Due to frustration at technology that is not as "plug and play" as it claims to be, and due to a blue screen of death "line stack error," or some such thing, on the laptop, the retirement of the desktop will have to wait. I will just deal with the grinding noise coming from the chassis.
I am seriously considering asking some of the techie guys from work over one weekend day, paying them each $100 plus lunch, and asking them to set me up a real network, with wireless and everything. It's what I'd end up paying the Comcast guy to do it, I'm sure. I may wait until I buy the new computer, though, and do it all at once.