Monday, April 28, 2008

Internet Restoration, or How I Learned to Love ATT

For several weeks I have had problems with my ATT Internet connection. The DSL would cut out intermittently and, of course, the Internet signal would be lost. Yesterday, the signal was lost completely.

I had set a goal this year of posting at least once a day and now that's been interrupted, though, because I have plenty of days with extra postings, I'm going to let it slide. But, I was left disconnected from the world like the Associated Press. Not knowing what was going on in the world, I began to think I was a Democrat again.

I called Tech Services and was routed to India. The young man gave his name as Raj, which is a whole lot better than previous year's practice of taking common American Mid-Western names like Mike, Mary, Bill, Bob, Joe, Jane, Shawneyqua in hopes of fooling the client into thinking we were really talking to a good ol'folks in Oklahoma where the wind comes... well, you know the story.

Anyway, Raj took all my info, skipped all the normal prelim testing procedures - unplug/plug the modem, switch off/switch on the computer, so on and so forth - because I had already done all of those things two or three times. So, he connected me to a tech named Rick right here in my neighborhood . Rick tested the line and said, "That's not good." Now, that's like a dentist who says, 'Oops' in the middle of a proceedure. So I asked, "What?" as intelligently as I could. He said the download rate (from ATT to me) was great, but the upload rate (from me to ATT) was almost non-existent. Yeah, like I haven't heard that before.

We set up a repair appointment for Monday at the usual hour - sometime in the afternoon. Good thing I had the day off. Because of the slow economy, the company I work for is only operating four days a week. Because I'm the manufacturing schedule guy, I was asked to pick one day per week that we would shut down. I said Wednesday - work two days, off one, work two, off two - but nooooo. Monday or Friday, that was the choice. I picked Monday. Everyone else wanted Friday, but now after a couple of weeks, they like Mondays off better because it's more relaxing after the weekend.

Rick arrived right on time. He checked all the line filters that I had just replaced as part of my troubleshooting, he tested the internal line, and he got the same results as he did from the office. Rick then sat down at my HP Pavillion dv6000, entered that magic code that only techs know and, as we say when making fun of the French, Walla! The computer sprang to life with Internet and everything, just really, really slow - 77kb/s. It should be closer to 500kb/s. Nice springing nonetheless. Like Lazarus, it had been dead only moments before.

The good news was that the problem wasn't on my side even though my upload signal was weak. I don't have to pay for the visit - ha! Rick told me he had just come from another guy in the apartment complex down the street who had the same problem. He would have to check the relay node located at the fillin' station down on the corner. It seemed to him that a comm-card was malfunctioning; it wasn't splitting the voice and data signals properly. Each card handles the Internet traffic of several hundreds of users, he told me.

He came back about a half-hour later and checked everything again. Everything was fine and dandy, he left his business card, I thanked him, and he was on his way leaving me to wonder, "Who was that masked man?" Then I remembered the business card. DOH!

Okay, here's the thing. In Austria yesterday, a woman was found to have been kept hostage in a secret basement for 24 years by her father. The girl's mother, who lived in the same house, claims she didn't know. How could this happen? We wonder how hundreds of apartment dwellers could have not called police in 1964 when Kitty Genovese was being attacked twice, raped, stabbed, and killed over a 30 minute period with no one coming to her aid, though several did call the cops (note - most of the 'facts' reported in the press at the time were wrong; some things never change.) We wonder how thousands of people did not know what was happening in Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz, and many other NAZI concentration camps when the smell alone should have been a clue, not to mention the thousands of people who went into the camps, but didn't come out again.

Of the hundreds of ATT Internet subscribers in my area, why were there only two people who reported the problem leading to the discovery and replacement of a faulty comm-card which benefits all? Thomas Jefferson is still right when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence, "...all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

That alone should tell us that Obama simply cannot win.

And thanks to ATT, I'm back!



The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

4 comments:

Gayle said...

How the heck you managed to link your experience with this faulty card to politics I'll never know, but you did it and you did a great job of it! LOL!

I'm glad the Lone Ranger of Comuter Repair was able to figure it out. Someone who actually knows what he is doing has become a rare and priceless thing.

Indigo Red said...

It's just the way my brain works, I guess. I started with no intention of linking this experience with anything and here we are.

Marie's Two Cents said...

I'm with Gayle, the faulty card, and you still managed to get a jab in at Obama lol

Good one.

I called Tech Services and was routed to India. The young man gave his name as Raj, which is a whole lot better than previous year's practice of taking common American Mid-Western names like Mike, Mary, Bill, Bob, Joe, Jane, Shawneyqua in hopes of fooling the client into thinking we were really talking to a good ol'folks in Oklahoma where the wind comes... well, you know the story.


Oh yes I know the story all to well lol, that's exactly what it's doing right now sweeping across the plains at about 40 miles per hour. Knocking over everything and wind chimes singing all across the neighborhood.

I do like the Chimes though :-)

Indigo Red said...

Oh, that's right, Marie! You're in Oklahoma. Well, hang on for dear life and it will all pass leaving nothing in it's wake.