Thursday, January 03, 2008

Technology smectology!

Something happened mid-day yesterday that knocked our computers offline. We're still "online" but the main computer no longer recognizes it. I would have called our cable company, but therein lies the rub. For a year now we've been using an online phone and it's falling rapidly out of favor with me.

Imagine being unable to call your internet provider because your phone, which is derived through the computer, is out also. So, what if I go to someone's else's place, borrow the phone, call the cable people and they say, "Okay, let's try something. Is your computer on?"

Of course, I have not yet imagined what happens when I respond, "No, I'm calling from a house 3 miles from my home."

(Afterthought: Our first internet phone service was great. It was $199/yr. - TOTAL. The day I signed up they were offering an extra year free! That brought the total monthly cost down to $8.33 with unlimited long distance and features galore but, of course, at that price they went bankrupt after 7 months.

I then transferred us to Vonage and am upset that their $24.99/mo. advertised price has been billed at $31.71 the past two months. But this is America and we Americans accept an additional 27% in taxes and fees as nothing to get huffy about! )



Cartledge said...

But this is America and Canada where the system is owned by American telcos; and Australia where Americans run the major telco. Besides banks it is the greatest legalised criminal activity on Earth. Not because of America, because we don't scream loud enough. I din't get suckered into a VOIP deal, but I'm still pissed off with the lack of acceptable product options.

Fran said...

Well Dada, you might just say *things are looking up* Phone bill up, and now $100 a barrel oil.
Taxes are up too-- but take heart-- there is a Statue of Liberty design on the Federal Tax book.

I thought whips & chains/shackles would have been more appropriate for the tax book decor...
but that's just me.

D.K. Raed said...

hahah, fran, I just got my Statue of Liberty in today's mail. How comforting to know we are still free to pay our taxes.

Dada, I know I must be missing something about internet phone service & why people want it. We have a Qwest landline, mainly because we get no cell reception at home & because we keep thinking we'll get DSL out here someday (N/A so far). Quoted price $12/mo. Billed price = $27 due to taxes & fees. But that does incl our biz fax & voice mail & domestic long distance as long as it's not over 500-minutes per month. Is there something I'm missing about why everyone wants internet phone serv?

LET'S TALK said...

Dada, I can understand where you are right now. I've had all types of problems with DSL, but I must say that they have been reasonable to reimburse me for all the troubles.

enigma4ever said...

I am so sorry...I don't have a phone line anymore..I have cable...and my computer is through that...broadband...and it costs way too much....and is okay...and I have a cellphone...

but I gave up on DSL a long time ago...too much of what you just described...oh well....and too many problems ...from At&T to Qwest...they all sucked..

I hope things get sorted for you real soon..

Fran said...

LOL dk-- "still free to pay our taxes" Or get fines, fees, garnished wages, or they can just go right into your bank account, or sieze assets.
Free at last, or free, my ass~ you decide.

I keep a land line because it can be used in a power outage & it is a better connection than cell (especially for long distance). The phone & broadband is bundled, so we get a better deal, but we pay for a cell connection w a different carrier... at the time we got it, there was a workplace deal for the carrier locals said was the best carrier in this area. Different cell carriers work better in different areas, for optimum connectivity.
Although you see offeres for locked in rates-- nothin in the fine print about the taxes & fees being locked in. Liberty for Uncle Sam!

WeezieLou said...

this may sound dumb - but do you have, or can you borrow a friend's cell phone so you can sit at your 'puter and be led down the yellow brick road?

dada said...

OK, I want to thank everyone who commented herein as to past experiences, encouragement, and suggestions.

It's been a frustrating few days, electronically, but not without brighter moments as a result of being knocked offline.

I'm almost back up and running, i.e., after realizing Time Warner tech support was of no use because proficiency in English takes a back seat to the willingness of (polite, helpful, but incomprehensible) folks from the Punjabi region of India/Pakistan to work for really-no, really!-low wages compared to the call center folks they replaced in this country (now working at Wal-Marts and Burger Kings - if "lucky").

Weezie, that was not a dumb suggestion. After hearing the frustration in the voices of tech support people (despite being unable to comprehend what they were saying) when I think they asked if I could shut down the modem and I replied "No!," because I was calling from a house three miles from my own, your idea was the next option I was considering. But then--miraculously--a consistent cable signal was reestablished w/o having to experience being unable to comprehend support assistance again.

To those of you who expressed the lameness of having one's telephone dependent on an internet connection, I humbly admit I have learned my lesson. I won't do that again--promise!

Anyway, once reconnected it was obvious the PC had its memory joggled by a minor surge or something because it no longer realized it was online.

So I switched the cable over to the iMac which is something I'd intended to do eventually anyway since it arrived on our doorstep 7 mos. ago. (But boy, to I miss the PC which I'm trying to reconnect with by reestablishing a network thru the Mac, but am having some difficulty accomplishing so far (the router's fault, not the Mac's).

However, in responding to these comments here yesterday, I decided to make it a blog instead of a comment. Whether I don't understand the nuances of Macs and Blogger, or blogger was having difficulty, I don't know. But unable to post it, I eventually lost it.

And to Cartledge who echoed a pet peeve of mine that things like this happen (Vongage's $24.99/mo. phone that really costs $31/mo + after taxes and fees are added) because we the people allow it to - Amen!

However, I don't know who you had your DSL problems with Let's Talk, but it is nice to hear there is some reasonableness still lingering with your provider.

And thank you DK and Fran for easing my anger at suspecting I am (again, as always) a victim of corporate greed, by reminding me of our dear sweet Liberty fronting for the IRS's mail outs.

Standing downtown on a street corner during my wife's weekly peace group's vigil last Friday, I decided I needed a new message for the huge majority of motorists passing by flashing their support against the wars with peace signs and thumbs ups.

It was in a Cartledge frustration moment, I conceived a small fonted print of 12 pts. or less I would print out, stick on the top of a very large sign. It would read:

"What Americans are doing to end the wars" (besides honking their horns as they drive past peace demonstrators):

The rest of the sign would be nothing but a huge blank void of white void. Yes, wars because we permit them.

Anyway, I thank you all for the morale support. I would have posted this in a separate blog, but I don't know if I know how to do that yet using the Mac. (grin)

Hopefully, I'll reestablish our network soon and can go back to the comforts of familiarity I enjoy with the PC.

Cartledge said...

“…a Cartledge frustration moment” my brother and I are rolling on the floor with that comment. The general two way frustration is the funny bit, but you probably have to be there…
But both of us would kill to be doing this on a mac, even to talking about mining the local landfill to find our old OS 7s. BTW, 10 pt font, but arial for some level of legibility.

Psychomikeo said...

I know this is way off topic but have you ever seen or caught a Vinegarone?
I caught one of these as a kid & brought it back to Mich.