Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What a Day!

This has been one very problem solving day. As a result, we are unable this evening to give my thoughts on what happened today regarding the state budget. I don’t know. I haven’t had access to the Internet all day so haven’t been able to follow the events at all.

Today has been all about me. Yesterday around five o’clock my network went South. Nothing. No net connections, no e-mail, no nothing involving cyber space. I’ve been having home network problems for several weeks, but nothing like the total meltdown that happened last night. I have four active computers and a home network that allows me to use them in any room.

Today I switched to a wireless network.

My day started off with nothing to do with computers. Tuesdays and Thursdays are scheduled Senior Fitness days at my physical therapist’s office. There’s a great small group of guys and gals that meet regularly for some individually prescribed exercise routines that fit each person’s needs. When I got home my wife was busy doing things to get our house ready for the son’s and his family’s visit beginning Thursday. So, being the great guy I am, I joined in her efforts and helped.

I used to help folk set up computers, networks, software, etc. Although I don’t do that anymore, when one of my former clients called for help, I naturally put him on my schedule. From the time I finished helping MGD and the scheduled arrival, I went to the store to begin work on my own network.

First question: Is it me or is it Road Runner? So I called and a very nice young lady told me they were having no problems in my town. She offered to run a test on my modem which I accepted. The test showed both RR and my modem were working perfectly. She then offered to run a test on my router. When she came back with there was no connection between RR and my router, using the routers brand name, I knew it was fried.

Off to the computer stores. I first visited Staples where I got absolutely no assistance. As I looked around the store, it appeared that the number of “associates” had dramatically diminished. No one came to the computer section to assist customers. My guess could only be than they didn’t have an “associate” (remember when they were clerks?) who was qualified for that department. I waited patiently for 20 minutes. Please understand, I’m not the size guy anyone could miss. I left.

I went next to Best Buy. I was there about three minutes when an “associate” offered his help. I asked him a series of questions about a device I had chosen. When I asked my last question (to him) he said he was getting in over his head. I absolutely admire and respect any sales person who can admit that. He suggested I visit the Geek Squad with my questions. The Geeks at the Best Buy in South Portland, Maine, are great people. They not only answered my questions but also offered suggestions on the best way to make the change. They even said I could bring my computer and the new device to them and they’d set it all up at no charge. I like the Geek Squad and highly recommend them.

But as I said earlier, I used to help people set up networks, so I didn’t expect to take my stuff back to the store. I came home, had lunch, and then my former client arrived. We spent a couple hours, but I won’t embarrass him with the problem.

Another short diversion: My wife and I visited our dentist last week. I got a “Look, Ma!” result of the cleaning. She didn’t. She got on a call list to get to the dentist for a fix. That call came today. So while my client was here, she headed to the dentist. My client left and I waited until she got home to help me move a wire around and set up the new device.

By late afternoon, I was a happy camper. My new combination router, access point, switch worked perfectly. After we ran the wire from the new device to the cable modem, we were back alive. And once again A Gator in Maine can rant and rave about things that interest him. We’ll probably have a few thoughts on the Maine State Budget tomorrow.

Thanks for bearing with me.


No comments: