This is my dad in front of his nine-year-old XP machine, while his brand-new Windows 8 machine sits on the next desk.
When my dad’s old computer died, he bought a new computer, which, unfortunately, came with Windows 8. He hated it, he missed his Outlook Express and how he could get around the operating system and file structure easily, and his old solitaire game. He missed the start menu and the menu bars on his Word and Excel.
I was visiting then, about a month ago, so I tried to help. I gave him a start menu and, since you can’t get Outlook Express anymore, Thunderbird for email, but that didn’t change his mind. He still missed his old one. For his birthday, then, I rebuilt the XP machine, replacing the power supply, the ram, and the hard drive, which was so old it was IDE and hard to find. It took me three days of my vacation to drive around and find and replace the parts, ghost the old hard drive, and reimage it to a new-to-us used IDE drive. It was his old computer, exactly as it was, but running again, brought back to life.
It was the best present I’ve ever given him.
In his career, my dad was a computer pioneer. He designed computers that were as big as our condo and ran submarines, jets, and rocket ships. I guess that makes him a rocket scientist. One of his designs controlled the first submarine that went under the artic circle. He’s 87 now and still sharp as ever, yet Windows 8 was not something he wanted to learn. He might have liked Windows 7 better but he still would have missed Outlook Express. He’s not alone. Many of my clients and friends also miss Outlook Express, which turned out to be one of the most popular email programs ever. Microsoft might be wise to allow people to use it still, make a new version that works with Windows 7 and 8. That would be a popular move with thousands of people.
He now does use his Windows 8 machine a bit, however. He found he likes the solitaire game that came with it better now. I don’t think it’s really on the machine, however. I’m not sure but I’m guessing it’s on the cloud.