Microsoft will cease support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, so PC users should really upgrade to Windows 10 soon. The most important point will be the loss of security patches for the operating system, which will make it increasingly risky to take online. Eventually, browsers and other constantly-updating software will stop working comfortably with Windows 7 and might be frustrating to use. The same issues plagued users of Windows XP after its time was up. Although Windows 10 looks a bit different, you can configure the interface to more closely resemble what you liked about Windows 7.
Kevin has a friend who wants to get away from Windows. His entire workflow is based on an old Windows program called CadVance. Can he move away from Windows to Linux and still use that program? Leo says that there are some things that simply force users to stay with Windows because of special apps like this. But that doesn't mean there isn't an alternative. Check out AlternativeTo.net. He can put in the name of a program and it'll show what alternatives are available in other operating systems. FreeCad is an open source option, as well as LibreCad, OpenScad, Solid Works, and Sketchup.
Mark has an old Windows 7 / XP machine with Windows Media Center and is looking to repurpose it. Mark is wondering if he should pull the hard drive and install Linux onto the drive and use MythTV DVR application on it? Leo says that it should be fine, but warns Mark of using the machine for more than just a DVR machine. Leo says that there are risks using an XP machine since there haven't been new updates for XP machines in some time, it could be infected with viruses passively when going online.
James is a HAM and he wants to build a Raspberry Pi for using D-Star to run his HAM online. Leo says James will need a few extra pieces to work, but it's the ideal device for that purpose. Check out RaspberryPi.org for more information on how to use a Raspberry Pi for a host of uses. You can even use it as a computer running Linux and Windows 10.
Michael is having issues installing Windows on his Linux machine. Leo says that to remove the Linux partition, go into Windows Install, go into the partition manager during the install and delete the Linux partition. Then you'll have enough room. You'll also want to make sure it's formatting in NTFS.
Myron's Windows machine will automatically input his last pass password when he goes to log into something in Chrome. Leo says that's not good. Last Pass had to change how extensions work, recently, because browsers had changed the plugin architecture to make them more secure. But it may be that LastPass is getting confused. Leo recommends logging out of your Chrome browser, delete the last pass extension. Then reboot the app and download a new copy of the Last Pass extension. LastPass has a new version and that should solve it.
Bryant's mother has a Windows 7 desktop and uses her Verizon Hotspot for internet access. Should she use an easier device? Leo says that Windows 7 was a great version of Windows, but Microsoft will end of life support in 2020. Leo recommends installing Windows 10. Leo also thinks making the switch to a Mac Mini may be a good idea as well. Another option, since she uses GIMP, is to use Linux, if she can handle it.
Larry built his first computer in high school, running Linux, and it's 15 years old. Lately he's been having power issues and he has replaced the power supply, but still has the problem. Leo says that indicates a deeper problem on the motherboard. It could also be a failing video card, and the CMOS settings may be corrupted. Removing the battery and putting it back in will reset everything, but he may want to make sure all the cables are seated, and that the RAM is properly installed.
Bob wants to know what he can do with an older MacBook Pro that can no longer be updated. Leo says he could possibly use Linux on it, but only a few installs will work with Mac hardware. Kubuntu and Xubuntu are examples. He could also continue to run it as is and just use it as something else, like a file server, or he could donate it.
Gary downloaded Linux and it seems to be stuck in the BIOS. He can't download Windows Update. Leo says that he can download multiple operating systems, but Windows can run into trouble when trying to dual boot from the GRUB Boot Manager. When uninstalling Linux, he may have run into issues of missing Grub boot features.