It is not unreasonable to keep Office 95 Pro. Its not like there are any more features you really for basic work. I still use Office 97. Realistically, I could probably use Office 95 with the Office Converter Pack [microsoft.com] for compatibility with recent versions of Office.
My question are:
1. Is Office 95 compatible with XP?
2. Why would you upgrade from Win95 to XP? What's in XP that would want to make you upgrade?
3. Can your hardware support XP? Do the computers have enough CPU, memory, and drive space?
Ya know, I was talking to my old man last night, and he said he was having a real problems getting his new xp machine to communicate with the NT machines and 98 machines on his home network. So i'll be curious to hear if you have any problems with this network.
The hardware is old and needs upgrading before there are any more serious down times. I spent half a day last week installing a new hard drive and OS with all the other stuff. He wants reliability.
Why XP? it looks like that is all you can get with a new Dell right now (off to go and check :))
Xp has a wizard for setting up a lan with other versions of windows. It runs the wizard on your host machine then makes a floppy disk to run the settings on the other machines on your network.
Weblamer - Networking from Windows 95, 98, ME, 2k, and XP is easy. You just add the NetBEUI client and tick on the file/print sharing. Want to share a folder, right click on the folder and select sharing. As long all the home computers are networked via a hub or switch, it shouldn't be a problem.
ukgimp - If you want reliability, I don't recommend buying a dell/hp/compaq/gateway or any of the name brand systems. They cut a lot of corners to be competitive and sacrifice quality parts in the process. If you are competent, building a system yourself is one of the few ways to ensure a reliable system.
No problem self building, it is just the convenience and onsite warrantly that Dell offer. The person involved is a close relative but would expect the same level of support from me, time which I dont have.
Thanks also for the advice on networking, that is what I thought but i was not sure. Just needed clarification.
Get them to get the Microsoft Action Pack and for $300 they can have 5 X Microsoft XP Professional, 5 X Office XP Porfessional, 5 X Publisher 2002, 5 X Visio 2002 Professional, Windows 2000 Server with 5 client access licences etc etc..