Well, the unthinkable happened -- my hard drive developed a logic error, forcing me to reformat the whole shebang and reinstall everything.
Here's a tip for you cats -- get a Dropbox account and store your important files on it. You get two gigabytes of storage for free and the thing is easy to set up and use locally. The importance of Dropbox is this -- when your computer flakes out on you, at least you can recover your important files (the ability to access your files from virtually anywhere you have an Internet connection is important, too).
At any rate, I was surprised to see my hard drive on my netbook die because I've only had this nifty little computer for a year. Rather than go back to Windows XP, I decided to try something new -- Ubuntu Linux. Here's what I've learned -- Linux isn't scary, weird, limited or anything else. It just works and works very well.
You can read all about my adventures with Linux here.