The Mini is back, with a new hard drive. With any luck, that will solve the problems I've been having. I had backed up the stuff that was on the iPod last time, so I got my entire music library shifted back, simply by slamming it back from the external HD. Now it's busy downloading my daughter's purchased music from iTunes - it turns out that Apple does have the capability built into iTunes. That makes her happy, and I'll set up cron jobs to keep everything safe.