I have a perfectly good computer with all its peripheral and would like to utilize it. I did have the operating system updated to windows 2000. (a couple years ago). But I can"t get it connected to the internet for my son to be able to use. I had purchased a wireless adapter to plug into the USB port from netgear and have not received the assistance I needed from them to get the equipment operationa! I am searching for an adapter from USB to Ethernet to plug directly into my router even, but I"m not to sure if thats going to solve my issues! Can someone help me?
You would have to find Windows 2000 drivers for the USB to Ethernet adapter you are trying to use. You probably won't find any.
If this was "updated" to Windows 2000, I'm guessing it's around a 350Mhz-450Mhz system with about 64MBytes to 128Mbytes of RAM. If your son has a smartphone, it's probably at least three times as powerful. To be honest, this is pretty useless even only for basic web usage these days. It may work OK for old games and old office suites, but that's about it.
If you insist on proceeding, You may have better luck if you install an old PCI NIC into this system and use that. Nonetheless, Windows 2000 is rather outdated and you risk being exposed to numerous vulnerabilities with this system if you place it online, not to mention many sites do not support IE 5 / 6 any longer. You can't install a later version of IE on it. Firefox may work with it.
What you should do, is try to get at least 256MBytes of RAM into this system (more if at all possible) and install Windows XP on it, make sure SP3 is installed. Any hardware in this system ought to be supported. While support ends for XP this April you'll be in a far better situation than if you leave Win2K on it.
Even if you get this working you won't be happy with it. I'd recycle it and get another system.
I'm going to start this answer by saying: Connecting that computer to the internet is a bad idea.
The means necessary to secure this system are pretty in-depth, and it's probably a better option to purchase a new(er) computer. It is probably safe to say that, if you knew enough to make the system secure, you wouldn't need help connecting to the internet.
HOWEVER: I'm a full believer in giving people options, and will let someone "shoot their foot off" if they so choose.
Options to connect this computer to the internet include: - If there's an Ethernet port on the back of the computer, great! Just plug it in to the router, and you're good to go. - If there's no Ethernet port, find an Ethernet card and install it in the computer. - If you really want to use wireless, you'd have to find drivers to use the USB wireless adapter. These probably don't exist for Windows 2000, so you're kinda stuck. You can always install Ubuntu Linux, and that will work a bit better.
My suggestion, though, is that you abort mission and just buy a newer computer. In my area, a 4-year college holds asset liquidation sales every month--I've picked up a really great netbook for $35 that's been awesome for carrying around school.
Don't throw out the computer, though: see if you can find a robotics or computer club that may be interested in the hardware. A motherboard from an old computer may not be useful to an "average" computer user, but hobbyists can find a use for it.
EDIT: ultrasawblade posted just before I did, and I see I've duplicated a lot of his answer, but he said it better. I don't want to delete my work, though, so I'm posting anyway.
If you want your son to use it for word proccessing, the only Word it would be able to run is Office 97, meaning you won't be able to open the latest DOCX files. It will not even be able to run Google Docs. If you want your son to use it for gaming, the only games he would be able to play is Tetris and Doom. You won't be able to install the latest version of Flash meaning ActionScript 3.0 will not be supported and most flash games WILL NOT run. If you want your son to watch YouTube, YouTube has lost IE6 support 1 year ago, and YouTube dosen't support old versions of Flash. The latest version of Firefox requires at least 512MHZ to run.