Due solely to my own indolence and inattention, I dropped my laptop on a concrete floor. Amazingly, it still does its laptop thing (Toshiba Satellite M105-S322)--I think I even jarred loose some dirt from under a refractory Y key. But the disk drive popped out and disconnected from its ribbony link.
Let me show you what an old fashioned guy I am: my first thought was--oh, I've got to take it to a repair shop. And I thought: yeh, right, 60 bucks just to look at it, and then? My next thought was no better: send it back to Toshiba.
It finally dawned on me--wait, do i really need a disk drive? And the answer is: not really. Can't remember the last time I loaded software from a disk. I do watch the odd opera CD--but hey, I do have another (and more heavy duty) laptop, with a working drive. And it finally finally dawned on me--if I really need a disk drive, wouldn't it be cheaper just to buy a portable for, oh, I don't know, apparently as little as 20 bucks.
Still mulling the options, I came home to find my newest computer toy: an Eee Subcompact, less than kilo, responsive right out of the box. An upside: it's Linux and OpenOffice, so I can experiment with life off the Redmond grid. Another upside: a memory slot, so I can finally liberate all those photos on my Treo. A downside: it won't read my high-powered flash drive; guess I will have to hang onto the old steam-powered variety.
Oh and did I mention? No hard drive. But three USB ports, so welcome to the new world.
Oh, and did I mention? I'm writing this on the tiny keyboard. Not really fun for every day, but just fine for travel, which was the whole point anyway.