Well, I finally managed to co-ordinate with my friends and get my computer to the shop today. It will take at least a week and 1/2 before they can even look at it to see what's wrong though. It could be worse, I could be completely devoid of internet, so I won't complain too much.
I will continue to post periodically and pop in where I can and comment. Keep your fingers crossed that this old baby still has the gumption to keep going.
Have a good day all.