OK, so I’ve upgraded the hard drive in my primary laptop and rebuilt it from scratch. It’s running *much* better now. Software that has more or less refused to work is working. The weird, intermittent slow-downs haven’t re-appeared so far.
And I just left a comment on Eaton Rapids Joe’s blog! Miracles will never cease.
Everything application-wise is as close to what it was as I can remember, only I left a lot of applications off. Sort of a habit, not installing something after a re-install unless I know for sure I’ll need it soon. Other apps can come on as needed, if needed. I’m one of the worst for downloading stuff, using in a couple of times then never using it again. That’s a very Bad Habit these days.