Saturday, 23 January 2010

Back in Business!!! {But what comes Next?}

Phew! What a long 16 off the internet...finally made a temporary plan to get back on last night but still have no permanent solution & my internet provider is as foxed as I am as to the I just don't know where to go from here & am not even thinking that far ahead...for the weekend I am just happy to be back!

Here is the looooooooong story condensed - no need to read it unless you have had your own problems & you are like me & want to get to the bottom of things & understand why & how these things happen!

1. Router started "clicking" +-3 weeks ago & as a result internet access came & went {sometimes we could connect, other times we couldn't, other times we lost the connection midway}= FAULTY ROUTER

2. Spent approximately one week trying to procure a new router from our internet provider, getting given different information entirely during each {about 3} phone call & on each different visit {to 2 different branches}. Eventually bought a new router & upgraded our account to 5 gigs {sick of running out on our 2 gig contract & having to top up - although this only kicks in at the beginning of the next month} DID YOU KNOW? That the 5GB package comes with a delivery speed of 4096kbps as opposed to 384kbps {in other words is 11 times FASTER}...I had NO wonder our internet is soooooooooooooooo slow...

3. Installed new router which promptly uninstalled itself {despite following the step-by-step with our internet provider} which apparently CAN happen??? Repeated entire process again...

4. Despite installing a fancy new router we were STILL experiencing the signal dropping... sometimes we could connect to the internet, sometimes not at all, and sometimes we lost the connection once connected.

5. We phoned our internet provider AGAIN who diagnosed the problem on the phone as they could see on their equipment that the strength of our internet connection kept dropping...we were told that now we had a LINE FAULT...{no jokes...} so we were required to request a technician to come out to our home & have a look at the connection point {phone jack}

6. 3 days later said technician arrived {unannounced despite us having given my cell no. & having requested that they please phone beforehand to ensure that I was here}. {Fortunately I WAS here...} He tested the jack in our bedroom {where the router is situated} & told me that was dropping the signal constantly {usually a sign that it is sitting in water apparently}...{quite possible in this ramshackle rented home we have the misfortune of living in - although not for much longer Thank Goodness}.

Yay! methinks...problem diagnosed = problem solved. No such luck! He takes a look at the jack & tells me that it is not one used by the internet provider {I confirm this with DH over the phone as if it was we would be paying a R14 rental on it per month & we aren't}. DH confirms that the jack was installed by "a cable guy" when we moved in {DH just asked our IT man (the idiot who I'll no longer have within a 50m radius of my pc) to do whatever was required to get our 2 pcs connected in our chosen spots within our home & he called in said cable guy to do the wiring - who never even told us that we had a couple of options - going the private route or using our internet provider to do the job}.

The technician told me that he isn't authorised to fix the wiring because it wasn't his company {our network provider} who installed it - therefore we need to call in "the cable guy" to rewire {I suspect the cable has been eaten through by a rat & is no longer insulated therefore water is able to get into the cable}. Technician leaves...having totally disconnected the bedroom jack where the router was plugged in & not reassembled it so now, instead of having a dropping signal, we have absolutely ZERO signal as we can't even plug the freaking router in at all!!!!


7. Time for a meeting - DH & I put our knuckle-heads together to think of a Plan B. Our options were :-

a) Call "the cable guy" in at {most probably} vast expense to redo all the cabling {which is most probably shot (buggered...for want of a better word lol)

b) Buy a booster {to strengthen the signal from the router - which now has to come from the original jack in the kitchen} {of all places - where it was already when we first moved in} or

c) Book our internet provider to come & replace the wiring & phone jack, which could take up to 10 days & would thereafter add R14 to the phone-bill every month {soon not to be our phone bill as we are moving house shortly}, & our landlord being as petty as he is he would probably veto it!

8. Decisions, decisions...we decide against plan

a) because spending a lot of money installing something that we are only going to use for a few months would be stoooooooopid. We decide against plan

b) because buying a booster isn't cheap either & in our new house wouldn't be necessary so again we would be spending a lot on a temporary arrangement, which apparently still needs to be wired up as opposed to plugged in in any case... We decide against plan

c) because we can't be bothered with the endless procrastination that we know will go along with our landlord deciding on whether or not he is happy to add R14 a month (less than $2) to his phonebill - and also because we don't want to wait up to 10 days when we have already been offline for more than 10 days!!!

9. Now what?!?

We decided to TRY plugging the router in to the original phoneline in the kitchen {which only requires buying a cheap "splitter" to create 2 plugs instead of the original one} & seeing if there is sufficient signal strength to reach the pcs - through walls, etc - at a distance greater than the capacity of the router - we figure...we're so bored now that we have no online lives anymore what's there to lose lol!?! Bingo! signal! - yet again varied - from low to excellent depending on...who knows what {walls expanding?!? lol} so we try to connect. DH had complete success on his pc. I had NO SUCCESS on my pc at all. They are 6 metres apart...explanation please anyone IT educated!

Why not? I have no idea. He has no idea either!!!

10. DAY 13 - I returned the pc to the computer shop {where BTW I had sent it during all this rigmarole (seeing as I couldn't be online anyway) for a full upgrade - in order to make it faster (more RAM) & bigger {a new hard-drive} - where, of course, Sod's law, it connected to the internet instantly & loaded speedily. The IT "experts" there (both of whom look close to 19...) had NO IDEA why I could not log on at home although they did attempt to throw some hair-brained "James Bond" type scenarios our way (like someone has stolen our IP address, etc...) so I told them to grow up & stop reading crime novels {no, not really...} then I left.

10. We scratch our heads for a couple of days, now completely stumped. I, at this stage, am beyond consolation, totally unmotivated as I now feel destined for a life without technology. Unable to blog on Dh's pc {because none of my settings are in place & he uses programs that are completely unfamiliar to me including a different browser, search engine, keypad, mouse, etc} I give up & go shopping instead...{find a nice new blouse, some new underwear at La Senza & some pretty scrappy goodies}. Dh decides we need to bite the bullet & call in a technician to our home {very expensive here & the last one we used was hopeless & unreliable so we don't know anyone & would have to look in the newspaper & get someone totally unrecommended who could turn out to be a serial killer (well you never know...anything is possible here...). I agree, figuring that life isn't really worth living without my pc anyway so I'm willing to risk it to get my blog (& yours) back!

11. DAY 16 - Sitting here, wondering who to call {last night} & what solution they could possibly come up with {having run a full scan overnight to eradicate any possible obstacles - senseless as it seems as my pc was working like a dream when I took it into the computer shop} I decided to give our internet provider ANOTHER call. Explaining my peculiar circumstances I spend a fortune (on my cellphone because we no longer have anywhere to plug the hands-free phone into now that we have had to relocate the router to the kitchen & I have to be sitting in front of my pc in order to follow the technician's directions) going through every single network setting on my pc at the prompting of the technician on the other side of the phone, to check if SOMEHOW the IT man who transferred all my info, programs, etc, onto my new hard-drive, had changed a vital setting or got something, somewhere, messed up...

Nicks...nada...all fine...but no internet! {insert overwhelming desire to punch monitor here}***

12. Internet provider technician has last resort plan b. Insert all settings manually as they are not working automatically. Add desktop shortcut {internet provider icon} & click & connect manually each & every time I log on. I am back in the stone-age on dial-up! Despite this not being a permanent solution I jump up & down for joy {not really...just in my mind...remember my feet are killing me because I've been shopping for hours} BUT I want to know WHY. WHY did this happen? HOW did this happen? All he can think of is it must have something to do with the upgrade & transferring of data & perhaps an automatic update on Kaspersky (my anti-virus software) as my pc WILL NOT allow an automatic connection to the internet.

13. B{log} in & write this post - then decide to let it stew overnight while I catch up with my bloggy friends.

LAST NIGHT I STAYED UP ALL NIGHT & STILL DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO READ EVERYTHING I WANTED TO CATCH UP ON! Good thing it's Saturday today so I could sleep in as I had an afternoon appointment today.

I have never experienced such a bizarre set of circumstances coming upon me simultaneously so if anyone has made it to the bottom of this epic explanation & has any idea WHAT COMES NEXT please let me know! I need a permanent solution!!

I can't continue logging on manually every time I want to go online & I didn't think to change profiles & repeat the process again in Chelsea & Jack's profiles {& give them a desktop shortcut too} so now they are having to work on MY PROFILE & I HATE THAT...For now {unless anyone has any brainwave ideas} I'm just going to put up with it for a few months, until we move house, then call in our Internet Provider, or even a private technician, to try to solve the problem then, although if they were both unable to solve it now perhaps it is just an unsolvable mystery!


Jenny in Durbs said...

Change your internet provider & IT guys! or just go wireless. Phew I could not go through all that crazy.

Helen Tilbury said...

We are wireless now Jenny! That's why we have the router...but since sending my pc for the upgrade it's lost it's "right" to connect to the internet whereas Shane's pc hasn't...all very confusing...and we are with Telkom - even though they are expensive there isn't really anyone else...

Stefanie said...

We are also with telkom but I don't have wireless, I wanted to be able to disconnect the boys physically so they couldn't access all through the night.
Sorry you have had such a torrid time of it.
Have no suggestions for you too clueless myself.

topkatnz said...

Welcome back Helen.

tania said...

shwee!!! this sounds sooo technical:) dont have a clue. . .why dont you go with the vodacom internet?? small little stick,you pay 30rand per month extra for high speed?? thanks for all your comments on my blog:)

Shayne said...

Ok i'm exhausted from merely scanning this so i hate to think how you feel!

Hope that you get it sorted. I log in and out every day and it really isn't so bad at all!

Thanks for catching up with my blog - love reading your comments!

Andrea said...

Oh Helen, hope you get it all sorted sooner rather than later - it can be so terribly frustrating!

mariam said...

yeay!! I missed you Helen. and thanks for the tip about blogging thru email will have to try that one!

Cathy said...

All I can say is OUCH!!! I know how frustrating it all can be... we had similar problems at work last year... they eventually installed a second adsl line.

I'm not hardware savvy so can't really offer any advice. Just thinking though that maybe your wireless authorisation got lost in the data transfer... I remember having to do something special on my laptop when I set it up wirelessly with my pc. Good luck. Might just be worth it to leave all as is till you move!

Lynette said...

Welcome back...and thank you for being such a faithful follower of our blogs...and your lovely comments.

Helen Tilbury said...

Thanks Lynette! Cathy I remember now when you experienced all those problems at work. I'm thinking that when we move into our new house I should just get the pcs wired in through the ceiling & forget this wireless thing, as I'm sure it'll be an asset to our property when we resell anyway. Yes, the authorisation did somehow get lost, I established that with the Telkom technician, but he wasn't able to retrieve it, we just had to reset it all up manually then install a shortcut to my desktop for me to use to connect. I thought that would be okay, considering it was better than nothing & I thought that I would just have to click "connect" so would put up with it for a few months til we move BUT today I could NOT log on ALL DAY...that I don't understand. I tried one last time now as I was shutting down (at 1a.m!) & suddenly it connected...go figure...I don't think I've ever been so frustrated in my to add insult to injury my printer has packed in so finally when I can access all the challenges I planned to do this month my photos are printing with lovely big stripes all through them! At this rate I may just give up...

teacher jessy said...

Helen, I hope ur Internet probs can be settled soon!! I know how annoying to live without one :) sorry to see that u have to go thru this. I am sure it will be better soon

Penny said...

Hi Helen - good to see you back! Apart from the fact that where I live I can't get an ADSL line, this is one of the main reasons I have a 3G connection. I have untold problems with my telephone line anyway (eg when it rains it gets noisy!), and we decided a while back it was easier to just pay the bit extra and not have to depend on a parastatal!