Today, we took the old computer (with J's old hard drive installed in it), the monitor, keyboard and mouse to the Salvation Army and donated it. With J's old hard drive in it now, it works -- just needs to be reformatted etc., and I figure it'll be a good machine for someone who is looking for very basic applications. We assured the Salvation Army that it was in working condition and hopefully they can find someone who can make use of it. I also thought it might be good to take apart and rebuild for a computer technology training class. Either way, it felt better to take the computer to the Salvation Army than to the electronics recycling center. It was easier to part with my old "buddy", knowing there was a possibility of another life for it out there. The electronics recycling center would have meant an inglorious end in a Chinese landfill for a trusty machine.
I've begun the slow process of transferring documents to the new computer from a collection of back-up CDs and also from the laptop, where most of my pictures from recent travels are stored. On the upside, it looks like the damage from the hard drive failure is minimal. In other words, I didn't lose as much as I thought I had and I do have documents going all the way back to 2003 saved here and there. So that's the good news. I also have some of my iTunes backed up, but not all of it. So hopefully I can pull the music off the iPod itself. As soon as I get everything situated, I'm looking forward to doing two things I haven't done in a while: writing and editing! So much easier on the desktop than the laptop, that's for sure!