I started writing this post yesterday afternoon.
My fantabulous laptop is pooping out on me. Since it's a refurbished machine, it's no longer under warranty. E-machines tech support were able to tell me immediately that the problem is the CPU fan - I suspect this is not an unprecedented case.
The symptoms: the computer gets very hot very quickly, then shuts itself off as a safety precaution. Which would be acceptable were there any warning involved, such as "the system has detected a problem and needs to shut down. Please close all applications."
This message, however, does not appear. The machine simply stops altogether. On a good day, presumably when there's good air circulation and low humidity or something, I can work for a couple of hours before this becomes a problem. Unfortunately, the AC here at work is automatically shut off at the beginning of September, so even with my office window open all the time, the air gets warm in here.
I've spoken to a recommended techie out in Sherbrooke, who has since reported that he thinks he can get the required part(s), and that he thinks he can take a look at the machine and give me an estimate next week.
Suffice it to say that posting will be sporadic, given that I have to make hay while the sun shines (in other words, make essay questions and grammar quizzes while the computer is up).