"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Friday, December 30, 2011

Write while the writing is good...

We had, as is customary in the Lower Drainland this time of year, a fierce windstorm last night. We awoke this morning feeling fortunate, as the City Faeries only had to hack up one of the trees out front, and the only cable that came loose from the house was a 2-wire AC line that had been used by former tenants for...Christmas Lights, I think.

BUT...we did not escape entirely un-scathed, for we discovered to our horror that our Internet Connection was no longer with us.

For those who aren't aware of my current living arrangements: Kath and Grant were evicted from their old place last summer. Not their fault; their Landlord wanted to retire and had sold the property to a new owner who wanted to put a new house up on the lot. There was a concentrated search to find a rental property in the same neighborhood, suitable for a family of seven. At about the same time, my divorce was being finalized and I too was looking around for new accommodations. The suggestion was made that perhaps Grant and Kathy and myself could combine forces (and rental funds) to lease a place that would be more amenable to our needs than we could afford separately. We wound up in a much-storied former duplex just off 75Ave on the Delta border. The place has pluses and minuses, but on the whole it is livable and the Landlord has been mostly diligent in keeping up repairs and maintaining the place.

We have only the one internet connection.

Grant and Kath pay for the TELUS DSL line that provides access. They've also got a D-Link wireless router that provides a "meh" signal to most of the house. The signal is weak enough that it was next to useless down here at the other end of the house where I am. I didn't want to pay to have a second DSL line run in, so I came up with an ingenious solution: a pair of D-Link PowerLine adapter nodes. Grant and Kath have two systems upstairs, one wired to the router and one on a Cisco USB wireless adapter, and I have a CAT 5 connection to my system downstairs via the PowerLine node.

None of which was working this morning after the 2Wire Advanced DSL modem TELUS sent with the account decided to pack it in. TELUS was nice enough to provide a new modem...which will arrive next Wednesday...

SO: what can we do, uncle Brian?

I had a look down in my "trunk o' junk" downstairs and lo and behold...I found a Siemens TELUS modem. The kind TELUS used about five years ago...Didn't know if it would work, of course.

It didn't.

That was that, of course...I couldn't possibly have anything else in my Vast Tickle Trunk of Obsolete Computer Hardware, could I?

Well, yes, yes I could. After several more minutes of digging, I dredged up an old D-Link 300G DSL modem. With adapter.

Not fancy, not "high-tech", no wireless broadcast or built in multi-port LAN switch...just one socket for the DSL line going in, one socket for the Ethernet line going out, and a plug for the power supply. In short, the bare minimum requirements to serve the purpose. If it worked, which it did. I literally had only to hook it up and plug it in and BAM! - we were online again.

I've no clue at ALL where that modem came from, much less why it works so well. It's kind of old and decrepit, and it isn't as robust as the 2Wire unit. I expect that it will also fail sometime in the next two weeks or so, but since we only need it for the next six days...that shouldn't be a problem. If it is still functional when its replacement arrives, I am SO keeping that sucker.

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