@ Max my brother said "You can't carry that here!"
That's where the law cannot distinguish between a weapon and a tool. I always carry a small screwdriver in my shirt pocket - no problem - but I could stab someone with it. I could also stab someone with a ballpoint pen, yet those are allowed on airplanes.
Reminds me of that scene from Croc Dundee "That's not a knife. THIS is a knife!"
I know what its like to lose a favourite tool. Seeing as you know where it was lost, how about giving your lad a chance to redeem himself? Give him an old hard disk drive and some nylon string. There's a good bit of fun to be had pulling an old HDD to pieces. Retrieve the super-powerful magnets, attach them to the string and take him back to the dock for an afternoon of environmentally-friendly self-directed entertainment. The same magnets are also great for holding pictures to fridges.
If travelling with your new toolkit then you may also need to be aware of the local laws and customs. Police in the UK nowadays don't look kindly on anyone carrying a knife, even in a vehicle, with a few exceptions (search Knife-Crime.aspx durham, anti-comment spam means I can't post a link)
I'd say go for the slide feeder, such as a Nikon SF-200, if you can get one at a decent price (along with the corresponding film scanner); it can handle 50 slides at a time. You might need to tweak it a bit if the slides are warped, etc.
I guess you could try to rig up a system to remove slides from a carousel and load them into a film scanner, but my guess is that approach would take more time and money than getting the slide feeder and matching slide scanner.
I have a really old Coolscan with auto negative feeder (can handle a 6-picture strip IIRC), auto APS feeder, and individiual slides, but I'm pretty sure it's the Coolscan III , which doesn't have an auto slide feeder (I only have ~100 slides, but several thousand negatives, mostly undigitized).
BTW, I'm keeping a few old PC's with XP: a more modern system with the awesome Foxconn motherboard (6 PCI slots, 1 serial port, 1 parallel port), a 1.4GHz Athlon with one ISA slot, and even older system with several ISA slots, because I've got some fun ISA and PCI automation-related boards (e.g. CAN interferaces, motion controllers).