Q It's time to upgrade my two-year-old computer, but I really don't want to use Windows Vista on a new PC. Is it possible to have Windows XP installed on a newer machine? A tech at Circuit City seemed to say that several features of new computer chips would not be recognized by XP, and that I'd be buying a bigger, faster computer that would not work faster. Is that really the case?


A You won't have a problem running a standard version of Windows XP on the estimated 80 percent of new PCs that come with 32-bit chips, meaning they can locate data in memory using addresses that are 32 data bits long.

The other 20 percent of new PCs use 64-bit chips that can handle longer data addresses (and more memory) but cause compatibility issues with earlier software.

You can buy a new 32-bit Windows Vista PC, then install a copy of XP that you buy separately online (do a Google search for "buy Windows XP.") For installation directions see vistasupport.mvps.org/install_windows_xp_on_machine_running_vista.htm.

Q What's the best way to transfer songs from a minidisk to iTunes? I have several songs on a minidisk that I'd like to listen to on my iPod.


A The minidisk, an early 1990s Sony disk for recording "near CD" quality digital music, never caught on because of its high player cost and scarcity of music titles. It was largely replaced by recordable audio CDs and MP3 digital music players.

Transferring data directly from a minidisk to a PC is difficult and requires expensive equipment. An easier solution is to play the minidisk on its own player, and record it on your PC (as MP3 files) using the microphone jack. This involves using $21 to $32 worth of cables and audio software. For details, see the British website www.vinyl-2-pc.co.uk.

Q When I try to print lists of stocks from Yahoo using Internet Explorer, the printout is missing some of the data, even though the print preview screen shows the whole page. What should I do?


A I suspect you have an older version of Internet Explorer (version 5.5), which had the problem you describe. If so, solve the problem by going to the View menu, selecting Encoding and clicking to erase the arrow beside Auto-Select. Or download the new Internet Explorer 7.0 at www.microsoft.com/downloads.

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