First off, wow, mother nature can be cruel sometimes.
A.) Dual booting is easy, just make sure you follow a reasonable install order and I suggest you use two or more hard drives. I dual booted Vista and Windows 7 for a while. If you're installing Microsoft-only OS's, start with the oldest and end with the newest. If you're working with Linux and a Windows setup, the first rule applies, but install Linux last. The boot information is stored on the hard drive. Once the operating system is installed, all you normally have to do is select the desired OS from a menu and hit enter. Again, I suggest using two or more hard drives since you can easily wipe one if you get tired of an OS.
B.) Make sure you have a good graphics card with plenty of VRAM to drive two monitors. If you are asking for monitor suggestions, here are a few: Acer X223Wbd Black 22"
, Hanns·G Hi-221DPB Black 22"
, and ASUS VW224U Black 22"
. Of these, I think the Asus is best. Few monitors in the 22-inch range use HDMI nor can they do 1080p natively. This shouldn't be an issue unless you watch high-definition video content.
C.) I'm not sure what the main question is here. Remember, most hard drives last about five years before they break. I would not purchase XP now that Windows 7 is about to be released. XP seems, to me, like an old car that a few people have become irrationally attached to. XP has left mainstream support at Microsoft and has entered extended support. Support altogether for XP will end in about five years. You can purchase an upgrade to Windows 7, available now for pre-order, or you can by an OEM copy of Windows Vista and get a free upgrade coupon to Windows 7. You can also get any version of Windows for free if you have an MSDN or TechNet subscription. For consumers, stick with Windows or Mac. Linux is geared more towards enthusiasts who already know about scripts and who have no issues in a CLI, or for a user who doesn't really do anything more complicated than surf the net.
Edited by DJBPace07, 22 August 2009 - 09:41 PM.