APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2002-11 > 1036368292
From: Nancy Upshaw <>
Subject: RE: [APG] Computer compatibility
Date: Sun, 03 Nov 2002 19:04:52 -0500
I recently bought a Dell Inspiron 8200 with Win XP on it. Though it has
taken me awhile to understand the differences between it and Win NT or
Win 2000 (I use both of the latter at work), my ultimate conclusion is
that it is probably the most stable new Microsoft operating system
release out of the box, ever. I also like it as well or better than
either of the other two OS's above. Since I could never get Win 98 to
work on my old Win 95 laptop, I waited as long as I could to make the
leap upwards. I'm glad I did. I agree with whoever said that there must
be a conspiracy to get us to upgrade hardware along with OS's. Once I
finalize the transfer from old to new, I'm going to wipe the old hard
disk clean and see if something newer can be put on there from scratch.
I have a use for the old computer in mind if I can get it updated.
*****>> One thing I discovered that I like VERY MUCH about Win XP (which
is basically Win NT v5), is that it has an option to run programs in
"compatibility mode". This makes it possible to run an older Windows
program as if it were running under Win 95, 98 or Me, 2000, or NT v4 svc
pack 5. If you were using a program on Win 95, for example, and it
worked fine there, then you can make it run in Win XP as if it were
running on Win 95. I was having problems with one of the supplied
programs that came with the machine. A little investigation got me to
the Properties pop-up (right-click on the .EXE file name for the program
and choose Properties), then the "Compatibility" tab. On this tab you
can select which OS you ran the program on before with no problems.
After I selected this option, the software no longer froze up the
machine. This may not work every time for everything, but it sure has
made life easier for me so far.
It is said that if you have DOS programs that you like that you can't
run them on XP, so I'd check your inventory of products and tools to see
if any of your favorite things fall into that category. There is still a
DOS prompt available, and the DOS -commands- that I have tried have all
worked, but they were fairly inconsequential ones. Some installation
routines use the DOS method, and those I've tried so far work just fine.
Some DOS programs that I have still work (very simplistic ones), some
don't(the more complicated ones). It probably depends upon what
components of DOS that it uses, whether it will or won't. Never hurts to
Re: wireless networks - I set up a wireless Internet network (too easy!)
connected to my cable Internet connection using the Dell wireless
routing hub hardware and Dell TrueMobile card. It works like a dream.
The hub is down in the basement where the TV cable connection comes in.
I'm 2 floors above sitting in my easy chair, or sometimes I'm in bed,
same floor, because of my back problems. I very occasionally get a
disconnection or a slow-down, but I think it has more to do with the
maintenance schedule of the cable company and certain high traffic hours
than anything else. There's also a documented problem with the computer
going into stand-by mode and dropping the connection, which is not the
network's fault. Most of the time I am in hog heaven!
FYI on wireless and firewalls: My PC guy at work says I really don't
need to worry much about direct hacking from the Internet over the
wireless connection -IF- the wireless routing station has the node name
that the Internet knows about, and your computer is an 'alias' off of
that which the Internet doesn't know about. This means that you don't
really need a firewall active because the router, if it has its own node
name, acts as your firewall. Any direct hacking danger lies in the
interception of the radio signals by someone nearby - a neighbor, for
instance. If you leave the Internet connection and router on all the
time (as I tend to do), a neighbor could be using your Internet service
for free, if they have a compatible receptor for the signal., and they
cold possibly access your computer while you are on it. This is where
setting the encryption key comes in. This is a private 'key' (created by
you) between the router and your computer. Unless a computer knows the
encryption key, it can't decode the router's signals. I made a mistake
getting mine set up, and haven't retried it again, but since learning
about all this I think I will try it again. (You just have to make sure
you write it down properly when you set the router!)
These are my "2 cents worth". Thought I'd chime in, since I'm so
involved in these subjects at the moment, myself.
(An avid lurker...not an APG member - yet....but soon.)
From: Natalie Cottrill, ProGenealogists, Inc.
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2002 10:03 PM
Subject: RE: [APG] Computer compatibility
You wrote: >> And the network with the other computer in the house
not to have the shortcomings you list. But maybe I'm doing something
No, apparently not <but, maybe if you're superstitious, you should knock
wood, too>. However, if you wanted to set up your home network to let
someone else log onto it (have multiple log ons) and then perhaps
what these people would have access to (e.g. give them access to the
Internet when they log onto the network, but not your financial files),
then, Windows XP Home is insufficient for that task.
You might not ever have a problem with Windows XP Home at all (and that
would be really great).
I know that in the past, I've had the hardest time upgrading an existing
machine to a new operating system. Whereas, I would have nearly no
at all starting fresh with a new computer and then using the very same
hardware and software in the new operating system. So, it makes me
if there isn't a conspiracy afoot to drive us to buy all new equipment
software every time we feel the urge to upgrade the op system ... <g>
know that the couple of nightmarish experiences I had trying to upgrade
existing machine with a new operating system makes me shudder at the
of ever trying it again - ever. I remember days and weeks of trying to
the stupid computer to work properly. So, now I just wait until I just
can't stand the old slow computer and old op system anymore, and then go
a new one and start fresh.
By the way, if anyone has been curious about wireless networking
I've some experience with it. I have Linksys wireless router and
connections at home. At work, we have all hard-wired networking. I've
found wireless networking to be less stable than hard-wired. Wireless
connections, like cellular phone calls, have a tendency to drop right in
middle of something really important. And, wireless devices that are
right out of the box are generally not very secure. I didn't realize
today's wireless was so touchy until I set it up and put it through its
paces. It is really fun and very convenient to sit in the living room,
the achy feet up on the couch, plug in a little wireless adaptor card
(credit card sized) into the notebook and then surf away on the Internet
answer e-mail. But as soon as the network is really called upon to do
workhorse work (massive file transfers, etc.), more often than not, the
connection is interrupted and many of the files don't transfer properly.
Nothing beats wireless for convenience and "getting a change of venue"
your humble office abode (with wireless, you can work in bed, on the
table, in the living room and anywhere that your laptop will go). But,
wireless is not as stable as hard-wired. So, now, I've modified things
that I have a hybrid system - both wireless and wired. The console
computers are hard wired and laptop is wireless. Maybe wireless will
better with time.
Has anyone seen or used the new visual phones?
From: Richard A. Pence [mailto:]
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2002 6:54 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] Computer compatibility
I guess, Nedra, this proves once again the adage about ignorance being
I've had a Windows XP machine since the first week in January and it has
worked like a charm each and every day!
No more crashes every hour on the hour, a la W98, and if on occasion the
pilot messes things up, just click a couple of buttons and things are
restored to yesterday's good operations. And the network with the other
computer in the house seems not to have the shortcomings you list. But
I'm doing something wrong?
Aside from Epson being a bit behind on the availability of a driver for
cheapie scanner (which now works a whole lot better than it did
problems. And - guess what - my old, old, old, old LaserJet 4 works
thank you. Never did work right with W96 and was slow starting with W98.
The problem with reading things written by people who understand
is that now I have to worry about a whole list of things I didn't even
were problems! And just because none of them have shown up over the past
months doesn't mean they aren't there, right? I'm certain they will now
become all too evident. And soon, I'm sure. <g>
Who hasn't understood a thing since DOS went underground.
P.S.: Nancy, if you are serious about your 1860 DOS census index, give
holler via email (assuming my XP is still working tomorrow). I may have
solution for you. All my databases are STILL in DOS, where they have
since I began building them in 1985 (and before that in CP/M).
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nedra Dickman Brill" <>
Sent: Saturday, November 02, 2002 2:15 PM
Subject: [APG] Computer compatibility
> >of course unless I heave the thing across the room! And, of
> >course, the drivers aren't available yet for Windows xp.
> A word to the wise about Windows XP. (I run 4 computer labs at school
> attend the Microsoft seminars that tell us all the great benefits of
> new products.)
> Windows XP Home comes as a freeby on all/most new computers and it
> less than you are paying for it! It is basically a throw-away with
> limited features (compared to Windows 2000) and is designed to works
> one-computer system. It does not support Microsoft file sharing on a
> network and cannot communicate with a domain. Some people have had
> success using TCP/IP but this is not Plug and Play (and if you do not
> understand this sentence, you probably do not want to go there! <G>)
> want to use Windows XP then you should upgrade to XP Professional. We
> just now getting new computers at school with XP (and having to
> upgrade from Home edition to Professional) so I will be more
> after joining Nancy's ranks of "what no longer works."
> IF you have a peripheral that is no longer manufactured, don't hold
> breath waiting for new drivers. They can now be categorized as "boat
> anchors." Companies would much rather sell you a new printer or
> than to spend labor $$ writing code of an old system that gets them no
> So, before you automatically accept XP, consider what needs to be
> compatible. At home, after about a day "of discovery" which was
> leading to the "Woes of Nancy" I reformatted my XP Home and installed
> Windows 2000 on my new laptop. Of course, then we had to go find the
> hardware drivers to run the internals since the computer manufacturer
> supplied those for XP. Ever try to find a modem driver when the
> cannot recognize it to tell you what you have? And, one does not just
> the case" on a laptop.
> Yes, isn't technology wonderful? Yesterday I attended an educational
> seminar and the speaker emphasized how much more time we had in the
> before acquiring all this technology.
> Nedra Dickman Brill, Certified Genealogist
> Registrar, Oregon State Society DAR
> Regent, Portland Chapter, DAR
> Historian, Henckel Family National Association
> Coordinator Pendleton County, WV,
> CG is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists,
> used under license after periodic evaluations by the Board.
> ==== APG Mailing List ====
> The Association of Professional Genealogists
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