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Thread: Epilog problems (windows 8.1 pro)

  1. #16
    I use Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit on my main computer with coreldraw X6. It drives my Epilog Helix via ethernet, my Graphtech Plotter, my Designjet printer and several other antique laser printers.

    My engravers and CNC make use of Mach3 software and the parallel port, and must remain on XP. So I have a bunch of older Dells I picked up for free dedicated to that task. Since they are not running Corel or doing email or web browsing, their lesser power is not an issue. They have what it takes do drive their respective machines.

    To drive them with more current OS requires a USB motion controller that currently runs about $3200 per machine - good incentive to stay on XP!
    Epilog Helix Laser 45w
    Rotary: NH Vanguard 7000 with Q1E Controller
    CG4 cutter grinder
    Graphtec FC8000-75 Plotter
    Sand Carving (Stone and Glass)
    Phoenix CNC (12X18")
    Corel Draw X8, Vectric VCarve Pro

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Tried running an XPVM on several computers. Wish I had those wasted hours back. And try putting an LPT port in a computer with Win8 on it...


    Sorry you had a bad experience with virtual machines you first time out.

    I actually run a XP VM under Virtualbox on my Mac connected to my laser's
    parallel port via a parallel-to-ethernet adapter.

    I've been in IT for over 20 years, After dealing with M$ on tens of thousands of computers, I've had my fair share of beatings from all the misery of running anything M$ bare metal (non virtual);

    Begin install,
    wait 20+ minutes THEN ask me an install question you should of asked be at the begining of the install so I have to wait around,
    install network drivers,
    run update,
    install more drivers,
    run update again,
    install applications,
    update applications,
    tweak settings for performance and reliability,
    4+ hours later, NOW you can use the computer.

    Oh, random blue screen out of the blue and won't boot, corrupted boot manager (known issue), sneakernet over the missing file from a working computer.

    Oh, you let your kid use the corp laptop to download and install some random game that was really some malware. Backup your data, destroy the hard drive (only guaranteed method to remove all malware) and reinstall everything from scratch or reimage system if I'm lucky. Sterilize your datafiles if possible, deleting the suspicious ones because we're not gong to risk infecting the corp network due to the lack forethought of your actions.

    New device found, 20 dialog boxes to install, reboot, what do you mean you can't find the drivers? They're on the cd I just told you, oh those are the old version from the mfr that don't work, so download the newer ones and try installing again, reboot. Oh, requires a newer version of .net, install from M$, reboot, run update, reboot, find out this device is crap, uninstall, reboot, Hey, why are there still random <insert_devicename_here> files and folders remaining? Delete, what do you mean I can't delete them?! reboot into safe mode, delete files, reboot.

    Ok, all that aside, let's say you diligently backup all your files on a regular basis. Your hdd dies, get new hdd and now have to do a reinstall all over again. 4+ hours later, you can restore your datafiles.

    Now, on a mac, I can replace the hdd and restore everything, including the OS, apps, data, and even where icons are on my desktop in under 40 minutes all hands off.

    M$ is the only remaining OS that STILL after all these years doesn't come with bootable media that allows you to have some safe simple recovery method to get you going again. Gee, thanks M$.

    Heck, I don't even need install media on my mac. It will literally install it's OS from the internet (even over wifi) directly from a brand new (blank, not even hidden partition) hard drive!

    So, let's do a little math here...
    10,000 installs of windows @ 4 hours each comes to 40,000 hours / 24 hours = 1667 days / 365 = 4.6 years of dealing with that crap. Ok, much of that is imaged I will admit, but doesn't take into account the time involved in testing and debugging those custom image creation and testing prior to deploying, and the hours of failures and retesting to get to a useable product.

    I just got tired of all that, it should not be that hard.Is mac any better? Eh, not really, just different (another tool in the toolbox), but the hours, grief, blood, sweat, tears, aspirin, and tequila you save to get up and going in 40 minutes under the worse case scenario.

    We are borg, you MUST RUN WINDOWS to use this software... and thus virtual machines were created.
    Once you create a base XP VM (with all the updates/tweaks), you just copy the (very large) file somewhere for safe keeping. It's a file, you get a new computer, just copy the file to the new compute and you have XP running just the way you like it.

    Now, the fun part...

    You are about to install new unknown software, no problem. Take a SNAPSHOT of your existing XP VM.
    It only takes from 4-7 minutes to do so. Install your new software, WOW, that software really sucks and now you have to uninstall it, uh, no you don't, RESTORE FROM SNAPSHOT, 4-7 minutes later you are good to go again and guess what? NOT ONE DAMN REBOOT either =)

    Oh you need to run Version 3 of some software to run on hardware A, and Version 4 of same software for Hardware B, but you can't install both at the same time, and neither are compatible with the other? Sure, no problem... Just copy your XP VM to XP2 VM, and now you can have two XP VM's running (even concurrently) each with it's own version of the software you need.

    Remember when I said that under the worse case scenario I can have my mac up and running in 40 minutes?
    That happens to include restoring the XP VM's too, no having to reinstall/reboot/update/reboot =)

    Yes, the cost of a mac is way up there compared to $300 M$ laptop you can get today, but from someone that has dealt with M$ for far too many years, just knowing that I can have any of my system up and going in 40 minutes just as if nothing ever happened it a lot of peace of mind and saved my liver from aspirin/alcohol poisoning =)

    I'll even take this a step further...

    My 5 year old mac laptop that I had used and abused all those years was on it's last leg. I got a shiny new iMac and used the MIGRATION TOOL from within OSX to grab everything from the laptop to the new machine.

    Dealing with M$ for so so many years, I was reluctant to believe this would even work, best case scenario I thought it grab the essentials and that be it. Worse case, I know that I can restore it grief free in 40 minutes so nothing really to worry about.

    I was impressed, seriously impressed, if you ask anyone that knows me I'm a very hard sell, but the migration even restored the icons that were on my 5yo laptop to the my new desktop. Everything worked including apps, I didn't have to tweak a thing. Actually, it did too good a job, as it copied over OS version specific apps that I had installed, so there were duplicates. Fine, just deleted the duplicates on the new system and I was off and running. I've never been able to migrate a 5yo machine like that before, not even under linux.

    Backups on a mac are as simple as plugging in an external hard drive every ten days (or sooner if you like, it just reminds you every ten days by default). First time take a few hours (understandable), after that it's just about 20 minutes and you don't have to do anything but plug it in. You don't even have to say "START BACKUP". Yes, you can leave your backup hdd plugged in continuously, but I keep my backup hdd in a fireproof/waterproof/dropproof enclosure in case anything ever happens. Worse case, I lost the last ten days worth of data, artwork, invoices, customer lists, etc. not the last 5 years worth. I can live with that.

    Just my 2, take it for what it's worth.
    ULS M-300 30W, CorelDraw X4

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