Coming To Grips With “It Just Doesn’t Work Anymore”

I’ve had this file for, well, 9 years now. It was a package called All Icons, and that’s just what it was. No matter what computer I had it on, if I wanted to change the icon of programs to something cool or silly, I could direct myself to that folder, go through a lot of categories, pick what I wanted and that was that. It had science fiction, cartoons, music, sports, and tons of other things; very neat indeed.

by Amanda Tetrault

Except it turned out not to be compatible with Vista, and it’s not compatible with Windows 7 either. I was holding onto the folder because there were so many things in there. I learned there was a program I could have used to convert them to something that could be used, but I’d have to do each one individually. Thousands of icon files individually; nope, wasn’t going there.

So, I finally dumped it; sent it to the recycle bin. And that got me thinking about how we all find things we like, use them a lot, then one day, not by our own hands, we learn that we can’t use those things anymore. Someone, most notably Microsoft I have to say, has taken it from us and forced us to go elsewhere for that process; weasels!

I’ve had programs that helped me fix other people’s computers, files that helped me edit images, and files that let me download other stuff suddenly go “Captain Dunsel” (in Star Trek, the term is used to describe a part serving no useful purpose) on me. Frankly, the first time it happened was back in the early 90’s when I had a program called IBM Writing Assistant that was my first writing program that suddenly didn’t work when I upgraded to Windows 3.1. That irked me because I’d also had this really cool football program that worked great with my double floppy system (man, talk about going way back) that I could no longer play either; sigh…

Right now I’m going through the sad process of thinking that the time might be nigh for Google Desktop. One of my most popular posts was telling people how to index Google Desktop with Thunderbird, Mozilla’s great mail client. However, seems that only worked on XP. It doesn’t work on Vista or Windows 7, even if one upgraded to the Desktop 64-bit version, since the old version wasn’t compatible with Vista. I’ve gone through a major series of tricks, and will probably try a couple more things, but if it doesn’t end up working to the point where I can search my email, I’ll probably uninstall it and just use Windows Search, which finds everything else on my computer just fine. And I think Google is going to end up discontinuing it anyway because the rumor is they’re no longer partnering with Mozilla

Well, I talked earlier in the year about decluttering my online life; guess it’s time to declutter my computer as well, which supposedly has more than 670,000 files on it; not by the end of the week it won’t. Obsolescence can’t rule my life anymore.

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15 thoughts on “Coming To Grips With “It Just Doesn’t Work Anymore””

  1. Yes, exactly Brankica. However, yesterday Mitch Allen figured out a way for me to access some old files that I thought I was going to just have to delete, so sometimes there is hope.

  2. Hey Mitch,

    I am fortunate enough to still have XP but my Mom and sister recently bought a new computer and are so frustrated with Vista. I tried to help my sister locate her photos she had downloaded and it took me an hour. Talk about not user friendly.

    I hate that they continue to upgrade their systems but make most of the older programs or services not compatible. You can’t tell me that they aren’t smart enough to make that happen but I know, they want us to go out and buy new software every darn time. They better watch out or everyone will change over to Macs. Boy, that makes me quiver!

    Thanks for sharing your frustrating moments because I feel for you. I’ve definitely been there and it’s not fun and I know I will be there again in the near future.

    Enjoyable read even at your expense!


    1. Thanks Adrienne. I hate Vista as well, and one of these days I’m going to break down and upgrade to Win 7. I also believe these folks are smart enough to allow some backward migration, but I guess they figure if they’re moving forward they’re going to drag us along kicking and scratching as well. Frustrating as anything but it’s what we have to get used to. Great having you stop by; welcome to the community! 🙂

  3. Always keep an XP on separate partission. Honestly, I prefer it compared to Visa and 7. Especially 64 big of 7 can’t handle with most of the software. Regarding icon and theme generator software, need to be really careful with that. I have seen similar software that overwrite part of Windows shell and if you try to remove the theme it will wipe important files, after that there is no way to restore operating system or even enter in safe mode.

    1. Carl, that was kind of the problem with XP, it can’t handle 64-bit, and thus some of the new things you want to do you just can’t do. Also, though I loved XP, without support anymore I just don’t want to be a dinosaur in my operating system.

  4. Hey Mitch!

    I completely understand. I avoid Vista like the plague and am still running XP. Recently I found out about a little program that will let you run DOS-based games, so I can pull out a few of my oldies but goldies, like the old Wing Commander games, lol.


    1. Oh my Delena, you’ve gone way back with some games it seems. As I said to Carl, I’d stay with XP if it could use 64-bit & could handle all the new things that are coming.

  5. I feel your pain Mitch. I too have gone through the angst of separation from a much loved and used piece of software. Just in the past few days I’ve learned that an old windows 3.1 program called Card file – which as served me steadfastly for decades and which I did manage to get to work with Windows 7 Home basic will not work with Windows Home Premium. Even in compatibility mode the system says, “Nope, uh-uh, no way fella, I ain’t running that moldy old program.” There have been many other casualties along the way. My Wooly Mammoth tendencies make me wonder why “they” have to always be messing things up. But the rest of the world calls it ‘progress’ and ‘innovation’.

    Well… maybe so.

    1. Allan, at a certain point it’s depressing, and yet it can be freeing as well because it means there’s something else out there that might work just as well and offer features you’ve never even thought of. Doesn’t totally erase the memory of your old program but it can help ease it just a bit.

    1. Carolee, at some point you’ll have to upgrade since Microsoft doesn’t support it any longer. I upgraded by buying a new computer so I didn’t have a choice. Truthfully I can’t wait to upgrade to Win 7 at some point; Vista is a dog!

  6. Hello Mitch,

    This post has a tint of nostalgia in it, eventually we all move on and things sooner or later become obsolete no matter how much we care for them (even we humans become obsolete at some point and no one will even remember we existed).

    Anyway, to more happy or less sad things, I too had a hart departure from Windows Xp, I used it for so much time and I had it so highly customized that it only used something like 100MB of RAM when booting, but I eventually given up not only on my windows xp, but on my computer too and bought a new one.

    And now whenever I see it, I remember some of the things I did on him. Oh, well I moved one since and I will soon donate it to some less fortune kid.

    1. Alex, that’s pretty funny, but man do I understand. Technology just doesn’t wait around for us to be ready for it unfortunately, but it seems we’re at least adaptable enough to eventually come around to it all.

    1. Wes, I think I’d have stuck with XP if I’d had a choice as well, but as I said, it just seems like all these technology companies force us into the upgrades eventually.

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