Just before I went to bed, owing to some freak of nature the laptop fell off the table. It's only a small table, so the laptop survived undamaged. But wouldn't it just land on the side with the PCMCIA cards. For a fair while it looked like my ethernet dongle was kaputt, but after half an hour of fiddling it's now functioning again (though I can't help feeling it could break again at the slightest provocation).
It's only a week since I acquired an identical PC card for the other laptop from someone on ox.for-sale, so I wouldn't have been entirely cut off, but it's irritating nonetheless.
(Of course, I'm too cheap to go out and buy a new dongle-less one, which would be the best solution.)