Windows 11

LunarMist

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Do they care? Everyone is moving to MAC or MS is trying to sell the whole OS and Apps online. They probably want you to fire up a new instance every day with just a few personalizations in your profile. No backup and no restore. No History and no Future, only the fleeting present.
 

sedrosken

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On the subject of backups, I'm trying to get my hands on an LTO6 drive for my NAS -- tapes are cheap, I can drop a backup off at my office or at my aunt and uncles for having an off-site storage, and they're reasonably high capacity without being eye-wateringly expensive like the newer LTO standards are. I have a friend in e-waste looking out for one for me, but I'm aware I'll likely need a SAS controller to use it. We'll see if I get ahold of one sometime this year. In the meantime, I'm just backing up to cold-stored hard drives...
 

LunarMist

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Isn't tape like slower than hard drives and less reliable than online storage?
 

sedrosken

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Isn't tape like slower than hard drives and less reliable than online storage?
Slower doesn't matter for a backup format and while I'm skeptical of the 'less reliable' claim, I'd say it's offset by having many copies in many locations. Tapes are much cheaper than buying a subscription for online storage and murdering my cable data cap in one night making my first sync. I put the data cap back on because with only me in the household, I wasn't coming close to it, and I was essentially giving my cable co. $50/mo extra for literally no benefit. That extra $50/mo can buy tapes instead. My cap is 1280GB, my array currently sits at just over 4.5TB used. It'd take me ~4mo to make the first sync if I were to respect my cap. Meanwhile, a tape drive? Just stick a tape in, start the backup, leave it overnight, change tapes if you overshoot the first one, no big deal.
 

jtr1962

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I thought tape was obsolete like a decade ago. As for reliability, weren't 3.5" floppies the pinnacle of reliability, and it's been all downhill ever since? Granted, the capacity made them useless for most backups even 2 decades ago but with magnetic bits that large they're probably immune to a lot of stuff that would kill tape or HDDs.

SSDs of course don't suffer from being affected by magnetism but you have bit rot if they're left unpowered for too long.

I personally have well under a TB of unique data. A portable SSD is good for backups for me. I bought a 2TB Samsung T5 last year.
 

LunarMist

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3.5" floppies were not particularly reliable. I recall paying like DM60 for a pack of 10 in the early 90s and those were fine, but when they were down to a dollar each in the states they were not so great.

SSDs are designed to be unpowered.
 

jtr1962

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3.5" floppies were not particularly reliable. I recall paying like DM60 for a pack of 10 in the early 90s and those were fine, but when they were down to a dollar each in the states they were not so great.
The earlier ones, which cost a few bucks each, were. By the time they became commodity items of course reliability suffered. In any case, it's moot now given how useless they are for any kind of back up. I haven't had a floppy drive on my main machine for the better part of a decade.
 

LunarMist

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Slower doesn't matter for a backup format and while I'm skeptical of the 'less reliable' claim, I'd say it's offset by having many copies in many locations. Tapes are much cheaper than buying a subscription for online storage and murdering my cable data cap in one night making my first sync. I put the data cap back on because with only me in the household, I wasn't coming close to it, and I was essentially giving my cable co. $50/mo extra for literally no benefit. That extra $50/mo can buy tapes instead. My cap is 1280GB, my array currently sits at just over 4.5TB used. It'd take me ~4mo to make the first sync if I were to respect my cap. Meanwhile, a tape drive? Just stick a tape in, start the backup, leave it overnight, change tapes if you overshoot the first one, no big deal.
From what I searched briefly, LTO-7 is about $3-4K for the drive and then about $50 or so for each 6TB tape.
 

sedrosken

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Which is why I'm on the lookout for LTO-6, as it's much cheaper (the drives are basically all used) and still sufficient for my needs.

Floppies were the pinnacle of reliability in their era of main usage -- the eighties and early 90s. When they became cheaper, commodity products that were sold in drugstores and all, for twenty bucks for a pack of 10, that's when they fell off in terms of reliability. I have a pack of 720K disks from 1988 that are all still perfect, and a pack from 2003 that 7/10 of them are bad in, they throw track 0 unreadable errors.

As for tapes, they're cheap, but not quite that cheap yet. They are still intended for business use, after all. They wouldn't be marketed for business if they weren't at least reliable when used in a rotation set.
 

LunarMist

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But are they not only 2.5TB each, ignoring the (mostly bogus) compressor system? It doesn't seem very space efficient and how long does it take to copy each of those back to a drive? It makes more sense in a scenario where tapes are used for archives, unlikely to ever be read and just destroyed after a number of years.
 

sedrosken

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Well, the hope is that I'll never need to restore from them, but ~10 tapes should be enough to have three or four sets in rotation even without compression since I'm only using 4.5TB right now. I'll add more tapes as I need to, and plan to be compressing the data myself via 7-zip as I've noticed LZMA2 manages better ratios than any filesystem level compression.

As for transfer rates, again, I'll be leaving backup processes to go overnight in most cases, and if I'm in a situation where I need to restore I'm likely to be grateful I still have the data to restore at all -- this isn't business usage, I'm not going to suffer any profit loss from downtime.
 

Mercutio

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Tape is by no means obsolete, but anyone using tape systems should be looking at buying at least two drives. Once you have a drive and you know that it works, the cost per terabyte is very low compared to any sort of fixed disk, and properly stored tape is the closest we're going to get a long time archival digital format. LTO6 is affordable. New cassettes are pretty easy to come by for $10 - $12/tape. Just make sure you run a cleaner tape regularly and test to make sure you can recover what you've backed up before you send your tapes off site.
 

LunarMist

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Of course tape systems are made for business to meet legal backup and retention requirements. Some records need to be kept 75 years or basically forever.

At retail prices the low media storage cost (slope) does not help total costs since the Y intercept (drive) is so high. Capacity must reach 100s of TB to be economical and even so access time is really slow relative to NAsd.
 

Mercutio

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LTO6 drives are COMPLETELY affordable as second hand or refurbished devices. When the drives are $150 or $200, the curve looks completely different, and the biggest issue for backup/archival needs is just a matter of mindshare. Even at relatively small 2.5TB/tape, it doesn't take long to make the capacity/$ outpace the value of drives in the $100 - $200 sweet spot.

I understand that you're looking at MSRPs and all I can say is that you don't have to do that. There's a supply of older units that easily outstrips demand.
 

jtr1962

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One of my concerns would be the drives failing to work when you need them. Anything second hand could be heavily used. Also, with drives being mechanical devices if they sit unused for a while they might not work. For safety reasons, I'd probably want 2 or 3 drives on hand just in case of failures. The tapes are useless without a working drive to restore them.

I'm personally more comfortable entrusting my backups to SSDs which don't rely on any moving parts. Bit rot is the major potential failure point but keeping the backup drives powered up for a while so they can refresh the cells (assuming that's in the firmware) can negate this.

There should be archival level SSDs which use much larger cells that might take centuries to decay.

There's always the old cellulose and ink backup for documents if all else fails. That has a proven lifespan potential of at least centuries if kept in a suitable environment.
 

sedrosken

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One of my concerns would be the drives failing to work when you need them. Anything second hand could be heavily used. Also, with drives being mechanical devices if they sit unused for a while they might not work. For safety reasons, I'd probably want 2 or 3 drives on hand just in case of failures. The tapes are useless without a working drive to restore them.

I'm personally more comfortable entrusting my backups to SSDs which don't rely on any moving parts. Bit rot is the major potential failure point but keeping the backup drives powered up for a while so they can refresh the cells (assuming that's in the firmware) can negate this.

There should be archival level SSDs which use much larger cells that might take centuries to decay.

There's always the old cellulose and ink backup for documents if all else fails. That has a proven lifespan potential of at least centuries if kept in a suitable environment.

I'll be alright with one to start with, and with the regularity I plan to use it, I don't expect disuse-based failure to be an issue. Once I have a workflow established, I'll be keeping eyes out for spares. They're not exactly uncommon.
 

LunarMist

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I'm personally more comfortable entrusting my backups to SSDs which don't rely on any moving parts. Bit rot is the major potential failure point but keeping the backup drives powered up for a while so they can refresh the cells (assuming that's in the firmware) can negate this.

There should be archival level SSDs which use much larger cells that might take centuries to decay.
SSDs are designed for five years; no need for power.
 

LunarMist

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LunarMist

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Doesn't Windows 10 have support for >2 years still? By that time the 8th Gen CPUs are 8 YO technology, but still useful for some things.
 

sedrosken

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I mean, honestly, I've been getting along fine for anything that isn't heavy gaming on this Broadwell machine. For someone who just reads the news, checks their email, watches the odd YouTube video, positively elderly hardware (that was perfectly well supported under Windows 10) suffices just fine. I know someone who still dailies a Sandy Bridge i5 and has no real plans to upgrade because it's money spent, in his mind, for no real reason.

Granted I run Debian on here, and refuse to entertain Windows because recent Win10 builds run like ass on 8GB RAM machines, much less Windows 11, but people should be free to do that if they find the results acceptable. I wouldn't say they should be able to expect support, but not an outright lockout.

MS had no real justifiable reason to force a TPM2 requirement (especially for home users) and soft-require a "recent" CPU for Windows 11. If they could point to any actual reason other than they just want to push new hardware, I'd be interested to hear it. TPM just makes moving installations between machines, something I used to do relatively easily, dumber.
 

LunarMist

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What's not clear to me is if I update a modern system to Win 11 with TPM installed, does MS always to try to upgarde it again and again after Win 10 is restored and TPM is removed?
 

Mercutio

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What's not clear to me is if I update a modern system to Win 11 with TPM installed, does MS always to try to upgarde it again and again after Win 10 is restored and TPM is removed?

It's my experience that Microsoft will continue to offer the upgrade every few weeks even on hardware that is compatible but using legacy boot. Legacy boot is, by definition, NOT compatible.

I'm not understanding who wants to put 11 on an old computer, some kind of masochists?

I have a hard time calling a 7th gen Intel PC "old" (four years at the time Windows 11 was released), especially when Microsoft had to carve out an exception for one of the Surface Pro models it was still selling when Windows 11 was released. Windows hardware requirements have barely changed since Windows XP was released: 1GHz CPU, 512MB RAM (actually, it'll install on 64MB if you tell it to), SVGA graphics and 25GB for 32 bit or 50GB disk for 64-bit architecture. Windows 8.1 added a requirement for NX bit support in the CPU and BIOS, which was mostly a problem for Pentium 4s and AthlonXP machines, and 11 theoretically requires UEFI. There are very valid reasons to reject UEFI boot, starting with the fact that Microsoft is the sole entity that can sign a boot loader. That's a problem for some open source purists, but it also breaks A LOT of useful tech tools.

IMO, if it uses DDR4, it's probably going to be subjectively fast enough enough for most daily use purposes. I'm spoiled and generally don't use anything old myself, but some of the offices I support are still using Haswell-based PCs and I defy you to tell me they aren't fast enough, especially for i5/i7 grade CPUs vs. contemporary Alder Lake dual core DDR5-capable Celerons.

One of my concerns would be the drives failing to work when you need them. Anything second hand could be heavily used. Also, with drives being mechanical devices if they sit unused for a while they might not work. For safety reasons, I'd probably want 2 or 3 drives on hand just in case of failures.

As I already said, there are an oversupply of drives and they were made to be heavily used. I've never personally had one wear out, albeit that's from a sample size of maybe three dozen units I've been directly responsible for. Helical tape systems, the parts that are likely to wear out, are something that are pretty well understood. We've gotten pretty good at making them work over the last sixty or seventy years.
 
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LunarMist

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I didn't realize there were helical recorders that far back. I just remember seeing the big Ampex 2" quad recorders in the back room of the TV buildings. The first helical recorders I recall were the U-Matatic of S*NY. I was too young to really understand the principles of non-transverse video operation, though I was versed in audio tape from very early. Later, in Jr. High I was the one swapping heads, calibrating the tracks, and setting bias for various batches of tapes.
 

LunarMist

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It's my experience that Microsoft will continue to offer the upgrade every few weeks even on hardware that is compatible but using legacy boot. Legacy boot is, by definition, NOT compatible.
All of my machines are on the EUGi boot of the GPT. I was assuming that the TPM being disabled was keeping the computer free from 11 infestations. I will attempt to forcibly update the 10 to 11 on the laptop.
 

sedrosken

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There's also a point I realized a while back -- there are plenty of Sandy Bridge through Skylake machines that not only run fine, they're faster than the endorsed or even packed-in Pentium Silver craptops being sold by the boatload at your average Walmart. My cousin has one of those things, they're dreadful -- 4GB of RAM, an N5000, 128GB eMMC. They're made to be cheap, sure, but they can't be cheaper than a used Haswell laptop that will quite literally run rings around it with a proper SSD and more RAM.
 

LunarMist

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The higher grades of Haswell were was a noticeable improvement over the older ones. I have a 6700K Skylane that is still working well on 10. It's on a newer board based on the 270 chipset for the 7700K. The user did not want Windows 10 which was enforced by the MS on the 7700K. So these OS versioning problems are not exactly new. I repurposed it to another location and upgraded to 10, but I do believe that it would be fine for Windows 11 if allowed. It has whatever kind of NVMe Samsung had 6 years ago and 16GB RAM. The onboard video is pretty weak, but OK for the general use at 1080x1920 display.
 

LunarMist

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All of my machines are on the EUGi boot of the GPT. I was assuming that the TPM being disabled was keeping the computer free from 11 infestations. I will attempt to forcibly update the 10 to 11 on the laptop.
So I activated the TPM version 2 and installed a Win 11 upgrade to the iNtel 13th generation. I had to D/L some "assistant" from the MS; the Windows Update did not immediately engage for that. There was no need for OS activision or account creation. I literally restored 10 and 11 about 5 times each in testing the application performance. I'm going to use Win 10 normally, but it's good to know that 11 will work if and when it has value to me.
 

Mercutio

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Over the weekend, I had a NUC crap out in someone's office. I drove over and swapped it for an identical one and then went back about my day.
Windows 11 was just fine and dandy, actually. No problems with Windows 11.

These people have perpetual Office 2019 licenses on their systems, but they aren't big enough for volume licensing. They only part of the hardware that changed was the MAC address on the NIC and MAYBE the firmware version. The way it's supposed to work now is that you sign in to a Microsoft Account at office.com/setup, then add your product key. OK cool. That was done, license attached, right? It is tied to specific hardware, but since Windows was fine with it, I figured Office would be too.

It was not.

Office decided that 2019 was suddenly unlicensed, then switched itself to Office 365. The individual at that PC had been paying for Office 365 out of her own pocket at some time in the past, probably because her boss didn't want to upgrade from 2013 for years. Her 365 license was also expired and over the usual 15GB quota, so Microsoft wanted money before it would let her use her account again for 365, although the error she got on the desktop just said this copy of Office is unlicensed.

There's a little VBscript you can usually run to make Office reactivate a product key, but the key I KNEW was valid for that User and PC wasn't being accepted because it turns out that Office decided all on its own that the installed product was 365 rather than 2019, somehow. I finally noticed that the version number for Office wasn't what it's supposed to be for any version of 2019, even though Windows said that was the only product she had installed.

I've done Windows deployments to 50 PCs in less time than it took me to figure out how to untie the knot of fuckery involved in all this. The worst offense here is that Microsoft seems to treat Office 365 as the default product for pretty much everyone now. It turned out that her original 2019 license key did work, once I installed from the binary I'd used to install it in the first place instead of the generic Office installer Microsoft puts on the Account page, which appeared to reapply the 365 license on her account rather than the 2019 license that was ALSO on her account.

And this is why I'd rather just do Google Workspace.
 

Mercutio

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Microsoft announced over the weekend that they're FINALLY moving to Internet Printing Protocol, the system that every single other OS uses to handle printing. Android, MacOS, BSD and Linux straight up use CUPS, which works with more or less everything. Since Macs use it, just about everything supports it. AirPrint is as I understand it, a simplified version of CUPS. CUPS works so well that more or less every mainstream Linux with a desktop installer will autodetect and configure a connection to every network printer on the same LAN from the installer.

I'm really curious about how Microsoft is going to fuck that up.
 

LunarMist

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So If I have an 8-YO $2500 printer, will it print on the USB or is that part of the FU you mention?
 

Mercutio

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If it works with Apple computers, your printer already works with Internet Printing Protocol and should be supported going forward.
There are a small number of printers that use the Windows graphical layout engine (GDI) to to handle printing and my guess is that those will be the ones that are abandoned completely, but those printers have mostly been e-waste for years anyway.
 

LunarMist

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Apple backwards compatibility is horrible. I know people that have three extra laptops or computers of various vintages to run older scanners, printers, software, etc. Fortunately we have Hamrick for scanners in Windows. The guy is a genius. I don't know if anyone has reverse engineered printers.
 

Chewy509

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I think the best item with the printer move, is no having to download and install the x00MB driver packages...
We have a brother MFC at home that supports AirPrint. Mac laptop, iPad and linux desktop took 10 secs to find and setup the print/scan/fax functions for the printer. Windows, 250MB driver package download, and about 30 minutes to get it all installed, configured to being able to scan and print test page...
 

LunarMist

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I avoided the wireless printing due to high losses. Surely Win 11 will continue to support USB or GbE? Can you reliably print wide format from photo printers 24-44" 12-color?
 

Chewy509

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I avoided the wireless printing due to high losses. Surely Win 11 will continue to support USB or GbE? Can you reliably print wide format from photo printers 24-44" 12-color?
With our Brother MFC, absolutely no problems.
In fact my wife's Windows 11 PC has the most problems, primarily dropped print jobs, but yet my Linux desktop has 0 issues, my iPad and iPhone has 0 issues, my work macBook has 0 issues...
Just be aware, AirPrint is a network based protocol and works fine over GigE and WLAN, if it's cable or wireless, it doesn't matter.
 

LunarMist

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The problem is that if there is a bandwidth glitch then there goes $15-25 of paper and ink on a botched print.
 
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