I was going to post something else today, but I've sort of run out of time. The comments have been unusually busy lately in some very old posts, in case you haven't checked the list of recent comments. There's an intense discussion going on here, but several other posts from a while back have had some traffic. But the majority of my time has gone to getting my new computer up and running. It arrived on Tuesday, and I've spent almost all of my free time doing something or other to install applications, copy files, get it working with the printer, and so on.
The email was the biggest problem. Since I can't find my Office discs, I had to install Thunderbird for email and OpenOffice for what's supposed to be the equivalent of Word and Excel (but the difference is huge in terms of functionality). Thunderbird for some reason can't handle an Outlook PST file, which are the nice and convenient way Outlook stores its data all in one place. The only way to convert Outlook files to Thunderbird is to open the Outlook file in a computer with a working Outlook program and then to install Thunderbird on that system. Then you copy the Thunderbird files to the new machine, and you're ok. So I had to get Outlook up and running with my new file (a very large file, by the way, which takes a while to copy from one computer to another via an external hard drive)) on an old computer, install Thunderbird on the old computer, and then copy those files back to the new computer. Wouldn't it be much more effective just to accept the PST file in Thunderbird? It also didn't register which messages I had read and which I had marked as unread or flagged, which means I have a few years of unread messages now that aren't marked as to whether they contain something significant. I'm not impressed by Mozilla with this, even if I've liked a lot of what they've done in the past.
After all this, I think I'm finally up and running on my new computer. I've been a long-time Dell customer, and while I've had lots of problems in the past they've always done their best to fix the problems in a timely manner based on the terms of my contract. In this case, they've gone well beyond what I could have expect, and I have to give them credit for that. Not only did they replace a four year old computer whose contract is up in two months, but they even sent me a free cable to use for printing now that I don't have a parallel port to use with my existing printer. So I think Dell has easily made up for whatever trouble I've had with all this, and this couldn't have come at a better time in terms of finances and what would have been a very soon need to think about getting a new computer.