[rescue] A not-so-excellent Internet Adventure

Sheldon T. Hall shel at tandem.artell.net
Sun Dec 17 20:55:11 CST 2006


As you may have seen on the news, we have had some "interesting" weather up
here in the Pacific Northwest this week.  About a million people were
without power after the storms blew through the Puget Sound area on Thursday
night.  Our power stayed up until Friday morning, when it went off, and
stayed off for 24 hours.  Needless to say, I don't have 24 hours of UPS, but
it didn't matter, because sometime during the storm, my ISP took a major
hit.  They were off the air from some time Thursday until about 20 minutes

When the power came back, but the 'net connection didn't, I called the ISP.
"All circuits busy."  Hmmmm.  I made a few inquiries, and it seemed like
their whole part of Qwest was off the air.  Yes, the ISP has redundant
backbone connections.  Yes, most Qwest switching centers around here have
redundant power grid connections.  No, I don't know what really happened.

Since my wife has an on-line job, she wanted a 'net connection NOW, so I
called around to get a dial-up login from some ISP that was still alive.  

This is where it gets interesting.

I called all the "Internet Access Provider" display ads in the Seattle
yellow pages.  Only one even answered the phone on Sundays, and the only
dial-up accounts they offered were limited to 150 hours per month.  So I
called all the little boxed ads in that yellow pages category.  A couple
were "all circuits busy," just like my ISP.  A couple had had their phones
disconnected.  Most just had a recording telling you their office hours.

I finally found one who was open, answered the phone, and offered dial-up
accounts.  They signed me up, gave me a userID and password, e-mail account,
etc.  $9.95/month.  I got out some phone wire, re-wired my office so I had
landline phone to plug the laptop into, turned my laptop into a WinXP
"Internet Connection Sharing" gateway, and we were back online.

Except that, five hours later, the new ISP still hasn't propagated my new
e-mail address to his mailservers, so mail to my new address bounces.  Oh,
and their tech support people aren't answering the phone anymore.


But, my real ISP just got back on-line enough to provide a logon ...


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