Due to the UTTER TIME_SUCKING STUPIDITY of installing Civ IV last night, I have discovered that my audio and video cards* are not up to snuff. I can still play, but I have to turn the audio off to SAVE MY SANITY. At any rate, I think this means asking for $$ to either upgrade or get a new computer for Christmas.
Now I need to work out whether I want to upgrade, or get a new one. Upgrading: my computer's a frankenstein anyway and I can purchase and install various bits and pieces myself. Pro: cheapest option, plus I can keep using my current software and hardware. (the scanner MUST still be useful, and I am very leery of trying to use any other OS than the Win2K I've got right now.)
New one: I can get a laptop! I can actually take the thing to cons and not panic abut not getting enough prints! I can hook into wireless networks! I can set up my own and go sit on the couch to surf the Web! Cons: EXPENSIVE. I'd have to either make sure I got one that my ancient scanner** would work with, which I am not optimistic about, or I'd have to keep my old computer on a LAN and use it to scan.
* 5 years old. I'm not surprised they're getting obsolete, I'm just surprised they've lasted this long.
** This is an Epson 836XL. It is a large bed professional-level scanner. They do not make them of this quality for the consumer market anymore. No scanner I can pay less than $1500 for will make scans of the quality this one does. Buying a new one is Not An Option.