from working in an independent school. Regardless of the up-scaled funding here, there's still the misunderstandings on how important investment into infrastructure and continued hardware cycles need to be done. Also the time it takes and man-power needed to do an OS upgrade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    But sometimes we're at the mercy of the software developers and can't do a thing about it.

    For example, one of our departments needed a particular program. There wasn't anything else like it on the market.

    The program was awful, it looked like it had been coded for Windows 3.1. The compatibility specs were something like "Windows 95, 640x480 resolution, 64Mb of RAM, 100Mb of drive space". When you see those specs you just know its going to be bad.

    And it was. It turned out that after the install I had to mess about unregistering and re-registering DLL files just to get it working on XP. There are loads of apps our school uses which just wouldn't run on our bench test Vista and 7 computer.
    Quite understandable as we have the same thing, but have you looked at hardware that's compatible with Windows 7 Virtualisation and run the programs in XP-Mode? We waited 6 months for our gym software company to upgrade their software to Windows 7. They almost had the cheek to charge us for the upgrade when we highlighted the problem within our first 1 year support period and promised it would work. XP-Mode would of worked in the interim if we'd done our research to get the right hardware to run Windows 7 Virtual PC. However, we had to keep down to Vista until it was sorted.



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