I set up Bitcoin (application) software on a WinXP machine in 2011 and received some Bitcoin. I set the machine aside, disconnected from the internet. Now I want to access the 2011 Bitcoin.
Lately I verified my Bitcoin address/public key on blockchain.info, and the BTC is still there. I backed up the public key and wallet.dat* onto a flash drive. The WinXP machine is functioning.
I am a former coder but new to Bitcoin under the hood, but willing and able to learn whatever is necessary to retrieve, control, and move the BTC. *I suspect that the wallet.dat file "contains" the private key, but I can't read the file contents with Notepad.
What secure tools do I need, and what is the best way to fill my knowledge gaps so that I can resume control of the BTC?