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(Sort of) Back in the DSL Gravy

posted in Home Jabber on February 18, 2005

Early in the day I spoke with a Qwest "technician" who flat-out told me my Actiontec modem was dead. He said the rapidly-blinking port lights were a sure sign that it was as useful as a puddle of horse puckey and I should (gasp!) order a new modem through them for sixty bucks. Ridiculous advice to a lifelong cheapass. I scuttled my little penny-pinching butt to the library and scoured eBay for a new modem. With 30 minutes left on the most promising auction, I ran out of time on my one hour allotted time slot, and asked one of the hard-shelled librarians if there was any flexibility on the one-internet-visit-per-day rule. Which (gasp again!) she told me there wasn't. Huh.

"Why is that? What's the use of that rule?" I asked.

Her face robotically snapped into policy explanation mode. "Because some regulars would be here all day. It'd be chaos."

This actually made sense. The library is one of four places I know of to access the internet in Astoria. Another is the aforementioned for-reals Thrift Store, Deja Vu, which has one of those only-in-a-small-town slapped on espresso "cafes" (little more than a tiny carpeted room with a counter), which has a dinosaur Pentium 130 running Windows 95, which they charge $1.50 per ten minutes to barely access the internet on. A local Lazerquik squeezes $10 an hour to use the internet. Then there's one of the most bizarre internet cafes on planet earth, the Wombat Moon Rain Forest IT thingamajig, which is NEVER open, and charges $6 an hour when you do miraculously make it inside. I was amazed to read in Keith Rosson's Avow #19 that he did a reading there. We're talking about an incredibly awkward layout of maybe 250 sq. ft, which is 90% covered with aging PCs.

Anyway! Later I changed my clothes, considered dark sunglasses, and stealthily penetrated the library internet compound only to find I'd been outbid by $.50 (gak!) -- so I hastily bid on another modem, a Westell 2200, which I was fairly sure wouldn't even work with my Qwest DSL service. When I came home, I called Qwest to find out, and was informed my old modem could actually be replaced for FREE because of a common defect in the 1520SU. Actiontec is overnight fedexing me a replacement, and a REAL Qwest tech told told me to set my NIC(s) to 10baseT speed (how many of you did I just lose?) and the modem would work until the new one arrived. Damn! Why the fuck didn't the first tech tell me this? Ugh.

So, although I couldn't figure out how to get my D-Link wireless router to slow down to the 10BaseT speed, OSX has handy advanced settings to do so with my Powerbook's internal ethernet (and "mii-tool -F 10baseT-FD" did the trick on my linux box), so I got my internet (minus wifi) going again.

Enough geek talk!

I found a $.50 basketball at Deja Vu, and Joseph and Mary and I PLAYED BALL, scaring a bunch of kids in the playground by the Catholic school up the street with our old-kid, dorkball antics. Jesus, I am so out of shape! Very fun, but I barely survived without collapsing.

5 comments on this entry

Boy, back in my pathetic early 20's, in 1990-ish, I used to camp out at that cafe in Powells, sometimes drunk, scribbling in notebooks and reading FactSheet5, hoping to impress some woman, any woman, enough to come up to me and talk to my desperate jerkass self. Hah! As if that would impress some girl, to see a brooding drunk nutjob reading to himself in a book store, looking super creative and artsy. Right... "hey Mr. Unapproachable! I see that you are drunk, depressed and terrified of women, and that's the kinda guy who TURNS ME ON! Let me mount your loser pole!"


diggin on the duotoneish look......

scott 2/18/05

Thats funny the rapidly blinking lights on MY Actiontec DSL Gateway modem lets me know it working.... Although the only one of the port blinking is the one that is connected to my computer and in use. Yay Qwest!!!

Shawn 2/18/05

Yeah Jesus Nate, nice window-effect. I keep looking at it going "it's just a drawing... it's just a drawing..." The 1-color thing is nice... Gives it all a "MOOD"

Keep drawin! Keep colorin! UHN!

Alec 2/18/05

Thanks Alec -- I was sweating that drawing for quite a while, unhappy with how I couldn't get any DEPTH out of it. It was weird because it looked nice in just black and white, but when I started adding color it got all muddled. I image googled "powells cafe" and came up with a lucky shot with the window in view which reminded me that -- duh -- windows REFLECT. I originally had some cheesy blocky white lines drawn in photoshop which didn't work at all.

Didn't really plan on mono-coloring, it just wasn't working w/ multiple colors. Sucks to be colorblind.

nate 2/18/05

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