Hi Arthur:

You seem to know your way around computers and software more than some or most of us audio guys. So, 
if you don't mind, some questions, which may be dumb to an IT Guy, so apologies in advance.

1. if I have an XP system that works right now, as-is, if I disconnect it from the network and put 
up the XP firewall to max settings, can I keep the Norton antivirus static, too, under theory that 
there's no way for viruses to get in via the network?

2. if I re-format a USB fob before I insert it in the XP machine, will that assure that no viruses 
will get in via that port?

3. does XP, Norton or any other common Windows software have known "expiration dates," where the 
software will stop working because it's been too long since the last "update" or "upgrade"?

Keep in mind, I still use Office 2000, Publisher 2003, MapInfo from back in the Windows NT era, and 
Quark 5 (circa 2003 or so). We don't want to "upgrade" any of this because it's made for a very 
smooth workflow with zero learning curve for 10+ years. In the studio, I have no need for interwebs 
connection on the workstations, it's just a convenience. In fact, the main DAW is not connected so 
as to avoid anti-virus software and the like. I run only Soundforge 11 the vast majority of the time 
on that computer, with a couple of other small programs (mainly the Foobar player). That computer 
actually could migrate to Win7, but I don't see a need.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Arthur Gaer" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4:11 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio workstation recommendations?

> Well, if you moved to Macs you could run WinXP in a virtual machine (Parallels Desktop, my 
> preference, or VMWare Fusion) on the Macs themselves and thus still have access to the XP software 
> running on a "real" WindXP operating system.
> There's still the danger that the virtual XP could have security compromises as well.  At least 
> the virtual machine isn't sitting directly on the network and you can throw up various levels of 
> protection between the virtual XP and the outside world as well.  You can also create frozen 
> images of a known working system/software combination, so if the machine ever does get infected 
> with malware or otherwise get trashed, you can roll back to a known working set OS/software 
> combination.
> All that being said, I wouldn't count on using WinXP within a Mac virtual machine as a reliable 
> way to do high quality audio and other real time sorts of operations.  There's just way too much 
> going on between that older OS and its virtual access to the actual Mac hardware to depend on that 
> working to professional standards.  Though for less hardware dependent and real time applications, 
> like MS Office, etc it seems to work just fine.
> Arthur
> On Jul 16, 2013, at 3:38 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Yes, agree about being FORCED to "upgrade" when Microshaft stops doing security updates. At both 
>> the studio and my other company, we're not sure what we're going to do, but we already know we'll 
>> now have to budget lots of money for needless computer changes in 2014. There is very serious 
>> thought and talk about just moving to Mac, the idea being that Microsoft has now diverged from 
>> our best interests. What we'll do about legacy XP software is anyone's guess.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Arthur Gaer" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 2:28 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Audio workstation recommendations?
>>> Hi Tom,
>>> If you or anyone is still using WinXP you should really try to be rid of it within the next nine 
>>> months. That's when Microsoft will remove all support, which most importantly means security 
>>> support, for XP:
>>> "After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid 
>>> assisted support options or online technical content updates..."
>>> If anyone's XP equipment talks to a network in any way, you'll want to replace it, upgrade the 
>>> OS, or keep it entirely disconnected from the Internet from that time forward.  I can only 
>>> imagine the security holes the hacker community is keeping in their pockets until April 9, 2014. 
>>> You really don't want to find out what those might be.
>>> Personally I'm also a big advocate of Macs as well, enhanced security being one significant 
>>> benefit.
>>> On Jul 16, 2013, at 1:21 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>>> To be honest, if I had the funds to get rid of all the legacy WinXP aspects of my studio, I'd 
>>>> go Mac today.
>>> Arthur Gaer
>>> [log in to unmask]
>>> Senior Systems Manager
>>> Harvard University
>>> Department of Mathematics
>>> Science Center
>>> 1 Oxford Street
>>> Cambridge, MA 02138
>>> 617-495-1610