The Modem From Hell, or Why Do We Use Support in India? Also, Photos.

The answer to the question in the title is easy: it’s cheaper. And really, I have little complaint with the guy who patiently walked me through the installation and setup of the new modem, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The other day, I came home early from work. It was so nice outside, I couldn’t stand to be at work longer than my daily minimum, which is four hours. I zipped home, hauled my laptop, portable table, and a chair out to the stoop, and started editing.

Working outdoors is the best, isn’t it? Once in a while, you can look up, take in what’s happening in the neighborhood, and return to your task refreshed. Several people stopped by to say hello; I like that, too. I’m starting to settle into my new place, always a good feeling.

AJ was still at work, so I got tons of editing on the current manuscript done before deciding it was time to think about dinner. I’d just started cooking when I realized the internet was down; the power light on the modem was RED, never a good sign.

I was instantly on the cell to the provider. It didn’t take long to discover the modem was broken. Um, it’s just over a year old and already shot? People, whatever happened to quality standards?

The guy said he’d UPS a replacement. It would take two days. TWO DAYS WITHOUT INTERNET? I think not. AJ and I would actually have to talk to each other. Besides, there was no way for UPS to deliver the package if someone wasn’t home to receive it, so it was decided we’d go to a local store and pick it up there.

AJ and I scarfed dinner, jumped in the car, and drove to the mall. If you live in the cities, you know that means Maplewood Mall. It was after rush hour, so the traffic wasn’t abysmal. I wasn’t even tempted to drive over the people cross-walking in the middle of White Bear Avenue.

I’d called ahead, and when we arrived, the new modem was waiting for us. Smart guy; he’d anticipated and saved us a few minutes.

We were in and out faster than I hoped, and home again in less time than it takes some people to walk around the block. I was elected to talk to the tech on the phone. His name was Rick. He spoke with a rollicking Indian accent. And when I asked where he was, which I always do at some point in this kind of call, he said he was in Asia. I sense a story here.

The modem was installed within twenty minutes. The wireless took another ten. AJ and I high-fived and decided to go for broke and reset the Netflix connection.

We patiently entered the new SSID and passkey and waited for it to connect to the new modem. FAILURE. Did it again. Got another FAILURE. Started tearing our hair out.

By this time, it was getting close to bed time, so I took another look at the SSID on my laptop and saw the first letter was capped. I’d told Rick with the Indian accent who lives in Asia to make it all lower case. Huh. I’ll blame this misunderstanding on the occasional static that interrupted our conversation.

I plugged in the revised info, hit “AUTO,” and watched a blue wheel spin. And spin. And spin. At this point, I was on the line with yet another tech, who was very nice but not very helpful. AJ and I called it quits, left the blue wheel spinning, and went to sleep.

This morning, I turned on the TV and saw a blank screen. Unplugged everything, plugged it in again, and voila! Netflix connected.

Technology: it’s always a love/hate relationship. AJ and I are happily not talking to each other again*, and life has settled back into its usual pattern: get up, check email, drop by Facebook, visit Google+, maybe start an online conversation or two. Work. Food. Rinse, repeat a few times, then go to bed.

*Only kidding about AJ and I not talking. We do it all the time. Just ask him. 🙂

And now for photos! The first one was taken Wednesday evening at the top of a hill overlooking St Paul. The sunset was pretty, as sunsets often are. If you look at it full size, you’ll see detail that’s not obvious in the smaller photo. This is not HDR. I took three different exposures of the scene, but it didn’t work the way I wanted to, so I settled on one photo and played with that until I had something I liked.

St Paul 5.15.13 sm

This next pic was taken after we returned from our foray. It wasn’t quite dark yet and I got a terrific pic of Suki. She hates posing, by the way, but she looks at me when I click my tongue on the roof of my mouth. Falls for it every time. ;/

Suki closeup 5.15.13 sm


About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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5 Responses to The Modem From Hell, or Why Do We Use Support in India? Also, Photos.

  1. suze294 says:

    My default technical fix is switch it off, unplug, have cup of tea, plug in, does it work now?! Then run around tearing hair out.
    Love the sunset picture. We had some great orangey ones recently, and through the tree branches it look great, on the camera it looked washed out – bummer. Trees finally in leaf now so I have a year to sort out how to get a good picture

    • I played with that sunset pic a while to get the color more vivid and bring out details in the much darker city. I set curves, of course, and then used a non-destructive technique designed to brighten or darken select parts of the photo. I used the same technique on Suki’s lighter fur to brighten it. I’ll post a how-to sometime.

  2. Allison says:

    The skyline is great but I love Suki’s portrait, she makes me think of a flower opening to the sun.

  3. diannegray says:

    Awww – you got me at Suki picture! 😀

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