Monday, January 02, 2006

Tech frustrations

Part One - Wireless Network

Yesterday we had a sudden power outage. It unexpectedly turned off my computer and the kid's computers. When the power came on, there was NO internet access. Nothing. Panic. I can't be here solo and 5 children and no internet! That's a prescription for insanity. I phoned Allan at my parents house. Allan calmly told me to do exactly what I would have known to do if I had thought about it. Connect my computer right up to cable modem. Then I would know if it was Telus that was out or if it was our wireless. Bother. It's the wireless network.

I know from past experiences that my attempting to fix problems with the wireless network only leads to frustration and usually more problems that Allan has to clean up. As fate would have it, this sort of thing tends to only happen when Allan is out of the country. So Allan gets to come home and fix our network. The kids will have to live with out interent and I'll be stuck in the office if I want internet.

So now I had internet but I had to re-register this computer with Telus to actually access it. Allan said, "you need to manually register the MAC address."

The WHAT? WT-Heck is a MAC address?

Allan changed to tech support mode and started offering directions: "Go to the Start menu..."

"I don't know where to find that," I said, still thinking of the MAC address.

A confused Allan continued, "the Start menu is down at the bottom ..."

"I KNOW where the start menu is, it's the that address I need to find"

"That's what I'm trying to tell you!"

I could tell I was starting to become an annoying support caller and decided to just listen to his very basic instructions. Then the light dawned, "Oh ipconfig. I've done that before."

So I'm online and Allan knows he's got a networking issue when he gets home. Much as I hate to admit defeat. Allan said I was sounding like I was upset at him. (Not really - at me for not being able to figure it out and for forgetting things I already knew.) Next time - he ought to leave me a backup copy of his brain before he leaves.

Which still all comes back to - I NEED to know how to do more with the network. Because if - God Forbid - anything happens to Allan, I'm going to be stuck administrating it.

Part Two - Tech Frustrations

We moved almost a year ago. Our mail forwarding expired in July. Last night I got a whole stack of mail (mostly junk mail)that had come for us to our old address over the past 6 months. This included a holiday sale flyer for Something that's just as well I didn't get when they sent it out! Now I've bought from Dell before - but at the old address, with our old e-mail address, with a password I no longer remember. I tried every one I could think of - no go. So I figured "no problem - I'll just call them and get them to change my info on their end".

Well after a calling and talking to both customer support and tech support at Dell I have discovered something:

If you don't have your password and that e-mail is defunct, (thus rendering password retrieval useless)- it does not matter what else you have - they cannot change your info and you have to have a new account. Old address, customer numbers, old invoice numbers, former phone numbers, credit card numbers...nope. If you change ISP's and have forgotton your password - you just became a new customer. Well not QUITE a new customer - I haven't bought anything. A fact - I think they were a bit put off about.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Well - I saw some of the news this evening and apparently there was a windstorm with winds over 100 km/hour the night we lost power. Some trees blew down in Vancouver, a few people were evacuated. I hadn't set foot out the door or been paying much attention out the windows. Making note to check weather online more often...