Well the deadline for no more support for windows xp is coming up April 8th. So you have an old computer running windows xp and you don't know what to do with it. If you have money you could just recycle it and get rid of it. I would not be so hasty to junk it just yet. There are some things you can still do with it.
If the computer is say no more than five years old you could just wipe it out and install a free distribution of linux on it. Some people within the last few years had upgraded their memory to at least 2 gigabytes of memory. Some others had also upgraded to a 500gb hard drive or better. I would consider upgrading the memory to at least 4gb of system ram memory. Then I would download one of the free linux versions of operating systems and install it on that old computer. 500gb of hard drive space is plenty big enough.
There are some other options that you can choose to do also. You could leave windows xp on the computer and install the linux to run along side your windows xp. That way you can run your windows xp programs and just not go on the internet with windows xp. You basically can do all your emailing or web surfing or whatever you do on the internet with linux. I myself have been doing just that. What you are doing is running a dual boot system.
As far as linux is concerned you can run whatever distribution you prefer. I myself like the zorin distribution. It was made to be similar in some ways to windows seven. What I did was download the 32bit iso for it and burn it to a dvd cd. Then I booted off the cd and chose to install it along side windows xp. I installed this on my old dell 8400 desktop computer. It actually runs pretty good and there is a lot of open source software out there to get most jobs done.
You can also install more than one distribution on the computer. In fact I have another computer that was an xp 64bit system that I run linux zorin, mint, fedora and ubuntu on. That way I can choose what distribution may work better for what I am doing. The other nice fact is I am not worrying about viruses. Although there is some virus protection you can put on a linux system if you decide to.
There are a lot of linux distributions out there for special needs. There are also some distributions that are not free, but for the average individual the free versions work just fine. There are even some windows xp programs that will run in certain distributions of linux. So you could just use it as an extra computer in the shack or as your main computer.
Thank You for reading. 73s from Dan KC2YTI