You have tech questions. I have some answers. Please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that I reserve the right to edit questions for length or clarity, and to combine similar inquiries.
Q. I just made the move from PC to Mac, and find the choices for Quicken — a limited Mac program versus purchasing more software to make my Windows Quicken work — unappealing. Can you recommend an alternative for Quicken on the Mac?
A. You might try iBank, which is a full-featured program like Quicken for Windows and has just released a new version. It imports data from Quicken for Windows. Or, you could install Windows on your Mac, and run Quicken for Windows. Some people keep around older PCs just to run Quicken, even if they do everything else on the Mac.
Q. I’m a retired software engineer who volunteers within a retirement community. I’m encountering elderly residents with desktop PCs still running Windows XP, which is obviously nearing end of support. For those who can’t afford a new PC, do you have any upgrade recommendations? I usually recommend Windows 7 Home Premium, but not all of their apps will work on that.
A. I agree with you on installing Windows 7, which is likelier to work and much more like XP than current Windows. You can check hardware compatibility here. Microsoft also has online resources to check program compatibility here. Windows 7 has compatibility settings for older programs that might not work right away. A video on using these settings is here.
Q. What’s the best way to transfer large files from one PC to another PC/device?
A. If both PCs or devices have USB ports, and you have a large enough portable hard disk or flash drive, then that would be the fastest method. Or, if both are on the same local network, you should be able to transfer the files that way. If not, and you have a decent Internet connection, I recommend uploading the file to a service like Hightail (formerly YouSendIt), which will let you upload a file of up to 250 megabytes free and then email a download link you can use on the receiving device.