Monday, July 14, 2008

My broadband connection just came back

It was Thursday last week, I powered up my trusty desktop, and oops, no internet. So I did the usual thing, pull the plug to the cable modem and the Netgear router, and then plug 'em in again. No dice. Hmm, maybe the network is down? Sometime after lunch I decide to wade thru the voice mail hell that is calling for technical assistance. My first calls get to pleasant sounding but clueless young ladies at an overseas call center. Some persistence gets me through to the service center in Maine. The lady at the service center says the network is OK, and then she interrogates my modem remotely and it says it's OK, but "the receive signal is a little weak". We schedule a service call for Monday.
I decide to keep blogging on Word. Bloggable ideas are getting scarce, and if I don't write 'em down when they occur to me, I forget them.
Monday morning arrives. I decide to double check. I pull my daughter's discarded laptop out from under the bed and plug it directly into the router. Bingo, beatup laptop logs on immediately and I can catch up on Instapundit. Wow. maybe it isn't the cable modem stuff.
Trusty Desktop is connected via a wireless card. I had a cable built into the house, but I never used it, 'cause the electrician didn't crimp a connector on the end and I found I could buy the wireless card for less than the proper crimping tool for the RJ-45 connector used on LAN cables. I snip the connector off a spare LAN cable and splice it onto the cable to the desktop. Strip, twist together, solder, and insulate with heatshrink tubing. There is an industry standard for the color codes of the 8 wires inside LAN cables, you just have to match up the colors.
Plug the newly spliced cable in, go upstairs, and try the desktop again. The task bar icon shows "connected" on the wired LAN, and I can ping the router box. But, still can't get on the net. So I have one computer that gets on the net and a second one that won't. Arrgh.
About this time the Time Warner service guy pulls up in a van. He pulls a brand new cable modem out of his truck and installs it. The new modem is about half the size of the old one, and presumably has spiffier semiconductors inside it. It powers up and bingo, BOTH computers now can get on the net. Dunno how that happened, but it did.
Logic says that if one computer can get on the net, the cable modem is OK. So, either that ain't so, or the desktop just decided to stop being cranky, or something. Let's see how long things last.
So I posted the last few days of blog ideas a few minutes ago, and how it's time to catch up on the email.

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