I installed XP last night. Again. But now everything is looking much better -- the two computers are talking to each other, and I have the various office applications, encyclopedias and such working well enough (not to mention legal. Thank gawd for tax deductibility). It was all a bit painful, but I hope it's stabilised.
Some lessons learnt:
- A combination of ZoneAlarm and VET Anti-Virus seems to work a lot better than McAfee Internet security.
- Modems are fiddly, but once they do work (and pretty well too), make sure they don't redial every 20 minutes.
- When reinstalling XP, take care which partition you stick it on... Though I'm still not convinced I was given a choice at the vital moment
- I'm not sure there is a lesson to be learnt about my intermittent problem with the graphics card. Apparently it's a known problem, and is too trivial to worry about changing cards
- A combination of Opera and Mozilla Thunderbird is very nice indeed.
- Make sure you install Britannica on the big partition...
- I should probably move my documents away from proprietary formats. I do all writing in RTF anyway, and spreadsheets don't seem too much of a problem. My Access database for generating the home page, however, could be. I like it, but I'm sure there are other solutions out there...