Thanks guys. First, I think the power supply was an issue (no light, no sound, tried multiple plugs) and it was replaced by a Staples Antec $50 by a techie at a garage sale (he had another power supply, but the cables were too short, so he put in the Antec I had in the car for an install charge that was folded into my garage sale purchases). So I saw the process, it was a warm outdoor day. Not really apprentice-level, (ok, maybe apprentice level but not my level) .. which describes maybe a memory install. There can be lots of little tricks and problems. After it was installed the front light went on, the fan purred, but the system was still essentially dead.
Meanwhile I went out and got an excellent $100 XP system from Craigslist just in case, I thought maybe the motherboard or processor was fried (not likely to be the disk, since there was no disk error msg) and my external disks do not like to be read by a Windows 7 puter.
Then I brought it into the local Korean shop, with a Spanish gal who was techie and customer service and they found that my 2 512-mg memories were shot (maybe from the surge) but my 2 2-gb were fine, the 512's were not even being used because of addressing issues on 32 bit. They were the residue from when I upgraded the memory. They pulled out the 512s and all was fine and only charged me the $40 diagnostic fee and I wrote up the shop (Gatecom) very positively on the Yahoo review thing. Total time, 2 hours from drop off to pickup.
So learned a lot, back online, and I have a spare puter.