For those who were kind enough to inquire about my laptop drama, here's an update. After being told my old hard drive (on my 2009 Asus with Windows 7) had been wrecked and my (unbacked-up) data would require a costly forensic recovery, I ended up buying a new Hewlett-Packard number. Just as I decided I could not tolerate this number -- 8, as in the bafflingly awful new Windows 8 -- and learned I could return the computer withing 30 days of purchase, I then went to the Apple store in the Meatpacking District. While I'm not a big Mac fan, I figured if I was going to have to make a change anyway, I might as well switch to something I am familiar with. (My first computer was a Mac, and I worked on one at the New York Times for many years.) But then just as I was about to shell out a couple grand for the MacBook Pro, I found the Windows 7 recovery disk stashed away in my desk, then found out my Asus could be salvaged by simply buying a new hard drive, which I did. (I'm blogging on my "old" computer now!) I'm gonna try to return the HP laptop tomorrow -- if my track record is any indication, something will go horribly wrong -- and then begin the process of trying to recover my photos, videos and music. Most of the music is stuff I ripped from my CD collection, and photos from before 2008 or so are backed up on an old external hard drive. But everything from 2009 on is definitely something I want to go after, although the (up to) $1,600 price quote I heard from one guy has me questioning just how important those memories really are.