|Friday, 27 July 2001, 11:05 pm
Sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been busy with the move and finishing the book – only a week late.
The Screen Savers will be dark today so we can go to the TechTV summer mixer. This year they’re giving us all drink tickets. Probably to reduce consumption. Unless they give us 10 each. Too bad I didn’t bring my digital camera to work today.
I had so much fun doing my old radio show on KGO on Sunday that I’m thinking about doing a weekly radio show again. I could do it from my house using an ISDN line and a Telos Zephyr. It’s about $7 grand to set up, but it would be a lot of fun. I’ll keep you posted if I can find an interested radio station.
This weekend the spycam will be on as I write the final words of the book. Watch me sweat. I’m taking Saturday night off, though. Two of our best friends are having birthday parties. The first is a fancy dinner in the wine country. The second is a surprise party, Moulin Rouge style. Everyone is supposed to dress “French sleazy.” And me with my bustier at the cleaners. Rats. Guess which friend is celebrating 50 and which 39.
Have a great weekend!
|Saturday, 21 July 2001, 11:25 pm
I’m back baby, and I take back all those bad things I said about DSL for now.
I guess the installer didn’t need to come out. They must have provisioned the line at the CO. My self-install kit came yesterday with an Efficient Networks Speedstream 5260 DSL modem, a NIC, and six or so line filters. I installed the modem per instructions minus the line filters. It powered up fine with the Sys and Ethernet lights green but I couldn’t get the ATM or DSL light to go green. That meant no phone connection and no data. So I went to bed. Always a good idea when faced with a baffling and frustrating technical problem.
This morning I installed filters on all the phone jacks and tried again. This time, all the lights came on solid. Was I provisioned overnight? Or do the filters do more than clean up the line for voice? At least I knew I had data. But I faced another baffling question. My ISP didn’t provide me with a PPPoE dialer. I knew I could download one, but instead I tried installing my new Linksys Ehterfast router and use its PPPoE dialer. No luck. I couldn’t connect. So I called my ISP (not PacBell – Sonic.Net, a small local ISP in my area) and surprise, surprise, surprise. They don’t use PPPoE! Just a static ADSL connection. That’s very good news. PPPoE is ucky.
I put in the IP address and gateway numbers and boom. I’m online!!! I’m going to patch the Airport into the Linksys to get the Macs online, too (I have a new G4 cube in addition to my old Powerbook) and I’ll be back to normal.
The speed is fairly good, too. DSL Reports is reporting 1240 kbps down and 80 up from its West Coast server and 1288/77 from its East Coast server. I was able to upload a large file to Leoville at 14 KBps (112 kbps) which is pretty much the same as I was getting on the cable modem. Knock on wood, it’ll stay that way.
|Friday, 20 July 2001, 2:48 pm
A quick note…
Yes, I’m still alive. I survived a week without electricity up in the mountains. No phones, no computers, no TV. It was heaven. But now I’m back on earth and in DSL hell.
True to form, the Pac Bell installer missed his appointment yesterday. If other people’s experience is any indication, I only have two more missed appointments to suffer through before my non-working line is installed. Then it’s just eight calls to support and I should be online. Sometime in the Fall. Sheesh.
Meanwhile, I’m still working on the book – it’s supposed to be finished by Wednesday. Uh oh. I’ll be doing my first radio show since starting at TechTV this Sunday on KGO, 810 AM in San Francisco. It’s the big AM talk station where I used to do a computer talk show. I’ll be on from 10a-1p talking tech.
I’m also going to do the Weekend Today show on Saturday, August 25. I’ll be talking about using the Internet to find long lost friends. If all goes well this may turn into a monthly gig.
|Sunday, 8 July 2001, 12:29 am
Just a quick note via verrrrrry slow dialup to say we’re all moved in. It was a bit of a nightmare – the movers took 15 hours and two trips – but we’re here. The house is jammed with boxes and I’ve been doing everything from unpacking and breaking down boxes, to putting in smoke detectors, and a new mailbox. The cordless drill is sure getting a workout. I also set up my hammock under a shade tree. I hear it calling me.
We’ve had non-stop service calls from the water guy (UV filtering), the gate guy (I’m looking at a circle-L design), the drip irrigation guy, and, oh yes, the cable guys who came to burst my bubble. I’d have to dig quite a trench to get a cable drop in here and the cost is prohibitive. So I’ve signed up for DSL and may the saints protect me. I have dial-up access for the time being. I should get the DSL kit in a week or so. I’ll put up the spycam then. If I can get it all working.
|Tuesday, 3 July 2001, 2:40 pm
When I was a kid the most suspenseful part of watching space flights on TV was the moment when the capsule re-entered the atmosphere. The intense heat created a few minutes of radio silence. You knew the astronauts were in the midst of the most perilous part of their flight, but you couldn’t hear a thing.
I am about to enter radio silence. After I finish this entry I’ll be unplugging my computer and cable modem and packing them up for the move to the new house. A cable installer is coming out on Friday, but it seems highly unlikely that I’ll be able to get online right away. We’re quite a way from the road and cable has never been installed in this house before.
I won’t be back at work until July 19. Let’s hope the radio silence doesn’t last that long. If it does, you’ll know we’re having a tough re-entry.