I spent most of Monday trying to get my PC to talk to my ancient (2003 series 2) iPod (battery totally dead and won't hold a charge) without the official sync/charge usb cable. I'm fairly sure the cable is on the boat. I did manage to get the two communicating just long enough for iTunes to wipe everything from the iPod before telling me it couldn't sync as there was no device on the USB port. I ordered a new 'classic'(silver) and resigned myself to keeping the old iPod as a wall ornament.
No sooner had I paid my dosh to Apple when the ancient i-pod suddenly re-appeared in iTunes and a full sync happened, I can keep it plugged permanently into my Altec Lancing speakers and use the new one as my travelling companion.
One problem solved and another one worsened.
Since returning from France, my two-year-old Dell laptop (which remained in the UK) started behaving strangely - frequent 'freezes', refusal to shut down, and no access to 'Task Manager'. After a whole day of getting nowhere with cache clearing, disc check, full virus scan, and abortive attempts at de-fragging on Monday, I contacted the help chat at Microsoft early on Tuesday morning.
To cut a long story short, I was taken through the prescribed diagnosis route (with an hour's break for lunch at 2pm) when what I wanted was someone to answer my questions about why I couldn't access task manager. On returning from lunch, I found that the malware scan (provided by Microsoft support) had found about 10 viruses that my earlier scans had failed to find. Having removed them from the laptop, it booted up correctly and seems to be working OK. Had it not done so, we would have moved on to letting Microsoft have access to the laptop so that the 'expert' could fix it remotely.
I later checked online for the most common cause of task manager failure - yup virus.
By six o'clock, I was so knackered and stressed that I almost decided not to go to singing group. And then I remembered how relaxing singing is - and went - and it was - very (relaxing).
ETA 13:01 Laptop problem was not solved. Have now lost access to support technician and am running a hardware test on the Vostro as per Dell techical support instructions. Aaaaaaargh - need another singing session and advice as to which OS to buy should everything fail to solve the problems.