a. Revisiting the "Foundation" series by Isaac Asimov.
b. Also, playing an old DOS game that I used to enjoy back in the day. It's called "Megafortress" (circa 1991), a flight sim game. The graphics is pretty bare bones, but flying the Megafortress is not exactly a piece of cake - especially when the missions become more and more difficult.
While the game does run directly on XP - the problem seems to be that it runs a little too fast. Also, the mouse controls don't seem to get configured correctly - the click is too sensitive and becomes a pain at some point. The game also messed up my System Date setting.
After searching for solutions on how to run old DOS games on XP without problems, initially came across one suggested fix: applying/changing settings for the .exe file. ".Exe file"->RightClick->Properties->Program Tab->Advanced->Turn on Setting "Compatible Hardware Timer Emulation".
That fixed the system date problem, i.e. the Megafortress no longer messed with the System date after that. But it still didn't fix the "mouse too fast" problem. So searched a bit more for a better solution and came across a suggestion to give DosBox, an x86 emulator for Windows, a try.
Bingo. "Mouse too fast" problem solved using DosBox. Only issue now though is the small window size when running the game. They didn't have 1024X768 displays then. Changing the display settings to 640X480 could do the trick though and you could play the game Fullscreen. I just haven't given that a try yet.
Above fixes should let you play your old games on WinXP. If you still have them lying around somewhere perhaps you could give them another try.
While old DOS games could help you with your nostalgia fix, they aren't going to be a substitute for the ones that got away though. But then, let's also be realistic here. It's not like they would really want to have anything to do with you now would they?!
And no - you really don't have to finish that big bag of Lays just because you're all depressed now.