So I tried rebooting. Five times.
Same error message.
Went on Symantec's website and there's a FAQ section dedicated to this problem (should I be surprised?) but none of their fixes work, not to mention the fact that it won't even talk to me unless I'm in Internet Explorer, which I kind of resent. So I wound up reinstalling the Norton software. In theory it's a reinstall = new install = it should have asked me for a product key - but it didn't - and now I don't know whether I've actually installed it properly or whether two weeks from now I'm going to get a snotty message that my Norton is expired or something like that. ARGH.
And then that seems to have shorted out other stuff cos I kept on going to sites where passwords should have been "remembered" by the computer and, well, weren't. Current mood: somewhat annoyed.
Then I went out and had my hair done (by Mom, who thinks that nobody else can do my hair the way she can, so I let her, sometimes. It gives her pleasure and hey, it DOES look good afterwards...). Then drove home, and picked up a parcel from Powell's in Oregon which proved to contain about seventeen thousand individually wrapped little parcels for me that went under the Christmas tree. Things are quite festive chez nous, right now, actually, with the tree buried up to its withers in parcels - that's because I collect stuff throughout the year and then wrap the most idiotic little things, just so that there will be parcels under the tree. I LIKE parcels under the tree [grin]
Okay, I'm slightly mollified after the dramas of this morning, but I'm still not happy with not knowing what the hell happened.
(Hey, CHARLIE STROSS... would you care to come visit...? [grin])