Time to start shopping for new computer

HELPLINE

March 28, 2002|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

My computer is about 2 years old. And, though I would like to upgrade to a newer one, I don't have the funds to purchase what I want at this time. My system is a 166 MHz Pentium w/MMX running Windows 95.

Should I upgrade the operating system, and, if so, to what - Windows 98?

I'm finding less and less support for Windows 95 out there, including from Microsoft, and I am not a techie who can keep 95 running forever.

Any help you can provide will be appreciated.

It's relatively easy to get one's hands on older operating systems such as Windows 98 or even Windows 95 at discount stores or using auction Web sites such as www. ebay.com or www.ubid.com.

But even if you can find somebody with a properly licensed copy for sale (or illegally borrow one from a friendly source), your wheezer will run a lot slower with Windows 98, and you'll probably lose a lot of the limited hard drive space.

It's a sad fact of life that virtually the entire computer industry conspires to make it ever more difficult to stick with perfectly good but outdated systems like elderly 166 Pentiums on Windows 95.

All you will find when you go to Microsoft's Web sites for an upgrade will be pitches for Windows XP, which is totally out of the question for you.

I wish I could offer a more upbeat answer, but I'm afraid you'll need to bite the bullet and buy a new computer if you want to get beyond your current situation.

James Coates writes for The Chicago Tribune, a Tribune Publishing newspaper. He can be reached at jcoates@tribune.com.

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