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When you say “my old Picasa photos” are you referring to photos that you uploaded to Picasa Web Albums? If so, those are the photos that will show up in Google Photos – as long as you are using the same google account email/password that you used with Picasa Web Albums.
If you’re talking about Picasa3 – that was just seeing photos on your computer’s hard drive. And, they should still be on your computer’s hard drive. If you don’t know what I mean about pictures on your hard drive, here’s a video that shows where Picasa finds photos on your hard drive.
The main thing to understand is that Picasa3 was computer software that worked with pictures on your computer – no Internet involved. Picasa Web Albums and Google Photos store pictures online, in the cloud – not on a computer hard drive.
I hope that helps.