Turns out, I need to set aside my Microsoft conspiracy theory.
My faithful old laptop (well over 10 years old, which I guess in the world of technology makes it a cousin to Methuselah) was just waving an arm as it sank under the onslaught of updates it was too ancient to handle.
This afternoon I'm meeting with the tech people at our local computer shop to discuss what the new member of our family of computers will have. As long as it can deal with words - lots of words - and get me to the internet, I'll be happy. (Not particularly happy, however, at the unexpected expense).
So for now I'll be posting from my iPad, an awkward and tedious process.