Walt Mossberg

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Getting Faster Internet Service

Here are a few questions I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.

I plan to purchase a new laptop. My uses are primarily Internet searching and email. I don’t play videogames. The salespeople are pushing me to buy a fast processor. Will buying a faster processor improve my slow DSL connection?

Compared to your old computer, any new PC, even one with a midrange modern processor and graphics system, plus more modern network components inside, may well be faster at using the Internet. That’s because things like rendering Web pages will likely speed up, and the computer may be better able to take advantage of whatever DSL speed you have entering your home. But even the fastest processor won’t make your DSL connection itself fundamentally speedier. To achieve that, you’d need to pay for faster service from either your current provider or a competitor.

Will my Quicken finances run on a Mac? And how do I transfer, from a Dell PC, my 2007 Quicken data?

There is a version of Quicken for the Mac, and there is a way to export your data from the Windows version and import it into this Mac version. But, because the two programs are actually very different under the hood, this process can be laborious and too often goes wrong. So, for people switching to the Mac who are devoted to Quicken, I suggest installing Windows on your Mac, and continuing to use the Windows version of Quicken. If you’d rather perform the export instead, you can find the instructions at quicken.intuit.com. Click on “Support,” then on “2007 for Mac,” then search for the keyword “convert.”

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online free of charge at the new All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

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