Long story short: XP's not the problem.
Short story long: It's the bloated OEM crap I referred to in my last comment. You don't need McAfee, Norton, any of that crap. It's possible to uninstall it completely and you should; find a free alternative uninstaller on Download.com and annihilate that piece of crap off your box. Make sure you use msconfig.exe to ensure none of it is trying to start up when you power on.
you need to do for an XP "net-top" as the kids call it:
1) Install any critical security updates and the service pack. Uncheck anything in the updates that aren't labeled "critical"--they're nice to have but not required, plus it saves time. You'll never notice the difference. Once that's done, turn off Windows Update completely.
2) Turn on Windows Firewall and Data Execution Prevention. They're on by default, but make sure they're on.
3) Get your mom a Gmail account so that she'll never see any spam. Set Gmail.com as her home page so that every time she opens a browser her email is the first thing she sees. Tell her to never, ever, ever click on a link or attachment that didn't come from someone she knows in real life.
4) Profit!I'm beginning to think dial-up ain't gonna cut it. She can add broadband internet to her cable subscription for $19/mo plus a $50 hookup charge. It's looking better all the time. Hell, if I had to pay for it it looking better all the time.
At that price, the only justification for not
getting broadband were if she were getting dial-up for free, and really not even then. :)Should I buy her a Mac? They're supposed to be user friendly. Do they need to be updated daily? The virus scanner has scanned over half a million "items" in about nine minutes on a machine that has pretty much nothing on it except Windows, AVG, Thunderbird and Firefox. Dear. Lord.
If you want to give your mom three-year-old hardware just for checking email, but pay $2000 for the privelege, Macs are fantastic.
If you buy a used Mac, understand that you're likely going to have to go through the exact same update headaches as a PC. No shortcuts there I'm afraid.
McAfee and Norton are the TSA of the Internet. It's "security theater". It's designed to make you feel better ("look at all the stuff it's cleaning!") about wasting money on an antivirus subscription that does nothing but react too late to viruses that have already come and gone, and either caught you or didn't. I'm not saying that security is something you should never think about, but the steps I mentioned above will prevent 99% of any malfeasance, and for the 1%, well, that's what backups are for. :)I took the fingerprint reader off. I took all of the game stubs off. Except for solitaire (I thought she might like that). I took everything off I could recognize as fluff. And that's the problem. If you're not an IT wiz (and I'm not) how can you tell how much of this Toshiba crap is fluff and how much of it will disable the machine if you remove it?
Anything that's not in the C:/WINDOWS folder or subfolders is safe to delete, period. If there's a C:/TOSHIBA or C:/[LAPTOP MODEL #] folder, feel free to leave it alone to be safe, but short of maybe
some ACPI functions the XP driver library will replace anything you accidentally remove.We need the Son of Linus Torvalds to write us an operating system that does a few simple things and is purposefully not universally extensible enough to run an entire government. He did.