Thursday, 7 February 2008


Hi. My name is Matt.

(hi Matt)

And I'm a blogoholic.

I notice this on Monday night when, coming home from work, I can't access the internet.

Sharp intake of breath.

The telltale sign is right there on the face of the modem. One of the four magic lights isn't on.

That OK. Just relax . . . unplug . . . plug it back in.

Power light comes on. Cool.

The ADSL light goes flash, flash, flash the requisite 49 times (I've counted) . . . aaaaaand ADSL is okay. Looking good.

Come awwwwwwn the PPP. You can do it, little fella.

But no joy.

Power is on. DSL is there. But the PPP? Apparently the peers can't get their point across the protocol. Or point Percy at the porcelain. Whatever.

My octopus she no working. Aaaargh.

I start to get irritable and fidgety. How am I to update my blog? I can't do it from work . . . the website's blocked.

And it's important! My readers need me . . . both of them.

OK. OK. Just breathe. It'll be OK.

I try a few more times just to be sure (and seeing as I've apparently got nothing else to do), before giving up and ringing my ISP tech support.

My first inkling that this is not going to end well is when I'm met with incredulity at my setup.

What do you mean you don't have either of your computers plugged directly into the modem?

Well, I have a laptop and a desktop. The laptop connects wirelessly, and the desktop is in a room without a phone plug. So that connects wirelessly too.

Can you plug the laptop into the modem?


OK, now go to "Start"

Uh, it's a Mac laptop


A Mac laptop. Thay make laptops.

(incredulous noises)

We don't really support Macs.

You're kidding me.

Just a moment . . . (at this point I think he's downloading the manual)

Anyway, we go through a number of reasonably obvious troubleshooting steps (most of which I've already tried) broken by large swathes of silence in which I'm waiting for the guy to tell me what to do next, while he appears to be off surfing for porn or something.

Long story short, it achieves precisely nothing and I'm instructed to ring the technical support line for the modem. Naturally, as with most hardware manufacturers, tech support is 9 to 5 only.

At this point the irritation reaches something of a boiling point. I go to bed in an extremely foul mood.

On Wednesday at work I download a copy of the modem's manual, and follow all the troubleshooting instructions when I get home. It soon becomes clear that the modem is just not working.

The manual has words to effect of . . . push this button for ten seconds. The light will go on. If it doesn't, then it's screwed.

All I can do is buy a new modem. But that's fine. There's nothing like a bit of minor technological retail therapy to soothe the nerves. Especially when there's the very real possibility of sweet relief at the end.

So one new modem (on special, quite a bargain) and a quickish set up later, here we are.

Ah. That calms the shakes.


Sam Sejavka said...

Matt, you really counted the 47 blinks? You may almost be as obsessive as I.

Matt said...

I really did.

And it's actually 49.

Damn, you're right. I am obsessive!

Spoon said...

What kind of blogaholic doesn't post for 3 days? Some of us have vicarous blog topic comments to post, you know.
I've had to go and post on Lore's blog while I wait for you to glean some kind of opinion out of me.

I'm almost one step closer to starting my own, you know.

Matt said...

Never you fret. I've been stockpiling a few ideas. Expect a flurry over the next few days.

And comments like that will just make me put it off for even longer.