gvdub: (bummed)
Anybody who regularly reads this journal will remember that we had some issues with Earthlink a couple of months ago when we switched over to their combined high-speed DSL and home phone service. Once we'd had them correct the install that SBC had done when DSL first came in (which worked fine for ADSL, but not so good for ADSL+) and determined that the house was just sufficiently far from the Central Office that 3Mb/s was as fast as she'd go, dilithium crystals or no, the service had been stable until last Friday evening when incoming phone service disappeared.

We were still getting a dial tone and were able to dial out, but any incoming calls would go instantly to the Earthlink voicemail server (luckily, I have it set up to forward me voicemails via email). If I turned off the voicemail from the web-based control page, the incoming caller would simply get a fast busy signal. It was that way all weekend, despite my having talked to an Earthlink support tech on Saturday afternoon, via their "instant chat" service, and then, sometime overnight Sunday to Monday, the DSL connection died as well. Great. Now not only can nobody call us, but we can't even get their messages without going to some coffee shop with wi-fi service.

So, this morning, considering that [livejournal.com profile] _darkvictory had a rush transcription job that was due today, I decided that I would brave Earthlink phone service, where I had spent over 12 hours cumulative time on hold in October, eating up all our cell phone minutes for the month. I was on the phone with them, off and on, and almost all the time on hold, from 8:40 to about noon. When I wasn't on the phone, I was doing things like moving bookcases so I could unplug thing from the phone jack that lives behind them. At noon, the rep I was speaking with said that she'd call me back in half an hour to an hour to let me know what was going on. Here we are six hours later, and having gotten no callback, I am once again on hold with Earthlink support listening to their stretched out, oxide dropping in great clumps, distorted and drop--out ridden recording of Pachelbel's Canon while waiting for someone in Bangalore to pick up the phone. While the DSL suddenly reappeared mid-afternoon, the phone is still horked.

On the bright side, I was able to finally get the experimental Linux laptop (using the Ubuntu 6.10 "Edgy Eft" distro) to agree that, yes, it would let the $10 Airlink Wireless G card use WPA after all and talk to our Airport Extreme access point. If I didn't have the patience of a saint (although I did wish at times that I was in possession of St. Barbara's attribute that I might cram the laptop down the barrel and light the fuse) and the curiosity of several cats, I would have given up on that particular chore a week ago, but now I have a "disposable" laptop suitable for taking places where I don't want to put the Powerbook at risk. Despite it's easy initial installation, I would not yet recommend Linux to anybody who's not a "hands-on" power user type, since I had to modify several config files and spend an inordinate amount of time in the terminal and consulting man files to get this working. This ain't ready for Grandma just yet.

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GVDub

May 2009

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