Windows Networking/NT4.0 and XP

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Question
Both obsolete and support ending for XP.  We have a problem.

We are also using a very old accounting program from 15 years ago.  And back then it cost maybe 100-150,000- or more for software and hardware.  We don't have that kind of money now.  We have continued to use it because it suits our needs.  NT has also suited our needs.

I would love to bring this all up to date.  My choice would be to continue the accounting package but with a modern computer network--and also I would like it to be wireless.  Can you outline my options?  One guy suggested something I didn't quite understand--talking of using modern software to create a virtual NT4.0 network managed from a single server and enabling us to continue more or less as at present.

Answer
Hi Art.

This is the way I would consider your options, seeing as you have a very old platform of hardware, software and your accounting program.  I am not one to just upgrade for the sake of upgrading.  For example, why replace a 2005 car that runs perfectly fine with a 2014 model?

I am pretty sure this is a small business or home business and you are totally fine with it.  The only thing you have to think about is, what will happen if your computer crashes/fails on you?

Although support for NT4 and XP is pretty much over, it doesn't mean it won't function any more.

If you are happy to live with it and just not receive new updates from Microsoft for Security/Service packs you will still be fine.

To update your environment to something newer, you should purchase a new system/laptop that is likely more powerful than what you have now.  It will likely have Windows 8 (Windows 7 would be preferred if you can get it) because with Windows 8, they have made it so that it's almost like a phone with tiles and it's not the same look/feel as before.  There is a way to get it to look like Windows 7 or XP but it's not the same.

If purchasing this laptop, you would then be able to remotely connect to each of the systems (XP for sure, but I'm not sure about NT) and view the screens of those computers on the laptop screen.  So basically from the previous suggestion you mentioned, you would remotely connect using software from the new system to the older systems and you will see the screens on windows on your new computer.

Logistically there is a lot to be explained but usually it can be done.  The only questionable thing would be that NT4.0 may not support the software that is built into Windows so that you can view it.  I'm sure though, that 3rd party software can be purchased/found that allow it all to work.  One software that I used years back is called PCAnywhere which allowed you remote access to computers.

If you need a laptop, wireless is built into it.  However, if you needed a desktop server with wireless, you probably would buy the standard PC, and then purchase a wireless adapter card which would allow you to connect wirelessly to your network (I'm assuming you have a wireless router setup?)  If you don't have a wireless router, that is another thing to purchase.

This is a lot of information but a very brief summary above.  If it makes sense to you and you want more specific guidelines and help, please let me know and I'll give you more details.

Thanks and good luck!

Windows Networking

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Hrire Mikaelian

Expertise

Windows 95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7 workstation and Windows 2000/2003/2008 server networking, Group Policy and wireless configurations. Have knowledge about workstation Ghosting, and also the ins and outs of hardware troubleshooting.

Experience

15 years of experience as a hobbyist and Senior Systems Administrator

Education/Credentials
BA, BCom in Information Technology Management. No IT certifications. However, I have taken several Windows, Novell and Networking courses.

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