Monthly Archives: March 2015


It started innocently enough. A dropped signal. I called the ISP. “We’re phasing out those boxes,” she said. “How will next Saturday, 4-8 pm work?”

“Fine,” I said, thinking “They work that late on a Saturday?”

The guy calls on Saturday, around 4:30. Sweet, I think. He arrives, and unpacks a new box, cleans the fiber, and hooks it up. No go. He checks with a gizmo and says “No light.” Now, I had been on the internet up until he arrived and switched out the box, so I found the whole claim difficult to believe. Several calls later, and after a check where the fiber enters the house, off he went to check a switch at some other location. Then he called to say it was locked — a reason for not having a Saturday appointment — and he would have to go to HQ to get keys. Eventually he came back, switched out the new box for a new old box, which also did not work, and left saying it would have to wait until MONDAY.

Well, I got a call at 8:00 am on Sunday morning from the ISP that they were sending out another tech “later in the day” if I would be around. “yes! Yes! YES!” I answered, and he called a few minutes later and arrived a bit after that. He put in a new box and ran something from his computer and talked on the phone to the HQ. No go. Off he went to the switch place, and called to say he’d found something and switched it out. As if by magic, I get a signal that I have Internetz and my computer logs on. All is good.

Well, I can only get one computer on, and that seems to come and go. I spend most of Sunday fighting with IP addresses and banging my head on the desk. I call the ISP and talk to tech-support who is mostly interested in the ethernet hub I have and its settings — it does have settings: two– on and off; and you can accomplish them two ways! Unplug the hub or flip the switch.

I have long and deep meaningful conversations with tech-support, mostly about the model and brand of the ethernet hub, and trying various combinations of cable and such. I become obsessed that it must be a DHCP server issue. I get answered with technobabble and asked to try another something. Everyone there assumes my ethernet hub is providing DHCP service (Surprise! It’s not!) and around and around we got talking cables and computers and stuff.

So I’m talking to tech-support and they’re calling me that the box is down, so I restart it. And they warn me that they’re going to switch the switch at the switchy place to gigabit, “So it all might go offline now and again, but by late Monday, it should all be good.”

So come Monday morning, and it’s basically no internetz since they started changing on Saturday afternoon (phones don’t count, do they?) and the connection light goes out, and I’m tired of banging my head on the desk, so I call them…

And we’re back to trying magical combinations of things to make sure that it’s the magical combination that fixes everything if we just try enough magical combinations and maybe a different computer or ethernet cable, and what was the brand and model of that ethernet switch again anyway?

And while I’m on hold to techsupport, the ISP calls to tell me they’ve switched the switchy switch and all should be well with the whirld and can I please check to see how fast the throttled down gigabit internetz iz, and so I hook my Asus BABY up directly to the new box. It connects, and I open up my morning links, and open, which for some reason opens very slowly, and measures a pretty pallid 15 mb down and about the same up until I shut down the extra dozen tabs and rerun the test again when it comes in at the expected 54 mb up and down.

At some point in the morning, I drag my wireless router down and interpose it between the box and my ethernet hub, and low and behold! Internetz! On more than one computer!

Of course, the wireless router was one of the magical combinations that was suggested, which I didn’t want to try because the router I use is up high in the room and I’d have to climb up to get it. Their wireless router took on the IP address of their old box after I reset it, so I didn’t have much faith in it.

A bit after I solved the DHCP issue, the called and told me to do what I’d already done.