Here is some more information about the woodpecker incident with my parents Internet and phone problems last week:
The cause of a recent telephone and DSL (Internet) outage in Fallbrook is shown in the following jpeg images:
Note the hole in the black-colored fiberoptic cable splice box (look for the white cord hanging out of the hole). This is where a woodpecker penetrated the non-metallic box and proceeded to destroy the optical connections inside. This assault cut off DSL and some phone service for about a day until the telephone company could make repairs (we were first told that repairs could take up to 11 days!) This was the second successful woodpecker assault at this location in a matter of weeks.
The “white cord” is actually a plastic-like tube containing (I am told) 24 optical fibers. The tube is about the diameter of a soda straw. The tube loop shown in the photo was swinging back and forth in the breeze as if to advertise the location of the incident at the intersection of Winterwarm & Alta Vista.
I just finished watching Meet the Robinsons. I really liked the theme of keep moving forward. I feel that is what we always need to be doing. It is so easy to be content with the same old stuff day to day. We always need to be trying to come up with better ways to do something and improving ourselves. None of us are going to be perfect, but as long as we keep trucking down the road striving for perfection I think we are doing good.
I spent almost the entire day working on our DSL or our network in general at home. We hooked the DSL modem up straight to the POP without any other devices on the network to ensure that there was not a wiring problem in the house. After another call to tech support and finally being elevated to tier two we were able to determine that the problem was some idiot had put us on a lower plan that what we should have been on. We were able to get our account upgraded to the 3 mbps connection and suddenly we had real internet back. I was able to put away my Verizon card and go back to using the DSL – it was very nice.
I convinced my dad that it would be well worth the effort to run cable in the house to replace most of the wireless connections we have. Either we could do it ourselves or hire an electrician to come in and do it, but we have spent well more time making it work than it ever would have cost to run cable. Even after that, he was determined to make sure he had the best wireless connection he could in the meantime. That lead me to thinking about updating the firmware in the units which set me on this plan of basically starting from scratch. I couldn’t figure out the ip addresses for some of the units, so I just started wiping them. I couldn’t get the repeater we had in the kitchen working again, so I decided just to try connecting my dad without the repeater. It worked and was way faster than anything we had ever seen before. I ended up having to setup an access point in his office to feed the replay in the master bedroom, but we got it all working again and everything seems to be happy.
I just found out I don’t have to be at our branch council meeting tomorrow morning. I guess it’s a good thing that my meeting earlier in the morning got cancelled. This means it’s going to be a long fast morning at home, but I’m sure that will be good for me. Maybe I can actually spend some time doing what I should be doing instead of rushing to get things done for church.
I think I found the new home theater receiver I’m going to get. It’s a decently priced Sony unit that has 3 HDMI’s and some opticals, which seems to do everything I need it to today. I could argue to get a higher priced one that might last longer (as in do whatever I want it to do next year), but I think that I have no clue what next year may bring so there is no reason to plan for expansion and just get what I need and save the money in the bank for the future. It’s a Sony STR-DG910 7.1 receiver. It is missing S-Video, but I can’t actually figure out what I would use that for at this point and I could always go straight to my TV if necessary for something. I found it for $350 at B&H or $425 at Circuit City. It seems that I will be ordering it from B&H once they allow customers to place orders again. I seriously would think about boycotting them just because they are such a pain (B&H), but price gets the better of me and I’m just looking that I can save $75 and I have no need to have it right away. It will be nice to be able to watch HD DVDs again and I’m really looking forward to having the optical hookup for AirTunes to get rid of the hum that is in it now. I’m guessing from the discounts I’m seeing on this unit that it is about to be replaced, but I’m ok with that. We’ll save the high quality stuff for someone who has a real theater and not just my bedroom.
Why does every thing have to become an ordeal? We decided to eliminate two of our three phone lines at the house. One of the them was just forwarding calls for the business and one served as a fax line. Neither was really seeing any use, so there was no point to continue to pay for them each and every month. We had the DSL installed on the fax line because it was the line that had the least amount of use and only went to my room. In the process of canceling the lines, of course, we had to move the service to our remaining phone line. One would think that would be a fairly simple thing to do, but apparently it was quite that hard. It turns out the password was reset earlier so in our testing we got locked out of getting online, but we were able to get that solved. We got the service switched to the new line and it worked for a while and then just stopped. This morning I had to call in and reset the modem and tie it to our new phone number. How much security do we really need on one stupid DSL connection? Once we finally got things running again we discovered that they are painstakingly slow. So slow in fact that it can’t support a voice connection, nor can one possibly manage to watch a trailer. I’m estimating our max speed at about 300 kbps – and that’s a burst, the average connection is more like 160 kbps. My Verizon EVDO card can easily sustain 600 kbps while downloading a trailer, so I’ve since switched to using it.
I went to Coldstone today and got Batch a birthday cake. Actually, I got him some sugar free ice cream, and I got the rest of us a cake that said “Happy Birthday Batch,” but such is life. It was good, but was kind of a pain trying to cut pieces from with our plastic utensils.
We didn’t end up going to Disneyland tonight. Christa wanted to go, but Bouse didn’t so they decided to try and get a group together for bowling. While bowling isn’t quite my thing, I was thinking about it, but decided that my hand probably couldn’t take it. I think I have been typing too much this week or something because my right hand has just been killing me all week. Alison and I talked about going to a movie, but I got stuck playing with DSL once I got home, delaying us too long. I ended up watching “No Reservations” which I thought was fairly good. It’s funny where life can take you sometimes.
I guess now it is time for bed. I’m not sure what the weekend is going to bring. We were supposed to be going to the LA Temple tomorrow, but Maegan backed out and we never really got a group together. I’m guessing it will turn into a nice day to rest and catch up on things around the house.
So I have to wonder: Is there any purpose behind PPPOE or is it just to increase the total cost of ownership. With Adelphia and our cable modem the only times we had problems connecting was when their servers were done. With AT&T/Yahoo it seems that every time we turn around there is something new. It turns out that they reset our password when we called a few weeks ago about not being able to send email. Fortunately, they were kind enough to send an email notifying me that the password had been changed. There were instructions in the email about if I didn’t change my password, such and such.
Here is the brain teaser for this evening: Let’s say I have an account, which has a password. That account and password are tied together for my DSL modem, email account and online/support login systems. Now, let’s say that someone – not me – changes my password. They are kind enough to send an email informing you to your email account. We’ll ignore the fact that people don’t actually check their DSL email accounts because all they do is collect spam, and continue down the road of pondering. Let’s examine option A: I changed my password or at least know of the new password. I can now login to my DSL, member center and email. The bonus I receive for this is an email telling me that my password has been changed. Great. Obviously I knew it had been changed since I had to type in the new password. Now, Road B: Someone changed my password and I didn’t know about it. Since I didn’t know about it, they were kind enough to send me an email to inform me. Ahh… but you say “WAIT!” You’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to login to your DSL, the member center and your email to find out your password has changed when none of the systems will accept your password because it has changed. I know I’m lost, how about you?
So, back to the real question at hand. What is the point of PPPOE? Why can’t AT&T keep track of the mac address of the modem I have or figure out that I’m coming through the copper they ran to my house? Heck, they could have double security and have both – requiring me not only to have a DSL connection at my house, a valid modem in their MAC address pool, but also to be at the physical location that the MAC address was assigned to! Can anyone figure out what I spent time doing this evening?
The rest of the day went fairly well. I don’t honestly have much to report, or at least don’t have anything to rant about.
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