Monday, July 16, 2007

Bad JuJu

Well, it's been a week. I think I mentioned before that we finally got a piece of furniture to house the computer and eliminate the kitten-engulfing rats' nest of wires surrounding the desk. Looked nice, too. I have learned from hard past experience to label both ends of each wire before disconnecting things, and though I still had a big pile of wires inside one section of the case (need shorter cables) reassembly was relatively straight-forward.

Unfortunately, even with all cables apparently connected correctly I had lost Internet access. Cable, modem, router, oh my. I felt fortunate when IE7's self-healing capability got the main computer back on the 'net. Alas, nothing worked to re-establish the connection for DH's laptop. Very annoying. Both computers use a wireless connection to the router, both read a strong wireless signal and claimed to be connected, but the little 'puter just couldn't see the web. We even went to great lengths to upgrade IE to v7 (he usually uses FireFox), quite a feat without an Internet connection, but self-healing was not achieved.

Oh well, he was leaving on a business trip, and we set the problem aside until his return. Then he called to tell me little 'puter was belly up with a BSOD. Lousy timing, and he was scrambling to get his presentations together without it.

But it gets worse. On Thursday I was writing my blog post for the day when I smelled a faint odor of electrical burning. It seemed to be coming from the general direction of the bathroom (AKA The Nursery), where the newly-installed fan had been running non-stop for a few days (a definite boon when the kittens have diarrhea). I thought a few choice words about shoddy manufacturing, turned it off, and the smell of burning abated somewhat. I felt around the ceiling, and nothing was hot, so put it on the list of things to discuss with the contractor.

An hour later, the main computer abruptly shut down. Apparently the odor was being pulled across the room by the fan, and the decrease just meant the smell wasn't reaching my nose. So now I get a start-up screen and the computer immediately shuts down. This does not look good.

I was amazed at how much I got done last week without e-mail and blogs to distract me. I briefly entertained the possibility of not replacing the computer, and while I quickly came to my senses I really need to take a hard look at how I'm spending (wasting) my time.

While traveling this weekend it took about an hour on a WIN98 box to re-set Blogger to directly publish my posts via e-mail. (Is it my imagination, or is dial-up getting slower and slower?) Anything you read for the next while will be from my (so far) trusty Treo.

That reminds me... I can post from the Treo, and read comments because they are forwarded by e-mail, but I can't access or enter comments on Blogger. Please don't think I am ignoring your comments. I have greatly enjoyed those entered this week, but lack the ability to respond. And I apologize in advance for the numerous misspellings you are sure to see, between the tiny type and lack of spell-check..

I'm not sure what state my cable Internet connection will be in when I next try, so all networking hints will be gratefully accepted. In the meantime, I guess I'll go shopping...


CelloGeek said...

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. Can't live with it, can't live without it! Hope your Internet connection woes are already fixed, but if not... One of the things that I've done to fix the problem that you've described is to turn everything off, and then turn things back on in this order (the order is important - has to do with how each device acquires its IP address - I can show my true geek colors). 1. cable modem. 2. router. 3. computers. be patient and let all of your blinking lights on the cable modem and router show that you have a connection before you start up the next device. I've found when I try to take shortcuts and not follow this order that I don't always get my computer(s) to connect to the Internet properly, even when the computer claims to be connected to the router, or if one connects properly and the other one refuses to talk to the Internet. I don't know if this will help but good luck getting back online!

Rallentando said...

I have heard that sometimes internet connection is compromised with 'connected' sign in evidence if there are 2 virus screens switched on by mistake. This happened to my laptop and PC a while ago. The default Windows one came on when I already had the Norton in use. When one was disabled all was cured.