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Stupid Tech Tricks - trinalin thinks things through
trinalin
trinalin
Stupid Tech Tricks
Late last night, I was playing around with my network, trying to get my new network music player to see my music library on my new PC. I was making headway, when my curious side wondered if I could set up MAC filtering successfully on my wireless network. Word of warning, if no MAC addresses show up in the list of approved addresses, don't click on "enable" and then "apply" hoping that this will add MAC addresses to the filter. Nooooooo, it instead blocks EVERYTHING from getting through the router. Hell...

No problemo, I thought. I'll just reset the router and start again. One problemo, the reset router wouldn't pull an IP address from the cable modem. I tried several times, rebooting the modem and the router etc etc. Ah well, it was bedtime anyhoo, so I went to bed, figuring a call to RoadRunner in the morning would solve my problems. (Sometimes they need to "blow through the wires" as dad says, in order for the new item to successfully see the DHCP server.

Now, when I got to bed, I realized that the night was going to be INSOMNIA MAX. I couldn't fall asleep. During the school year, this happens once every few months or so and is a real annoyance. But I figured, hey, it's summer, I'll go into the living room and watch more Wonderfalls. (Having finished season one of The Bob Newhart Show on Tuesday, I was now working my way through Wonderfalls.) I ended up watching 3 episodes. And when I returned to bed, I was still not sleeping, so I watched some of Return of the King (whose DVD has been waiting for me to finish it for months and months - so many months that I spent the first 20 minutes figuring out where I left off.) By 4:30, I was truly tired enough to sleep.

Leo, Mr Alarm Clock, as usual made sure I was awake by 8am. And with a bit of a struggle, I was up and ready to tackle the Tech Support of Roadrunner. I figured maybe 10 minutes on hold and another 20 minutes or so to blow through the wires. Well, 2 and a half hours later, I finally hung up, convinced that my router just wasn't gonna take an IP address ever again.

So, what all happened during those two and a half hours? I got a tech withing 3 minutes of calling (amazing!) and he was pretty knowledgible. Hell, we even looked at the winsock dlls! I haven't thought about those lil f*ckers since I was using Windows 3.11! Still, he was unable to get my router to be seen by the modem, and worse, now my old PC couldn't be seen. (There was a very good reason for this, unfortunately.) I was escalated to the top tier of tech support, and apart from a glitch where I got in touch with an operator instead of tech, I was eventually talking to the higher level tech.

Our main goal was to get the old PC to see the modem & vice versa. And this entailed uninstalling my NIC drivers. (I found the floppy discs with the drivers, but turns out, they never did work for me.) I ended up going to a previous version of the registry in order to get my NIC card functioning again. But it still couldn't see the modem. So the tech and I decided to try getting the new XP Pro (aka Media Center Editions 2005) machine to see the modem. And it was while I was hooking it up that I discovered WHY my old PC couldn't see the modem. The old PC wasn't HOOKED to the modem! I had (3 and a half hours of sleep, folks) unhooked the Cat5 cable from the PC and hooked it to the modem. Um, STUPID. I decided NOT to tell the tech on the phone this. I knew it would give him a good laugh, and I didn't feel like laughing at the time. (I find it extremely hilarious now, however. God, that was stupid!)

OK, XP machine saw the modem & vice versa without a hitch, so we tried the router again. Still no go. I decided to have a burial ceremony this weekend for it. I hooked my old PC back up to the modem and read my e-mail before going off to work. It was now 11am - I usually get there around 9am.

Once at the school, however, I found another fun tech problem that only schools get (because we have teachers and grades). And wasted my tech time fixing something that could have been prevented if people actually followed instructions. Heh, considering the stupid things I did in the last 24 hours, I figure I can give them a bit of slack. Still, I ended up only working 3 hours today before heading off to Best Buy to buy a replacement router. (Oh, over lunch, I brought home the D-Link DI-624 that we've been experimenting with and hooked it into my home network and was up and running in 2 minutes. Definitely dead old router.) BTW, while at Best Buy, I bought a new graphics card for my new PC. I haven't taken it out of the box yet, I'm going to do more research on my problem and see if I can find an inexpensive fix. I've got 30 days to return, as long as I don't open the package. I also stopped at a Radio Shack on the way back to get a gender changer for 1/8" stereo plugs so my music player can hook to my powered speakers.

So, anyhoo, my last 24 hours have been filled with all sorts of stupid tech tricks. But the good news is that I'm once again sitting outside on my chaise and typing this on the laptop. And my new music player works fine too. Well, still can't get it to see my music library, but it can get to streaming websites! Sweet!

Current Mood: exhausted exhausted

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