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Old May 24, 2010, 12:18 PM   #31
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You'll want to use Go-OO instead. Basically, it's an improved version of OpenOffice.org. Go-OO is also the version of OpenOffice.org you'll find in the software repositories of most Linux distros.

http://go-oo.org
Thanks for the link Jim. My dependence on Windows comes to an end later this year so am interested in any options there might be. I have been using swapable drives to try the different OS options and will take this for a test drive and see how it goes. USB handling has been an issue for non windows systems in the past but the code seems to be catching up quickly.

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Old May 24, 2010, 6:33 PM   #32
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shoturtle, keep in mind that the netbooks run Win 7 Starter edition which is a crippled version of Win 7 and is pretty much junk. Higher versions of Win 7 give you a decent OS (much better than Vista, whch is a disaster, IMO). Downside would be compatiblity with older programs and drivers. I ordered my latest computer with XP because of these issues.

Other consideration is that most new computers are loaded with Win 7, 64 bit OS, another possible problem.
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Old May 24, 2010, 8:35 PM   #33
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I know nothing is perfect, but listening to all of this discussion provides one more argument in favor of making the switch to a Mac and Apple's OS.

Steve, I've waited this long and the system isn't grinding to a halt (although I do avoid taxing it with anything too strenuous). I'm sure I could go a number of months longer if it makes sense to do so. I've been thinking about this for some time now.
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Old May 24, 2010, 8:41 PM   #34
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I just don't feel like trying to get 7 to work properly. If my companies IT department will not move to it yet. That is more reason for me to avoid it for now. I like things that do not cause me a headache. I am happy with MAC OS X. So until something better comes along. For my personal uses I stick with MAC. When my work's it department finds a new OS that works for them, then I might consider switching again for personal uses. But if MAC OS is not causing me grief, then I most likely will stay Mac. I really do not care about open vs preparatory as long as it works.

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shoturtle, keep in mind that the netbooks run Win 7 Starter edition which is a crippled version of Win 7 and is pretty much junk. Higher versions of Win 7 give you a decent OS (much better than Vista, whch is a disaster, IMO). Downside would be compatiblity with older programs and drivers. I ordered my latest computer with XP because of these issues.

Other consideration is that most new computers are loaded with Win 7, 64 bit OS, another possible problem.
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Old May 24, 2010, 9:30 PM   #35
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I just don't feel like trying to get 7 to work properly. If my companies IT department will not move to it yet. That is more reason for me to avoid it for now. I like things that do not cause me a headache. I am happy with MAC OS X. So until something better comes along. For my personal uses I stick with MAC. When my work's it department finds a new OS that works for them, then I might consider switching again for personal uses. But if MAC OS is not causing me grief, then I most likely will stay Mac. I really do not care about open vs preparatory as long as it works.
Although I have never owned a Mac, the direction that Microsoft is taking with their OS "upgrades" is pointing many people (not only myself) towards Mac. I agree with you in terms of the workability of the Mac and may end up with one sooner than later. Incompatibility surprises with Vista, 7, and 64 bit is keeping me with XP.
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Old May 24, 2010, 9:50 PM   #36
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I have mac os X 64bit now, upgraded my wifes computer and no ill effects at all. It runs just fine with everything she had on it prior to the upgrade. So when I got my mac, I did the upgrade. And everything I run on it has had any issues. Except for Aperture 3, which is not and OS issue but a new software issue that they have fix with updates.

I remember working with my sister in laws computer with vista. What a pain, load on software, and another 2 would stop working properly. And I end up rolling back to XP which is currently the best of the 3 window OS out there.
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:17 PM   #37
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I purchased an HP laptop from Best Buy with Vista. After a month it crashed with the geek squad checking it out and ending up returning it to HP. HP replaced the mother board and returned it to me. When I checked it out at the store, it still did not work. Turned out to be a software compatilibity problem and the geeks again returned it to me stripped of all software (but working).
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Old May 24, 2010, 10:20 PM   #38
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my sister in law has a HP, had the same problems with crashing on vista
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Old May 25, 2010, 6:10 AM   #39
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Incompatibility surprises with Vista, 7, and 64 bit is keeping me with XP.
Note that if you go 64 Bit Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate (not Home Premium), Microsoft gives you access to a feature called XP Mode.

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/vir...c/default.aspx

Basically, that gives you a copy of XP running in a Virtual Machine under Windows 7. So, if you have any older software that has issues with Win 7, you can run it in XP mode.

Note that you can do the same thing with VirtualBox (free) if you already have a legal copy of XP you could install (run it in a virtual machine under Windows 7).

Unlike XP Mode, VirtualBox is available for multiple host operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, OpenSolaris), and supports a number of Guest Operating Systems (multiple versions of Windows, Linux, etc.). That kind of product allows you to run multiple operating systems in their own Windows in the host operating system of your choice.

There are other products designed to do the same thing (for example, VMWare and Parallels). But, in my experience, VirtualBox has excellent performance (and even supports hardware 3D acceleration features now using your video card's GPU). I sometimes have several operating systems running at the same time using it.

The main benefit of XP Mode (available free with Win 7 Pro or Ultimate) is that it already has XP. With other solutions, you'd need a legal copy of XP to install in a Virtual Machine.
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:25 AM   #40
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Jazzer251
Here are a few things you could probably do to get down the road a bit while making your decisions. You said you were running a Dell with a P4 processor. Do you know the specific model and serial number? There should be a sticker from Dell giving all of the information. I have three boxes full of old parts waiting for recycling and I would guess that upgrade parts for your Dell are in those boxes.

I realize this is completely off topic as to buying advice but if I can provide you with parts for the cost of shipping it might be worth your while to consider.

First thing to consider with an older machine is Dell used Lead Oxide for thermal compound which has dried out over six years and is not very effective at this point. High processor temps are killers when it comes to performance and the P4 is one of the most difficult to cool processors. With the exception of the "Prescott" series they are also dirt cheap on the used market so there might be an upgrade path for you.

Memory is and always has been one of the simplest upgrades. I do not know with a machine as old as yours but Dell has in the past bought up huge blocks of memory and would then have motherboards custom built to spec that would use the current processors and address what is in effect back dated memory because the ram is cheap that way.

Is your machine running on board graphics? If so you can gain 20% right here. On board graphics from the time of your machine would have been limited for memory so would have used system memory for the graphics. Using system memory to bolster on board graphics runs all of your display processes through the front side buss of the mother board which clogs the pipeline and increases through put burden and again gives that nasty increase in temps. Install a dedicated graphics adapter (probably PCI). This gives a memory bump in two ways. The dedicated graphics adapter will have on board memory and will not be using system memory (you can configure an adapter to use system memory if the card runs short of on board resources but probably not in this case) so now you get a bump in performance from the adapter and by reducing your burden on system memory.

If the machine were mine this is what I would consider.

1) determine what it is and what you have verses any upgrades available.

If you have a viable upgrade path then here is where I would go.

2) clean it well and reapply thermal compound to bring cooling back to factory or better levels. Arctic Silver Five compound is worth about five degrees over lead oxide compound. (YES, the five degrees matter) If your Dell uses the ducting to take air from the case inlet fan across the processor heat sink then dust can be your biggest enemy.

3) Keep the system clean. Clean physically and virtually (registry, drive, spyware that sort of stuff)

If I can be helpful I am happy to do so

Steve
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