Woops, I've bolloxed it.
I think it may have been a virus. About 3 weeks ago I was flooded with some trojans that came in on the back of a spurious activex control masquerading as something quite legitimate. AVG picked 4 up immediately and killed them to death but I think one may have escaped and done nasty things to the laptop's innards. As soon as I can afford it I will have the machine eviscerated and the hard disk swept but for the time being I'm stuffed. Please somebody go and shoot Bill Gates and do the world a favour. If anyone thinks I'm important enough to send emails to you'd better do it via my yahoo account which is at (standard email address disguising conventions apply):
operator073 at yahoo.co.uk
The next person who justifies virus writers by saying they're doing everyone a service by getting companies to tighten up security, just ask yourself the following question and then go and play on the West Coast Mainline: just who is the threat?
See you soon.