I have spent the past 30-some hours without internet service. I know, that’s hardly any time at all. It nearly killed me. I have gotten so used to having it, being able to connect anytime I want, that its absence was like a dark presence.
What was the problem, you ask? I have no idea. My first reaction yesterday morning was to turn everything off, wait a few minutes, then turn it all back on again. This didn’t work. So I did it again. I still got a message that I had failed to connect to the server. Along with a cheerful blinking icon that said my signal strength was very good. Grrrr. Random hurried attempts to “configure an available network” were unsuccessful. Probably because I have no idea what I’m doing there.
I gave up and went to work, priorities being what they are, where the internet connection was just fine; not that I could use it for anything personal, but it was reassuring to know I was the only one having this problem. Really. Very reassuring.
When I got home last night I resumed my efforts by clicking a bunch of options in that “network connections” thing. Probably this was a Bad Idea. I’m convinced I launched three rockets into space from Nebraska and initiated a firing sequence on an aircraft carrier somewhere, but I still could not connect to the server.
It was time for drastic measures. Yes, I called customer service. The first thing they did was turn me over to Tier 2 support. I knew I was in real trouble. They told me to go to the Start menu, click on Control Panel and we then proceeded through several pages until the tech said, “Tell me what is on your screen.”
I told her and she said, “Really? You’re sure? That shouldn’t be there. Are you sure you only clicked what I told you to click?”
I admitted that maybe I had clicked a few more times on a few more things. I was curious. I’d never seen some of these things and I wanted to know what they were.
“Ma’am, please do not make any changes to that page. That page is not where your problem is. Yet. Please click Cancel until you get back to the “whatsis” page.” She called it something else. I don’t remember.
Sigh. It went on like this for 45 minutes. It’s a good thing I had her there to hold [read: slap] my hand and tell me what to do or I’d still be there three days later, lost and wandering, distracted by all the shiny clickable things. If you are very small and ever need a place to hide, I now know some great places to do it.
How did we solve the problem? We didn’t. The efforts came to a screeching halt when she said my modem was fine and suggested I bypass the wireless router and hook the modem’s Ethernet cord directly to the remote hard drive, first disabling the modem and rebooting it by–
I thanked her for her remarkable patience and said it sounded like that would take some time, especially since I had to lug the remote hard drive in from the other room after first crawling under my desk to unplug it, and that I’d go ahead and do all that in the morning when I wasn’t so tired. I promised to call her back if it didn’t work. She was highly skeptical and wanted to stay on the line, but I had written down all her instructions and knew I could do this on my own. Plus I figured she didn’t need to increase her vocabulary by listening while I did. She made me read back to her the instructions. Then strongly suggested I add a few things I’d apparently missed. Sigh.
So about midmorning I was feeling sufficiently brave (I had taken today off work — though not so I could mess with this, thank you) and was all set to unplug and lug and reboot and whatever. But first I decided to try it one more time, just in case. Because sometimes hope just won’t be silenced by cold hard facts.
I reattached the modem and router cords that I’d unplugged last night and turned the computer on. And was immediately connected to the server. Of course, I now also seem to have my choice of five networks. And a rocket launcher.
I have learned an important lesson from all this. It is highly technical. You may want to write it down so you can use it yourself someday. Ready? Here it is:
Sometimes it isn’t enough to simply turn everything off. Sometimes you also have to unplug things.
The rest of today is for writing. In fact, the entire weekend is for writing. I’m thinking I may have to unplug a few things first.