The older version may or may not work on Linda333's computer, Kazzmo. Not every XP computer is the same. The problem could be with the file she downloaded, but Zodiac would have to check that.
If you get as far as seeing the game options, then you should be past the authentication part. However if the opening cut scene is damaged or for some other reason refuses to play, that could prevent you from getting to the rest of the game. You can try skipping the opening cut scene by using the Escape key or the Spacebar or the Return key (I'm not sure what the game uses) and see if that gets you past it. It's possible the cut scene won't play because you're missing the codecs it uses (something that might happen if you're using XP while the game is updated for Windows 7).
The problem with saves that you're seeing may have to do with the online distributor "casualizing" the controls so it autosaves instead of allowing manual saves. I remember somebody mentioning that happened with another game -- and whatever company updated it was so sloppy about it that they left the Load and Save options in the options menu even though they'd been removed from the game -- very confusing for people who'd played the older version.
Sometimes autosaving doesn't work on Vista and later Windows and you have to either right-click and "Run As Administrator" or play the game in a single sitting. I had that problem with saving in Mushroom Age, though apparently not everyone did. I have no idea why my computer decided to be "different" with that game. So if you haven't done so yet, try using "Run As Administrator" (if you're using Vista or Win7 or Win8).