So I have my new computer back today, and so far it seems fixed. For example, it boots. It's still incredibly frustrating, but at least I found my blank CD-Rs, so it shouldn't be as much of a pain to transfer files as it was last time. For whatever reason I couldn't make peer-to-peer wired networking work. Probably too much security software I don't like enough to learn to use. Of course, to offset the whole working computer thing, I broke my commute bike today.
The commute bike problem was basically the other shoe dropping - last summer I discovered that the rims on the bike are so old they can't accept new tires, even ones designed for its size rim. This was after a chunk tore out of the front tire. I built a wheel from parts using a newer rim that can accept new tires, which was a nice project, and stuck a new front tire on. I figured I'd put off building a rear wheel until the rear tire died, which happened today. I thought I'd fixed a flat I had in it this afternoon, but when I went to a bike shop and used a floor pump to bring the pressure up to where I like it, the tire wouldn't stay seated. I noticed in removing the old tube that it was stuck to the tire, so I think that perhaps the old tube was helping hold everything together by being stuck to the tire and rim. Anyway, the bike's at a random shop in midtown getting a new rear wheel. It's going to be a real Frankenbike now - original front hub, new 27" front rim and new spokes, and a new 700c rear wheel. By process of elimination, it'll eventually be a cheap but modern bicycle.