Monday, I opened up the laptop as usual to make my rounds and so forth. I kept getting this popup that insisted it was from Microsoft and was a Spyware protection software. It looked just like an annoying MS spyware thing I dealt with at Tokyo because the ITiot was paranoid. I kept telling it no, go away, I don't like you. It kept insisting I was in danger and my only choice was to hand it my credit card and let it protect me.
I set about deleting it. It took vengeance upon me. Oh, nothing significant -- I was just no longer able to communicate with anyone via the Internet. I could visit sites and all, but I could not send any information. You see, I was being protected by being rendered MUTE.
Several hours of diagnostics and bad guesses followed, ending with one conclusion -- I would need to lobotomize my computer and start all over again. So, last night, I found the disks and started the process.
And now, 24 hours later, I'm halfway through restoring everything. Wee. I am so happy that I back up with paranoid regularity now.