This has got to be the highest-tech blog entry typed on a lo-tech machine EVAR!
Thanks Richard. I like to think of myself as a big-tent retrotechnician.
the problem you describe could be a problem with your local network (ie: the boxes and wires between your computer and the router). Have you recently hooked up anything new to your LAN? When this exact problem happened with me, I traced it to a switch that was malfunctioning. Replaced that and the problem vanished.
Ted - we did introduce a new (old) laptop hand-me-down but nothing out of the ordinary. The problem is effecting all our devices - a desktop plugged in via ethernet cable, a desktop connected via wifi, and three different wireless laptops. The router is less than a year old but I suppose we could call Comcast to order another one. When I get some motivation I'll plug that desktop directly into the modem and see if it makes a difference.