I tend to use my computers until I have literally killed them. Upon getting back home from Ohio, I apparently did just that to my wonderful Dell. Not that I am complaining, the thing was going on 6 years old after all.
My wife doesn't understand these things as well, unfortunately. Her first comment was "what's wrong with your computer that wasn't wrong with it before we left for vacation?", which I couldn't answer at first. But thanks to Dell's web site and the indicator lights they have for errors, I found out that my ram wasn't being recognized... an easy fix IF Dell hadn't chosen to put RAMBUS memory in their computers back when I bought this one.
After diagnosing the problem and not getting the computer to boot at all, I checked some prices on ram from my laptop... I then immediately called a friend to find out how much it would cost to build a new computer. Yes, for the just a little more than the RAMBUS would have cost, I have a brand new Core2duo PC that screams.
More importantly, my wife has a new 19" LCD instead of the old 17" CRT she was using, so she is happy too! :^)