I've had fairly good experiences with CFL bulbs, it's interesting to see how many people have had much more negative ones. I guess I've been lucky.
Anyhow, for me, the "picture" exists, but it's more tactile than visual. There are visual aspects, but it's not how I process most of the information. Loops are spinning wheels when they don't have a clear exit condition, and feel like unrolled spirals when they're "for" loops going over specific ranges. Algorithms seem like they have a size/weight, which corresponds to my idea of how quickly they'll run on a given set of data (although it's not always accurate, yet).
If I don't remember how a section of code works internally, it feels hollow, and when I read the code, it's like looking inside the black-box. If I change something outside the box, I feel the domino effect, and when it hits the box, I need to look inside to see what'll fall over. I can also feel like threading some string through the eye of a needle, when I'm running some value up through a class hierarchy, or something.
I think that the important insight is that a lot of us become very skilled at constructing mental models of what we're working with, and gain some sort of sensory perception (often vision-related) of how the model functions. I think it's telling that (in my case) the world falls away from my perception when I'm working through a complex problem, and closing my eyes sometimes helps, as well.
If the goal is to run a complete older system on new hardware, emulation in some form is the best bet. Running the old OS directly on modern hardware isn't likely to be feasible (without extensive modification to the old OS).
You fail to mention the full, tedious process for reporting fraudulent card transactions, and getting them reversed. Whenever I've had to do it (recently, almost yearly), There are records to review, paperwork to fax, etc. to confirm what charges are legit and which aren't.
With my card, in most cases, I get a call where they verify a half-dozen or so purchases. There was once where they called me to say that my card was cancelled, with a new one in the mail. I've never had to fill out any paperwork from that particular bank/card, let alone had to fax anything. The policies vary company-by-company, so something that's onerous for you may be much easier for someone else.