Chaos to Cosmos
The path from chaos to cosmos was discovered by telling one's life story

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Spanish version of wireless

Wired wireless
About a week or so ago, I changed my broadband provider here in the UK from Orange, which sucked majorly, fell down daily and required one to phone India for help (only to be told to switch the router off and on again.) Upon advice, but with much trepidation, I decided to go with O2, who are, of course, part of Telefónica Europe. You'd think I'd had enough of them in Spain, wouldn't you?

First I had to get a bit assertive with Orange in order to get a Migration Authorisation Code (MAC), as they tried to hold me to ransom hoping to persuade me to stay and I told them it might be interested if they made the bloody thing work first, so can I have my number, thank you, as I believe is my legal right. They got their own back on me by switching the supply off early, at around mid-day on the appointed day, leaving me disconnected for some hours.

O2 had given me the date in advance and told me that I'd get an email and a text message once it was ready to go, so I'd put the router kit aside to wait.

Day comes and the email would have been pointless, because, as I say, Orange had cut me off already. By about 3 p.m., I still hadn't had a text either and, as it was a Friday afternoon, I was a little concerned in case the most competent people went home early and took weekends off. I was already having withdrawal symptoms - I mean it's frustrating when you're used to Googling everything, using online apps, etc., to be cut off for a moment - I didn't want to spend days offline.

So I rang O2 to ask when it might be ready to go ahead.

The first thing is I kinda like someone whose recorded message tells you that you can usually solve problems with your connection by switching the router off and on again! It's about as technically advanced (and therefore paradoxically comforting) as the days when we used to fix the TV by thumping it!

Anyway, the bloke on the other end - who was actually in the UK (although he was Scottish and, no offence to my friend Jack, but was probably less understandable over the phone than someone in India), checked the account and said that it should be working already. I said I'd give it a go then.

Now bear in mind that I've set up many different internet connections in my time, from veritably steam driven fax modems to wireless broadband and the last was a mere 18 months previously, so I could recall how it was done.

So, with scant attention to the instructions (you only read those when you're in doubt), I chucked the CD in the laptop, and plugged the router into the phone and lecky in the other room, exactly where I'd just removed the Orange one.

Yet it kept getting stuck saying that it couldn't find the router.

Well I could and it had found the Orange one OK, so what's the 'effin problem?

Eventually, I worked it out ... the instructions were still not entirely clear and specific on this ... but I had to connect it up with the Ethernet cable first (now I know I didn't do this last time and I didn't even know the laptop had a socket for it) and set up wired broadband before I could then opt for wireless.

This meant taking the laptop next door and groveling around on the floor for an hour or so, which again, I know I've not had to do before.

And you know, there seemed something strangely comforting and familiar about this illogical need for wires for a wireless connection.

For a while there, I felt almost at home as if I were back in Spain.

(Oh and of course, once I'd been surfing for about 3 hours already, the messages came through to say that it was ready. Yeah, like we know!)