That was quite an adventure there. I've had my fair share of the "changing of the laptop" over the last couple of years. The one I had when I first moved to Washington I had for a couple of years and it was a low-end laptop; good enough for browsing, great for word processing, but horrible for games that required more than just moving a card from one place to another. So I "upgraded" to a newer model. It wasn't really an upgrade, just more of the same that I was dealing with just with a different exterior, so back to Walmart it went and I dropped another $150 on top of what I already paid for something better.
Was it better? Meh, just enough for me to be satisfied with it for a couple of years. It did great until one day I noticed certain tasks were taking longer. My first thought was malware! I threw everything I had short of formatting the hard drive at it and nothing changed. I stepped it up to checking for spyware, and possibly a virus. Nothing really changed. I started combing the registry (for those not familiar, it's a whole lot of looking for something that you know shouldn't be there. Truth be told I really shouldn't have done it myself) and came up with nothing so one day I rebooted the computer and went into the boot menu. The hard drive was the source of the issue, and by that point I was out of warranty. Went and bought a Chromebook, not realizing what it was and that transaction lived for about two hours when I realized what I couldn't do with it so back it went. That brought me to my present laptop which handles browsing great, word processing is a breeze, and it can actually play AAA title games from a few years back without much of a problem, modern games? Not so much, but not a deal breaker for me.
The free host idea for examples is a good option I think. Just a means of showing what you've done so far sounds great. Thank you for updating us on your current goings on.