Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 310490 contains the following introduction:
This article describes how to set up administrative alerts in Windows XP. You can receive notifications of computer problems by creating an alert. When computer performance measurements indicate a problem, the alert that you created performs the action that you specified, such as sending a message or starting a program. You can use such alerts to monitor critical computers such as servers that provide services for network users, or workstations that must always be available.