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A reader writes in to share his regret over buying a Windows 10 computer: "Here's my issue," he says. "I have never been a big fan of Microsoft and was a Mac-aholic until Mac OS 10.4.1 when the Mac OS was no longer backwards compatible."

In other words, it would have cost him more to make his documents and applications compatible with data from earlier versions of the system than to become a Windows user.

It was hard slogging at first. Then, he writes, "when Microsoft finally arrived at Win 7, it produced an OS that was reasonably stable and NOT buggier than a wino's beard ... hooray!"

Then came Windows 10.

"I despise Win 10 and all the hoops (and $$$) I'm gonna have ta go through to get this machine integrated seamlessly into my home network (existing printers, scanner, router, yada yada) plus upgrade a dozen or so applications for WIN 10 compatibility," he adds. "AAARRRGGGHHHH!"

He wondered if he could strip Windows 10 off the machine and install Windows 7, but Windows 7 might not have the right drivers for the new machine. Our favorite guru Kenny suggests using a virtual machine to run Windows 7 on top of Windows 10, which is what he does. His tech support service, at, can help with that.

Alternatively, we suggested he return the Windows 10 machine and get a Windows 7 desktop. Amazon is selling refurbished machines with fast i5 processors for as little as $137.


Alexa, the voice inside Amazon's smart speaker and the free Alexa app on phones and tablets, told Joy her top career choice was dietitian.

It told Bob that his No. 1 career choice would be dentist. When he heard that, he felt a little down in the mouth. He was hoping for "hammock tester."

Alexa's career advice is available at Click "Alexa skills" in the drop-down list and type "career advisor" into the search bar. Click on the first result, then click "enable" when it comes up. If you have the free Alexa app on your phone, or an Echo device, all you have to do is say, "Alexa, open Career Advisor." She asks you 26 questions first.

FREE MOVIES has thousands of old movies for free.

We've recommended in the past for its "way back machine." It's an archive of Web pages from more than 20 years ago. This can be handy if there's some info on there you need to recover that has since been taken off.

On IMDb TV ( you'll also find a few hundred free movies and TV shows. The Internet Movie Database is owned by Amazon. We saw it as one of our choices on the Kindle Fire.


You would think a fast-charging phone like Joy's Pixel 2 would never go dead. But just the other day, it did when she was on a long bike ride. As she squinted at a Google Map, the phone went kaput. She had to get directions the old-fashioned way: by asking a couple who were walking by.

Portable phone chargers are available, but you have to remember to charge them. Of course, once you do, they're good for several full charges, depending on the kind you buy. If you want one small enough to fit in a pocket, you'll likely get just one or two charges out of it.

Following PC Magazine's advice in "The Best Portable Chargers," we got the $30 Anker PowerCore 1000 for our phones. It weighs 6.35 ounces and has a 10,000 milliamp-hour battery. It takes four hours to charge it, but it's good for between two and a half and four charges, depending on the kind of phone you have.

You can get some chargers for less than $10, and they work fine. The only hassle you will encounter with any charger is carrying a cable with it to connect to your phone, unless you get the wireless kind. There should be a list of compatible phones on the charger's package.

Bob and Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at and

Business on 07/06/2019

Print Headline: Fans of Windows 7 can still acquire old operating system


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