VCR soon may not record but it'll play

The Baltimore Sun

I have an old DVD/VCR combo. I use it a lot to record programs that I want to watch at my convenience. Also I have a large collection of purchased tapes. I know I will no longer be able to record more tapes. But ... will I be able to play the tapes I have?

- Alice Roider

Yes, the VCR will continue to be able to play all your tapes that it ever could play.

I just got a new PC, and it came with Vista. Is there any way I can "upgrade" to XP? My printer and several software programs react badly, and I can hardly ever find anything.

- Glenn Mixon

You can easily change to XP, as long as you still have the original installation CD. I recommend what is called a "clean install."

That means you should copy all the information from your hard drive, make sure you have all the installation CDs for your programs so that you can install them again and then reformat the hard drive.

Since the process of installing XP involves several steps, I am directing you to a Web site that explains the process:

Readers' comments:

"I read your column that said no special antenna is needed for HDTV. You're right. The antenna I use is a 20-year-old Radio Shack 120-mile radius antenna. This antenna was stored under my house for approximately 18 years prior to reuse, and I cannot tell the difference between using this and receiving signals from the satellite. This antenna has been used several times in the last 18 months, and it is not a special HD antenna. It works great."

- J.W. Googe

I'm glad it's working out for you. HDTV requires a good antenna, but there is nothing special about an "HDTV antenna." So the good antenna stored under the house works fine with HDTV.

I also continue to hear from readers who have found merit in the software I recommended recently.

Here's what one said about Diskeeper:

"I showed my husband your article, and we took advantage of their free 30-day trial. Wow! We thought that by using Microsoft's scanning and defragging we were doing all we could. You are so right. It's well worth the $30. Now if they would only stop sending us ads to buy another package for another $80, we would be happy."

- Eileen and Richard Lepre

Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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