Semi good news
So far nothing has really worked to get my computer up and running. This afternoon, we headed to the local tech store and picked up an adapter for the hard drive. I removed the hard drive from my computer and hooked it up to J's laptop. Nothing. The drive did spin up but there was no recognition. Disconnected it and tried another hard drive from another desktop. That one not only spun up, the laptop also recognized it and we were able to access the files. When we tried hooking up my hard drive up again, it refused to power on. So now we're going with the last ditch resort of putting it in the freezer to see if that will help.
The upside of all of this is I did find a back-up from August of last year. I checked that disk and the good news is I did have presence of mind to back up all of my iTunes music (also available on my iPod), all of my stories, resumes, and tax information to the CD. I've probably lost some data and email, but eh. What can I do? I just need to be more dilligent about backing up, especially given the age of the computer. But the story I was worried about -- the sequel to Fugue in Blue Minor -- is indeed on my disk so WHEW! (of course, I haven't worked on it since March 2009, but at least I don't have to start on it from scratch).
Oh and it goes without saying that there will be no website updates until I figure out what to do about the software etc. I'm using J's laptop for now, but at some point, I'm going to have to get another solution.