I finally managed to convince the phone company that yes, there was something wrong with my POTS line, and they graciously (HAH!) rectified the problem. The trouble was either in the drop or the NID, but I don’t know which. They fixed it on Thursday.
Today, my new computer arrived, but it was ice-cold from being in the back of the UPS truck for God knows how long, and I let it sit in my living room for a few hours waiting for it to assume room temperature. I just got it hooked up, and it’s about seven orders of magnitude better than the stone-axe I was using since the last one blew up.
Now I can annoy you people 24 hours a day. Ain’t you lucky?
My next step is to return to my private war with my carrier over DSL availability. Wish me luck.