Pointy hat with a “D”
Posted by Oli on Tuesday 3rd July, 2007
So I’m back at the flat now, enjoying a wonderful, 2-person existence with K and my own space with everything in easy reach. (2-person existence meaning K and me, not 2 versions of me in a crazy Jekyll & Hyde kind of way).
Before I left the flat, we’d been trying, ever-so-hard, to sort out our internet connection, which had been thrown into disarray when we discovered that neither my nice new, shiney Mac Pro, nor K’s nice, new, not-quite-so-shiney lap-top with Windows Vista-poo, would work with our current Broadband modem.
Don’t ask me why – it’s some kind of computer conspiracy between Microsoft, Onetel, PC World, Maplins and computer telephone helplines that would take years to unravel if anyone ever bothered to, which they won’t because no one understands enough about things to unravel them enough to make sense of anything to work out who did what to whom and when and why and what. Ish.
It just doesn’t work.
So, I went out and bought the doofer they told me to buy, thinking I was being very clever and techie and would sort it all out in a flash.
Sadly, the one I bought was, frankly, poo. Sometimes in life, you get what you pay for and what I paid for was a cheap piece of rubbish that no one on any helplines had heard of, not even the people on the helpline for the company that made the modem product that I’d bought.
So I took it back.
Fast forward through a month of not being at the flat (see other post) and I arrive back at the flat knowing exactly what I need to get and roaming the internet to find it, order it and get it delivered.
And today, it arrived!
So I leap (stumble) out of bed and run (walk) to the study, throw (plonk) myself down in the chair and busily set about slotting (ramming) cables into the various slots they may or may not fit into. I do all of this with the authoritarian air of someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.
To my delight, I turn on the computer and nothing explodes.
So, I jump into the software settings gubbins, which I now know inside out having messed around so much trying to make the other lump of rubbish work. I’m entering long strings of complicated numbers and letters and passcodes – sorting my DNS from my IP from my PPPOA and other wonderful collections of letters.
And my computer loves it! “Connected,” it says.
Nothing will come up on the web browser. Nothing doing. The light on the modem is red. I’m no rocket scientist, but even I know that a red light on a piece of technology is never a sign that things are all fine and dandy.
So I phone Apple customer support, who have up to now proved to be consistently clear, concise and totally helpful on all related matters to my purchase. Indeed, they are again.
We run through a number of things and they tell me that everything on the Mac is working perfectly and all the settings are as it should be. They suggest I contact my service provider as it’s most likely that a) they haven’t activated my account or b) the network is down.
I hang up the phone despondent. I’ve been on the internet all morning on my old computer on the same account, so I know none of those things is true.
I phone the modem manufacturer’s freephone customer service line. It’s no longer in use – it’s now an 0845 number, which I’ll have to pay for. Nice.
I talk to a nice man in Delhi. He tells me everything on the router is working fine. The red light is because my Username or password is incorrect.
I hang up the phone despondent. I check and recheck the username and password I’ve entered. It’s all correct.
I phone Onetel customer service. I may or may not be talking to exactly the same bloke I just came off the phone with. He tells me I need a load of settings to set up the modem. I tell him I have them and I’ve done that, but he takes 15 minutes reading them to me anyway.
He starts to read me my username and password. The username is 32 characters long and he’s spelling it out letter by letter, then using the phonetic alphabet with it. I cut him off and reel it off to him from my notes. As I get to the end of the line of letters and digits, everything slips into a momentary pause as a sluggish dawn swims smugly across my consciousness and I realise that the 1 I’ve entered as the 27th character is, in fact, an L.
If anyone wants me, I’ll be the one in the corner with the pointy hat on my head.