I would reccommend webmail for an outdated OS in which one can't update IE to the latest version. Otherwise you are going to expose her to all the unpatched vulnerabilities in Outlook Express or something else that relies on IE.
If you are going to set her up with GMail, you might want to create a shortcut on her K-Meleon toolbar to point here: https://mail.google....il/?ui=html&zy=a
That's the HTML version suitable for slow PC's and dialup. It's what I use on my 9x machine of similar specs. The standard GMail doesn't work well on an old PC like that one.
An additional button on the toolbar that you might want to add is a bookmarklet to take her to the Google Mobile version of whatever page she is visiting. This is handy for sites that are too heavily scripted to load on slow PC's. This was a huge frustration saver for me.
(background scanning) AND BitDefender Free
(this is for on demand scanning, right click file in explorer and scan it before opening it)Firewall
: Zone Alarm 3.7
(just a firewall, and nothing more, effective, stable, easy to use, & suitable for an old pc)Anti-spyware
: Spybot Search & Destroy
(make sure you run it & vaccinate that PC!)PDF reader:
I would stay away from Adobe for security reasons
, and because it isn't very light. Older versions of Sumatra are pretty crappy and latest version doesn't support 9x.
I'd either go with Foxit 2.1
(lighter) or 2.3
(might be a bit too heavy). (Avoid v2.2. It has a bug that doesn't allow copying text on 9x)Photo Editing
: (yes, she will want this)
Some older scanners came with Adobe Photo Deluxe
, which worked quite well on 9x as long as it wasn't v2.5 + MS Office 97, 2k, or XP. If you have any plans on ever putting Office on that machine, go for a newer version of Photo Deluxe. (doesn't have issues with MS Works, as far as I know)
Some other older scanners came with a free copy of Corel Print House
. That wasn't so bad for a beginner, either.
And then there was the ones that came with MGI Photosuite
All of these are better than MS Paint, and lighter than anything you will find available today. Check around for anyone that might still have a disk for one of these from an old scanner that they might be willing to donate to this project of yours.
And no matter what else you install for images, make sure you give her a copy of Irfanview
, too. IM Client: Miranda
Set it up to be able to work with Yahoo, AIM, and MSN. Those are the 3 services she will be most likely to want or need.
Make sure you also install Quicktime Alternative
and Real Player Alternative
Some very lightweight sticky notes
to remind her to do whatever it is she needs reminding of. (the older we get, the more reminding we need)
And when you are all finished, give her few small lightweight free games
to play while she is waiting for pages to load. All 4 listed on that page work well on 9x, and the Uno game is one of the best free implementations of the classic card game that I have come across.