We took it over to a friend's house who had some extra parts and got a big surprise! Once they understood what we were trying to do they dug out a very cool space-agey case and a much more recent mobo/processor. Our cranky old 500mhz Gateway is now a 3100 Sempron AMD! As you can imagine, our kiddo is thrilled! But we had to do some tweaking to reuse some parts & choosing/ installing some upgrades which led to our discovering that...
Regular WinXP has limits too, not that we're in any danger of reaching them at the mo. (4GB ram, which is effectively 3.5 in some systems)
If anybody needs to dual boot, VMWare Server is a free program that they say would make the process more reasonable. I haven't used it, but I figured I'd pass that along in case anyone reading this needs the help.
If you haven't upgraded your quicktime, thunderbird mail, or firefox/mozilla recently, you should do it now!
And if you don't have winXP's 2nd pack, get the latest critical upgrade as well. (Also consider switching to Firefox or Opera? They both work well & offer some inherent protection from many of these virus attacks. Firefox is now popular enough to see more of them, but it is still less of a target than Internet Explorer.)
Also found another learned computer site that let me know some of the pros &amp;amp; cons of Vista, among other things. Scott's newletters are quite interesting too imho.
So um, yeah. Updates are a good idea.