Microsoft’s official Day of Death for Windows XP is the 8th of April; fain would I have run right up to that date, but my old XP box, pushing eight years old, was showing signs of imminent failure, so I decided to engage a local builder of my acquaintance, inasmuch as he assured me he could still get Windows 7.
He could. The new box is based on the AMD Athlon X4 750K, a modest little CPU running four cores at 3.40 GHz. It is, shall we say, decently quick. Unlike several AMDs of recent vintage, it does not contain its own integrated graphics, and neither does the motherboard, so a video card was thrown in. (The packaging for this card — a Radeon R5-230 — is hilarious, boasting of “what a real graphics card can do.” Generally, a real graphics card costs five to ten times as much. Still, I’m no gamer, so this is genuinely adequate.)
Microsoft’s Easy Transfer labored long into the night to move 130 GB of files from the XP box to Win7. It warns you up front that it doesn’t actually move programs, although this depends mostly on where you stored them on first install, and most of them will require a reinstall anyway. Of the three applications I was sweating most — Windows Live Mail, Firefox and Agent — Agent worked right out of the box, while WLM required a quick reinstall that found everything quickly, but Firefox demanded that its default profile be replaced, file by file, with the old ones.
Only one piece of genuinely bad news so far: the CD/DVD drive seems to be brain-dead, though it does have enough sense to open the drawer.
Update, 7 pm: CD/DVD drive fixed. Slightly twitchy connection to the mobo.