Thank you everyone for your response to my cri du coeur about my computer. The problem isn't yet resolved, but I'm confident that the end is in sight. I hope I responded individually to everyone who wrote - if not, I apologise. This is mainly to say I have several names I can call on to help so there's no need to offer if you haven't already! Of course, if you'd like to write to comment on my stories, that would make me very happy!
Don't worry that I'm lacking a machine to work on; I have a perfectly functioning (if small) new laptop and a desktop. It's just that I want to try Linux in order to escape the clutches of Microsoft!