After being down for several months, this blog is alive again, however, in the interests of saving energy, I won’t leave my computer up 24/7.
This time, I dumped xampp in favor of intalling all the components myself. Those components include Apache 2.2.13, Mysql 5.0.5, PHP 5.3.0 and PHPMyAdmin 188.8.131.52. Fortunately, I had backed up my databases and was able to import them into MySQL. I learned that it is not the database that is saved, just the tables so you create the WordPress db first, then import the tables. Also, the whole thing uses whatever new password you established for logging into MySQL.
The big bummer is that I still can’t get mail to work. I left a message on the WordPress plugins forum: http://wordpress.org/support/topic/305256