Well, so far, two whiny crises have been averted. My laptop was delivered after all (after losing it for a while, they found it on the truck after all), and I seem to have Cable Internet back. While all this time, COX moron techs said it was some stupid-ass thing on my end... let's just say that when I got connectivity, the whole Gateway, Netmask, and IP range were totally different. I suspect they made some changes, and sort of neglected to ... fix things downstream. And I changed nothing. But the modem, which wasn't the problem, as I knew. But they made such a damn fuss to "register" the damn thing, there's no point in returning it now. I'll just be in the same BS loop as before, I'm sure. :(
I haven't gotten to open my new laptop. It sits in a box by the stairs.