OK, I must be the only person who gives a visit to fix a computer as part of a Father's Day gift, but some quick notes for making things easier for people who don't want the hassle:
# "Autologon":http://windowsxp.mvps.org/Autologon.htm enabled. Before Windows got secure, with Windows 95, you didn't have to worry about logons. Mac OS X works the same way. Use PowerToys to enable this with Windows XP. It's an easy download.
# "Webcam":http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/435/278&cl=gb,en. Get either a new computer, or buy a webcam. The Logitech QuickCam Fusion and its follow-on's a cheap and easy. Just about $80 and then you can talk from your computer
# "Skype":http://www.skype.com/. If you have abready bought broadband, then when you download Skype, then grand-dad just has to turn the computer on. Set it to automatically answer and then you just turn it on and you can see the grand kids!