Well, I’ve been meaning to make various posts, and not doing it. Need to get over that. ^_^

Anyway, for those of you who don’t already know, I’m on vacation this week. I’m actually visiting my parents (something I don’t get a chance to do nearly as often as I’d like. It’s a bit of a working vacation, as I get to fix various computer problems around the house. Thankfully, that isn’t my day job, so it’s still something different. Number one problem was getting broadband (DSL) up and running and fixing my dad’s computer after it had been smited by one or more viruses.

The problem was that most of the things I wanted to do to work on the latter required me to be online. Being online wanted me to activate the Verizon account through Internet Explorer, which was not functioning.

I eventually did a non-destructive restore that certainly made things better. But IE was still wanting to bomb out after a little bit on the Verizon page (instead of not starting at all…). After a fairly frustrating half-day, I finally decided to pull out my trump card for getting online. My perfectly functional computer, which I brought with me.

We had gotten a wired/wireless router to serve the house. It warned of going through the CD before hooking it up, to the point of having a big yellow label over all the ports warning you to use the CD. So, I figured, it was going to want to look up and save some information about the internet connection before you insert it into the loop. Set up with just the broadband modem.

That worked well. IE would get hijacked to Verizon (sometimes; sometimes it would just give me a 404), for setting up the account. Well, the phone is through them also, so there’s already an account with them. When it said the proposed user name for this account was taken, I thought it might be because of that. So I tried using the pre-existing login and password, which it said didn’t match. So: tech-support call: unsatisfying, in part due to fixation on, and confusion over the connection, “Are you using a router?”, “No, but I will be,” “Let me transfer you to the router manufacturer’s tech support.”

Well, to clear that up, and because we were getting a signal, I decided to cut the “no but soon” out of the equation. So, insert the CD, which tells me, in excruciating detail how to insert the router into the loop. That is, all the physical re-arrangement of cables. No, ‘let me see what your connection is like’, no ‘would you like to set security on the wireless access’ (still need to do that -_-; ). They could have just put all the diagrams (nice ones), and text on a 8×5 card (in large type), and saved me worry, and them expense (or not, maybe pressing a CD is cheaper than paper now…). I appreciate that they make sure the knowledgeless will be told what to do, but that’s not the manner to do it in.

And back to Verizon. The guy kept derailing about the modem and the connection. Obviously the source of most calls, but he refused to get a clue no matter how big a verbal bludgeon I used about the nature of the problem. And he’d occasionally go off about the ‘replacement modem’ we’d gotten after the first one failed (not true, this was the first one). At the end of the call, I finally asked what I had come to suspect over the course of the conversation, “Am I correct that a login to pay a bill online has no relationship to a login for the broadband service?” “Yes.” Well, that solved that problem; pity he was incapable of bringing that up himself, despite repeated mentions of the fact that I was trying to use the pre-existing phone service login.

After that, things went smoothly (other than forcibly installing some software to my computer to change my IE preferences; at least it isn’t a program I actually use…).

So, D-Link: A-; Verizon: D-. (At least I had no hold time on tech support….)

Now I’m working on getting my mom’s computer up long enough to transfer things to a new laptop she got. (The drive is obviously going fast. Loads of new bad sectors on boot up.) My dad’s computer is actually now pretty well behaved. It looks like the restore actually took. There’s still some worrisome problems, and I’m trying to decide whether to evacuate the data files and do a full restore….

In other news, me and my dad have had fun with a partial game of A Victory Lost, and I’ve hooked him on Age of Wonders II. Still need to get him set up for Vassal. ^_^