things like Lotus 123 and Dbase II need the real thing.
WOW!!!!! Dbase II.
I thought I occasionally jumped in a time machine.
I have Dbase III (circa 1805 I think) on a computer at work for referencing very old company data. It runs just fine on the XP machine I have it on.
If you've heard it won't work but never tried, you might give it a shot.
XP SPII is far and away the most stable Microsloth OS to date.
As others have mentioned, set it to use classic interface and I think you also need to tell it to view folders NOT as web pages, or how ever they had it worded.
My PC's have looked exactly like my Win95 machine did through 95, 98, NT, 2K, and now XP.
Forget Vista. Never get the first generation of a new OS.
You're right on about the crap being pointed towards XP, though. Not much to do about that except keep the security updates and more importantly add-ons current.