Walt Mossberg

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Using Quicken in Vista

There’s no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about using Quicken in Vista, blocking people from piggybacking on your wireless router signal and waiting for Mac’s Leopard operating system.


We waited to purchase our new computer until Windows Vista was released. We now have a new HP Pavilion 9000 and were trudging along the learning curve when we came to a complete halt — there is no version of Quicken available for Vista. Since we use Quicken extensively, we are stuck using our old computer. When can we expect to be able to use Quicken on Vista?

I haven’t tested Quicken in Vista, but Quicken’s maker says it works fine in Vista, though you may have to download and install a free update. According to Intuit, the manufacturer, “Quicken 2007 has been tested with Microsoft Windows Vista, and no known issues exist in the most current release.” The current release of Quicken 2007 is called “Release 4 (R4).” If your release is R3 or below, you will have to download and install a patch. You can find more information by going to quicken.custhelp.com and typing “Vista” into the search box.

I use a Linksys Wi-Fi router in my home. How can I make sure that no one else is piggybacking on my signal?

It’s pretty simple. Turn on the password feature in your router, and don’t tell anyone the password. You’ll usually find the password setting in the installation software that came with the router.

I’m thinking of buying a new iMac, but should I wait until Apple releases its new Leopard operating system? When will that be?

Apple is saying that Leopard, the coming version of its Mac OS X operating system, will be released this spring. Based on past experience, any Mac you buy now should be able to run Leopard fine. In recent years, Apple’s operating-system upgrades have been much smoother than Microsoft’s. So, if you really need the new Mac now, I wouldn’t worry about Leopard.

However, if you can wait a few months, and buy your iMac with Leopard preinstalled, I suggest doing so. For one thing, you’ll save some money, since Apple usually charges $129 for new operating systems. For another, it’s possible that Apple will also improve the iMac hardware, though I stress that I know of no such plan.

* * *

Because of the volume of e-mail I receive, I can’t routinely answer individual questions by e-mail, or consult on individual problems or purchasing decisions. I read all questions I receive and select three each week to answer in the column.


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