AWR apparently managed to retrieve the floppy disk from the laptop and was able to run the programs for the next meeting on Tuesday, for which apparently they called for a Solaris machine (to run the system from AWR's account on the network). Apparently for a short time there was the sight of four professors of computing science none of whom knew how to get the system up and running, but the meeting seems to have gone well regardless and the final figures were agreed upon (which involved different figures from the Mathematics department but unchanged figures from Computing, except in that one or two scripts were reassessed). On Wednesday I got an email marked URGENT asking how to generate the reports for colleges, but in fact I'd already told AWR about that the previous night. Anyway I think that's all been brought to a successful conclusion. But now we have Moderations to contend with (and it would be useful if smallclanger would either arrive now or delay until he/she is actually due, so that I don't get called out of any more meetings <g>).
Oh, I do still have to write up the documentation for the system (purists will of course accuse me of doing things in the wrong order).
The ThinkPad T40 which died has apparently now been replaced by the retailer with uncharacteristic swiftness. But the laptop's owner is leaving for Australia on Saturday, and the person who normally does all our installs is at some kind of Microsoft conference in Barcelona until Monday. I'm told that CCT has stepped in and done the necessary software installation, leaving the laptop as a Windows-only machine [it was originally to be Windows/Linux dual boot]. I offered to come in and install Red Hat, but CCT said it was better to have a known working system than try to tinker in limited time and have me potentially being called out half way through the job. The laptop's owner has already said he'd much rather have a Windows laptop than no laptop.