Back to Courier Columns Page

by Phil Ball

Q. Since Microsoft is discontinuing support for my old Windows XP laptop, I went out and bought a new computer. The new Windows 8.1 sure is different but I have gotten used to it and have moved all my data and programs over to it. I'm pretty happy with it except for one thing; my scanners aren't supported by Windows 8.1. I've gone to the manufacturer's websites but they don't make drivers for Windows 8.1 and they just flat don't work. I don't scan very often so I really don't want to buy new scanners when the old ones are (were) just fine for what little I need them. Any suggestions?

A. I had the same problem when I upgraded to Windows 7 a few years ago. My solution was to dedicate my old Windows XP laptop to using my scanners and playing my music. Neither my music transfers nor my scanning requires Internet use. If I don't connect to the Internet, I don't really need to worry about security and the lack of Microsoft support is of no concern to me. To totally protect it, I have to move scanned images from my old XP laptop to my newer main machine via USB flash drives. This might seem onerous but it allows me to have backup images on the USB drive and both computers so if something goes wrong, I have spare copies.

My old laptop had been getting pretty slow so after everything had been moved to my new Windows 8.1 machine, I bought a new, larger hard drive to replace the one that came with my old laptop. Since security was no longer an issue, I did not install any antivirus or any other security programs and left off many programs I had before. Now my pokey old laptop is a lot faster. Since I am involved in the project of transferring my music from audio tapes, etc. to MP3 for use with my iPod, this allows me to play and re-record my music while doing other work on my main Windows 8.1 machine. Maybe this will work for you, too.

Published: Courier 3/2/14 - Page 3C