Hi Steve-thanks-I'll update to 6.5.1 and see if that helps. Odd that it won't even launch though...
I'd LOVE to upgrade to CS4, but I've been laid off from my job (like the rest of the country), and my unemployment has run out, so spending money's not an option (sadly).
I recommend you check the Microsoft pages and download the MS Visual C redistributables for version 6,7 and 8, if they are not on your system already. on a clean OS with no other programs they may simply not be in place. also check your graphics card. AE 6.5 also used OpenGL, but of course much less evolved than CS3 and CS4, so actualyl your graphics chipset may be too modern for it. Therefore removing the OpenGL plug-in in C:\Program Fiels\Adobe After Effects 6.5\Plug-Ins\Extensions may be advised.