So after a few years of putting up with DSL, because I am a little slow on the uptake sometimes, I finally got cable internet today. The only reason I realized that my former ISP (a) had one-tenth the speed of cable and (b) cost twice as much was that it went out, then in, then out, then in .... so I said screw it and found an alternative.
But in the first I am sure of many installments regarding customer service, Comcast scheduled installation for this morning between 8 and 10. At 11, I called, and the computer told me that my appointment was for 10:30 to 12:30. Okay. At 12:35 I called and got a person - to their credit - who spoke something very much like my language and she told me the install guy was running late. Once he did show up (only 10 minutes later), he was pretty quick and thorough, despite having what appeared to be prison tattoos.
So, that fixes the desktop. My laptop was in the shop for a week, and for $40 they told me the hard drive had failed, although it can boot up and load the safe mode introduction screen. For a mere $355 more, they say they can fix it and retrieve my files. I sought a second opinion and will be attempting a life-saving procedure myself in the next few days. That porn on there was free to begin with and it's going to stay that way.