Having said that, Morgans are selling Dell 1250C colour lasers with two sets of recycled cartridges for about £100, and the cartridges are relatively cheap - about £15 a shot if you only buy one at a time, cheaper if you get more. They seem to have good reviews, and they're small enough to be a second printer within the constraints of my available space. I'm not going to buy one now, but there's no urgency - I think I may treat myself as a birthday present in a couple of months, if the situation doesn't change drastically first.
On the network drive front it looks like the hard disk itself is faulty, which is pretty much what I thought. It's spinning up but appears not to want to read. That should probably be my more urgent priority. It looks like I can get a 500gb IDE drive for £50-ish, but as I said last week, it might be a better idea to look at a more modern drive housing that uses multiple SATA drives.
What's confusing me about several of the drive systems I've looked at is that they seem to require software running on the PC, rather than simply mapping a drive at the PC end. The snag here is that I want something to use with Windows, OSX 10.4 (my ibook won't run anything later), and Linux, and possibly other systems at a later date. Is this software essential?