Just another day with Orcon


For those that are following this blog, just a quick update. First of all, I still haven’t got the 2 for one movie tickets that they “send out every week”. I’ve had quite a good week until Saturday, only averaging about 2 disconnections a day, I can live with that.

I did get a bill saying I was overdue with $20 odd dollars on my account after they gave me a compensatory credit of $100 which is strange because I set up an autopayment with American Express to make sure I was always on time.

On Saturday I lost my connection 11 times and yesterday 21, but the good news is that for one of them, most Orcon subscribers lost their connections. Most of mine were in the morning when there were no olympics on the net yet, but the early evening crash was surely an ISP (not Orcon according to the voice message so it must have been Xtra) that didn’t take into account that TVNZ were showing the Olympics on TV. I watched it for a short while and planned to go back when the boxing started, but of course by then there was no connection at all.

So or those of you who couldn’t see some of the awesome streaming video on TVNZ’s website (and it was awesome while it lasted), you know how I feel. The only thing is that for me it is a regualr occurrence. I could have gone to the movies with my new 2 for 1 tickets I was promised, but they didn’t arrive, a bit like the service really.

Life without the Internet 2


So in this day and age you would think that diagnosis and repairing problems with computers and connectivity would be a breaze.

The Xtra Advanced Broadband Helpdesk couldn’t work out what the problem was with my connection. I said that I thought it was my DLink modem which after all was 2 years old. He said that he didn’t think it was and even though my current modem wouldn’t be compatible with the next generation of broadband, I should wait until after the technician came round. Of course if it was proven that the problem was with the modem and not their cabling, I would have to pay $85 for the technician. I agreed, but said don’t send anyone before 3:30 p.m. Friday because there would be noone home. That was duly added as I anticipated yet another evening and morning without Interet, without Podcasts to download to my iPod etc.

Now, here’s a surprise. The technician turned up on Thursday and like I told the Helpdesk, there was noone home and they left a card saying they had tried to come to look at my cabling. Meanwhile, I stop off at PB Technologies and buy a new generation modem, take it home and install it, get the password changed back from their test login to mine and hey presto, stable connection, everything is working. Next step them to cancel the technician coming back on Friday and re-set up my Phillips Skype phones which had gone nuts through the process. So now I had Internet, but no phone.

After trying to reset the phones unsuccessfully I went to my gig at Bar Africa were I was performing my new songs and not able to use the net at all. Tonight I will get to go home and try to figure out what the problem is with the phones and hope that I can get them to work. I am hoping it isn’t a channel conflict between the WiFi router and the phone router because the phone doesn’t appear to have the ability to change channel.

So this process has taken 4 days, my diagnosis of a faulty modem was correct and if I had taken my own councel instead of the Advanced Specialists, I would have been out of action for a couple of hours. Just as well I no longer operate a business from home!

Anyway, my next step is to  run a diary for a day to see how much I rely on the Internet and how much I interface with it on a normal day. I will do that on Tuesday as Monday is Auckland Anniversary Day, a public holiday. Should be very interesting as I recognise how connected I am.

Life without Internet


You realise how much your life is tied into the net when it doesn’t work. Yesterday my girls told me that the net at home had been flaky for a couple of days. I went and checked, ready for a catch up on Facebook, update my blog, post some music onto another site, check my email, post some photos onto Buzznet etc and sure enough, no connection.

I rang the Telecom Xtra helpdesk after checking all the connections, rebooting the modem and goping through all the settings.  They got me to check all the connections, reboot the modeom and go through all the settings, checked the connection to the exchange and said they have to refer me to their advanced team who should call me within 3-5 days.

How’s that, just as well I still have a connection in the office or I would lose contact with my world. Today I’m going to buy a new DLink Modem / Router in case that’s died because the wireless has been flaky for a while. Then I can tick off the hardware as well.

But the point is, my life is inextricably connected to the net. I am a connected person. Yes, I write and play songs and I read analogue books, but most of my day (and I like it that way) is connected to the web.

This morning my younger daughter is off to a film set for a walk on part in a soap opera. I couldn’t go onto the net and print her a route map to the studio and like most women, she isn’t great at reading road maps. I have some amazing digital photos from my trip to White Island and wanted to post some on the net, but I can’t. I wanted to have a chat on the forum at Music Forte with a guy who reckons I flit in and out and don’t add much value, (his opinion, not mine) but I can’t argue if I can’t get in. I wanted to download some more podcasts to listen to as I will be in the car a lot today, nope.

So today’s lives are very different from that of Ed Hillary climbing Everest, although today’s climbers, ocean kayakers and other adventurers these days keep blogs to so that the world can plot their progress. We book our travel on the net and keep an eye out for delays the same way.

Last year  terrorists tried to take down the hubs that control Internet flow around the world. Imagine the chaos. The ‘developed world’ imho would collapse if our Internet traffic was cut off and we have only really started ourdigital journey. I’m not even going to try and imagine what life would be like. Wouldn’t it be interesting over a day, any day, to note down all the interactions we have with the net, all the different things we do, and imagine how we would cope without it. For a start I wouldn’t have a job, because most of my business is done on the net and many of our products work on the net.

Damn, looks like I may just have to start logging all my internet activity for a day and work through the implications. I already know its going to be scary. But first of all I have to  get my broadband connection working at home!