Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: Tech Trouble

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Tech Trouble

God dammit, if it's not one thing, it's another. I'm about sick of this. I've been wrestling with my computer all day. Yes, physically wrestling with it. Well, some of the time at least. Running 50-feet of Ethernet cable over and behind furniture and tucking it underneath the carpet, and around corners, and tacking it to the wall over here, and trying not to trip over it here, is all pretty physical, and very close to wrestling. Or in my mind it is.

So anyway, I now have high-speed internet through the local cable company. I've had it for 11 hours now, and I'm just now getting every set up and working. A week or so ago, I received an ad from Cebridge, the local cable company, advertising this really good offer they have for high-speed internet. You have to sign up for one year, and the first six months are only $14.95 a month, and then it goes up to either $22.95, or $24.95, I forget which. Either way, that's the same as I'm paying now for my Earthlink through a dial-up connection. Of course, this also has "fees and taxes" applied to it, and I have no idea how much those are going to be. They wouldn't tell me, they said they couldn't even give me an estimate until they had me all hooked up and everything.

So the guy was supposed to come install it today, and he did, but I was expecting him that early, I figured I'd be waiting all day. I woke up at 9:00am, and took my shower a few minutes later, and was barely getting out of the shower when he knocked, I had to hurry and throw some clothes on because I wasn't even dressed yet. It was about 9:30 when he got there, and he was gone by 9:55.

I have to run 50 foot of cable across the apartment because I wanted to be able to connect both the computer and the X-Box to it, but they are on completely opposite ends of the apartment. I wanted to have him install the line in my bedroom by the computer, but he said they aren't allowed to make any new outlets in the apartment walls. He can only run it through a pre-existing outlet, which is in the living room. But what if sometime in the future I want to get cable or satellite TV service, how will they run that? So, he got it installed, but I couldn't use it until I drove the 20-something miles to Best Buy to buy an assload of cable. I took some measurements of the walls, since I wanted to run it all along the walls as out of the way as possible, and my rough measurements ended up being about 50 feet, give or take a few feet. So I decided I would buy 75 feet, if they had it, to be safe. I got there and they had 50 feet, for about $35, and 100 feet, for $72. Nothing in between. I got the 100 feet, which cost me $78 with tax, and brought it home and hooked everything up. I ran the cable around like I was going to, but it looked like I didn't even use half of it, so I decided that I would roll it all back up and take it back, telling them I bought the wrong thing. It didn't even look like it had been opened. I was going to do this on my next day off, because I didn't want to have to drive all the way up there again today.

I got online, and it was all working fine, so I surfed the Internet for a few hours, and made the several posts I've made today. But then I tried to go set up X-Box Live service so I can play Halo 2 online. I was planning on just switching the cords out all the time, unplugging it from the computer, and plugging it into the X-Box when I wanted to play. It turns out you can't do that, because of the different IP addresses or something. The tech support line said I have to buy a router to do that. So I went back up to Best Buy after all tonight, and took the cord back, and got a 50 foot cord, which fit perfectly, and I do mean perfectly, and the cheapest router I could find. Those cost me $90 together, and yes, I did get a full refund on the cable I took back.

So when I got home, I had to hook up the router, and all the cables, and run the cable around the furniture and under the carpet and everything again. And I got it all hooked up and set up, and it still didn't work, but at least I knew why this time, from what they told me during my last tech support call. Whenever you hook it up to something new, you have to call them to reset the IP number, so I did, and reinstalled it all again, and now it seems to be working fine, I can get onto the computer, and X-Box Live, at the same time even. Hooray!

But...

A new problem has arisen. I got on X-Box live to set up my account. Halo 2 comes with a card for a two month free trial subscription, it has a code on it that you enter when setting up your account. The code on my card doesn't work! It keeps telling me the code is not valid. I've tried it four time, I even tried entering it in all capitals and then in all lowercase. I can't get it to work! And I can't afford to have to pay for my subscription right now. Not after spending almost $100 on cables and a router.

So, maybe I'll get the code to work tomorrow or something, I hope so. But for now, I'm through messing with it all.