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Well, I find Verizon's statement rather confusing. The OS really has little to with actually connecting to the router and getting an IP address for access to the Internet. Now, trying to use an older browser to actually get INTO the router may be a bit more of an issue. Older browsers may not be compatible with the Webpage that Verizon uses for the router access. You say that the VAIO has Windows XP SP2. Is there some reason why you never upgraded it to SP3? SP3 provides a big upgrade to the OS and there are hundreds of other security patches that followed SP3. Without it, the OS is dreadfully out of date, and this may be more of an issue than the simple fact that it is Win XP. I say this because I have four PCs running Windows XP, and four running Windows 10 on my Verizon FIOS router right now. Two of the XP machines are wired to the network and two are wireless. So I can vouch that Windows XP itself is not the disqualifying issue. If you could provide more information on what you tried to do and what the results were I could possibly be of more assistance. Something tells me the folks at Verizon just didn't want to work with you or their current expertise doesn't go back far enough to relate to Windows XP anymore.
You have not mentioned the current version of your internet explorer. The Internet Explorer 6 with service pack 1 was the last edition that can run with Windows 98/98SE/ME IE6 with service pack2 (the service pack can be installed separately) requires Windows XP or later. So If you are currently on IE5 you can upgrade it to IE6 and install Service pack 1 after the upgrade. You cannot go beyond IE6 SP1 with Windows 98.
It could be that the sites you going to are specifically written for IE. Now most of the time this should not be an issue with today's web browsers, but some sites have a Browser Validation script they run and if it recognizes that you are using something other than IE, it will through an error. Try upgrading to the current versions of the browser (i.e. FF3). Don't forget Safari and Opera. They may work for you as well.
Windows 98 SE supports USB 2.0. The original Windows 98 (gold) or Windows 98 OEM or Windows 98 Upgrade versions which are not SE will not support USB 2.0. Nor is there any way to get USB 2.0 support for these Windows 98 versions unless you upgrade to Windows 98 SE.
Note that the Windows 98 SE upgrade CD will fail upon completion, leaving the SE Upgrade with a corrupt registry, if you try to run the Windows 98 SE Upgrade CD on a Windows 98 system that has a version of IE installed which is higher than IE 4.
By connecting the camera to a computer with the provided USB cable,
images on a card can be transferred to the computer. Some OS's (operating
systems) may need a special setup when connecting to the camera for the
first time. Follow the chart below. For details on the procedures in the chart,
refer to the “Reference Manual” on the CD-ROM and the “Software
Installation Guide” (included in the CD-ROM package).
Identifying the OS
Windows 98/98 SE
Mac OS 9.0 - 9.1/OS X
*OS 8.6: See below.
Connecting the camera to a computer using the provided USB cable
Installing the USB
driver for Windows 98
Confirming the computer recognizes the camera
Downloading image files
Disconnecting the USB cable
Even if your computer has a USB connector, data transfer may not function correctly if
you are using one of the operating systems listed below or if you have an add-on USB
connector (extension card, etc.).
● Windows 95/NT 4.0
● Windows 98/98 SE upgrade from Windows 95
● Mac OS 8.6 or lower (except Mac OS 8.6 equipped with USB MASS Storage support
1.3.5 installed at the factory)
● Data transfer is not guaranteed on a home-built PC system or PCs with no factory
You can view images using: graphics applications that support the JPEG
file format (Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop, etc.); Internet browsers (Netscape
Communicator, Microsoft Internet Explorer, etc.); CAMEDIA Master
software; or other software. For details on using commercial graphics
applications, refer to their instruction manuals.