Lut thought we should try looking at software solutions first, though there's one problem that I know is hardware: it won't restart. Ever. Hit the reset button, it turns itself off. Use the Windoze restart function, it turns itself off. Even more annoying, I can't manually turn it back on for a minimum of 30 seconds after it's powered itself off. If I try, it'll start to boot for three seconds, then power down again. I have to just let it sit for a while, then try.
Anyway, Lut found me a free word processor to replace Word: AbiWord, which is tres cool. It's opensource freeware designed to look almost identical to MS Word. Like MS Word, it spellchecks on the fly by doing the little red underlining thing, which I like because I hate running a spellcheck function and clicking 'Add word' or 'ignore' for the umpteen bazillion letter combinations I intentionally use and which its feeble dictionary doesn't contain. (For the record AbiWord thinks 'umpteen' is a word, but 'bazillion' and 'AbiWord' are not. Heh). It doesn't do grammar checking, which is fine with me because a computer program's idea of grammar drives me nuts.
Equally important, AbiWord has a word count function, which is essential to my Master Plan for writing my novel. (85 pages and counting!) At first I thought it didn't, because MS Word puts the word count under a 'properties' selection on the File menu. But Abi puts it under the Tools menu as 'Word Count', which makes more sense anyway. I am happy.
But my computer was not. It crashed last night while I was playing WC3. After that, I went through and downloaded all the 'critical updates' for Windoze XP, then went back to WC3. It crashed again. (This is doing nothing for my already sinking win-loss ratio, btw). On this crash, Lut finally managed to catch enough of the Blue Screen of Death to get to the part where it cites the problem file. (I've gotten a Blue Screen of Death three times now, filled with 'what to do if you get this more than once' instructions, which I'm sure would be very helpful if the computer didn't power itself down within 30 seconds of displaying it.) The file cited turned out to be a video driver. Lut found one that was more current (by a whole day) and downloaded it last night. So. Maybe it'll be working better today. *crosses fingers*