However, for some reason (possibly a later version of the Bluetooth software with some disimprovement, possibly the new PC running XP rather than 2000, possibly something else random) the transfers failed if I tried to do a multiple selection on the phone, but succeeded if I just sent one at a time.
t__m__i suggested infrared, and that did in fact work (once I had enabled it in the BIOS of course and Googled to see how it worked), and worked out which bit of the phone I had to point at which bit of the PC. Very sloooooooooooooowly, of course.
On the bright side, this is the first time in recorded history I have ever got an infrared transfer to work between two devices. However, rather a lot of combinations of technologies, versions of software and machines have failed to work at all or more than once, or in some crucial fashion.