marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Sometime after dinner tonight our download speeds dropped to half a megabit per second on direct connect and pages wouldn't load over wifi, which I caught onto when I couldn't get live.com to display after seven minutes. I was on the phone with Comcast by then because seriously, seven minutes.

Other Person was complaining of the iHeart Radio app buffering before dinner and I was like, "iHeart, it always does that", because iHeart, it always does that, which is why I use YouTube on AutoPlay (and might also be because I keep forgetting Amazon Prime. I should sell my subscription to someone who'll actually use it, but that's probably somewhere out there in ToS territory.).

But no, this time he was actually onto something. Which meant our internet was fubared...again.

It was so late by the time we realized the modem was blazing away at baud speed our call was routed to India, which I knew it would be before I dialed, and I was steamed because I know India doesn't do tech support late at night, and the rare times they've tried I've wished I could fly to India to tell their entire team to never try to do tech support again. It's some combination of barely being able to grasp each other and lousy training that just doesn't work.

After 10 minutes of questions and troubleshooting (the rep didn't ask us to power cycle the modem; instead, without asking, she reset it, opening our signal to the public after I just locked it down again last month - for the third time in a year) which got us nowhere (the ethernet and wifi stayed the same - half a megabit down/too slow to measure, respectively) the rep had the sweet presence of mind to transfer us to tech support - in the US! I was like, "Oh, thank God I don't have call back during business hours tomorrow".

But I sensed USian tech would also not help. Sure enough, he made us power cycle the modem right away, so I was walking between the modem (well, jumping - I have to climb on the back of the couch to reach it, then hop back down) and my laptop sitting on the table nearby making the same sounds Eminem makes in some of his more gut-wrenching raps: "Aaaarrrggggghhhh!" because fuck, this is tech support, and I was over power cycling about 295 years ago.

The signal, of course, showed no signs of improvement, so he signed us up for a tech to come out. I asked uselessly whether we'd be charged or not, because I knew the answer: if it's on our end; yes, on their end, no. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! I had a hunch, so I waited 'til OP went to bed and took the entire living room apart, shoving furniture aside, and dug up the 10 feet or so of coax buried under the rug.

Coax is not supposed to be under a rug. But ours crosses a walkway to reach where we had it (more in the center of the room; it actually grows out of a corner on the far side of the living room near the patio door - thank you 1970s pre-internet cable installer) so it had to be under the rug because there wasn't enough line to go across the floor in any other direction.

But, after I got off the phone with tech support, I recalled how I recently came into more coax when someone nearby moved out. You can wrap this cable around the entire downstairs, and it's untouched, still in its original binds. So that was tonight's project: tucking in the new coax from a different spot I knew would leave just one foot exposed instead of seven or eight. And I could just tape that down to the hardwood floor.

As I took the old coax out, I checked the length of it with my fingers, a big, bright floodlight and my reading glasses, hoping if the problem was on our end, I'd find it. I got three quarters done and looked away, ready to toss it aside and unscrew the other end, when I felt my finger catch. Looking down, I went: "Oh my God" and held the coax to the light. My hunch was right: we got new (to us) leather furniture in exchange for a job OP did this week; it weighs a ton, and my guess is someone dragged one of the pieces at an angle and tore a bit of coax under the rug.

But then I had a plague of doubt if it was indeed the dragging of the new furniture that tore the chunk out of it, or if the missing chunk even affected the signal that much, or at all.

Either way, I unrolled the new coax, got it where I knew its living situation was an improvement, taped the entirely expected one foot of leftover cable to the hardwood floor (I think I've been practicing this in my head for a year; I don't know why I didn't dig out the new cable sooner), re-assembled the living room, power cycled the modem, restarted my laptop, and gaaaah...1mbps down. Then two. Then three. Ran a few more tests. The same. Ran another. 15mbps. Another. 35mbps. Another. 33mbps. Then I got back online and wrote this.

Everything's been fine since, and the coax needed refreshing anyway, so I guess this worked out pretty good.

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