Computer Guide

Transferring old programs

by George Skarbek - 12th August 2008

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Transferring old programs

Q: In 1999 I installed a program Family Tree Maker to my PC using Windows 98. I now have a new PC with Windows XP, and am unable to transfer the program to my new PC. Could you advise how I may be able to do it?

A: Generally you cannot simply transfer programs as in almost all cases they have to be installed on the new computer. This is because they place dll and other files in the Windows or Windows\System32 and other folders and usually place entries into the Registry.

You can try copying all files to the same named folder and for simple programs this may work. If this doesn’t work the only other way is to fully install it from the original source. If you cannot locate your originals then you will have to purchase a later version after you verify that it can read (or convert) your data formats. The data can always be copied to the new computer.


My Task Bar is vertical

Q: I must award myself klutz of the year, as my daughter fiddled with my PC and now the Microsoft start etc menu is on the right hand side of the screen...and I can't place it back at the bottom of the page...I've tried dragging...but it will not drag anywhere and changing taskbar settings does nothing either...can you please help?

A: You are not the first person this has happened to and you are not going to be the last. I have seen this on a number of occasions and readers have written to me with this problem over the years.

The secret to getting it back is to move the mouse slowly and relatively close to the bottom left-hand side and when the cursor changes to the double-headed arrow hold the left mouse down and drag to the bottom of the screen. If you hold your tongue correctly you will succeed. 


Domain name prices

Q: My request is about Domain Name registration. I have Googled for a Domain Name registrar and found that sites claim to do the job for you from $6.00 up to over $200.00. I don't want (need) all the bells and whistles just a site which I can use to record many episodes of our family and (maybe) sell some info. Is it possible for you to explain what the differences are between the vast price range and what site provides a permanent Oz / world registration?


A: There is virtually no difference in what you receive for $6 or for $200. The fundamental item is identical, namely that you own that domain name. With the $200 service you will receive better support but you should not have need it as registering a domain name is very simple. Be aware that most of the low cost ads will sell a domain name that is .info or .biz or similar. You should obtain a .com name and they are always dearer. The $6 domain name is largely a headline for search engines in order to get you to go to their site.

Hosting that domain name is where you may need support. However, you can register your domain at one site and then have it hosted at some other site. When you register a domain name you will receive important documentation pertaining to your site so that you can prove that you are the owner in the future if you change the hosting. I recommend that you print a couple of copies of that document and keep them in a safe place.

If you do not wish to have a domain name ending in .au then probably the cheapest site is GoDaddy. For the .au domain names you will have to deal with an Australian organisation and the domain names are dearer and start at about $13 per year. Hosting typically starts at $4.95 per month and you can have 5 GB of data and a many of services for this amount. One such service is that you can have your own permanent e-mail address in the form, of irrespective of what ISP you use and how often you change ISPs. I host my site with WebCity who offer good support and handle domain name registrations as well. Registering and hosting with the same organisation is the easiest way to get started.

As to the final part of your question, I am not aware of anyone offering permanent registration. Virtually all offers are for two years and you will be sent reminders to re-register which is a very quick and easy process.


To look at the e-book in PDF format, Computer Guide, based on these columns click here