But after a few false starts, I've removed the last vestige of "Windows XP" from my home, and upgraded my netbook to Windows 8. Windows 7 was never an option for this machine and Windows 8 has an afforable XP upgrade option and a simpler set of variants. The "Pro" version which has replaced my "XP Home" adds such goodies as acting as a Remote Desktop server, which was always skipped for 'home' users. I feel all grown up :)
The first false start was the Windows 8 upgrade assistant which fell over several times. Since it won't let you go to the 'Buy' component without going through this step, it was a significant obstacle. I uninstalled a bunch of stuff and then created a fresh administrator account. One of those fixed the problem and it informed me of several minor issues but no showstopper.
The analysis did suggest that the Oracle 11gR2 XE would not necessarily need re-installing, but I can't be sure if that was true.
The 'Buy' was the second barrier, with repeated failures when trying to produce an invoice. None of the unsuccessful attempts reached my credit card, and it eventually succeeded. I think I needed to wait until the US and/or Europe was asleep before the server could cope.
The final blocker was a failed attempt to upgrade and keep 'Personal documents'. In my position, computers tend to get a lot of stuff installed and uninstalled on them. After a couple of years, I think the XP environment was just too stuffed to manage an upgrade.
I decided to backup a bunch of stuff and did a 'kill all' install which went all the way through, and didn't actually wipe out the 'D:' partition of my disk anyway.
The 1024x600 resolution of the built-in screen means the "Don't call it metro" apps / Windows Store is unavailable. I might look into solutions to that, but it isn't a big deal.
Now I needed to regather all my favorite applications, and see if the VPN option to work will still run.
Google Chrome was the first application installed. I will try IE10, but I think the clutter of the default home screen for Australian users (ninemsn.com) made me flinch.
Oracle XE 11g has been re-installed and I'm downloading the latest version of SQL Developer which Jeff has had updated again.
MobaXTerm has apparently jumped to version 6 while I blinked.
PSPad has been at version 4.5.6 for a year.
Greenshot is my favoured screen capture utility
VLC Media player has been added too.
Haven't decided whether to aim for OpenOffice or LibreOffice, and I suspect there'll be a few more applications I remember over the coming weeks.