The operation was a success! and the patient didn't die!
I now have a very sturdy birch plywood top to where the swivel used to be on the old animation desk. The top and 'ears' are disassembled and waiting to be reconfigured on metal shelves that rest next to the wooden desk (which is uncharacteristically standing on end in preparation for the move.) It makes an attractive sculpture and will be a very nice computer desk. Two neat holes have been cut in the rear of the top shelf section to allow free passage of the mare's nest of cables one needs to set up this system.
And I got a floor plan for the apartment that gives accurate measurements for the rooms--the desk will fit, and there's room for a small shelf that will hold the computer tower and backup system. The fit will be Snug, but it will be a better use of space than the much larger room I'm moving it out of.
I had a crazy conversation with Bill Matthews about my new place. It seems that Bill, who was one of the founders of the Sheridan animation program in 1967, lived in that very building, and on the same floor, while working to get the program started. We have ascertained that we are not sharing the same apartment, albeit at different points in time.
Now this might sound like Synergy, Serendipity, or oogie boogie magic, but in fact there is a simple explanation. The Devonshire apartments are a good deal nicer looking than the unit across the street, which also dates from the late Sixties. There are very few apartment buildings in Oakville. The ones near the college now probably did not exist then. And the Devonshire is wonderfully located; the bus is right outside the door, it's five minutes from the train station, and within walking distance to the library, a pool, a cultural centre, and the lake. It would be a logical choice for someone who didn't want to drive too much but still keep a short distance between themselves and work.
But it is a rather remarkable coincidence all the same.