Photoshop 8 isn't even a Photoshop. You mean CS right?
That wouldn't help, just make your font less choppy change the settings and stuff...The bg is prolly just a pic you found off google. The blending isn't that good as it's just colourize. Fix the blending, bg and text. I prolly prefer the 1st one. But its still awful plain and dull...Add other stuff to it. Yo.