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If you want not only photos but something else, Google dies provide such a service. It's called Google Page Creator.
If it's just for family and friends consider getting a free site and like tripod or something. Sure it's ad based, but it's free and more reliable and cheap than running it yourself.
XP/Apache/Virtual Machine ... for family photos?
Yes it's a bad idea.
For less than $5/month you can get all up and running without risking your home pc.
Just search G for discount web hosting.
Or, like Otaku said use a free photo storage site if it's only family photos in question.
but keep in mind it'll be running of your internet connection
An addendum to this - most ISP's explicitly disallow any web hosting or other "services" behind an Internet connection. With a small project like a family site, it would probably squeeze by, but as said there are so many tasks you'd have to put into place and maintain, it's not really worth it. Lots of free services out there - you could set up a mySpace page, even.