September 2002 Archives

I’ve been very busy lately. That, combined with spotty Internet access, makes it hard to post. Things are getting ironed out, bit by bit, so hopefully I’ll get back into the writing groove.

Our problems with SW Bell are coming to an end. When I called the next day to find out why I still couldn’t merge my account, they told me my account was marked as both pending and disconnected — two states which, I was told, are mutually exclusive. Tech support told me to call billing to get that straightened out. I called billing, told them the whole story, they typed something somewhere, and told me I should be able to merge my account now. When I tried, I got a little farther in the process, but still couldn’t complete it. I called tech support again, told the whole story again, and the guy came up with the idea of going through the process like I was a new user who didn’t want to merge an old account. After that, he said, we would go back and do a merge. Since he’s the tech guy, I did it. I was able to create an account, but then it wouldn’t let me go back and merge. You saw that one coming, didn’t you? Since I was no longer a new customer, I couldn’t perform the merge process. I asked if there was any way to get my old e-mail address back, and he said he’d have an agent call me back. I’m still waiting for that call.

Since we had Internet access again, and our secondary e-mail addresses still worked, we weren’t in any hurry to deal with the primary e-mail issue. Then, after two weeks, our secondary e-mail addresses stopped working. I’ll bet you saw that one coming too, huh? Those addresses were tied to the old primary e-mail, so they finally expired.

I was still recovering from my four of five attempts to straighten this out, so Angela called this time. They gave her the runaround, and even said it was our fault for not calling when they marked the account disconnected in March. That’s right, when our DSL was working fine, we should have called to verify they weren’t screwing something up. No wonder you have to be on hold so long when calling tech support — all those people calling to say, “Everything is fine on my end, how are things there?”

The guy said there was nothing they could do to get our e-mail addresses back. This is what we in the tech industry call a “Big Fat Lie.” Granted, the lie probably didn’t originate with him — it’s likely he’s been lied to about what the tech people can do. I don’t know what they use for their e-mail system, but I know any configuration can be changed, if one is willing to dig a little. But they obviously weren’t.

So that’s why we switched. I went to Cox the next day and ordered cable internet. We’d been thinking about doing that, anyway — it’s faster and cheaper then DSL. The only reason we hadn’t is because we didn’t want to change e-mail addresses. My thanks to SW Bell for jumping that last hurdle for us. :-)

Getting service from Cox was quick and easy. The hard part has been setting up our network the way I want it. The cable comes in downstairs, but the computers are upstairs. After our last experience, neither of us was interested in trying to run any kind of cable upstairs. So, we’re working on a wireless solution. Once I find one, I’ll let you know. :-)

How much longer do we have to wait for everything to go wireless? Well, that’s too long…

Last Friday, we finally gave in and got cable. It was partly due to football season, but we also did it because we were tired of watching only four or five channels, half of which were unwatchable half the time. So if you’re wondering why I haven’t posted much in the last week… :-)

Anyway… the cable guy had to run a new wire outside the house, and he said they would send people on Wednesday to bury the cable. When we got home from work yesterday, the cable was buried, and the phone didn’t work. Coincidence?

We picked up the cell phone, called SW Bell, and setup a service call through their automated system. Then, as we were getting ready for work this morning, a couple of guys from SW Bell stopped by — Cox Cable had called them to mark where the phone lines were buried. That was the point where this whole thing officially became wacky.

Oh well… as of lunch time today, our phone was working again. I don’t know who dropped the ball on this one, but it just makes me even more ready for the day when everything is transmitted wirelessly. And I do mean everything — TV, water, gas, whatever. If it can’t be “beamed,” I don’t want it.

One more thing: Blogcritics has a new look and some new categories. Now that it’s set up for TV and movie reviews, I’ll probably be posting there more often.

…They’re just not mine:

Happier stuff tomorrow, I promise.

According to Gizmodo, November is the 10 year anniversary of the Mini-Disc. Sony should throw a huge party and invite all the mini-disc owners. I think they would both go. :-)

For the past couple of days, we’ve been having problems getting our e-mail from our main SW Bell account. Then, yesterday, after I rebooted our computer, I wasn’t able to re-connect the DSL. It gave me a user name/password error.

I called SW Bell. According to their records, I’ve been disconnected since March. Perhaps that’s why they haven’t billed me in 6 months. :-) They said they would have to “merge” the account. That basically means I connect like I’m a new user, go to a web page (the only one available when you’re connected as a new user), and answer a few questions to setup a new account based on my old account. Simple, right? Of course not. Their registration system is currently down — has been since last night. Grrr.

For now, the Mabray homestead is cut off from civilization. Once you get in the habit of having instant access to virtually any information, it’s hard to give it up, even for a little while. I’m already feeling the withdrawl pains. During the day, I get my fix at work. It’s the nights that are the worst…

Anyway… One of the things I like about Blogcritics is how it’s introducing me to so many bands I should have heard of, but haven’t. For example, yesterday they had an interview with a graphic designer and spokesman for the Residents. Now, the Residents may not be my kind of music, but it was an interesting interview. I would have posted about it last night, but… ;-)