I’ve being using an old laptop with Windows XP for a while. I installed Truecrypt whole disk encryption on the laptop. The laptop is 750Mhz cpu, 512mb ram, 40gig hard drive and running Windows XP. Other than Truecrypt’s bootloader adding a few extra seconds I’ve noticed no slow down.
I’ve obviously also got a firewall, antivirus and spyware scanner running on the system also and am happy with the performance.
I won’t be playing games on the system, but will write an entry about my experiences and the recommended software for low spec systems.
I have a sneaky feeling that I will be able to be just as productive on the laptop compared to a new system and also using open source software be able to save money in the process.