Monday, March 28, 2011

I Found An Old Pal

Remember this game? Standard on WindowsXP? But it disappeared from later editions of Windows?

When I got my last laptop, not only did it come with the underwhelming Vista OS, Redmond in their infinite wisdom decided not to include this game. When I moved all my stuff over, I sure looked around the web to see how I could get this game on the new 'puter - to no avail.

I should have known better. The current Vista machine is getting long in the tooth - mostly because the power plugin is about worn out. Any disturbance "unplugs" it and the power indicators start flashing. As long as it's sitting on a table, it's cool. Put it on my lap, and that's another story. Imagine that. Using a laptop on a lap. Silly me.

It sure needs refreshed. Performance and bootup time is abysmal. I'll probably pop in the restore disk after I've decided all the important data on it has been gleaned. I'm just not in the mood to try fooling with a Linux distro. I tried that once on an off breed laptop back in the day, and even though it wasn't really a fair test (driver availability was the main problem), I just don't have the patience to go through all the idiosyncrasies that Linux does not share with Windows.

I've been paying the IRS for back taxes for several years, but for some reason, they decided not to keep the refund this time. So, a trip to Wally World later, and about a day of downloading and moving files, I'm ready to go with the Winders 7 machine (a low end HP). Today, however, a continuing urge to visit the porcelain throne had me at home and bored stiff. I remembered the old pinball game and wondered if it was available for installation on a non XP machine.

Turns out all you have to do is copy the program files from the folder the game resides, and move it to a folder on the new pc. Make a shortcut of the .exe file to the desktop, or as I did - the games list under the start button. That's all there is to it. Silly me. I'm sure I broke a law by downloading it off the net. I could have fired up the old XP laptop I still have to copy the files. The built in wireless card went down on it three times - the first two were fixed under warranty, but the last - I used a card. I was using a card the second time it went down, and something else fried as well, prompting a return to a service center. It still works, but I doubt it's longevity, just as I do the Vista machine now. And the Vista machine has lasted longer than the three year extended warranty, so I got my good out of it. Laptops traveling with me lead a hard life. I've sure considered Panasonic Toughbooks, but it seems to me that they are about two generations behind with about three times the price. Durability apparently comes at a pretty stiff cost.

But there is joy in Mudville now that the ol' pinball game is up and running!


drjim said...

Windows 7 is a pretty stable system, but they've changed a LOT of stuff in it. It'll take you a couple of weeks to get used to it. And you probably can't get drivers, like for your printer, if the device is more than a few years old, another cost of the upgrade cycle.
7 is pretty much Vista that they fixed and cleaned up, but I don't see why Micro$oft has to change things "just because". They could have made an option to have an XP-style interface, and it would have been a lot more user-friendly.
Oh, well...XP is 10 years old so I suppose it's time to put it out to pasture.

KurtP said...

Was your old XP a Pressario?
...And after living with this $348 Wal-msrt HP and the stupid extra side buttons,,and the trackpad that has no edges,,but decides to lock ON whenever it feels like it.
I'll be returning the POS for a Best Buy Toshiba for $40 more.

Jeffro said...

drjim: About the only thing I've got that still works that doesn't have drivers is an old scanner - XP is as new as it got. I've more or less given up on printers because I use them so seldom. The ink dries between uses and trashes the dern things. The last one was a power supply failure. No more printing than I do - I can just put it on a stick and take it to work or a motel with a 'puter with printer.

KurtP: The XP is an eMachine, and the Vista is an Acer. The new Acers at the bottom of the line only have single speakers, which kinda pissed me off. The trackpad never worked right, either - tapping had to be disabled or it would start clicking on links all by itself.

One thing in common is they've all got AMD processors. I became a fan back when you could use automotive window fog grid repair paint to overclock.

LeeAnn said...

That game is the reason a friend volunteered to take my then-computer home and "make it run faster" and I didn't get it back for a month.

Mo K said...

I liked that pinball game. Haven't sought it out, but I've had a bit of a time adjusting to Windows 7 overall. Don't really care for it much.

Jeffro said...

I like 7 better than Vista. I can send the zip file if ya want!