Whee! The day dawned grey and snowy with actual snow whipping the neighborhood as the tip of the lash of big wind. By now, the streets are plowed and some very nice neighbors helped me out with the shoveling (thank you!). Luckily I have more to do even sitting at my desk than I'd ever want and, I'm rather happy to say, that I'm devoting my attention to a friend's PC that's been flakier than a good Southern biscuit.
What's that you say? A Mac guy going all MacGyver on a PC? Damn skippy. I want to be able to fix anything. Lycurgus is the engineering genius in the family but I can learn. And I'm making progress. The Dell's wireless connection is now up and stable. I'm running the disk defragmenter now (oooh! 22% done!) and once that's done, I'm going to try to get Service Pack 2 properly installed, a current version of Internet Explorer and then the free version of AVG anti-virus software in place. I did put Firefox on the machine but I learn that Microsoft is only willing to do updates through IE. Also, the version of XP running on the machine is aged enough that the AVG software ,which I've already installed, doesn't want to run on it. That'll change.
It does leave me wonder though - how do you people deal with what Windows puts you through? God bless ya.
UPDATE: I think I see a problem with this machine - 384 MB of RAM. Not even half a gig. Yikes. I've suggested to the owner she buy a couple of 512 MB memory modules.