Trouble on the Line
Well, I’m finally back on line. After reporting the fault with my broadband connection on Saturday morning, the technical team quickly diagnosed a fault at my end and mobilised an engineer. Unfortunately the earliest appointment was this morning, between 8 and 12, so I had to hastily rearrange some appointments in order to take the morning off.
Actually the chap came quite early (just after 9) and quickly figured out the broadband modem wasn’t working properly, so he gave me a new one, complete with wireless hub. Great, I thought. All operational parameters looked good, so he proceded to try activate it to connect with the Virgin Media network. What could possibly go wrong?
Actually, quite a lot. After numerous reboots of both computer and modem, the darned thing still wouldn’t connect to the outside world. Then the engineer called back to base and was informed that there was a fault at system HQ which meant no new services were being activated. The engineer then left – at about 11am -for another job, telling me just to wait and it would get activated in due course. To be fair, he did phone back later to check whether it was working. It wasn’t.
Rather irritated at the impasse I decided to remain in the house and get as much work done as I could without an internet connection whilst checking back every now and again to see if it was working. The little green lights never flickered, though, and the activation wizard stubbornly refused to venture further than the first screen of instructions.
Eventually, about 4.30pm, the connection appeared to be emerging from its comatose state. I followed the activation instructions, and for a change actually got to the second screen. But it crashed again. I rebooted the modem yet again. No joy. Then tried restarting the computer and – lo and behold! – it started working. Must have auto-configured itself better than I could configure it. No surprise there, I’m not very good with computers really. I’m too old.
So now I’m back on line, annoyed at having wasted a day but in the end pleased that I do now actually have something like proper broadband speed. Before it failed completely on Saturday, I’ve been struggling along at <50 kB/s for a few weeks now. “Virgin Media – the Broadband that’s slower than Dial-up” is not their official slogan, but I assumed my slow connection wasn’t unusual given the horror stories I’ve heard. Anyway, I’m now actually getting – though only occasionally – the 10 MB/s I’ve been paying for.
All’s well that ends well, suppose. and it’s nice to be back online. Even the e-astronomer has managed a post while I’ve been off!
Coincidentally, the first thing I read on Twitter after reconnecting was the story of the First Great Western train that got stuck between Newport and Cardiff because about 60 cows surrounded it and appeared to be holding it hostage. I thought this breaking moos was quite amusing, but hope the passengers aren’t too cowed by their experience. Even in cattle-class. They’ll have plenty to beef about when they eventually get home, that’s for sure….cont, p. 94.Follow @telescoper