In other news, I started a DVD (Princess Bride *g*) at 8:30, and only got 30 minutes through it before getting utterly frustrated with the hissing noise and intermittant speaker loss I was experiencing. After hours of studying the problem, downloading drivers and basically mucking about with anything that could be mucked, In a fit of "it's so crazy it just might work," I discovered that one of the speaker jacks had to be connected to the integratedish sound card, while the other had to be connected to the computer's main line-out.
I may not feel brilliant at the moment, but I've got Vivaldi, crystal-clear 3-D stereo sound, no hefty fines to pay, no points and a quick round of UT calling my name.
I will play catch-up later. I hope any storms you might be experiencing give way to clear sailing in the near future... and if your seas are calm, sail on and enjoy the ride, my friends :)