I would also say go for the mp3. Problem with digital radio, si they lose signal very easily when moving, so unless you run on the spot or get a very expensive one, you'll get annoyed very quickly with dropped signals and retuning.
I have 3 laptops (different spec for home, work and play) and all three cost less than £1000. You could even get mobile broadband for about £30 a month from somewhere like carphone warehouse and get a free laptop.
I have garmin software on my pc at work and had no problems getting the software on, I just had problems getting the downloaded data from the watch, as the files on the work pc are not named 'normally' and so the data got itself lost.
You like gadgets, but you're running win98 on dial up? I know newer is not always better, just look at Vista - but XP runs rings round 98.
If you are more interested in what the watch can do byitself, can't you beg, borrow or steal broadband connection for a time to get downloads, updates etc? Win98 shouldn't be a problem for doing the basics though.
The chocolate cake is very good, it tastes like chocolate cake that needs an extra spoon of sugar, as it is not overly sweet. very gentle on the stomach, and one tin makes a cake that will do you for 3 races if you cut and freeze it. I would recommend it certainly.
I lost big toenails a couple of times now after marathons, and don't think they were caused by socks. They are more usually becuase of ill-fitting toebox of trainers so your toe hits front of shoe on every foot strike, I don't think baggy or tight socks would prevent this.
Blisters again are a mixed result of socks and shoes. If the shoes are not perfect fit they will rub against your sock which will in turn rub the skin. My trainers all fit perfect now and I have recently run in 'normal' everyday socks from next (having forgot my hilly twin skins) and have run with no socks at all, with no problem.