I use Microsoft products every day, and indeed make my living off them. Doesn’t stop me slagging-off Bill Gates regularly of course, though Danny Katz would like us to leave him alone.
One of my pet hates has been the dumping of support for legacy hardware. It’s not just a Microsoft issue of course; the vendors are equally to blame (often even more-so). My own experience was that an old Diamond Viper V550 graphics card I have in one of my machines would do astounding 3D things when DirectX 7 was the latest version, but somewhere between 7 and 9, the 3D stuff went out the window. (Knoppix Linux didn’t like it, either.)
I’d long given-up on this particular issue, hoping to find the time at some stage to get super-brave and attempt to downgrade DirectX, which is theoretically possible, but certainly not for the faint-hearted.
Then the other day on a whim I decided to go searching for updated drivers for the card. Turns out NVidia (who bought Diamond) have put some new ones out. Well, newish. Okay, three years ago. Did I not find this the last time I looked, or was it really longer ago that I last tried?
Downloaded, installed. They work. Now my kids can play Midtown Madness 2 with fast graphics again.
I’m even pondering upgrading that ol’ Win2K to XP, now that you can get an Academic XP Pro for under $100. 512Mb RAM and a 1.something Ghz processor, so hopefully it should be able to hack it. Would avoid the kids arguing over who gets to use Windows MovieMaker. Must check the driver situation out first, though. That old dodgy TV capture card will be the tricky one…