Friday, August 03, 2007

I'm Baaaack! (Online)

(Updated below)

Frontier sent their man Brian over to run new phone lines from the pole to the new old house, and I can now make landline calls and surf the Web!

By the way, this is post #777, which might be thought lucky by some. However, I know that being superstitious is bad luck.

I'll be trying to catch up with email and comments tonight. See you soon.


2007-08-03 22:02 EDT

Actually, there's a little more to the story than that.

It started a few days ago, when I called Frontier to arrange for my phone and Internet service to be switched to the new address, and to have new lines run from the pole to the house. "No problem," they said, but they wouldn't be able to make it happen until the 3rd. Between 8 am and 5 pm was the closest estimate they could give.

You know how that huge time window works: plan for a morning arrival, and you wait all day. Expect that nothing will happen till afternoon, and there's someone banging on your door at 0800.

It was about 88 degrees last night, even at 10:30 pm. I had that awful "I have to get to sleep because I have to wake up early" feeling. Tossed, sweated, and turned until about 3. Finally fell asleep, got jolted awake by the alarm clock.

Made some coffee. Fed the cats. Set up the phone and computers, so that everything would be ready for testing. Right about during the last cable connection, I hear a deep voice in my driveway: "KEEFE. KEEFE?"

I looked out the window. There was a very large man in a very red shirt. The latter did have the Frontier logo, so I was happy. This was Brian. He ran the wire from the pole to the house, listened to what future considerations I had for my remodeling purposes, ran lines through the basement, and put the one jack right where I wanted it. I handed him the filter gizmo that accepts the phone line and the DSL modem output line, and outputs one phone line, and he plugged it in to the new wall jack. Phone worked fine. Internet? Not so much.

I had by that point verified that two computers could access the modem, one with a wire, one without, and could talk to each other through its routing capability, but no happy "DSL" or "Internet" LEDs were glowing.

I asked Brian if he could make a direct call into the office, and he said that they weren't allowed to anymore, "because one guy called from a customer's home just like you want, and she later used that number herself. Said, 'Your tech guy gave me this number.'" Nothing to do but climb through phone tree hell, he sympathized.

Brian left. I called. Went through phone tree hell. Eventually got connected to a human, explained the situation. Got transferred to the first-order tech support. This is where the troubleshooting consists of "check the connection of the phone line into the modem" and the hardcore solution is "try turning the modem off and turning it on again."

After patiently walking through all of this, and then restating my situation and the diagnostics I had already run, I had this guy at the end of his list. He said he'd put in a work order, and someone would call me back.


"Uh, noon. No, between noon and 4."

Not much to do except thank him and spend the rest of the day working with the cordless handset dangling off my belt. I did get the call around 1 pm. This was the next level of tech support, and the new guy did not waste time with the luser questions. Finally, he said that his screen was showing that my Internet service wasn't scheduled to be reactivated until Monday, but he'd try to put a rush on it.

Yeah, right.

He says someone will call back in an hour or two. I go back to work, phone a-dangling. Even a few extra ounces weigh a ton on a day this hot.

I eventually come back inside for some shade and water, and when my head stops swimming, I notice all five lights lit on the modem!

I tentatively fire up Firefox, do a speed test, and it's all good. I note this happiness in the original version of this post.

Now, here's the problem. How do I call to say, "All set, thanks!"? No way in the world am I going through that phone tree again. Well, I've had enough of walking around with the phone clanking my thigh, so I figure, back at DSL Central, someone just came back from lunch and clicked an activation box on his or her computer screen, and didn't bother to call. Or maybe, Frontier will call, just to say, "You should be all set now!" That's what answering machines are for, I decide.

Did a couple more hours work, came back in, guzzled some more water, decided to run for materials for tomorrow. Came back, loaded everything in, and hit the wall. Decided to have a beer on my stoop before heading over to my temporary shower facility (thanks, M&M!). Finished the beer, decided to have one more, finished that, went inside, gathered up some clothes, threw them in a bag, gathered up the to-be-replenished water jugs. I'm backing out of the house, arms full, trying to dissuade the resident manx from following, balanced on one foot, wrestling to lock the door. A voice from right over my shoulder: "HAVING A DSL PROBLEM?"

No, but my heart might need some attention.

Turns out to be what looks like a classic computer guru. He's wearing a red Frontier shirt. We talk for a bit, I explain how things just started working. We geek out massively for a couple of minutes. I am amazed that this guy is making a service call at 6:30 pm on a Friday. When it's still like a billion degrees out. I say, "I wish I could let you say that you had to spend an hour here, but I don't want to pay for the labor."

Since this was meat time, I did not have to use go sideways with my smiley face.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad you're hooked up. How's the plumbing?