Having cooled down, had tea, slept on it, restarted the computer...

Yes, I have read the howto.
On my machine, every single function on the console fails to complete,
either with "timeout was reached" or "couldn't connect to server."

Running as user or administrator, same thing.
Downloading a new install in a new directory, same thing.
Running direct from the File Manager (miktex-console.exe or
mixtex-console_admin.exe), same thing.
Running in Windows 7 compatibility mode instead of Win10 defaults, same

The miktex-console_admin.log file contains no useful error messages, just

2018-04-12 13:40:29,180-0600 INFO  Console - starting: MiKTeX Console
2.9.6637 (MiKTeX 2.9.6630 64-bit)
2018-04-12 13:43:56,977-0600 INFO  Console - finishing with exit code 0

for every time I have attempted.

In a nutshell - I am stuck. I don't even know what to put in a ticket. Is
there a workaround (using the old package manager until a new version of
the new console is released)?
Is there another log file I need to inspect?
There don't appear to be any settings for me to experiment with.

Now that MiKTeX is un-updateable on my desktop, I am scared to update the
system on my laptop... the old system was very 20th century, but at least
it worked, and on that system I can still add packages as needed.

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