I went to Sam's Club yesterday to get an external hard drive for a backup. On the clearance table was an HP computer with 7GB of RAM, significantly more than the 1GB I currently have. It was Vista, not Windows 7, but since I currently use Vista, I don't mind.
So now I have an external hard drive and a new computer, and I'm working on porting all my "stuff" over.
Update, 9/6/10: So I spent a lot of time yesterday doing a backup of the old computer and then setting up the new computer. An idea I had several years ago sure came into play--I had a folder called "Transfer files for a new computer", in which I stored installation files for the software I use. Moved that folder over, ran each of the programs, and voila! My "Program Files" folder started filling with software.
I also learned how to copy over the important web browser and email files, so that when I fired those programs up, everything was there: saved emails, mail filters, account settings, web bookmarks, etc. I made a text file explaining how to do these things and stuck that text file in my new "Transfer files for a new computer" folder.
I started deleting personal files off the old computer, and after awhile it started to get sluggish--and when I say sluggish, I mean sluggish--so I rebooted it. It wouldn't start up again, just like on Friday.
Good thing I responded so rapidly and aggressively to Friday's problem.