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Re: DSL, Win 9.x, and Xy

I would definitely avoid the new laptop with XP. But I'm not quite clear
about what you need. Do both the DSL and the XyW installations have to be
"portable"? If you just need XyW at various locations, why not try what
I've recently done: get a secondhand refurbished laptop with Win95 on it,
copy the XyW installations onto its hard drive, and use that for all
XyWrite stuff? Then you could install 98 on your main machine for DSL.
XyWrite data files are usually so small that they can easily fit on
floppies if you need to move them between PCs. Such machines are sold by
various liquidators and secondhand PC merchants. I got my Compaq at a
show and sale; there are a couple of places that specialize in secondhand
laptops and advertise in Computer Shopper and Processor.
	You can run XyWrite 4 full-screen under 98, though you may not care for
the font. There may also be problems if your resolution is set to
anything higher than 640 X 480 (and there will definitely be problems
with some 32-bit apps if you DON'T set it higher, but being highly
myopic--20/400 without my glasses and only 20/60 with--, I have to use
that resolution until I can afford to get a bigger monitor than my
present 13-incher). 
	Getting 98 may be the problem: Micro$oft won't sell it anymore, nor let
the big stores do so. There are liquidators (found in the back of 
Computer Shopper and inProcessor and also at shows and
sales) where you can get it, and for less than it went for originally
retail. The copies are OEMs, which makes them grayware: the label says
"to be sold only with a new PC." One assumes the original OEM sold some
PCs to people who didn't want an OS (they were going to use Linux or OS/2
or Free BSD or something or had a copy of Win98 they were transferring
from a dead machine) and now wants to get rid of the leftover copies. I
personally have no legal or moral qualms about buying and using such
software, in particular when it's something you CANNOT buy retail; you'll
have to see what your own conscience says. There are occasionally
problems with OEM'd copies that have been too closely tweaked for the
specific machine, but I have used Win95 copies that were intended, one
for a Dell, two for Gateways, and one for an IBM on generic clones
without problems, and my copy of 98 was intended for an HP and again runs
fine on a clone.
	If you do decide to upgrade to 98, I most strongly urge you to partition
your drive into at least three logical drives. The first, largest one
(C:) for Win98 and all 32-bit (i.e., native Win 9.x ) applications; a
small D: for XyW and any other DOS apps you use; and E: for your data.
That will make it possible to reformat and reinstall C: should you need
to in the future (and you will) without endangering your data (though one
should back it up regularly; hard drives do fail) and your DOS setup. I
personally like to have a drive F: for temporary files and downloads, but
that may be overkill.
	Personally, I would ditch AOL, but you may not be able to get it off
your system without a reformat. The latest versions of its software are
really viruses that simply don't uninstall.
Good luck.