Saturday, May 07, 2011

he broke our internet

There was a knock at the door in the middle of the afternoon. It was Dave Osborne. He's a local installer, antenna guy. He dropped by the CAO, hoping we were around, because was having some sort of wireless signal trouble. He had a switch and loose gaggle of cables in his hand. The switch looked 10 years older than the existing one. He was glad to see me, a familiar face. He asked if I could let him in. OK.

We headed to the basement. He immediately noted the shelf I had built for all the network gear. He started swapping out the Linksys switch; put in the "new" one. And it didn't work. Tried different ports. Didn't work. Rebooted everything. Didn't work.

He asked if I had a computer he could borrow. He had forgotten his. OK.

He asked if I had a standard ethernet cable he could borrow. OK.

I let him use the netbook while I fetched a cable. He hard wired it into his equipment and fiddled for a while. Wasn't clear about their router login. I certainly didn't know it. We briefly connected to one of the radios. But in the end, he didn't get anywhere. Finally, he put the original switch back in place so to get to a known good state. Nothing seemed to work at this stage. Our entire internet service was down.

(He didn't realise it at the time but somehow he had taken down Thornbury tower! Completely wiped out their Thornbury service. Wow.)

It was getting into the dinner time slot. I was looking ahead to the occultation. I gave him a deadline. Which he sailed past. I said I really had to go. He asked if could work unattended and continue to use my computer. OK.

It was about an hour later, as I was finishing dinner, that he came up from the dungeon, with a long face. He relayed that he had not resolved any of the local site issues (or those of the downstream customer). Despite leaving the original switch in place. He shared with us the Thornbury tower problem. I was astonished.

His feeling now was that it was a radio problem. Huh. So nothing to do with a switch... But he didn't have anything with him to fix it. He climbed in his van, leaving us without internet, and said he'd be coming back Sunday morning.

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