Saturday, July 5, 2008

Quirky Technology

I am the victim of a quirk in DSL technology! Yesterday morning about 8:30 local time, I lost my DSL connection. All day long it looked like my modem was trying to pick up the signal; occasionally it would actually get it. . .for as much as 23 seconds. . .and then it was gone again.

Somewhere deep within me I knew there was a simple answer but the problem was not solved and the signal was not gone when I went to bed last night. I figured that I would have to call my ISP this morning and convince them that it really was a "signal" problem as opposed to the fault of my computer or the modem. Those techs want to blame it on anything as long as it is not the company's signal that has faded away.

About 2:00 a.m., I had a brainstorm; I just knew what happened. But I was in bed and it would just have to wait until I was actually awake. Then I had to leave early this morning and before I returned, Donna called to tell me that the DSL signal was back and she could get her e-mail and lots of good stuff like that.

When I got home, I was pleased to see that it was working. I called son Seth who had left by then and asked him a question: "By any chance, when our second phone line was tied up with outgoing calls yesterday morning, is there any chance that you plugged the phone in your room into the first line in order to make a call?" His answer: "Yes, but I moved it back to the second line . . . this morning."

If I wanted to test the occasional readers who pass this way, I could have a contest and see who could guess why that simple connecting, and disconnecting, of a phone to the first line could affect the signal. But I'd rather explain it here and get on with my internet life.

DSL requires that a line filter be attached to every phone jack that carries the line on which the DSL signal is received. That's the quirk of which I speak. When I went to high speed, I was short one filter. Our DSL is on the first line and so a decision was made that the upstairs phone would only be connected to the second line. When the switch was made by necessity yesterday morning, the unfiltered connection disabled the DSL signal; when it was undone today, DSL returned to our home.

I often say that I love (or hate) technology). I only wish my brain worked at a pace fast enough to keep up with the quirks that bombard us. It took about 18 hours before I figured out what had to be the cause of the problem. And before I could act on that bit of intuition, the line had been switched back and life returned to technological normalcy.

I must say that it's good to be back on line!


Charles Gramlich said...

I doubt I would have ever figured that one out. Got a little detective in you, I see.

Leon said...

Actually, CHARLES, the good news is that I remembered about the filters from the problems I had when I originally went to DSL several years ago. The bad news is that the memory didn't kick in until 2 a.m. I just don't remember things the way I used to. :~) But, "detective" you say. . . Well I do read a lot of mystery novels. Do you think that really helps? ;~D

Tony Heywood said...

If you need someone to provide decent ethernet access you should see if interoute have set up in the USA. They provide a great service in Europe.

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