I got Virtual Box 4.1.12 with the corresponding extension pack installed on Linux Mint 13 Maya Xfce OS and installed Windows XP Home edition in it.
With a little help from my son I now have the USB's activated. To activate the USB's, press the right Ctrl+Home keys and select Device → Install Guest Additions, run it, it installs a number of things in Windows, leave the 3d box unchecked.
When it restarts Windows make sure it boots up in Safe Mode, log in as Administrator (Windows) then rerun the Install Guest Additions, this time check the 3D box and when it is all done, reboot the session. Shut down the Windows XP session, close VirtualBox, shut down the computer. Restart the computer, restart virtual box, restart Windows XP session, now press right Ctrl+Home, Device → USB should work, you should see any USB devices connected in the drop down.
I was able to connect my TI calculator (which has very limited functionality in Linux (probably more than my knowledge)). Windows XP in VirtualBox on Linux host PC is the way to go with Windows.