WeightPaint bones to mesh

I have a big problem. I have used for years for modelling but not animation am now using Blender 2.49a.
No matter which method I use I cannot successfully get a human mesh to respond to armature/bone heat.
I have a makehuman body mesh, Makehumaan mesh is terrible too many triangles and redundant edges so I reduced the mesh to 3592 verts.

Created a Blender armature consisting of bones,legs feet toes, hip, spine, neck head, shoulders upper and lower arms, hands and fingers all as per tutorials.
I studied Aminating Rinky and other tuts.

Spine segments 4 or 5 the spine curves out of shape abd segments twist. <Clear Rotation> doesn’t correct this.

Some verts do not attach to the bone with weight paint, and other verts in a another part of the mesh do attach but do not detach if Weight paint is set to sub and the mesh is painted…
The mesh deforms in a curve away from the bone.

when I move hands, fingers move leaving many verts unmoved.

I don’t know how to fix the problem
TIA
Macca

That last part may be because of envelopes. maybe turn them off.