That said, it's still Windows.
For the past six months or so, our desktop machine has been succumbing to Bit Rot. It's taken many forms. The thing runs mostly slowly, mostly because as our lives have become more complex, we've simply gotten used to running more programs all the time, and we don't have enough memory. (No, I don't think there's any spyware on this machine, unless you count AIM as spyware. Which is a perfectly reasonable viewpoint, mind, but it's probably not the primary source of our problems.) Somewhere along the line, the network stack has gotten... cranky. When I reboot the machine, it often goes into a mode where the network is hung, deep in the kernel, for a Very Long Time, and all network-based programs (that is, most of what we run) sit there and hang until it all wakes up again.
Today was the final straw, though, and it's the hardware that pushes it over the edge. I rebooted, and got an ominous message from the BIOS saying, essentially, "The main hard drive on this computer is dangerously unstable, and may fail soon. Please back up the machine and change hard drives." Ooookay. I've been thinking it might be time for a new machine, anyway, and this seems to be a sign that I'm right.
So this weekend's project (aside from Cirque and party and such) is configuring a new computer. This should be amusing. I don't even *know* what all the programs we've installed on the old machine are any more, and I expect lots of fun and games as I try to get all the idiosyncracies Just Right. That said, it gives me a nice opportunity to start clean, and upgrade all the things that have been waiting for an excuse. (Eg, upgrading from a very old version of Mozilla to a current Firefox/Thunderbird combination, and replacing all the IM clients with GAIM.) It'll be fun, modulo all the swearing. Installing a new machine, I suspect, is not so very unlike dealing with a new horse, right down to cleaning out the stables...