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View Full Version : Anyone still using Windows XP? It's about to die



DonJMyers
10-21-2013, 11:10 AM
I was forced to use 64 bit windows XP at an fx house recently and the lw 9.6 beta loaded with glitches. Oh well!

If you are still using windows XP it's end of life cycle is now about six months away. Next april all bug fixes, security patches and more will be turned off forever.

DEATH TO WINDOWS XP!


For more info: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/end-support-help

Now about you Vista users ...

bobakabob
10-21-2013, 11:31 AM
In its day a very progressive, stable, dependable OS. I had a dual boot 32/64 bit XP system with 6 gig RAM and you could see the future swapping hi poly models between ZBrush and LW or ramping up the res in LW 64 bit displacement mapping without your computer flipping.

Sensei
10-21-2013, 12:18 PM
Anyone still using Windows XP?

Me.. ;)

stiff paper
10-21-2013, 12:44 PM
Me too.

XP64. Never crashes, never bluescreens. You can get to everything you might ever want to adjust, which is just part of it generally behaving like a professional tool, not like a stupid, brightly colored toy. Win2000 was the very best version of Windows, utterly rock solid and devoid of stunted, hamstrung "ease of use" features that are designed to cater for the very lowest levels of computer illiterate incompetency. Still, XP64 is good enough.

I'm going to have to buy a copy of Win7 before it goes away, because otherwise it's Win8, and... ha ha ha... I mean... really? Seriously Microsoft? Ha ha ha ha... ha ha haa ha haaa... ha ha hah ha ha etc.

I will miss XP.

JonW
10-21-2013, 01:29 PM
All my boxes are XP64. The last box I bought was my W5580 in July 2009. No problems here & would be more than happy to get another box with XP if it was possible. I also run XP in Classic as I don't need any fluff, together with Spyder calibrated grey monitors on main PC & Mac I have the least amount of distractions.

Dexter2999
10-21-2013, 01:34 PM
I use XP at work but I'm not in the cutting edge sector like most. My system works and it works fine.

As for bug fixes? It's been how many years? If they aren't fixed by now they never were going to be.
And to security patches, my system is offline, don't need 'em.

But just so you don't think I'm being obstinate, I did a memo detailing the hardships of any future software upgrades and the limited lifespan of the system to my management and even suggested a timeline and system to upgrade while spreading the cost across multiple quarters. They weren't interested. So, when it dies, it dies. I'll be disappointed because I know I won't get a new system. And my management will tear their hair out when I can no longer "just" provide them with the things which they have grown to take for granted.

Megalodon2.0
10-21-2013, 03:19 PM
We have a combination of WinXP and Win7 machines.

No problems on any of them running LW9.6 64 bit. Never had a problem with XP and all installations are very stable

cresshead
10-21-2013, 03:32 PM
mainly vista here!
have win7 at work and hate it...

DonJMyers
10-21-2013, 06:35 PM
LW was actually used by Bill Gates at a product demo as an example of the power of their then new 64 bit version of windows xp. It was one of the few true 64 bit apps at the time that did 3d animation. So he used a 32bit and 64 bit version of a james Cameron like underwater scene to demo how much better 64 bit was for animation work.

Dexter2999
10-21-2013, 06:44 PM
Um...Rob Powers may have been the guy that did that demo...if I remember correctly.

jaf
10-21-2013, 07:25 PM
XP64 for me too. I started the switch to win8 but had problems getting Office to run (old Office XP) and forgot to uninstall Photoshop and spent an hour on the phone trying to get through to Adobe that my old address I registered it to was not my current address -- some poeple do move! After being accused of pirating it, I said goodbye to Adobe and then decided to go back to my XP which I had a backup of.

spherical
10-21-2013, 08:31 PM
Just recently installed two virtual machines to run XP. The first use was to drive an Epson 9500 44" printer when Epson stated flat out that they would not be providing drivers for anything past XP. :\ The second was to be able to run MYST Riven and MYST Revelation, which would not run on Win8, no matter how I hacked them. Oddly enough, I could get MYST Masterpiece Edition & MYST Exile to run directly on the Win8 64-bit OS in WoW64, but not on the 32-bit OS. Go figure...

JonW
10-21-2013, 09:36 PM
XP64 for me too. I started the switch to win8 but had problems getting Office to run (old Office XP) and forgot to uninstall Photoshop and spent an hour on the phone trying to get through to Adobe that my old address I registered it to was not my current address -- some poeple do move! After being accused of pirating it, I said goodbye to Adobe and then decided to go back to my XP which I had a backup of.
Always write a polite but firm letter to the CEO of the company if nothing works lower down. I have always had an answer from a more senior person & the problem has been fixed.

If by chance it does not work you are at the very least costing them administration time, or in other words money!

If I don't get satisfaction I purposely go & waste these companies time & let them know it.

fishhead
10-22-2013, 02:41 AM
Also still using xp64 here on my main Workstation, side-by-side with Win7. And my LW loves it :-) Actually, it is the most stable system I had since back in the NT-Days... And leaves a LOT smaller memory-footprint than 7 does... :-)
Really sad that M$ has aboned a good old trusted workhorse, but I always felt it seemed to be treated merely just as stepchild anyway... :-\

stiff paper
10-22-2013, 05:05 AM
have win7 at work and hate it...

Well I hope you haven't used up all of your hate on Win7... because eventually you're going to try Win8... and if you've got nothing left then your mind is going to shrivel like a week old party balloon...

DonJMyers
10-22-2013, 11:17 AM
What is so wrong with Win 7 that you folks hate it? Seems fine to me. Of course, win 8 is a crazy disaster and when I fix people's PC's I have to run various utilities to turn off the "touch screen" nonsense portion of that OS. None of my repair clients have touch screens!

If every version of Windows from 8 on is going to stink I don't know what I will do. MS certainly doesn't seem to care about customers opinions.

What will happen when Wind 7 reaches ITS end of life cycle and the later OS's stink. What will I do then? Linux?

DonJMyers
10-22-2013, 11:26 AM
I'm glad folks still find value in the old OS but as a repair guy and PC user I can't wait for it to go away. Very few people use the 64 bit version. It's junky, outdated and insecure (like an old girlfriend :) Some people even call me about fixing Win 95 and I say "I'm not an archeologist."

I've seen computers at the local "Pink Dot" delivery service STILL taking credit cards on XP machines running their registers. The CBS evening news has win xp screen blankers running in the bknd of their high tech newsrooms during the Evening News. Only recently has my local bank, Chase, switched it's desktops away from XP. I don't feel to great knowing my bank is using XP so much. It is very hackable. It can only run

And that's not even mentioning China and India where it is still firmly entrenched.

I'm sure hackers are already planning new attacks the minute MS stops updating it. Folks in this thread still using it will be out of luck if they have to reinstall it as it won't patch or update.

What I hate most is that the huge user base pulled down the quality of later software. Speededit and LW had to be written to stay compatible with Win XP. They couldn't take advantage of the snappier new OS's like Win 7 and its newer features.

It would be interesting to hear from some Newtek programmers about how their products could be improved when they don't have to kowtow to Win XP.

stiff paper
10-22-2013, 01:07 PM
What is so wrong with Win 7 that you folks hate it?
You mean other than the fact that MS added several metric f-tonnes of bloated, unnecessary crap to it without actually doing a single thing to improve the experience of using it every day to do work with? You mean other than them expending 99.9% of their effort on adding DRM and authentication bloat and 0.1% of their effort on horrible shiny trinkets to fool people into thinking they'd actually improved anything?

Oooh, other than that, nothing at all.

I don't hate it, but I am wary of it. And I also think it's worthless because it doesn't offer me a single thing I would ever want or need.


What will happen when Wind 7 reaches ITS end of life cycle and the later OS's stink. What will I do then? Linux?
And yet you're unwillilng to understand people who've managed to arrive at that conclusion a couple of OS iterations before you? I mean, I make it sound like I'm offended. I'm not, it's trivial and unimportant, but there is just a hint of a double standard there, no?


They couldn't take advantage of the snappier new OS's like Win 7...
You do know that in every independent test people have done, later versions of Windows are slower than XP, right? Even the supposedly "faster!" Win7.


It's junky, outdated and insecure
Wait, wait, wait. Windows is getting junkier as it goes along, not less so. Also, anybody that has their work PC connected to teh intarnetz is foolish. More also: Acronis Trueimage (or equivalent) solves everything. If MS actually gave even the tiniest hoot about end users then every version of Windows since dot would have shipped with an MS version of Trueimage.


Folks in this thread still using it will be out of luck if they have to reinstall it as it won't patch or update.
I haven't patched or updated my work or farm PCs for four years. They aren't connected to the internet. Why would I? I also have a five year old laptop that runs XP32. Two partitions. Windows on one, data on the other. Haven't updated that for years either. Every few months I restore an image over the Win partion, just in case. I'm going to have to jump to Win7 at some point, and then, yes, further versions of Windows are going to be horrifically bad, so that might be my terminus with Windows.

Danner
10-22-2013, 01:46 PM
I was at the optometrist and I peeked at his monitor: Windows 2000.

XP was a workhorse, it served us well, but it's newer brothers are fine, many things seemed to be changed just for the sake of change on vista, 7 and 8, some of them really dumb changes, but the underlying technology is better. We used to have an XP machine as our small office server, a few months ago it got slower and slower, we decided to try it with windows 8 and it's working much faster than it ever did with XP.

JonW
10-22-2013, 01:59 PM
It's junky, outdated and insecure (like an old girlfriend :)

But at least it's low maintenance, not like a high maintenance new girlfriend.

I have been with the old girlfriend for almost three decades. Very low maintenance!


Also using old Macs 10.6.8 plus another running 10.3.9 (Dual 533 MHz), they fulfil their tasks perfectly.

Also using old Canon 5D2 & S90 cameras, don't see why I need to update them if they are good enough for the task.

Also an old car of 17 years, works perfectly ok & doesn't blow smoke & very cheap to maintain. But rust is just starting to be an issue as it lives next to the sea.

paulk
10-22-2013, 02:18 PM
It would be interesting to hear from some Newtek programmers about how their products could be improved when they don't have to kowtow to Win XP.

Actually, that's already begun. When LW10 was announced, I checked the minimum system specs, because I had a somewhat underpowered 32-bit XP system at the time, and noticed that XP was NOT listed as a supported OS:eek:. That's when I decided to "upgrade" to Win7 x64.

Is anyone running anything past LW 9.X under Win XP?

JonW
10-22-2013, 04:27 PM
Actually, that's already begun. When LW10 was announced, I checked the minimum system specs, because I had a somewhat underpowered 32-bit XP system at the time, and noticed that XP was NOT listed as a supported OS:eek:. That's when I decided to "upgrade" to Win7 x64.

Is anyone running anything past LW 9.X under Win XP?
I saw this at the time & was a bit concerned.


Running LW 10.5.1 on all boxes & it has been the most stable version I have used to date. Also using XP that was installed on the day the computers were bought, without service pack updates either! The oldest box has E5335 Xeons.

Haven't down loaded 11.6 yet.

cagey5
10-22-2013, 04:40 PM
I'm still hoping that Lightwave will be released for Linux at some stage in the future. Windows XP was a pretty good version for me. Windows 7 is fine too, but I do get tired of it getting slower and slower all the time and spending 10 minutes on a disk thrashing/scanning routine on the rare occasions I do boot it up.

DonJMyers
10-22-2013, 08:20 PM
I saw this at the time & was a bit concerned.


Running LW 10.5.1 on all boxes & it has been the most stable version I have used to date. Also using XP that was installed on the day the computers were bought, without service pack updates either! The oldest box has E5335 Xeons.

Haven't down loaded 11.6 yet.

Folk you need to run a program like advanced system care to clean up your system once in a while.

Uninstall unwanted programs from the control panel as well as unwanted windows programs (like games).

JonW
10-22-2013, 10:25 PM
Lightwave has all the PCs to itself, Lucky Lightwave, none of them have ever been connected to the internet either. They all run like a dream, I just don't have any problems with them.

Never installed any games, only work related stuff, come to think of it never installed a game on the Mac either!

akademus
10-22-2013, 11:39 PM
Win7 64 still... migrated long time ago. Contemplating upgrading to 8 mainly because SSD and upgrades to much newer hardware. Actually, I'm going to have dual boot for a while, 7 with LW and Adobe just for current project and 8 to run and try stuff...

roboman
10-23-2013, 09:12 AM
I've some machines in my workshop that control CNCs, still running dos. I've got XP on the machine that I do editing on and if I'm going to keep using the really nice laser printer that is hooked to that machine, I'll need to keep XP on it. Why use DOS or XP, It works basically bug free and does every thing I need done with those systems. Sure I've got a new trick and slick system with win7 running Lightwave and a few other programs, but just don't see the point in trying to force a newer OS onto another system that is working fine. There is really nothing that I want the OS to do on those systems that XP doesn't do just as well as 7, and XP does it with less over head. I just don't see a reason to "upgrade" a working system to a newer OS that isn't going to do any thing else that I want and may not like or work with my hardware. Sure the new system has 7 and the ones I buy later will have 8, 9 , 10 or what ever, but the older computers (4) are working fine on XP and work fine as a render farm or for their other uses. A new OS will not make them a better computer.

DonJMyers
10-23-2013, 11:48 AM
Win7 64 still... migrated long time ago. Contemplating upgrading to 8 mainly because SSD and upgrades to much newer hardware. Actually, I'm going to have dual boot for a while, 7 with LW and Adobe just for current project and 8 to run and try stuff...

NO NO don't buy windows 8 it's junk! Win 7 is fine and most of the tech developments for win 8 get put in win 7 as patches.

Rayek
10-23-2013, 12:24 PM
You mean other than the fact that MS added several metric f-tonnes of bloated, unnecessary crap to it without actually doing a single thing to improve the experience of using it every day to do work with? You mean other than them expending 99.9% of their effort on adding DRM and authentication bloat and 0.1% of their effort on horrible shiny trinkets to fool people into thinking they'd actually improved anything?

Oooh, other than that, nothing at all.

I don't hate it, but I am wary of it. And I also think it's worthless because it doesn't offer me a single thing I would ever want or need.


Just the fact that Windows 7 added shortcut key control to manage windows is gold and saves me a tremendous amount of time. Windows XP, when I encounter it, feels incredibly clunky and slow to work with. And on my system it absolutely flies (granted, you will need good graphics hardware to make the most out of it).

The additional layer of security doesn't get in the way - only when installing new applications or tinkering around with Windows files. And if you've ever worked with a mac in an instructor environment: macs can be ten times as infuriating in that regard.

Windows 7 is also one of the stablest operating systems I have worked with so far. In the last year it crashed once when playing a AAA game that crashed the video hardware. That's it. It's also great for multi screen setups (Linux absolutely s**ks for ATI and multi screen: it does not work).




Wait, wait, wait. Windows is getting junkier as it goes along, not less so. Also, anybody that has their work PC connected to teh intarnetz is foolish. More also: Acronis Trueimage (or equivalent) solves everything. If MS actually gave even the tiniest hoot about end users then every version of Windows since dot would have shipped with an MS version of Trueimage.


I would agree that it is a folly to connect a Windows XP work machine to the internet.
And anyone not using an SSD is holding back their OS's - ssd support in Windows 7/8 is great.

Btw, I work with both Windows 7 and MacOs (latest) - I like working in both. WindowsXP? I have no idea why anyone would bother with that at this point (aside from running it on a very old poor system - in which case I would load up Ubuntu or Mint). WindowsXP is clunky and insecure. Driver support is fading. Why would you want to stick with an OS from 2001?

I suppose there are people who are wary of change.

stiff paper
10-23-2013, 02:37 PM
Just the fact that Windows 7 added shortcut key control to manage windows is gold and saves me a tremendous amount of time.
Can you explain a little what this feature does? (Not being sarky - actually interested...)

And I don't fear change in the slightest. What I do at the very least strongly dislike is the seemingly unstoppable march by the entire tech sector towards removing any and all functionality from the grubby hands of the end user unless it's a very controlled and approved functionality. Closed systems are very useful for giving to a grandmother or to a young child in order to limit the scope of "bad things" that could happen, but I'm neither a child nor yet in my dotage and so I'd quite like to be in complete control of my own PC, thanks.

LW_Will
10-23-2013, 04:20 PM
NO NO don't buy windows 8 it's junk! Win 7 is fine and most of the tech developments for win 8 get put in win 7 as patches.

I've got a copy of Win8.1 running on one of my computers to eval it. It is A LOT better than Win8. Some of the improvement is psychological, some of it real. Less of the schizophrenia, more of the actual good code execution. Improvements include a cleaner code base, better memory handling and a tonworkstane of improvements...? I'm using Win7 on my workstation, and I may be upgrading in a bit.

Win7 is a VERY good version, but MS will be doing all they can to deprecate Win7 MUCH sooner than XP.

kosmodave
10-23-2013, 04:50 PM
I purchased Win 8 Pro last year when Microsoft had it for sale at 25, for that money it was worth a punt. I installed it onto a spare drive intending to experiment with it but leave Win 7 on my main drive. I ditched that idiotic metro rubbish on the first day by purchasing Start8 and was able to boot to a normal desktop. Since then I have not gone back to Win 7 which I quite liked but Win 8 has been rock solid and as an operating system is very nippy. Lightwave has been solid as has all my video editing packages so no complaints here and see no reason to go back to a slower OS.
At work I am using Win7 Pro 64bit on an I7 machine where as at home my Win 8 Pro 64 is on a Q6600 machine and quite franky my home machine seems much snappier for everyday tasks. Perhaps I have been lucky but seriously with start8 you would have no idea I am running Win8 at home and will continue to use it for the foreseeable future.

Dave.

Rayek
10-23-2013, 07:42 PM
Can you explain a little what this feature does? (Not being sarky - actually interested...)

And I don't fear change in the slightest. What I do at the very least strongly dislike is the seemingly unstoppable march by the entire tech sector towards removing any and all functionality from the grubby hands of the end user unless it's a very controlled and approved functionality. Closed systems are very useful for giving to a grandmother or to a young child in order to limit the scope of "bad things" that could happen, but I'm neither a child nor yet in my dotage and so I'd quite like to be in complete control of my own PC, thanks.

That I completely agree with - unfortunately I have noticed that the majority of users have no interest whatsoever in learning the (basic) technical details, and fall in the category of "consumer neanderthal". Not saying this is bad or good - just is.

In windows 7 and 8 the Windows key in combination with the cursor keys lets you move the active window - for example, win+left and right will snap it to the left and right of the screen 50% width. Up will maximize, while down will minimize (or back to original size when it is maximized.
Extreme time saver! With win-shift-left and right windows can be moved to the next screen.

I also installed Winsplit Revolution (which does the same thing, but offers way more control over this behaviour) and Launchy (keystroke launcher), so I hardly touch the mouse for starting apps and managing windows. Those two also work in xp, btw. Try it: very useful!

BeeVee
10-25-2013, 03:15 AM
That's great! I didn't know about that one. I was trying to use Alt+space, then m to move Skype off one monitor onto the other because it was showing my Mac but never got the right window. At least with that way of doing it it's only one click to see if you got the right window.

I'm highly in favour of Windows 7. I keep Aero turned on too - it moves all the UI graphics to the graphics card so there's no embarrassing blank spaces when you move the render status window to see something under it like in XP. The 64-bit version is just as good as the 32-bit version unlike XP, and UAC can be turned off. My machine is on the net and I get all the updates and it's rock solid, I don't think I've ever had a BSOD unless I was trying to severely overclock. I too bought Win 8 when it was on offer but I still haven't installed it yet, even with the advent of 8.1 (the claim that they've added the Start button back in is a half-truth, they've only made permanently visible the button that takes you to the awful Start screen, rather than giving you a proper Start menu. Like several others I really appreciate some of the smaller touches in Win7, like the fact that you can hit the Windows key and just start typing to find the program you want to launch rather than having to go through the RSI-inducing search through the Start menu. The same applies for the Control Panel - a far more intuitive way of finding the setting you need to change.

B

Megalodon2.0
10-25-2013, 03:26 AM
Like several others I really appreciate some of the smaller touches in Win7, like the fact that you can hit the Windows key and just start typing to find the program you want to launch rather than having to go through the RSI-inducing search through the Start menu.

I must be missing something. I though that was what icons on the desktop were for. You know where the program is and you click. Done.

BeeVee
10-25-2013, 03:35 AM
You have all your programs on your desktop?! What res screen do you use and how on earth do you sort through them all? When I say start typing I mean hitting the letter M will give me Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Firefox and Modeler because they are the programs I use most starting with M, but if I then hit a I get Calibre (because it's full title is Calibre ebook management), MakeMKV and 7Zip Manager. So you can see it's really very bright about giving me what I most likely want and I certainly wouldn't want to have to hunt for those six icons on a desktop cluttered with programs, let alone the hundreds of other programs I have installed.

B

hrgiger
10-25-2013, 09:48 AM
NO NO don't buy windows 8 it's junk! Win 7 is fine and most of the tech developments for win 8 get put in win 7 as patches.

Well I can't say I share that sentiment. I just built a new computer with Windows 8 and I have to say its my favorite Windows OS thus far. The whole 'touch screen' argument is silly, the use of it with a traditional desktop setting (mouse and keyboard) are just as effective. The start screen is fully customizable, much more so then a traditional desktop but you still have a desktop to work from if you prefer that. For me, I like using both. Windows 8 is fast and fluid. I went right from Vista to 8 so I can't say personally but from everything I've read, Windows 8 reboots twice as fast as Windows 7. Windows 8.1 also integrates Sky Drive allowing you to store files on the cloud or even use it to back up your PC settings.

If Windows 8 is junk, I'm just not seeing it or hearing about it other then the initial complaints about seeing the dramatically different start screen UI.

Megalodon2.0
10-25-2013, 09:59 PM
You have all your programs on your desktop?! What res screen do you use and how on earth do you sort through them all? When I say start typing I mean hitting the letter M will give me Mozilla Thunderbird, Mozilla Firefox and Modeler because they are the programs I use most starting with M, but if I then hit a I get Calibre (because it's full title is Calibre ebook management), MakeMKV and 7Zip Manager. So you can see it's really very bright about giving me what I most likely want and I certainly wouldn't want to have to hunt for those six icons on a desktop cluttered with programs, let alone the hundreds of other programs I have installed.

B

On my WinXP internet machine I've got about 60 icons. They're grouped so I know where programs are. It's not like I forget where they are located - at least not yet. ;)

My Win7 machines have slightly more. I have ZERO problems locating any program and a quick double click (for me) takes allot less time than typing. Maybe that's not very many programs, but it works fine for me. Oh yeah, my single 27" screen resolution is 1920x1080.

My LW programs are center left; Adobe Suite right-hand side; center has video editing and all related programs like Fusion, Sony Vegas, DVD architect, Sonic FirePro, etc; bottom left has everything to do with the internet and top left has system tools, word processing, etc. I've had this system in place for years and I haven't had any problems locating programs quickly. Now of course... if you have one or two hundred programs and only one screen... then I can see where it might be a problem. ;)

Rayek
10-26-2013, 11:42 AM
On my WinXP internet machine I've got about 60 icons. They're grouped so I know where programs are. It's not like I forget where they are located - at least not yet. ;)

My Win7 machines have slightly more. I have ZERO problems locating any program and a quick double click (for me) takes allot less time than typing. Maybe that's not very many programs, but it works fine for me. Oh yeah, my single 27" screen resolution is 1920x1080.

My LW programs are center left; Adobe Suite right-hand side; center has video editing and all related programs like Fusion, Sony Vegas, DVD architect, Sonic FirePro, etc; bottom left has everything to do with the internet and top left has system tools, word processing, etc. I've had this system in place for years and I haven't had any problems locating programs quickly. Now of course... if you have one or two hundred programs and only one screen... then I can see where it might be a problem. ;)

On my Windows tablet I use the same method, but I found Window's tendency to sometimes reset the icons' positions very frustrating - Fences solved that little issue for me, and organizes the icons much better. Also nice: when the screen is rotated, Fences automatically adjusts, so the icons remain nicely placed in categorized blocks. Well worth the money if you use the desktop for all your applications.

On my desktop machine I hate having ANY application icon to be visible. I also hide the start menu. I start apps with a keystroke launcher (Launchy) that remembers the user's behaviour. If I need Lightwave with a quick flick of <ctlr><space> I open Launcy, and then type L and enter. To search the internet: same combo, then f (firefox), tab, search query. And it opens FF with that query.

The desktop I use for my current projects and things to do.

Megalodon2.0
10-26-2013, 03:43 PM
On my Windows tablet I use the same method, but I found Window's tendency to sometimes reset the icons' positions very frustrating - Fences solved that little issue for me, and organizes the icons much better. Also nice: when the screen is rotated, Fences automatically adjusts, so the icons remain nicely placed in categorized blocks. Well worth the money if you use the desktop for all your applications.

I hadn't heard of Fences. Though Windows doesn't tend to scramble my icons all that often - perhaps twice year if that. And it only seems to be on one or two machines.

For me, the desktop is ONLY for my program icons. Everything else goes to harddrive partitions.