154 emails later, and all my files from my dead laptop are now at lease on my iBook as text in an email. It was sucky that I could not read them off the disc I had them saved on, but at least the text is not lost. The chore now will be to get them converted into files again from the emails and then getting them backed up in the new format.
Oh, and then to get more recent stuff workable, and then to be actually working again. On new stuff.
I have a 3o day free trial of MS Office for Mac which basically gives me Word. I am not sure if i should even be using it, though from what I can understand from the licensing agreement, the files created or altered while using the free trial will still be accessible after the free trial if I elect to decline purchase. I wonder how much it is.