About Our Beta Mode Connectivity [UPDATED]

Update February 23, 11:30am: Just to let you know the status on our communication problem:

For the moment all is well. Yesterday, our connection kept flipping in and out, along with our phone line. Sometimes they will fail separately, sometimes together. But this problem has persisted for days now, and affects both phone and computer connections. Not good.

Normally, with a disconnect that goes on and on, flipping in and out, each new green light means a new IP address and with each, the B has to do fiddly things with the modem and/or router. Things I refuse to internalize since I’m saving any remaining space on my neuronal hard drive for important things, like remembering the tricks for a good hollandaise.

The line was down again last night when we went to bed. So first thing this morning we checked our status and it was both systems “Go”. Same IP address as last night and holding steady. So maybe it’s fixed. If not, the B, being a systems analyst and an observant fellow, may have found the problem a mile or so down the road. He’s hoping the phone company has also found it and done the repairs. But if our line goes down again today, he’ll “attempt to find someone at the phone company who speaks English well and is in possession of more than three brain cells.”

Stay tuned…

Mea culpa to those commenters who think their prose is being held hostage or (in some cases) dropped down a mine shaft so deep we can’t hear them land…

Not so. It is our hot-wired-tin-cans internet connection that is to blame. No Drudge, no Bad Blue, no you. I had even almost finished a thank-you note, an extravagant note, but the mail train just whizzes on by, missing our hook… for those of you who remember movies about mail trains, that will make sense.

They promised to have this sucker fixed by tonight. And it has been fixed numerous times since they promised; it just won’t stay fixed. So by tonight, the B will have to call in another trouble ticket but this time he demands the supervisor. Does that help? Who knows? It’s the satisfying feeling one gets in demanding the next level up from the peon…

Our electric company is trying to interest some money people in helping finance connectivity through the electric line as a competitor to this one, which comes via our phone. Competition being what it is, that would send the phone company scuttling to improve whatever they’re using now to provide service. For sure, the phone company’s competition with the satellite offering was a big improvement for us, and a whole lot cheaper, too.

I read where Amazon is going to start some kind of service to Africa. They said the developed world is already well-connected so they won’t be competing here. Too bad. In some areas of our county, it does look rather third-worldish, but with greenery.

The Catholics among you can offer this deprivation up for the suffering souls in Purgatory; they’ll be grateful. I don’t know what to suggest for the Protestants, Jews, Buddhists, or atheists, though. My narrow little childhood ghetto didn’t extend that far.

Hmm… so who’s the patron saint of telephony, pray tell?

18 thoughts on “About Our Beta Mode Connectivity [UPDATED]

    • Well, the Archangel Gabriel is the patron saint of communications professionals. I consider the Baron and Baroness to be most professional, so they should rate a bit of assistance.

  1. don’t dismiss the electric company’s offer, SoCal Edison uses the ground/neutral wires (the skinny ones at the very top of the transmission tower) to provide monitoring and communication. Yes, the joke is that they and PG&E have their own internet.
    As for the patron saint of telephony, Cristopher carried Jesus across a stream, maybe he could carry a message across the country.

    • Oh, I don’t dismiss it. Our electric cooperative is trying to find some deep pockets to get things going.

      This house, in a historically black area, didn’t get wired until the 1960s. Other, whiter areas in this county, probably got served in the ’30s during the widespread rural electrification project.

      In today’s version of FDR’s Grand Plan, the county seats of poor areas got gummint money for broadband. Nice for the homes nearby, too. But we live too far from the seat for it to do us any good.

    • For a long time, Virginia’s state religion was the C of E which eventually became the Church of Virginia. You hadda belong to vote. Then along came the new American laws which said “no state churches”… But everyone who was anyone belonged to the Anglican, subsequently Episcopal Church – now a part of ECUSA. But the Episcopalians live in a Baptist sea, with a few floating Methodists here and there. So the very few local Episcopalians are fuzzy on this “diocesan” concept. It’s not really a thing except in the very urban areas – i.e., where the first of the English landed in 1609 or so.

      They tried a decade of Episcopal evangelizing a while back but the old ladies huffed that by now anyone who was supposed to be an Episcopalian had already been born into the club. So in the end, they settled for a good motto: “Come on by. We’ll leave the light on.” And that was that for the bright idea of the big city folk.

  2. Hmm… so who’s the patron saint of telephony, pray tell?
    Sir Alexander Graham Bell 😉


  3. I’m looking into getting a basic phone line installed at my summer home in the Idaho Rockies by this summer. It’s still wood-burning tech out there but I figure I need it for emergencies. I plan on keeping the bells and whistles to a minimum, I hope it’s not expensive. Some of the neighbors there have internet and a cell phone repeater, but some of the neighbors are stinking rich!

    • Well, then, can’t your cell phone appropriate some of their bandwidth?

      Some years ago during a weather emergency, we had to go to town for a few days. I made sure to get a motel with internet access to at least keep up on the comments here. I logged in per the instructions, but my computer liked the signal across the street at The Flaming Wok better. I never bothered erasing it when we came home, so when the internet predictably went down and then had to be reconnected, for the rest of that computer’s life one of my ghost choices remained The F.W.

      • The summer place is on a lake a few miles up a side canyon to a mountain valley that’s about 30 miles long. There is no general cell service in the valley because the Forest Circus won’t allow the towers to be built on national forest land. There used to be a pay phones at the lodges 10 miles in either direction from the lake road but they took them out at one of the lodges when the lodge went out of business. The phone at the nearer lodge, which is still going very strong as a business, stopped being supported last year. And that lodge stopped offering free Wi-Fi since it was getting overloaded by occasional travelers. The closest town in the valley is 20 miles up/down the road (to the north, but down river) and they have cell service and wi-fi at the library. My cell phone used to work in town but it did not work last year. And the wi-fi on my lappy was bizarrely slow, though they also have several computers that are wired and which one can use for free. Newer cell phones worked just fine in town, and mine works just fine here in the big city. It’s an OLD flip phone, call it 1G – no data, no apps, no internet – and just $37.50 a month. I think I’m suffering planned obsolescence with the cell and I hate the idea of spending $200 a month on something I barely use.

        Using the neighbors cell repeater is an option. One neighbor told me he had cell service just around his cabin and if I ever needed to use it I could just park at his dock. I tried to glam onto his signal last summer from his gate by the road and it didn’t work. I did receive a call on a cell phone from a guy who was at the lake last week. The weather was finally clear enough he was out there to do snow removal from several roofs and he told me he got reception when he stood next to one of the other neighbors cabins. I’m going to have to ask him to remind me which neighbor that was.

        Still the most reliable way to make sure I have a line to the world in an emergency seems like getting a land line to my cabin. And I may have to bite the bullet and upgrade my phone. I’ve managed to keep the same cell phone, my first cell phone in fact, for a bit more than ten years but know that it’s let me down in a pinch I don’t know if I can rely on it when I travel.

        • “It’s an OLD flip phone, call it 1G – no data, no apps, no internet – and just $37.50 a month. … and I hate the idea of spending $200 a month on something I barely use.”

          Pre-pay $100 on my little several years old cell that does have features and it’s usable for a year. Service charges are item by item like text -10 cents, talk -10 cents per minute, access (good for a day) 99 cents. ($15 is good for about a month.)

  4. Dymphna, if you haven’t read it, here’s one for your Kindle: Fludd by Hilary Mantel. You might find some resonances.

  5. I’m sorry for you but I don’t get it at all. I live in Kansas and our internet service NEVER goes down. Now why is that? No hills?

  6. Rain often makes my internet/phone (I don’t have a land phone line) connection sketchy. Maybe you have the same situation? Perhaps an information hub so important as GoV should not be subject to local weather, or other uncontrolled connection issues?

    • No, only the most extreme weather affects the DSL in the phone line. However, the electric company has been bush-hogging the easements along our road, and the phone company’s pillars (or whatever they’re called) share the same right of way. My guess is that the bush-hogger backed into one of them and damaged the local DSL server.

      In any case, it seems to be working now, knock plastic.

  7. Once the “Event” happens, there won’t be any communication ever again anyway. Until then, a few days out of contact will make no difference.

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