Short update tonight, Dave and Alyssa are coming over in a bit, and we're going to try our hands at making a chocolate fondue.
Anyway, I think my laptop is totally borked. File accesses are slow, windows explorer seems buggy and obnoxious. SVN has stopped working entirely, giving me errors about how files are locked, or how it can't create a folder that already exists, or other garbage like that. I've been trying to avoid having to do a complete system reinstall until after the semester was over, but it's looking inevitable at this point. I only hope that these aren't symptoms of a larger hardware problem (old drive syndrom is a real possibility, I suppose). I could afford to replace the HDD if I needed to, but let's all hope it doesn't come to that.
I'm planning to do the reinstall, or at least to start serious planning for it, on Sunday night. I have to figure out what software I need to reinstall, what files I need to backup (and I need to find a reliable destination to back it up to). I know that I have current versions of my thesis backed up already, in several separate locations, so I'm not worried about losing that. However, i'm not looking forward to the multi-hour reinstall process for the design software that my thesis requires: MATLAB, Xilinx ISE, and Xilinx System Generator, among others. The last two in that list are only available as downloads, are over a gigabyte each (and the ISE requires an additional gigabyte update file, that also can only be downloaded), and that alone is going to take the better part of a day.
If it weren't for the fact that I needed MATLAB and Xilinx, I might have used this as an opportunity to make the switch to Linux. I'm decently sure that a MATLAB port for Linux is available (my thesis relies on functionality which is sadly not available in Octave), but I don't know if Xilinx is. I'll look into it, but I think that my timeline is too short right now to do the proper research.