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About Freda

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  1. I managed to get Vista to more or less behave on my friend's laptop after a lot of swearing and some total incredulity on my part. It's soon to be replaced with XP, though. MagicAndre, thanks for the warnings about Windows 7 - When Vista appeared I bought a second PC I didn't need at the time because the music software I use either wouldn't run properly or wouldn't run at all under Vista (this was being confirmed on all sides by competent and computer-literate musicians). I reckoned a second PC with XP would at least keep me working for a few years. In the meantime I've been backing off from computer-based music software and going for hardware instead. So if Windows 7 turns out to be a step back from Vista, God help us. That backup PC seems even more like a good investment. Thanks for your input on this. Problem solved - despite a little expense on the part of the laptop owner to get an operating system that will do what she needs it to do. Buggy and imperfect, yes - I'm not making undue claims for XP and I know its lamentable failings all too well - but it'll work after a fashion. So this topic can be closed. Thanks for your advice.
  2. Thanks. I thought it was surprising Microsoft had admitted an error. That was how it was reported in the press when word got round about Vista and no-one would touch it. I've never seen Vista before this as no-one I know wanted it. I'll break the news to my friend that she's bought a lemon and will have to buy a copy of XP or pay someone to install it.
  3. A friend of mine made the mistake of buying a second hand laptop with Vista installed. As I recall, when Microsoft admitted they'd made a massive mistake with Vista they offered people the option of having XP installed instead. Does this offer still hold - i.e. do Microsoft still stand by their admission that Vista was a mistake, and honour that by replacing it - or did it only apply to people who bought a new computer at the time?
  4. Thanks for that. I'd forgotten that Outlook is part of Office and not an intrinsic part of Windows. I've now got rid of it. It turns out the problem with used hard drive space is due to a bug in Outlook Express when it has more emails than Microsoft expects people to have. I've been battling this problem for a long time, but I didn't realise it was causing the disk usage problem this time round. I've now been able to address that as well, now I've been able to eliminate Outlook from the equation. - thanks
  5. I've never previously found a use for the various features in Outlook, but I installed it earlier today to see what options it offers for backing up emails (I was prompted by the export command in Outlook Express). I exported my emails to it, but decided the way it works wasn't a helpful option for me, so I deleted the files I'd brought in from Outlook Express. So I now had Outlook installed and no need for it. I noticed three or four gigabytes of hard disk space had been taken up by something, and I'm assuming that's due to Outlook. I went to add and remove programs, but there's no listing for Outlook either in the intial section or in the Windows components section, so I can't see any way to remove it. I'd be grateful for any advice on getting rid of it. - thanks
  6. Many thanks for that. I'll check that out. It could be very helpful. Thanks also for the advice on recording. I actually use a mix of different digital and analogue recorders, depending on what I need to do. That gives me much greater flexibility than I'd have with a software-based recording program. I only use the PC for burning CDs, and use Nero for that. The problem with Media Player wasn't because I was burning CDs with it. It happened even when I burned the CD on a separate digital recorder. The wrong CD information would appear as soon as I played the CD in Media Player, and I needed to know from Microsoft whether that same wrong information would appear to other people if they played my CDs in Media Player on their computers. You can imagine I wasn't very keen on sending out CDs that would automatically claim to be by someone else because of some problem created by Microsoft. Thanks, too, for the advice on adding `solved.'
  7. We're `past' Vista because it was so bad even Microsoft had to admit the fact. One thing I've learned in many years of using computers is that newer doesn't necessarily mean better. That's why I'm continuing to use WordPerfect 5.1, because for all the limitations of the technology of the time it's a proper word processor designed by people who understood writing, and the macro writing options are so good. Nobody used Word when WordPerfect was in general use. In fact Word was a bit of a joke at the time. But Microsoft pulled their stunt with Windows compatibility and so forth, and Word in its later versions is now commonplace. I use it when I have to, for writing letters and things that require immediate printing. For serious writing and file management I use a proper word processor that's not recent but happens to be good at what it's intended for. As a musician I know the same is often true for instruments. Ask a guitarist if they'd prefer a 2009 Les Paul or a 1959 one. Similarly with design. I played a 2006 harpsichord the other week. It was a replica of a 17th century one. I spent yesterday in the company of every early music instrument you can think of. It depends what you need, and how good the design and manufacture is, with anything.
  8. Just an update to this. I was on here with a different XP problem and noticed I'd not updated this topic. Regarding Microsoft being difficult to contact, I finally got them on the phone and they refused to help, saying they don't offer any help at all unless the person calling installed Windows themselves. So seeing that virtually everybody buys a PC with Windows already installed, they were basically refusing help to almost everyone. This was a couple of years ago now, so they may have changed. The problem with Media Player went away with one of their updates. Of course it would have been resolved a lot sooner if they'd been listening to people who reported the issue. It was a serius issue for me at the time as I'm a musician and I burn CDs using a PC. Regarding not being able to print from my word processor, this option disappeared during one of the various so-called `upgrades' of Windows. I use WordPerfect 5.1, which continues to be far better than anything Microsoft can produce, and the printer files for it ceased to be compatible with Windows a long time ago. So yes, the problem is the WordPerfect files, but only because Microsoft removed support for them - which is of course why so many other software companies disappeared in the first place; because they were fool enogh to let Microsoft establish Windows as the standard platform when Microsoft wouldn't release the full code so their own applications would run less problematically than other people's. Sorry for not coming back with an update for all of this. I was really in the thick of it with problem after problem at the time.
  9. Brilliant. Thank you. I thought I'd scrolled down to the bottom of the page when I followed the link the first time, but I only saw the first part. I think I must have inadvertently caught the collapse option with the mouse, or something. So I've managed to repair the file in question and it's resolved the problem. Many thanks to both of you, and my apologies.
  10. Thanks. Yes, that confirms the problem is incompatibility with 16 and 32 bit settings. What I need to know is what I can do about it - whether I can make any adjustments or whether Windows needs reinstalling. I've actually contacted Microsoft about this, but had great difficulty as usual, and from past experience they aren't likely to be helpful, which is why I asked here.
  11. I've got two PCs running Windows XP, both of which run DOS applications with no problems. I need a separate PC to do word processing with, and I bought a PC yesterday that runs XP Home Edition. With this new PC I can get a DOS command line and do basic file copying, but when I try to run a DOS application I get an error message saying C:\window\system32\autoexec.nt. The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications. Choose Close to terminate the application. I'd be grateful for any advice anyone can give on this. - thanks
  12. Windows XP problems continue. This software really is far worse than 98, but I'm stuck wth it. I'm also stuck with another really stupid Microsoft problem, and any advice would be welcome. Although I can still run my word processor I can no longer print from it because - guess what, could it be a Microsoft-generated problem? Right again - Windows refuses to run the printer files. So to print I have to copy the text into Word and save as a Word file first. I've avoided using Word ever since it first appeared, but I have to use it occasionally. There are a lot of irritating things, some of which can be turned off. One major problem that makes it all but unuseable is that it keeps automatically changing things I do - formatting stuff, changing letters to capitals and so on. Presumably there's an option to turn this `feature' off, but I can't find it in the menus or in Help, and the two inch thick Word book I have doesn't mention it. Is there a command that says to the software in effect `look, just don't do anything unless I tell you to - got it, thicko?' If there is, please tell me what it is. Please.
  13. Microsoft really are being absolute bastards. I tried their technical support again. This time I managed to get as far as inputting my product code, and they refused to provide any help, saying I should contact my supplier - like Acer are likely to be able to help with a Windows Media Player problem. I've e-mailed Acer anyway. Media Player has now decided my piece of music is by Cat Stevens. I took the file off the CD and burned it onto a completely new one, which worked for a day. Then it added Cat Stevens' name the same way it had added DJ Farad before. What are the chances Acer can help with that? Slim, I would have thought. What concerns me is that if I make copies of my own music and distribute it, the CDs may have someone else's details on simply because Windows keeps adding this wrong information automatically. For all I know it may be doing that simply because I've got Windows XP, even if I never play the CDs on Media Player. Media Player may just be reporting what Microsoft decide to do to my CDs just because I'm using a PC to burn them.
  14. This is getting unbelievable. I recorded a piece of music and burned it to a CD. Every note is played by me, mixed and mastered by me. No-one else has had anything to do with this CD at any point. So why when I play it on Windows Media Player does it get listed as something called `18th Street Lounge' by somebody called `DJ Farad'? Editing the information on the Library tab doesn't make any difference. It's listed correctly on the Library tab but still displays on the Now Playing screen as this DJ Farad thing. Of course I don't need to be told by Media Player what the piece is and who plays it, but it's still very annoying. And who the hell is this DJ Farad anyway?
  15. Thanks for that. The ALT+ENTER tip is especially useful. I managed the solve the problem with the sounds. For some reason the option I wanted was there when I went back to it the next day. I think my brain must have been addled by the other problems when I couldn't find it. Regarding media player, I can get the list of tracks easily enough, but what I can't do is specify the order in which they play, and more importantly I can't tell it to automatically play the CD again when it reaches the end. I have to start it up again manually. Those options were perfectly straightforward on older versions of media player. I downloaded the latest media player from Microsoft only to find there was no real difference from the one I already had. I might try running an older version from a previous version of Windows. I can't understand why they've made it worse, but it certainly isn't the first time they've done that. Regarding Microsoft wanting to be inaccessible - I've managed to contact them in the past, but this time they seemed to have gone to great lengths to make sure they weren't available. It does have to be said that on the occasion when I contacted them a few years ago they refused to help because the version of Windows was `out of date' - meaning they'd brought out Windows 98 and wouldn't provide any support for 95. My question was very simple (I needed a DOS path to some files that Windows wouldn't give me access to and which were clogging up my hard drive), and they went to more effort refusing to help than it would have taken to provide the DOS path. On that occasion I got my anti-virus software to display the path that Windows wouldn't show, and solved the problem that way. I can't say I was very impressed, though.

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