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devonwoody

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http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004GAJ4C0/r ... pe_vfe_lm5


Finally got some offers out of Amazon for windows 7 professional eddition,64 bit.

I want the pro because I have loads of old programs that will not work on my wifes laptop and it seems I can get xp compatible stuff to work on pro. however the 64 bit spec. worries me because the old stuff would be nowhere near that so will they work?
 

JakeS

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devonwoody":nzcbxl83 said:
the 64 bit spec. worries me because the old stuff would be nowhere near that so will they work?
When 64-bit home PCs first became relatively commonplace and XP 64bit was the OS du jour, there were a fair number of problems with old software and drivers failing to correctly deal with the 64-bit environment and you'd have to use special 64-bit versions of some things. These days, Windows 7 has 32-bit emulation that's good enough that you should be able to run the vast majority of 32-bit Windows-XP-compatible software on a 64-bit Windows 7 machine, and pretty much every common device has 64-bit drivers available. My girlfriend has a Windows 7 64-bit machine and I don't think in the last two years of ownership she's ever had a problem running something she used to be able to run on XP.


Basically, the 64 (or 32 in older PCs) is the address length, it's how long the number can be that looks up particular positions in memory that data is stored in... so 64-bit PCs can use more memory (RAM) than older 32-bit PCs could. Think of it like telephone numbers; the 32-bit PCs could only call local numbers, but the 64-bit PCs can use the whole international dialling code and regional area code and thus can call a lot more numbers. But if you just have a local telephone number for a business and you don't know where they are, then that could be any one of dozens of telephone numbers across the country, or thousands of telephone numbers across the world - and similarly, 64-bit PCs used to have problems with the 32-bit addresses used by older software.

These days, someone thought of the startlingly innovative and brilliant idea of just assuming local telephone numbers are in the same region you're dialling from, and everything works. It's a little more involved than that, but that's the basic idea. ;-)
 

Sportique

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John,

I have owned my Win 7 Pro 64bit laptop almost a year and have had no problems running software from my old XP system, I have not yet had to resort to the emulation facility.

However, I have had difficulty finding a suitable 64-bit driver for the SCART to USB video conversion hardware that I use - probably have to resort to the emulator in the end.

HTH

Dave
 

JakeS

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Sportique":xsv8wpza said:
I have not yet had to resort to the emulation facility.
To be precise, there's several kinds of emulation in Win7 64-bit. There's the 32-bit-application kind, which happens automatically whenever you run a 32-bit application, you don't need to do anything - so you probably are using this. It shouldn't even be noticeable unless you pull up task manager looking for 'wow' ('Windows on Windows') processes. It also takes file locations used by older versions of the OS and re-maps them to the new, updated locations and other simple translation stuff - and you'll be using this too.

The most obvious kind is the 'compatibility mode' stuff, which you can choose to turn on on an application-by-application basis, which makes the OS behave more like previous versions for the purposes of that application. This is - as you say - rarely necessary, but can help if there's a program which really needs things to work in a particular way and won't run properly without.
 

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