Answers on Windows updates
Published: Monday, January 5, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 4, 2004 at 5:00 p.m.
First, let me take the opportunity to wish all of you, my readers, best wishes for 2004. The Cyberville mailbag again overfloweth; here's a sample of your questions, and my answers.
Q: I am an AOL subscriber. When I try to update my computer through Microsoft's Windows Update, the Web site loads but won't download any of the updates. What's wrong?
A: A Microsoft bulletin on Windows Update issues indicates some users have the problem you're speaking of when using the AOL browser to access Windows Update. To get around this issue, open Internet Explorer (the "e" on your Desktop or in your Quick Launch Bar) after you log onto AOL. Type in the address www.windowsupdate.com and you should be taken directly to the Windows Update site. It's extremely important for all Windows users to download and install the available Critical Updates and Service Packs to maintain security, reliability and best performance.
Q: I've heard there is a CompUSA store in Gainesville, but I can't seem to find one and never see any advertising. Where is it?
A: Unfortunately, it seems as if too many people couldn't find (or park near) the store in Gainesville. CompUSA (www.compusa.com) recently closed its small location in the Reitz Union. The store was also able to bring merchandise from Jacksonville stores overnight. Mail order services through the CompUSA Web site remain available. The expanded Technology Hub that is part of the new University of Florida Bookstore continues to sell computer hardware and software. The new parking garage at the Reitz Union means it's possible to actually get to the Bookstore and Union and park more readily than before.
Q: My PC is about five years old. It has Windows 95 and also Microsoft Word 6.0 that contains a lot of research I have conducted during the last 10 years. My problem is that family members enjoy computer games a lot but the new games cannot be played on Windows 95. My question is if I buy a new computer with windows that will handle the new games, how difficult is it to transfer the Windows 95 and Microsoft Word entries on the old hard drive to the new hard drive? Can I upgrade my present computer to a higher level of Windows?A: If your PC is five years old, and you want to play newer games, it's time for an upgraded system. Your old PC would most likely handle Windows 98 but wouldn't be much good for gaming, even if you spent hundreds of dollars upgrading the hardware components. Look for a Desktop PC with Windows XP and preferably a Pentium IV processor for maximum gaming capabilities. The video card should have at least 64 or higher megabytes of RAM, preferably at least 128 megabytes - 7200 RPM hard drives will also help, as would a 19-inch CRT Monitor.
Transferring your Word files to the new PC shouldn't be hard, as long as you're patient with floppy disks. A parallel port 100 megabytes or 250 megabytes Zip Drive can be very helpful in copying lots of data from an older system. Look for them for sale cheap on eBay (www.ebay.com). A newer version of Microsoft Word should recognize and import your Word 6.0 files with little problem. Some systems come preloaded with Word as a part of the Microsoft Works package, or you can obtain the latest version of Microsoft Office 2003 for as low as $150 for the Students and Teachers version.
Tom Meek is a computer and media consultant whose column appears on Mondays in WorkLife. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via www.tvccs.com.
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