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» Friday, October 04, 2013Computer Wiz
Well, it's been an interesting couple of days. I did get some things accomplished, like reorganizing the to-be-read piles of books in our bedroom. I have managed to rearrange them so I can get to my bedroom window when the weather gets cooler. Vacuumed again (this is a litany). And finally put up all the fall decorations except for the garland that overhangs the foyer because this would have meant waking up Willow, asleep in the recliner. If I wake up the dog, I have to take her out. If I don't take her out, there are spots on the carpet (two of them to clean up today despite taking Miss Dog out about six times).
Mostly wasted time on our router. When I got up yesterday morning we had no internet service. Earthlink was probably sleeping late and I'd gotten up before it. Finally I decided to reboot the modem. It came back up in good time and I tried to log on.
The router asked for a password. I don't know why, since I didn't even touch the router, but there it was. I also didn't recall that we put a password on the router (yeah, it turned out that we didn't). I was fit to be tied. So I spent the afternoon doing the book reviews for my blog in WordPerfect, for transferring to my blog later on.
When James came home, he had no ideas on the router front, either. Well, let's install this My Net router I got from Amazon Vine! It got some really good reviews and only a few bad reviews.
Our review turned out to be one of the bad ones. According to the pictograph "installation booklet," you were supposed to plug it in, turn it on, hitch it to your modem, and then go into "Connect to Network Settings" in Windows Networking. You would see the router highlighted and you would tell it to set up a new network. Except we never saw the router at all, and the power light, which James said should have been a steady-glowing blue, was flashing instead. We never did get it to quit flashing, or for the software to install because Windows never saw the router.
Well, let's install the Linksys router, the one James bought when the Buffalo started getting flaky (it later settled down, so we left it alone). We did! It was so easy! We created our own router password, one that only we would know! Everything connected to it easily!
Except nothing really worked after that. James' computer, the only one attached to the router with a wired connection, was the only one who could download with any kind of speed. When I could actually get in web pages on my desktop (which is wireless right now because my network card died), it would take 30-60 seconds to get to a page. The tablets fared better. The big problem was that we had no upload speed at all. I couldn't upload a file via FTP. I couldn't even post an Amazon review on one of the tablets. This really, really sucked. I had an upload I needed to make via FTP, so I finally dragged out my trusty USB modem, dialed in to Earthlink, and uploaded it via dial-up, which, sadly, was faster than the internet connection I had through the Linksys router.
So this morning, with James' permission since it was loaded on his computer, I uninstalled the Linksys software, then reinstalled it, hoping it was just a faulty install. No dice. Everyone else's download still crawled; even the tablet speed had deteriorated. I attached James' computer directly to the modem and contacted Linksys' online chat. As I feared, the router was out of warranty, and the cheapest they would help me with it was $30, with no guarantees it would work. I could pay an extra $10, and if they didn't fix the problem, Linksys would give me $15 credit on a new router. Gee, nice of you, considering your stupid router wouldn't work out of the box (it was still shrink-wrapped). I said no and went on using the direct modem connection, uploading the book reviews to my book blog, and doing a couple of other things.
Hmmmn, the Buffalo had been unplugged over twelve hours. Maybe if I plugged it back in, it would quit asking for a password. So I did. So it didn't. In desperation, since the dang thing didn't have a reset button that I could find, I pressed a button on top that said "AOSS." Apparently this has nothing to do with resetting, but is some type of extra security. Lights started flashing on the front of the Buffalo like Christmas light strings at Walmart. So I turned it off, counted thirty seconds, and turned it back on.
And damn if it didn't come back up not asking for a password. I still don't know what I did; frankly I think it was Black Magic. Anyway, I re-set up all the other computers with the old password and everything worked again. By this time it was 1 o'clock (I'd been at this since eight) and I was starving. So I warmed up leftovers, put on the BBC, and later replayed last night's Big Bang Theory, which I'd largely ignored while trying to get the Linksys router set up with help from a friend I was chatting with back and forth on the tablet. The headache I got while wrestling with these digital dragons, alas, didn't go away until I lay down with three ibuprofin under my belt. Stupid computers.
We had supper at IHOP and were lucky to get there before six so that we got the BOGO deal on senior meals, which means we spent about $7 for both of us. Two single ice cream cones at Bruster's for dessert set us back nearly as much, but it was really good: when they made this batch of coffee ice cream, they made the coffee really strong. Home and Hawaii Five-O were next on most of these stations.