Don't be alarmed -- we're all okay. My car didn't crash this past weekend, but my formerly-trusty Toshiba laptop did. There I was, innocently reading my Yahoo email, when all of a sudden the poor thing went into a sort of infinite loop. It shut down, then booted as far as the initial Windows screen, then shut down again, then started over.
The restore disc that came with the laptop seems to have disappeared into a black hole, so I'm awaiting a new one from Toshiba. I did try to do a clean install of XP from my other full copy, but it didn't work.
What's the worst that could happen? I don't think my hard drive is shot -- the boot sectors have been corrupted somehow, and I'll lose my installed programs and settings when I do a restore operation. Most of my data is on the external drive, and the rest is online and recoverable (such as the files for my Web site). Sucks, though. It will takes ages to reinstall all those applications.
What's the good news in all of this? Well, I've been forced by circumstance to make better friends with my lovely new MacBook Pro. I never quite "moved in" to the new machine after I bought it last summer -- I had planned to move all of the stuff from my Toshiba onto its Windows partition eventually -- but now I'm living on the MacBook and discovering all of the Massively Cool things OS X has to offer. I've been a Mac fan since the mid-'80s, but four years of PC and UNIX only caused me to forget how much fun the Mac really is.
I've been playing with iWeb, created my very first photocast, and in general having a pretty rockin' time of it.