Q. My four-year-old MacBook Pro warns me that eight of my programs won't work with future versions of MacOS and need updating to improve compatibility. Some of these programs are known software, such as "Microsoft Office Tools" and "Amazon Music." I use the Mojave 10.14.4 operating system. What should I do?
David de Felice, Madison, Wis.
A. The warning is misleading. You don't have to "improve the compatibility" of the eight programs because they work perfectly with your current operating system. However, you need to upgrade to newer versions of the programs to use them on Apple's next Mac operating system, due later this year.
The new Mac operating system does not yet have an official name and is known only as "macOS 1
Why do you need to upgrade the programs that generate the warning? Because they are all 32-bit software, which is now old technology. They process 32 bits of data simultaneously, limiting both the speed and the amount of data they can use (about 4 gigabytes.)
Apple has said that the new Mac operating system can only use newer 64-bit programs that run faster and can use about 30 times as much memory.
Upgrading to 64-bit versions of your eight programs should be relatively easy, because software vendors have known for a while that change came. For example, you can already find 64-bit Mac versions of Microsoft Office 2019 ($ 150, see tinyurl.com/yaamffvk) and Amazon Music (free, see tinyurl.com/nuchkbp).
Q. Do all four of the "duplicate image finder" programs you recommended (see tinyurl.com/y4lt5xz4) let you preview different versions of the same image before someone is deleted? Should these programs also delete photo duplicates from a cloud storage account?
Kathy Magrew, Maple Grove, Minn.
A. Three of the programs allow you to see duplicate images before everything is deleted. They are Easy Duplicate Finder (tinyurl.com/y9qldqcs); Duplicate Photo Finder (tinyurl.com/ybh6tq77); and Dupliser Cleaner (tinyurl.com/mfl56n3).
Where photographic deletion is transferred to a cloud account, it depends on which provider you use. For example, if you automatically back up your photos to the cloud, the image capture is copied to a Microsoft OneDrive account, but not to an IDrive account.
Q. I have a 13 year old Dell Dimension 5100 that I want to upgrade to Windows 10. I previously upgraded it from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Tom Olson, Golden Valley, Minn.
A. Dell publishes a list of its PCs tested for Windows 10 compatibility (see tinyurl.com/yxmksafz). No Dell Dimension models are listed, so it is unlikely that your PC can run Windows 10.
Steve Alexander covers the Minneapolis Star Tribune technology. Readers can write to him at Tech Q & A, 425 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55488-0002; email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please enter a full name, city and phone number.