Thank you, Shawn, for your prompt, proficient, and complete response. Your tutorials are superb, and yet I appreciate your suggestions for which ones are relevant to a particular question. For example, I would not have assumed that a Vista tutorial would also apply to Win 7.
Re Q3 in my original post (#27), using your tutorial (post #29) I learned that 2 triggers are set; one daily at midnight, and one at startup. However, the Conditions tab shows that neither trigger will act unless the computer has been idle for 10 minutes (keeps checking for up to 23 hours) and ac power is plugged in. Between uses I typically put the computer into hibernate mode (without shutdown/startup) and turn off ac power (to prevent battery overcharge), which explains why very few restore points have been saved.
Re Q2, I am pretty sure the manual restore points I created are within the date range of existing restore points, but I do not see any unique names I gave them. I am still puzzled by that.
One other question; I tried to insert a window snapshot in my original post, but was unsuccessful. A URL appeared, but not the graphic. It works for me in documents and presentations. You and others have inserted those within posts. Any suggestions?