Dale updated to Windows 10, and it screwed up his laptop. He had it all fixed, and it turned out to be a dead hard drive. So he has a new hard drive, but now the program he wrote in Access to collect his library of books won't open in an open-source database like Libre Office, while it worked before. What can he do? Leo says as long as Dale has the original Access database file, he should be able to convert it into something more easily readable by Libre Office. Dale can also try using the free Microsoft Access Runtime utility to read the database file directly.
Galant wants to know how he can get MS Works installed onto his new laptop. Leo says that if he doesn't have the original disks, it can be problematic to move a program over to a new computer. Works is more than ten years old, and as such, Leo recommends going with a replacement like Libre Office. It's open-source, free, and far more powerful. It's a full office suite and it's always kept up to date. It'll open his Works files.
John wants to know if Microsoft Office comes with Windows. Leo says it doesn't, but there's an open source option called Libre Office, which is free, and will do most of what MS Office does, including reading all Office document files. Buying Office is very expensive, but he can do a monthly subscription rate, which is about $100 a year for Office Home. It's the most affordable solution.
Ted has to install XP every 30 days, even though he bought it. Leo says it's possible that since XP is now "end of life," they may not be activating it anymore. Leo says that it's time for Ted to go to Linux.
Ted also can't install Microsoft Office. He tried to copy the program folder over and it won't work. Leo says it can't work that way. He'll miss important system files. He'll have to reinstall from the program disc.
G. Scott is thinking of putting Linux on an old computer. Leo says that's a great way to breathe new life into old hardware. Another option is Chrome OS. CloudReady is the site he'll want to use to get that done.
G Scott also wants to get Windows 10. Leo says to get a fresh stand alone version of Windows 10. When it installs, he'll be able to input his Windows 7 key to authenticate to Windows 10. That way he'll have the free Windows 10 upgrade. He can then downgrade if he wants and can upgrade it later.
Paul wants to know about Libre Office. Leo says that Libre is open source software and it's free. It has many of the same features as Microsoft Office. It's just as good, but is not as polished as Microsoft. Leo's a fan of it.
If Paul would rather have Microsoft Office, he should check out Microsoft Office Web. It's a stripped down version of Office that he can use online and it's free.
The Old Geek has a friend who's worried that his Microsoft Office subscription will expire and lock him out of all his documents. Is there a way around this? Leo says that even when Office expires, he can still open his documents, he just can't edit them.
Dawn also has a bunch of Office programs and she can't install them. Leo says they're likely OEM versions that can't be installed on another computer. The new Office 2013 is a good option for $100 a year for up to 5PCs. There's also Google Docs, or ZoHo Office. There's a free open source Office suite called Libre Office. The chatroom says that voice dictation is part of Windows 8 natively, and it supports Libre.