So, I ordered a fresh copy of Windows 98 SE from Amazon. It should be here any day now, and I'll have to plan carefully the brain surgery I'm about to embark upon.
Why Windows 98, you ask? Well, it was a great platform in its day, relatively problem-free; it's compatible with Office 2000 (which I also use); AND we want to keep a machine available that can translate files up from archaic to merely old -- then we can use the newer machine with Windows NT on it to translate from merely old to only recently obsolete.
Before I do all this, of course, I'm going to have to go on a hunt for installation discs for various programs I use, like Kodak digital photo stuff and so on. Wish me luck.