Category Archives: Software

Migrating Skype Chat History

After installing Skype on a new machine, make sure it is not running. Then, the chat history from an old installation can be moved to the new installation. The Skype user directories in the new installation need to be replaced with the ones from the prior installation, adding them, if necessary.

XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Skype\skypeuser
Win 7:
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Skype\skypeuser

Username is the windows login name under which the given Skype installation will run. Skypeuser is one or more Skype user ids that will log into Skype under the given windows login. If you are using Windows’ Explorer, make sure that “protected operating system files” are shown. (I replaced the entire Skype directory and that also worked).

See Move Skype History From Windows XP To Windows 7, but realize that it says that only the “chatsync” directories need to be copied over… that will not work, however, the entire parent directory (skypeuser) must be copied.

Finding Free, Useful Windows Applications

Everyone has their favorite set of applications. Over time, these applications accumulate to the point that you do not realize how many of these applications have actually been installed… until they need to be reinstalled, that is. But if you are starting from scratch, either you want to dispense with the past and start fresh or you simply do not know where to start, to cull through all the cruft you’d accumulated on your old machine.

There is a great site that helps with selecting and installing an initial set of high-quality free applications at Ninite.com. The web site presents commonly needed applications in categories and packages them up into a single custom installation executable that is downloaded and installed locally. After downloading, all the applications can be installed, running a single installation program. It’s also a great site to simply survey what applications you might want to consider.

AlternativeTo.net is another site for finding great applications. If you are familiar with an application but it is too expensive, its features not quite right, or it does not exist on the platform you need, this site will return all kinds of alternatives to the familiar one.
Continue reading Finding Free, Useful Windows Applications

Migrating to Windows 7

The change from Windows XP to Vista is Microsoft’s most extreme operating system user interface change since Windows 95. Many, perhaps most, will bypass Vista and move to Windows 7 from XP, directly. Shockingly, Microsoft has not provided a migration path from XP to Vista nor Windows 7. So, if you are moving from XP to Windows 7, you’ll have to recreate all the applications and settings manually. This series of posts tracks my experience and observations in migrating from my 5-year old XP Professional installation to Windows 7.

My XP machine had been running for 5-years, it had become an “old shoe.” I leave my desktop running all the time, but one day, when I decided to reboot—as it had been apt to need occasionally, in recent months—it failed to reboot. After some troubleshooting, I determined it to be the motherboard. My machine is so old that it is not worth repairing, and, anyway, HP does not have any replacement parts for it. Fortunately, my hard disk drive was undisturbed (though its reboot was to have installed the latest OS updates).

I quickly ordered a new machine which came with Windows Home Premium (the minimum Windows OS version that you should get). I had to install all the applications from scratch. Frustratingly, I want to restore the settings and historical data for those applications. In many cases, this can be done manually, but Vista and Windows 7 have reorganized most of the directories that had become familiar on prior versions of Windows. Making things more difficult, I am now using the 64-bit version of Windows which adds even more complexity to its directory structures.

Forthwith, the trials and tribulations of getting up to speed on a Windows 7.