No end in Sight

The internet saga continues. Sent back both modems, one to US Robotics, one to Amazon. Amazon sent me a replacement quick, quick, quick. Hooked it up and learned almost immediately that it didn’t work either. But, it didn’t work in a different fashion. The modems I returned didn’t dial the server. This modem dialed just fine but the server didn’t answer. Now I’m mentally back to an AOL problem but one hooked to the basic communication function. When I unwrapped the new modem I noticed that it was a V92 compatible modem, supposedly the latest and greatest, but I vaguely remembered that the one I sent back was a V90. I asked the AOL guy if they were V92 compatible and was told that they were not, V90 only. As of now I haven’t received the replacement for the one I sent back to the manufacturer but I have some hope that I’m closing in on it.

And I might have found out why the two other modems either failed or appeared to have failed. Not sure which. I had decided that when I installed this brand new one, I was going to hook it to a dedicated line – one with no splitter to support a voice phone – and to use only the cable that came with the modem. That cable had an RFI filter built in and the one I had always used was just a standard issue telephone line. When I got under the desk to disconnect everything, I found that somewhere along the way I had picked up a powered surge protection device for the tele line and that the cable I had been using to connect the modem went through that surge device. So if that device was bad, perhaps that was what was killing the signal out of the modem and has been the problem all along. I would certainly feel better if that turns out to be the cause. I’ll just take a sledge hammer to it and beat it until all of my frustrations have been revenged. That’s one nice thing about hardware problems vs software problems – the ability to take a hammer to the bad guy.

One good thing that has come out of this whole mess is going to the library to hit the wi-fi once in a while. Turns out that a group called Friends of the Library sells used books on the premises. They get $1 for hardbacks and $.25 for paperbacks. Each time we go I hit the used book shelves while Nancy does her Face Booking online. I read about one book per week, year round and have built up a backlog of 25 books, mostly paperbacks, as of yesterday. So even if we ever get back online at the house, I’m set for books until the next cold season comes around. When I finish the books I return them to the library for resale so I’m really renting them much cheaper than paying overdue book fines.

Late Breaking

Wrong again. The new modem(s) seem to work just fine but were unable to hook up with AOL – and of course that’s the whole objective. I spent another hour on the phone with US Robotics and they finally ended up telling me that I needed to go to Apple to solve the problem and to please call them with what fixes the problem so they will know in the future how to deal with my situation.

Called Apple and that’s when the axe fell. The service tech told me that I had the feared and dreaded software problem – a corrupt file and the only thing he knew to do was reload the operating system which could wipe out everything so I needed a good backup. And even worse, they, Apple, no longer supported dial-up so he really couldn’t help. I almost passed out and asked exactly what he meant by no longer supported dial-up. He said it means that they are no longer trained on how to deal with dial-up products and that he was surprised that my laptop ever worked. I asked him if there was anybody there in the support center that had some gray hair and remembered how to deal with old time problems. He laughed and set me up for an appointment with a service guy at the Apple Store. So here I am swept back 40 years to the feared and dreaded software problem where nobody really knows what the hell is going on. The Gates’ Curse on my Mac. No hardware to hammer; no good way to vent.

This may be my last post for the foreseeable future.

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