Serious problems with my very old and partially scrungled ubuntu server finally forced me to upgrade both server and wordpress. So far so good; the new server is much more stable, and a couple of functions that were broken on the old wordpress site are now working. Still making the switch, just put the old web pages back.
Main wordpress change that any readers out there will see is in the permalinks, which I have changed to year/month/title links. Tried to get this to work on the old site, and failed repeatedly, to my great frustration. Turns out this was due to the default apache config file on ubuntu, which sets the /var/www directory to AllowOverride None. This not only shuts off mod_rewrite, it tells apache to ignore all .htaccess files. To get mod_rewrite working, you must set this to AllowOverride FileInfo.
Now able to schedule posts on wordpress; this was also broken on the old server.
This kind of stuff is not what I expected to do when I got a degree in literature.