I got a phone call just before 5 yesterday afternoon from the window man, saying he had slot free today and as luck would had it my windows had arrived and was I free and if so could they come and fit them today. I'd originally been planning to take the day off when they came to do the fitting, but at such short notice and with Dom on a RIPE course today and Simon in London for an install I didn't really feel I could do that. However it worked out ok; I spent the morning working in the kitchen (after realising that a) I have a laptop, b) I have a wireless card and c) I have a wireless network in my house. Doh!) while they worked upstairs, and then I moved upstairs after lunch. All in all the process was pretty painless, aside from having to make sure I was up and dressed before they arrived. And now I have nice new windows at the back of the house rather than old wooden ones I'm worried about falling out.
And all that means that soon I get to buy a new laptop so time to do some more research and talk to Matthew the God of Laptops about what's likely to be hassle free under Linux. I shall corner him at the Debian UK BBQ tomorrow.