Written on: 29/11/2012
I have a lightweight GNU/Linux distro (antiX) installed on my Pentiumii@333MHz w/ 320MB ram. I can still surf the net, compose emails, and create documents with OpenOffice.Org
The machine is tough with a large 15" display. Still going strong with what is technically thought of as a museum piece of equipment.
I would suggest older equipment for casual users. No need to spend money on the newest "shiny thing."