Monday, April 16, 2007


I pretty much dropped off the face of the Internet this past week. I figured it wouldn't be a big deal not to have a connection at home, because I could just check my e-mail and feeds, etc. while at work. Well, as it happened, I was sick all week, and I stayed home. Without the Internet. Perhaps my sickness was augmented by the withdrawal symptoms. In any case, on Saturday, I finished cleaning out the old apartment by noon, and headed over to the new place because the cable guy was scheduled to come in the 12:00-4:00 window. While I waited, I started tidying up the place. RFH was gone for the weekend, so I decided to take all of the boxes with his stuff in it and stick them in his room. This made the tidying much more manageable. Finally, at 4:10, the cable guys arrive: two of them. They set up the TV and on-demand pretty quick, but then came the Internet. First, the modem didn't work. Then, the new modem's MAC address wasn't being recognized by the system. Once that was straightened out, they asked to use one of my computers. I didn't have any Windows-based computers handy: Athena was up and running, and I have a FreeBSD system I'm messing with, but they apparently needed something they were familiar with, so I pulled out a mini Dell with Windows 2000, and they set to work. Apparently, they don't let you just plug your router in and go. No, any website you request will redirect you to their site where you can download an installation file for some program that sets up the connection. What if I hadn't had a sacrificial Windows box that I was willing to let them screw up? Anyway, I did, so I let them install it, and it was working, until they rebooted, and then it couldn't get an IP address. Eventually, they got it to consistently connect as long as it was directly connected to the modem, and not through the router. This is a problem, seeing as we have a total of 10 computers in the apartment, and it would be nice if we could access the Internet on more than one computer, especially considering that that one computer is a 1000 MHz Pentium II running Win2k. The guys tried to get it working, but apparently it was taking them too long, and according to their tech support guys, they're only responsible to get it working on one box, so at about 7:00 they left. After they were gone, I tried a few things, and finally got it working through the router by running the configuration program while connected through the router. The problem was, that computer was no longer able to connect to the Internet through the router. This qualified as "good enough," even though it rendered the Win2k computer completely incapable of obtaining an IP address. It also left the cable company's logo in place of the MSIE spinner, even after uninstalling the software, something which I find particularly annoying. When I tell software to go away, I expect it to do so completely. My advice to you: don't let the cable company near any computer that you wish to remain useful. Now I have to wipe the hard drive and re-install the operating system. I was using that computer to host the printer, since my printer's drivers won't work with Vista. The problem with re-installing the OS is that this particular computer's case doesn't have room for a CD-ROM drive, so I basically have to stick the hard drive into another computer case which supports an optical drive, re-install Windows 2000, and then put the hard drive back. The good news is that I was able to get everything else to work. The server is back up for pictures, etc.


  1. Now I'm wondering if Comcast has anything to do with our VOIP problems. I shall have Superman read this post and see if it triggers anything he hasn't thought of yet.

  2. HEY! Be nice to cable companies! Time Warner does not install anything on computers unless you need a USB connection, in which case we'll give you a driver. Plug the modem in. Plug your router or computer into the modem. As long as the modem is associated with your account, you're good to go. So...don't say "the cable company"...say "Comcast" it? :P