Then we had a traumatic half an hour or so because G's computer just wouldn't switch on. He'd said yesterday that it had gone off without warning, but it did come back on again. This morning it was utterly dead.
Fortunately G is working on a website, so everything had been uploaded to the server, so the first thing was to fire up the little laptop and download a backup of the current project. Stress and grumpiness from G because I had had the laptop set up to log in to my email etc, but we quickly sorted that out. Things were becoming a little calmer now we knew the work was rescued and we discussed options. Googling revealed there is a computer repair shop about 35 minutes drive away and my computer is identical and could be cannibalised for parts. (It was the hard drive that was failing on my computer, it seemed to be the switch that had gone on G's.)
We unplugged the computer and, mostly just to tried to eliminate possible problems, I suggested trying the power cable from my old computer. Miraculously, the computer then showed signs of life and, after a few failed attempts, it came on properly. I don't think there was anything wrong with the original power cable, but the action of plugging a replacement in must have nudged a loose connection or something. Anyway, more backups have been copied to the external drives and I can hear G printing something out now.
We therefore decided that there was no point in trying to repair his machine, which was bought at exactly the same time as mine and is therefore 7 years old. So I'll browse through the options later and we'll order a new one, keeping our fingers crossed that the computer will keep going for a few days more, but worst case scenario is that he can use the laptop.
Oh, and the third item of bad news... Having got the computer switched on, while waiting for backups to copy, G was browsing the news and discovered that the college where we used to work has had a member of staff test positive for covid-19. I have heard of a few local cases during the pandemic, but not anyone I knew personally. Fortunately the Welsh class that starts next week is being held online via Microsoft Teams, but the college is less than 10 minutes walk away, so the virus is feeling rather too close for comfort.