September 16th, 2009

jack problem

I am not a good computer nerd.

In case anyone can help me out:

I recently acquired a used iBook G4, and have been slowly learning how to use a Mac and what software I may need to interface properly with the internet and my PC-using friends, etc.

Some things are easy. I'm still using Firefox as my browser (I tried Safari, and it was really annoying), still using similar programs for listening to music, etc. But I've run into two problems. I thought each of them might be fixable when I upgraded my OS (as a couple other programs were, including iTunes). No joy, though. So I'm fishing for good advice here.

1) I desperately need a program that can deal well with a variety of files, including .doc, .docx, and .xls. I can't afford Office, and while I have been looking at OpenOffice, I'm having some serious issues getting it to work. Apparently I am missing "X11," and the OpenOffice site is giving me weird messages. This computer originally ran Panther, which I would need to download X11 for. But I upgraded to Tiger, which the site claims will only take X11 from the Install or Restore discs. Problem: I don't have install/restore discs for Leopard. I upgraded through the kindness of a friend. *g*
My awesome boyfriend went on the internets and found a site where I could download X11 for Tiger, so I now have a working OpenOffice. (It doesn't want to do much with .docx files, but heck, it'll handle just about anything else, so.)

2) I'm having a lot of trouble viewing downloaded fanvids lately. They're using formats like .avi and .divx, and I keep getting redirected to pages where I can supposedly download whatever codex I'm missing, but either I can't download them, or they don't make a version for Mac, or I just get really confused because I can download the codex but I can't make it go where it's supposed to or do anything useful.
Thanks to all who recommended VLC media player; I have it and it's working very nicely.