|"I am not going to get into a futile debate about the reasons why anyone would want to keep an old PC running"|
I have several old socket 7 computers with similar specs...233MMX w/128MB for instance...but I wouldn't run XP on any of them. This "debate" is not about keeping an old system running, it's about keeping it running productively. And I'm curious as to why you have your systems networked together via a crossover cable rather than using a router? Seems to me a router might cure your problems with internet connectivity. BTW, the analogy with vintage cars doesn't work, nice try though.
"There are other forums out there that still cater for 98 users and they have very understanding and helpful members, not smart alecs"
No one's being a smart alec....just pointing out the futility of running XP on a system that's clearly not capable of running it productively.
"I am now getting 3Mb/Sec through a wireless broadband connection. So those minimum requirements must be a rough guide only"
What does the bandwidth of your internet connection have to do with the minimum hardware requirements of the OS?
"Thank you for the Linux tip, but I do not like Linux."
That's because you haven't taken the time to learn it.