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Tech: Windows XP

Jerry Rasmussen 03 Oct 03 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,MMario 03 Oct 03 - 12:44 PM
Watson 03 Oct 03 - 12:57 PM
masato sakurai 03 Oct 03 - 01:00 PM
John MacKenzie 03 Oct 03 - 01:04 PM
Max 03 Oct 03 - 01:07 PM
EBarnacle1 03 Oct 03 - 01:33 PM
C-flat 03 Oct 03 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Russ 03 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM
mack/misophist 03 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,dick greenhaus 03 Oct 03 - 06:46 PM
annamill 03 Oct 03 - 07:04 PM
Mark Clark 03 Oct 03 - 07:09 PM
Skipper Jack 03 Oct 03 - 07:26 PM
Padre 03 Oct 03 - 08:32 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 03 Oct 03 - 10:52 PM
mack/misophist 03 Oct 03 - 11:07 PM
Bev and Jerry 03 Oct 03 - 11:16 PM
John MacKenzie 04 Oct 03 - 04:11 AM
ard mhacha 04 Oct 03 - 04:56 AM
Willie-O 04 Oct 03 - 09:33 AM
Louie Roy 04 Oct 03 - 10:50 AM
GUEST 04 Oct 03 - 12:42 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 04 Oct 03 - 04:41 PM
JohnInKansas 04 Oct 03 - 05:25 PM
Mark Clark 05 Oct 03 - 01:40 AM
GUEST,sorefingersXPd 05 Oct 03 - 12:17 PM
Willie-O 23 Oct 03 - 08:58 AM
Willie-O 23 Oct 03 - 09:03 AM
vectis 23 Oct 03 - 09:09 AM
Dave Bryant 23 Oct 03 - 10:09 AM
hobbitwoman 23 Oct 03 - 09:57 PM
Don Firth 25 Oct 03 - 07:58 PM
Mark Clark 25 Oct 03 - 08:35 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 25 Oct 03 - 09:41 PM
Don Firth 26 Oct 03 - 02:00 PM
JohnInKansas 26 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 27 Oct 03 - 04:55 PM
JohnInKansas 27 Oct 03 - 06:28 PM
Mark Clark 27 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM
rodentred 28 Oct 03 - 06:44 PM
Greg F. 28 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,Redhorse at work 29 Oct 03 - 08:40 AM
Amos 29 Oct 03 - 09:05 AM
Don Firth 29 Oct 03 - 02:16 PM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Oct 03 - 09:40 AM
Don Firth 30 Nov 03 - 07:31 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Dec 03 - 03:53 AM
Don Firth 01 Dec 03 - 01:50 PM
Barbara Shaw 17 Mar 04 - 08:33 AM
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Subject: Tech: Windows XP
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 12:38 PM

I am currently using Windows 98, second edition. I've had my share of problems with the software, but they're familiar problems by now, and I'm used to getting around them. A week ago, I bought Windows XP, and before I installed it I bought a "Dummies" book for it. The book really upset me, because it kept going on about how hard it is to use, and just stopped short of recommending that you not use it if you don't have to. That stopped me dead in my tracks. I'm not all that confident about computers to begin with. So, I've asked a couple of people who have XP if they found it hard to use. I've gotten two answers... one, an enthusiastic recommendation, saying it's way easier to use than the earlier Windows, and the other saying they liked it but it didn't work well on their computer..

So, I'm wondering if anyone else has windows XP, and what your experience has been..

Any imput would be appreciated..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,MMario
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 12:44 PM

if you have an older machine I wouldn't reccomend upgrading to xp unless you VERIFY PRIOR TO UPGRADE that there are drivers available for all your hardware and that any software you want to run works under XP.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Watson
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 12:57 PM

Anything woukd be better than Windows 98. I had W98 on my work computer until last week - now got W2000 - so much better.
I have XP at home - no problems at all so far. I find it very easy to use and stable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: masato sakurai
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:00 PM

Since my familiar Windows98SE PC was out of order and I purchased a new XP last month, I've been struggling with XP because I'm such an unscientific man. I had to buy a voluminous 776-page guide book (which doesn't say it is for dummies). However, I'm beginning to like XP.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:04 PM

I like XP very much, you will find that it has a facility to run your existing programmes in the mode for which it was designed. e.g If you can't find an up grade for a non Microsoft programme you can right click select ptoperties, and ask it to run in Win 98 mode.
XP Professional is like a better version of NT4.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Max
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:07 PM

You can make XP look and act just like Win98 without much work. It has a feature to just switch the look and feel. I do that any time I have to work with XP. Once that is done, it is all the upgrades without all the (un)intuitive usability changes. And all they're talking about is that the start menu is very different, and a few things are hard to find. Don't worry and go ahead and jump in.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: EBarnacle1
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 01:33 PM

My nbew computer came with XP. Most of the problems were mine, not the computer's. I still long for the good ole days of DOS but Windows is easier, even though it takes up a ton of space.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: C-flat
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 02:46 PM

I moved on to XP from '98 and have found it OK. (I nearly said trouble-free but that would be courting disaster)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 06:34 PM

Jerry,

For an old(er) computer, if it ain't broke don't fix it.

When you get your next computer, you won't have any choice but XP. Then you can deal with it. It is a fine operating system.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: mack/misophist
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM

I keep 98SE on my wife's machine. It's rock stable and she's happy with it. The only thing I have against XP (other than it's a M$ product) is the learning curve, they changed too many things unnecessarily. My cousin's in the computer business and he feels the same way.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,dick greenhaus
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 06:46 PM

Jerry-
XP has some advantages: if things go wrong it's easy to restore everything to the way it was at any chosen time in the past And it makes
installation of new software much simpler.
      One warning--FRom what I've seen, don't bother with an upgrade. Save everything you want so save on some backup medium, wipe your hard disk and install XP from scratch.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: annamill
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 07:04 PM

I love Xp. No problems so far and good experiences. I was hit a couple of time by the viruses going round and all I had to do was run my Norton and then restore my computer back to the days before I was hit by the virus. Amazing! If you install something and it messes you up, just restore to before the installation. Another thing I enjoy is sharing my computer and screen with another XP user, like my daughter. You have to be careful with this one though. Just turn off the access when you're not using it. It doesn't wipe out any files when restoring, just sets the system back to what is was before the mess. AND it has a firewall! No more popups! I have almost forgotten how frustrating surfing was before the firewall.

My rating. A+.

Annamill


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 07:09 PM

Jerry, Dick is exactly right. Do not install XP as an upgrade! First contact your computer's manufacturer (or check their Web site) and verify that your computer (specific model) is certified by them as supporting XP. If they say yes, do as Dick surrests and get a complete (verified) backup of your system's hard disk, then wipe it clean and perform a new XP install.

Be sure your system's BIOS is up to date. You may have to update your ROM BIOS and, if you do, you'll want to get the update from your system's manufacturer and apply it before you trash Win98.

You'll want more than 256 MB RAM. I'd suggest 512 MB RAM at a minimum.

You'll want a hard disk of at least 20 GB. I'm not sure you can buy one that small anymore so if yours is smaller, I'd suggest replacing it with a larger one.

You'll really want a processor speed of at least 1.0 GHz.

If you use sound and graphic, make sure your sound and graphics cards support what XP is capable of doing.

XP isn't hard to use and I think you'll have much less trouble with it than you do Win98.

Good luck with your new OS.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Skipper Jack
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 07:26 PM

I bought Windows XP(Home Edition) and tried to download it on to my computer which currently ran Windows98. For some reason I couldn't make head nor tail of it and immediately removed it. I took my computer to the computer store and they completely buggered it up. I bought a new computer with Windows XP and I have since had no problems. In fact I found it far easier to operate than Windows98. But I think that older computers are not equipped to take Windows XP. You should ensure that your printer and scanner are compatable with the new Windows, and you have to update the drivers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Padre
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 08:32 PM

Jerry,
I have been using Windows XP (Home Edition) for more than a year, and find it miles better than Win 98. It came with the computer (Dell Dimension 4550) so I can't comment on any problems related to updating from Win 95 on the same computer.


Tom+


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 10:52 PM

Stick to DOS 3.1



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: mack/misophist
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 11:07 PM

linux rulz


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 03 Oct 03 - 11:16 PM

We would never attempt to install XP on an older machine. The entire structure of the files is different from earlier versions of Windows.

We bought a new machine with XP about a year and a half ago.

The good news is that it's way easier to use, the restore function has saved our collective ass several times, and it virtually never crashes. Also, upgrades are automatically downloaded to our machine.

The bad news is that most of the software and hardware you now own will not work with XP. We had to buy a $150 upgrade to make our Wordpefect office suite work. Our printer worked pretty well but no where near as well as with Windows 95. Our two year old scanner produced horrible results due the Microsoft driver that comes with XP. HP no longer supported the scanner so we had to buy a new one. Gave the old one to a friend with Windows 95 and she's in heaven. Software that depends mainly on information contained on a CD that you put in to run it generally will work but that's about all.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 04:11 AM

My System restore has ceased working on XP, and I can't find any way to reload it.
Giok


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: ard mhacha
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 04:56 AM

I use Windows 98 on my old PC and have had a few problems with it. The new PC I bought a few months ago included XP, I find it works a treat, anyone who changes over will find it works much better than 98. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Willie-O
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 09:33 AM

I made the mistake of buying a new system last year with only 128 meg memory, and XP Home as the OS.

It runs but performance is pathetic. My PII 233 mhz laptop with Windows 98 SE runs much faster than this 1.6 gig dog. I know, I know, memory upgrade will make a big difference--it's DDR memory which is kind of pricey, so I keep putting it off.

It was a custom-built system, perhaps I should have known better but the shop that built it didn't bother to point out that it would run for shit as configured.

One of the problems is that, on the XP system only, IE6 simply will not open secure sites--I've been all through the settings a million times and there is nothing disabled that would matter. Netscape 7.0 will go where IE won't, but if I have them both open the whole system virtually freezes up, the response time gets so slow.   Blah.

And if you have _specific_ software you want to run, check compatibility. For example, the free 8-track version of ProTools runs only on 98SE, not on XP. That's a big disincentive right there.

One more thing. WARNING relating to System Restore. Last week my anti-virus program found a copy of Bugbear virus nestled in EVERY SINGLE restore point (they are stored in a hidden folder System Volume Information), and it couldn't clean them out due to the folder's protected and compressed status. Apparently they were just waiting for me to run System Restore. System Restore (which was also in ME, an otherwise pathetic OS) only works if you have restore points which were saved when you didn't have a problem. It's a good and useful thing but not a cureall.

(I solved the problem by turning off System Restore, which deletes all the restore points)

So XP has its advantages--built in firewall, and built-in networking software which is easily set up for DSL or cable high-speed connection--but it needs a good platform.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Louie Roy
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 10:50 AM

I've purchased a new XP about two years and XP itself is excellent,but don't and I warn you don't buy one made by HP because they take most of the window programs off and add all of their garbage and you can't even back up your files unless you subscribe to a backup company they have a contract with and another thing it doesn't come with a back up and it takes an act of congress to get one and it is 8 disc long and all of their garbage is on it.Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 12:42 PM

With XP on a new PC it seems pretty stable except for my two scanners. I installed negative scanner and it worked. Later I installed the flat bed and the PC would no longer recognise the neg scanner. Finally reinstalled the neg scanner and the same thing happened to the flat bed.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 04:41 PM

Thanks for all of the imput. I have a Dell Dimesnion 2400 and I checked with Dell and they told me that it would support XP Jes' fine.My Cannon printer is only 3 months old, so I have to believe I'll have no troubles with it, but I'll check it anyway, along with my Hewlett Packard scanner, which is about a year old. I'd be happy to deep six my scanner, or anything Hewlett Packard makes... I've had nothing but headaches with both their scanners and printers.

I'm moving slowly on this. I am pre-neanderthal when it comes to computers. I bought a Microsoft XP, but have not yet installed it. What do you mean, Mark, that I shouldn't use XP as an upgrade? Do you mean that I should uninstall Windows 98 2nd edition before installing XP? Sounds like leaping off a tall building to me. Will I lose my Mircosoft Word folders and my scanner folders?

My oldest son is a computer specialist and tries his hardest to explain all them terms to me. Kinda like explaining quantum physics to your dog.

After all, I'm just a folk singer..

Thanks for all the help.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 04 Oct 03 - 05:25 PM

Jerry -

You might find it interesting to poke around a bit at Windows XP How To Center.

The more you known about what you're getting into, the more likely you are to get a system setup that will work for you. One of the first links on the above page is a "how to install and setup" that should give you some feel for how you want to do it.

You can "install as an upgrade" by leaving your existing Win98 system in place and letting the XP installation program just change "what it thinks you need." (If you bought an "upgrade" version of XP, you may need to do it this way.)

The other option is to uninstall Win98 first, and then "start from scratch" with the XP installation. This generally gives a "cleaner" installation, and was recommended by Micke$oft when XP was fairly new. I don't know if they still think that way, since I haven't needed to look at "upgrade tech" for quite a while.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 05 Oct 03 - 01:40 AM

Jerry, One of the most common causes of problems with XP is leaving Win 98 in place and installing XP over Win 98 as an upgdrade. For a variety of reasons, there can be confusion over driver versions and sometimes critical files are missed. All the technical advice sites advise against it and, as I recall, Microsoft also advises against installing XP over Win 98.

With Windows XP, all application programs should be installed from scratch using the original CD. If you use tools that are downloaded from the Net, get new download files from the distribution site. You'll want to be certain you have the latest version of these tools and sometimes the download or install procedure checks your OS and gives you an install tailored to the one you're using.

Take all the files you've created or stored on your computer and copy them to a CD maintaining their original directory structure. Verify that you can read all the files you've saved. Now check your ROM BIOS to be sure your CD drive is in the boot list. (This ensures that you can boot directly from a CD.) Then reformat your hard drive (this erases everything) and, using your XP CDs, install your new OS. Use the NT file system (NTFS), not the file allocation table (FAT). Once you have XP up and running, you can start installing applications. The final step is to copy your files from the CD you made to the proper subdirectory on your new installed OS.

If you aren't comfortable with any of the steps above, take your computer to a shop specializing in support for home users. They can do the whole job for under $100 and perhaps save you a lot of time and heartburn.

You may want to spend some time browsing available tips on the Net. Dell may have a message board where you can read what others have done and learn about any problems they may have had. Good sites for information include:Good luck with your new OS. Once up, I think you'll be glad you made the switch.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,sorefingersXPd
Date: 05 Oct 03 - 12:17 PM

Lots of great advice and it all sounds right to me after my last three days. Making sure you remove your personal files off the C drive is a good idea, I forgot about some of them --- oooppzzz --- the owners complained a lot. Oh well. Some I did back up to a network drive, my documents, my downloads, my whatever.

I was given a WinME machine to upgrade to XP. Noway! Not only would the XP hardware wizard take hours to get its list, the C drive lost 4 gigs of space. We counted about 2 but could not find the rest.

Insert a Bootdotcom floppy and format.

With some help got the XP to run like 98 so it looks familiar. It is different, reminds me of early versions of KDE for Unix and Linux. Course I know the MS people will deny that one. But if I added the 'eyes' and the dragon as background then I bet any KDE user would be fooled into thinking this yet another 'brand' Linux OS.

A bonus for me was installing my first Netscape V 7, here in XP, and great happiness in finding that Netscape includes in this version the option to switch the appearance back to V 4.8.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 08:58 AM

OK, I'm warming up to XP now. I found that by watching the Processes list in the Task Manager, I could see in real time exactly what program or file was stealing all my CPU power and making my system choke (and frequently go poof and reboot itself while I was doing something).

Turned out to be something called dllhost.exe -- a quick Google search revealed that I had a variant of the Blaster worm, aka Welchia. I could temporarily solve the problem just by ending that process, then going through the steps to remove the offending files and fix the registry...(btw dllhost.exe is a legitimate Windows file, don't delete all of them, but this worm puts it in the wrong place and uses it for evil purposes--if it's in c:\windows\system32\wins accompanied by svchost.exe, then the worm put it there--it should only be in the system folder itself. )

It's not blazingly fast, i still need that memory upgrade, but it's way better--hasn't crashed or choked once since I gave it the gears.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Willie-O
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 09:03 AM

Oh, and the other thing I did, previous to finding the worm, was reinstall XP on top of itself. Not exactly a recommended procedure, but it did solve the browsing problems I was having with IE 6--some kind of corruption of ActiveX controls. You can't just uninstall IE6 and reinstall it, it is integral to XP. Reinstalling XP was pretty uneventful actually and got the job done.

W-O


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: vectis
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 09:09 AM

I upgraded my computer and loaded it with XP.
I tried every which way to get my Soundblaster Platinum card to run rendering my computer useless for music.
I formatted the hard drive again and put 98SE on. Bliss.
I know XP is a better system because I use it at work and it's stable and virtually unbustable but it is obviously not for me.

Bring back Acorn and RISC OS!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 10:09 AM

I use XP at work, but I still prefer to keep 98SE at home. In fact I've just set it up on a brand new system which I've built for Linda's son and does it shift on a 2.4meg processor with 256meg and a fast hard drive.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: hobbitwoman
Date: 23 Oct 03 - 09:57 PM

I love XP. I had 98 on my old computer, and bought a Toshiba Satellite laptop w/ XP already loaded - and I am very pleased. As many have said, the problems w/ XP seem to come in when you try to put it on an older machine or install as an upgrade. It eats up a lot of RAM so if you've got like 64 or 128, it probably won't be enough. I've got 256 and it's fine. Don't be afraid!

Annie


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 07:58 PM

I hope there's still a Windows XP guru around here somewhere. . . .

My computer was made for me in 1999 by a "screwdriver shop." It was a Pentium II 350MHz with 128 MB RAM, complete with a 17" ViewSonic PS775 monitor, Matrox graphics card, Soundblaster Live sound card, Altec-Lansing speakers complete with sub-woofer, modem—the usual other accouterments. Storage included a CD-ROM drive, a 9.4 GB hard drive, and an LS-120 Superdisk drive (in lieu of a Zip disk, because the LS-120 drive would read/write to both the Superdisk—120 MBs—and regular floppies, whereas the Zip drive could only read/write to Zip disks). Hot stuff in 1999. The operating system was Windows 98, and it had the usual package of home software, including Word 97 which I used a lot.

About ten weeks ago, I sent the computer back to the same shop to be overhauled and updated. The monitor is fine, the CD ROM drive is fine, the LS-120 drive is fine, and I especially love the keyboard. So I just sent the box to the shop. When it came back, it had a new power supply, a new motherboard, and it was a Pentium IV 2.4GHz with 512 MB RAM, a PlexWriter CD-RW drive, and a new 1.44 floppy drive in addition to the LS-120 drive for copying convenience, and I swapped the 9.4 GB hard drive for an 80 GB drive. Hotter than a two-dollar pistol! The operating system is Windows XP.

There is very much about Windows XP that I like. But—my ecstasy is not without blemish.

1. My Canon S630 inkjet printer gets along with it very well, but XP refuses to recognize the existence of my Epson Perfection 1650 scanner. What do I do now?

2. It's very snotty to the LS-120 drive. "My Computer" acknowledges it, and I can read things from the Superdisks, but when I try to save something to a Superdisk, it tells me I can't because the disk is write-protected, which it is not. Like the Betamax, Superdisk drives are superior in every way to Zip disks, but they've been swamped in the marketplace and discontinued. Anything I can do to make the drive fully functional like it used to be?

3. When I tried to use Word 97, it would allow me to write for a few minutes, then it would suddenly give me an error message telling me that it was sorry for the inconvenience, but it was going to have to shut down. Then it would, without allowing me to save what I had written. I futzed around with the compatibility feature, but it didn't help. I remedied this problem by buying and loading Word 2002 (The day it was delivered, MS announced the release of Word 2003!).

4. Now, when it load Word 2002, the first thing I encounter is a little attention-getting ding, and a small window in the middle of the screen telling me
Microsoft Visual Basic
The macros in this project are disabled. Please refer to the online help or documentation
of the host application to determine how to enable them.
                                          OK                               Help
If I click "Help," it takes me to a help screen that provides no help at all. If I click "OK," fortunately the window disappears and I can go to work. What do I need to do to enable macros and get it to quit bugging me, if, indeed, that's what it's really all about?

5. Another thing that makes me snarl is the search feature. I used to use Windows Explorer a lot for file management. There was a "find" command in one of the pull-down menus that allowed me to browse and narrow a search down to a single folder, but not any more. The only search feature I can find is in the "Start" menu, and it won't let you narrow the search down. You have to search the entire hard disk, and with eighty gigabytes to rummage through, it takes awhile. I'm getting awfully good at "Minesweeper" while I wait. And sometimes it fails to find a file that I know damned well is there. Isn't this a step backward, or is there something I don't know?

There's more, but that's about all that comes to mind at the moment. Anybody? Please?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 08:35 PM

Epson has drivers for your scanner. You might have to unplug the scanner, remove it from your hardware list (uninstall), then install the drivers and finally plug in your scanner so it can be autofound.

The Visual Basic message may be because of security settings. You should have received VBA with Office XP (Office 2002) but many common viruses are VBA scripts and you may have indicated without realizing it that you didn't want to run VBA scripts. If you just bought Word 2002 and not Office XP, you may not have VBA but I think you can get it from Microsoft as a download. In the U.S. I like to buy software from Vio Software because they have great prices and great service. Often you can buy OEM versions of Microsoft applications from them. No box, no printed manual (documentation on CD), no Microsoft support, but you save quite a bit of money.

Your My Computer icon is inside your Start menu. Click Start then right-click My Computer and select explore from the context menu. When Windows Explorer pops up, right-click on any drive or folder and select Search from the context menu. You'll find your familiar search functions there. It looks a little different but all the features are there.

And don't worry about Word 2003. That's really part of an enterprise application suite intended for corporate environments where everything is loaded on servers. Office XP (2002) isn't going to be left stranded.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 09:41 PM

Don, you shouldn't be having the problem you describe. If you go start > search > files/folders, you will open a "search results" window, in the left pane of which you should see a message: "what do you want to search for?" Ignore the clever-alec stuff and choose "all files/folders." Two empty response boxes and a combo-box then appear in the left pane, where you can respectively enter all or part of a filename (or a filename with * wildcards); and/or text from the body of the file you want, and lastly where to search. Typically your hard drive (or all of them if you've got more than one) will be offered, but by clicking on the drop-down arrow at the right-hand end of the box, you can be more specific, or change the drive to be searched.

Jerry, in theory you should be able to uninstall, install or upgrade your operating system without affecting the data files you've created, but it's obviously safer to back them up first. One or two posters above were suggesting not that you uninstall Win98 first, but that you completely wipe/reformat the hard drive. This is probably the best option, but obviously makes it essential that you back up all data, together with any programs on the hard drive for which you do not have te disks from which to reinstall.

If/when you start afresh with a newly reformatted hard drive, you might consider creating a separate partition for all your data. This is because when you have installed XP, it is prety damned hard to remove it, should that become necessary for any reason. As XP refuses point-blank to delete itself, the simplest way is to reformat whatever drive or partition it's on. Hence the advantage of having your data stored separately.

Even better than partitioning the hard drive is to get a second hard drive. Ones that are a step or two behind the pace (say 20Gb) can be picked up for about 30 dollars on E-Bay (or Micro Mart in the UK), and for just storing data, 20Gb is huge, unless you're storing video and music CDs on your system. A second hard drive is probably the cheapest, most efficient way to sort out all your back-up, copying and security issues at a stroke, and would mean any future messing with your OS that might be necessary would be very much easier.

If creating an additional partition or installing a second hard drive is too daunting, then at least make sure that all your data files are stored within a single directory/folder (which can of course be sub-divided into as many sub-folders and sub-sub-folders etc, as you like). It makes them much easier to copy and back up. If this is the way they are stored on your present machine, then again it's going to be easier - you can copy the whole lot, complete with their folder/directory structure, in a single operation.

My take on XP in general is that it's hugely better than I'd dare hope. I'd been determined to stick with Win2000, which was a quantum leap better than all MS operating systems that went before it, but especially Win95/8/ME. And it comes without the bells and whistles and spoonfeeding that can make XP so irritating. HOWEVER.... some of those bells and whistles are actually useful. For instance you can plug a minidisk straight in to play through the speakers with no software mods at all. Picture management is better, there is a crude movie-maker, etc, etc.

Somewhat to my amazement, XP turns out to be every bit as robust as Win2000. And if IE6 ever restricts access, that will be down to a problem in the settings. In my limited experience, the drivers likely to be needed for oldish peripherals, including my long-in-the-tooth A3 postscript laserprinter and 1993 Taxan 21" screen, come with the package. It's a bit annoying that installing drivers for newer stuff can generate hysterical warnings that they have not been signed off for compatibility with XP. Such warnings have to be resolutely ignored.

One thing's for sure though: XP (and Win2000) are huge targets for viruses. Anti-virus defences will always be a step behind the latest nasties, and it's only a matter of time before some of them prevent Norton etc from running recovery operations.

Using a non-MS email client reduces exposure significantly. But the best defence is to heed whoever above said "Linux rulz" and ditch Microsoft altogether. Linux is free, it is a hugely powerful, yet simple, operating system, and there is a vast array of open source software already available (also freely supplied) that mimics most of the mainstream applications such as those in the MS Office suite. Anyone who understand anything about computers should bite this bullet and go for Linux, as several governments are now doing to Microsoft's great consternation.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 02:00 PM

Fionn, when I click on Start > Search, it doesn't give me a "Files/Folders" option like the old (Windows 98) start menu did. But I get the window on the left with the response boxes, the third of which says "Look in:" complete with drop-down arrow, which allows me to browse and narrow the search. I don't know why I didn't spot it before. I must be losin' it! I wish they'd left the feature in Windows Explorer, but maybe they're trying to eliminate some of the redundancies (which I like, because I find them convenient). And another approach from Mark: right-clicking on My Computer and clicking on "explore." Sometimes I forget all about the possibilities of right-clicking on something. . . .

And Mark, thanks for the links. Tomorrow when I have a little time to work at it, I'll download the driver from Epson and see if I can get VBA from Microsoft. I got an OEM version of Word 2002 from "saveonsoft.com" (CD only) for about $45.00. For the heck of it, I also bought an OEM copy of Wordperfect Office 11 (the whole suite, apparently) for the same price. I like it, but it's different enough so there'll be a bit of a learning curve.

My first computer was a Kaypro II that I got in the early Eighties. Back in the days of CP/M, I knew exactly what I was doing, and I was still on top of it with DOS. But these days, I sometimes feel like I'm completely lost in a 500 room Baroque palace.

Thanks to you both! I'll let you know how things work out.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 26 Oct 03 - 06:24 PM

Don Firth -

In the WinXP Explorer, the "search" feature is still present, but works a little differently.

Open Win Explorer and click on "View" "Toolbars" and make sure that you have "Standard Buttons" and "Address Bar" checked visible.
Then you should see a "Search" and a "Folders" button on the top. When you click on the "Search" button, you get a menu of a bunch of stuff you can do - possibly even a little more helpful than with Win98 Explorer, although you do have to "get used to" it. (Note: I use "Classic View" on everything.)

Search results are "returned" by being "placed" in a "Search Results" folder. You can do things like rename, open, send-to, or delete directly from there, or you can go back to the "Folders" view once you've identified the files you were looking for, just by clicking the other button on the top bar. If there are results there, you can even go back to the "Search Results" folder in "Folder View."

As Mark Clark commented, you go to Epson's site to get drivers for your scanner. I have an Epson Perfection 1200U for which Epson has not produced an "XP Certified" driver, and I've seen comments from users of other scanners (and a few printers) that Epson has not done a good job about "registering" their drivers to get the Mickey$oft "seal of approval;" but the uncertified drivers usually work okay. XP may attempt to install a "default" Micky$oft driver in place of the Epson one, so you may have to argue with the installation program; but as long as the driver is Twain-compatible, XP should accept it (under protest) and work okay.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 04:55 PM

Don, I too wish they'd left well alone. It would seem that in their desperation to make searching easy enough for a ten-week baby to do, they've actually made it frighteningly more complicated for the rest of us. I can assure you there is none of this intrusive, pain-in-the-arse nannying with Linux!

(I didn't mean to repeat so much of what Mark had alread said better, of course. Just hadn't seen his comments when I posted mine.)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:28 PM

Fionn -

The "real improvement" is that they try to force (or trick) you to search the web everytime you want to look for something, instead of letting you deal just with your own machine.

I think it has something to do with making you "more accessible" to advertisers...(?)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Mark Clark
Date: 27 Oct 03 - 06:42 PM

Don, A Kaypro II? Cool. The Kaypro was a knockoff of the Osborne I and I still have mine. Of course it hasn't been powered up in many years. The computing history exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry has an Osborne I along with a number of older computers I've used. The first computer I ever became adept on was an NCR 390; no disk drive, no operating system, no compiler or assembler, just real instructions on the bare hardware. It had actual core memory (one tiny ferrite donut per bit) and a 2nd generation CPU based on transistors.

Fionn, In helping to solve computer problems, I find it's often helpful to have many people propose solutions, even the same solutions explained in a different way. You never know which explanation is going to connect with the user's experience.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: rodentred
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:44 PM

What I didn't realise buying a new XP computer was that many older games will not run. There ought to be a big warning sign.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Greg F.
Date: 28 Oct 03 - 06:58 PM

Yup, MicroSpawnOfSatanSoft reminds me of the old joke:

"Congratulations! You've just been screwed by Grandma".

As long as people rush feverishly to grab up all the new "improved" OS "upgrades" whether they actually need to or not, Gates'll be laughing all the way to the bank.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: GUEST,Redhorse at work
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 08:40 AM

I changed to XP earlier this year: I'd got so much bits and rubbish on the C: drive that booting up was taking forever so I took the plunge to Format C: and install XP from the ground up. Only problem was I assumed I would be able to re-install software I'd got the original discs of, so didn't include them in the back-up. Have now got useless discs of Norton Anti-Virus, Music Works, Visio, etc. that XP won't install!
(apart from that, the stuff that did install seems to work fine)

Ho hum
nick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Amos
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 09:05 AM

Mark:

I cut my eye-teeth on an Osborne I -- learned programming, spreadsheets and Wordstar on it. Loved that lil stupid thing!!

A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Oct 03 - 02:16 PM

Back in the early Eighties, after hearing a science fiction writer at one of the NorWesCons rave about the glories of writing on her new Osborne, I checked them out. I sat there in the computer shop and played with the thing and began to grasp what she had been talking about. The price was pretty good ($1750, complete with bundled software including WordStar ) compared to a couple others I looked at. But that itty-bitty 5" screen seemed a bit cramped—like peering at your work through a keyhole. Some of the pricier computers had much bigger screens. As I sat there, it occurred to me that if they had stacked the disk drives instead of putting them on either side of the screen, this wound leave room for a considerably bigger screen. Apparently someone else had been thinking along the same lines. The next time I walked in, they showed me a KayPro II. Stacked drives and a 9" screen. This, plus bundled software for the same price as the Osborne. The word processor that came with it was PerfectWriter, which I thought stank a bit, so I talked them into throwing in a copy of WordStar.

For writing, it was simple, straightforward, and marvelously easy to use. No bells and whistles, but it made writing some much easier and so much more fun than pecking away at the old Royal portable that I frequently wish I still had it. I felt like I had some control.

Progress. Sigh.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Oct 03 - 09:40 AM

I'm a confirmed LS-120 drive user - anyone who can assist with the availability of the disks please PM me...

Robin


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Nov 03 - 07:31 PM

I'm resurrecting this thread because I've about had it! I need help.

My scanner problem is solved, but that's about it. I'm really starting to think that my updating to Windows XP Home was a bad move. It's as if my computer keeps reprogramming itself—negatively. As if it's eating itself from the inside out. Awhile back, I posted the specs above, so I won't repeat anything but the relevant info here.

I have two floppy disk drives. One is an LS-120 SuperDisk drive. It's like a Zip drive, but it's more versatile in that it can read from and write to both 120 MB SuperDisks or any standard 3.5", 1.44 MB floppy (or ever the old 720 KB disks). Superior technology to the Zip drives, but swamped in the marketplace, like VHS swamped Beta. I also have a standard floppy drive. Everything worked fine under Windows 98. It's just that Windows 98 crashed and/or froze about three or four times a day.

Windows XP doesn't seem to crash. But it has other problems. New ones emerge every few days.

First, with the SuperDisk drive. Whenever I try to access it, the computer tells me either that there is no disk in the drive or that the disk is not formatted and it asks if I want to format it (which I don't, because it has files on it). If I remove the disk and reinsert it, it will eventually recognize it, but I usually have to do this three or four times. Then, it lets me read from the disk, but it won't let me save anything to it. It tells me that the disk is write protected or damaged, which it is not.

Okay, that's pain in the ass enough. But about a week ago, my regular floppy drive seems to have stopped working. It refuses to acknowledge the presence of a disk in the drive. When I insert a disk, the little LED comes on and sometimes the drive grinds away for a few seconds then stops and all seems perfectly normal. Other times, it will just keep on grinding and eventually return an error message saying that the drive is not ready or that there is no disk in the drive. If it acts normally and I try to access the disk with My Computer, Windows Explorer, or any other program, such as trying to load a .doc file into Word, it grinds away some more, sometimes for a couple of minutes, then it returns any one of several error messages, usually "a:\ is not accessible. No ID address mark was found on the floppy disk." It doesn't matter which floppy disk I use—new, old, formatted or unformatted, blank or with files on it—none of them will work.

The result is that I have no way of backing anything up on floppies. I do have the CD-RW drive, so that, right now, is my only backup option. I understand that Windows XP lets you use a CD-RW as if it were a floppy, but I've never done this other than to make a fairly wholesale backup of my document files (which needs to be updated). For everyday stuff, I've been using floppies, keeping the working files for my book manuscript and other writings on SuperDisks, and more temporary stuff like my notes, new drafts, and such on regular floppies, transferring it to SuperDisks when it starts shaping up. The Windows XP "Troubleshooter" says there's nothing wrong. The floppy drive is working just fine. Well, not so's you'd notice. This is getting really irritating!

On top of this, I have a Dell Inspiron notebook computer that I use when I'm away from my desktop (such as sitting cross-legged on the bed, or off someplace else). The Dell has a changeable drive bay for which I have an LS-120 drive and a CD-ROM drive. I can't, of course, use them at the same time. I have to shut the Dell off, remove one drive from the bay, put the other in, then turn it back on. Where I used to switch SuperDisks or regular floppies freely back and forth between the two machines, now getting a file from one computer to the other is a real problem. No way to get a file from the desktop to the Dell other than to save it on a CD-RW disk, copy the file onto the Dell's hard disk, work on the file, save it to the Dell's hard drive, then shuffle drives, copy what I do on the Dell from the hard drive to a SuperDisk, and hope the desktop will decide to read it. A bit of a Rube Goldberg operation.   

Since I had Windows XP installed, I have not made any changes to my system, nor done anything else that I can think of to cause these problems.

Reading the posts in a computer forum I googled my way into shows me that the floppy drive problem I'm having is not unusual with Windows ME, NT, 2000, and XP, and the Microsoft tech support articles offer zilch. One fellow suggested reformatting any hinky floppy with "Full format." I tried to do this, but when the format screen eventually showed up (after a string of error messages), it appears that this advice is useless. In the dialog screen, the "Capacity" box tells me (accurately) that the disk is 3.5", 1.44MB, 512 bytes/sector. The "File system" box offers FAT. "Allocation unit size" box says Default allocation size, and the Volume label box is blank. The "Format options" panel offers three options: Quick Format, Enable Compression, and Create an MS-DOS startup disk. No Full format option. So much for that.

Another fellow said that he had tried reinstalling the driver for his floppy drive, but that didn't change anything. The problem was still there.

What the hell is going on!???

The malfunctioning floppy drives are my main concern, but it has another little irritant: if I leave the computer for awhile, the monitor ("Energy Star" compliant) shuts off to save electricity, as it's supposed to do. Before I had the computer upgraded and had Windows XP installed, all I had to do to activate the monitor was press a key, any key on the keyboard. Now, nine times out of ten, it won't respond to that. I have to hit the reset button and go through the whole damned start cycle again.

I paid for all this stuff. I could lug it back to the shop, but at $60.00/hr for labor, that could get pricy, and I'm pretty sure these are all software problems. I think I have a right to expect the thing to work! If it were not for all the money I recently put into it, I think I'd bite the bullet, toss it off a pier, and buy a Mac.

Anybody got any ideas? I'm getting desperate!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 03:53 AM

Don -

Re the Format thing. When you insert a floppy and right click on your A:\ drive (in Windows Explorer), select format, the "Quick Format" and "Create Boot Disk" options are check boxes. If you leave both of them unchecked you'll get a "full format" - the default. If there's a check mark in one of them, just click in the box to remove the check.

I don't have any info on the SuperDisk drive, but I suspect that XP is doing the standard Plug-and-Play search everytime you boot, and it's identifying the drive as one or the other of its two possible kinds, floppy or SuperDisk. If it finds the SuperDisk drive as a "second floppy," then there may be a conflict with your A:\ and B:\ drive setup (BIOS?) that interferes with the "plain vanilla" A:\ drive.

The SuperDisk drive manufacturer would need to produce an XP compatible driver set and it appears that what you have doesn't fill the bill. There may be some real difficulties in producing an XP/2K compatible driver, since the SuperDisk drive may rely on direct hardware access to determine which "personality" it should be using. One of the key reasons that XP (and to a lesser extent Win2K) are more stable is that the "hardware protection layer" that's built in makes it very difficult for a program to connect directly to any piece of hardware. Everything goes through Windows. (This is also the main reason why many old games - and my favorite old music scoring program - won't run satisfactorily on XP.)

It's entirely speculative, but it might be possible to give up the dual media capability of the SuperDisk drive, and use it only with one or the other of its media - if you can find a stripped down driver to do that. A sort of trivial question is whether the drive "boots" as a 125MB drive if you boot with a formatted SuperDisk in place.

Having two 1.44MB floppy drives is really sort of overkill with XP, since any machine that has enough RAM to run XP isn't going to burp over the piddly little 1.44MB you can swap in and out of one. I can remember when a diskcopy A:\ to A:\ meant several disk swaps, but any XP suitable machine should do it in one pass.

I have seen some reports of problems with the EnergyStar (or other "energy saver") shutdown with XP. The Mickey$oft Knowledge Base has a couple of articles on problems in this area, with no real solutions. They do note that the system may fail to respond "if the mouse is moved while the system is shutting down;" but as I recall, I believe this one only applied to USB mousies. I can't claim any real experience with it, since the "energy saving" features are one of the first things I turned off on my desktop. I haven't had any problems with it on my laptop, but I use it only when absolutely necessary.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Dec 03 - 01:50 PM

Thanks a million, John. I'll try the things you suggest. Looks like I have a bit of work ahead of me. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Tech: Windows XP
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 08:33 AM

Hi folks. My turn to beg for help. I finally took the plunge and bought a new Dell Dimension 8300 with Windows XP Home Edition. I'd gotten so comfortable and complacent on my old (1999) Gateway with Windows 98, that it never occured to me that my software would not work in XP!

1. And now I can't even find the install discs for Access97 and Excel97. Is it worth me even looking? Will they work in XP? How can I migrate the s/w from one computer to another without the original discs? (Honestly, I own them).

2. My Mustek 600cp scanner does not work so far. I downloaded the XP compatible drivers (took an hour) from the Mustek site, but when I try to install them, they run at "2% complete" endlessly. Any ideas?

3. When I first boot up, rather than going to the desktop with all the icons, my computer goes to the Windows Explorer system32 folder. When I called Dell support about this, the guy wanted me to restore to several days previously, which is when I thought it wasn't happening. This would undo all the work I actually did accomplish in setting the thing up, wouldn't it? What actually gets restored? Files? Just settings? My hard drive?

4. Cool Edit won't even install on the Dell. Just flashes and goes away. The main reason I got the new computer with the upgraded sound card was to do home recording - using Cool Edit. This program was given to me by someone who now uses something else, so I don't know if I'm the legal owner of it or not, and now Adobe owns the product and calls it "Audition" for $300.

I'm so sick of spending my days fighting with computers! The new one on trying to set up what I need, the old one on trying to migrate what I need, and the REALLY old one on that my husband uses (until he gets my old one) trying to clean it up to give to my mother. (And then the hell really begins, trying to teach her how to use it...)

Mudcat has more good information and knowledgeable people than any tech support, so I'm asking for help. Then maybe I can get back to music.


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