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Internet connectivity problems

I am getting more than a bit fed up with the crapitude of @home.nl, my home ISP' over the past couple of weeks. It's easily the worst since, well, since my previous ISP, bart.nl, except that this time it's exacerbated by the fact that I am feeling a lot more helpless than I used to with bArt. Back then, I had a dialup, and if I couldn't connect or the connection dropped out, I could just dial into a different number. That would work often enough, and be easy enough for me to feel like I had some control over it.
At my workplace, if there's something wrong with the connection, I can start up a wizard provided by the Internet service reseller and perform a brief ritual that will usually reconnect me. If that doesn't work, I can walk to a room two doors away from the studio and ask the reseller what's going on. That also makes me feel in control.
With @home, under my home machine setup, all I know how to do is reboot and pray, in the hope that the problem will have gone away on its own since the last time I rebooted. Well, I could start YaST and reconfigure my internet settings, but that doesn't seem to do much. DHCP is great and hassle-free when it works, but in combination with Linux, it's a black box that a non-techie user can't penetrate in case of trouble.
I'd call the helpdesk, if it wasn't for two factors: one is that the helpdesk has one of those 0900 numbers that come with the expectation of being put on hold for 10 minutes at € 0.10 a minute. The other is that I'm the disgruntled customer from hell, only slightly better from the point of view of the person at the other end than the guy who actually comes to the office with a machine gun and shoots up the place (I only fantasize about that). I will have loudly and confidently questioned the helpdesk person's knowledgeability, work ethic, respect for the customer, problem-solving skills, general level of education and intelligence, parentage and species before they get a single word in edgeways. In my defense, I wasn't born that way; I was trained to act like that by the helpdesk staff at bArt, who at one point could only be made to acknowledge your existence if you loudly and confidently questioned their knowledgeability, work ethic, respect for the customer, problem-solving skills, general level of education and intelligence, parentage and species. They got better later on, but I never lost the habit of expecting the worst from a helpdesk and tailoring my approach to that.
I expect the outages to go on for a little while until the good, kind, eminently skilled and perfectly human people at @home find their bearings. That will mean that if there's another screw-up with my web activities as there was today, I may not be able to read any email or forum messages people send me about it. Those readers who know my phone number are advised to call me if there are any problem. I may respond a little crankily but structurally, I'll be grateful.
Now let's see if I can post this.
(posted belatedly from the studio)

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 7, 2004 1:01 PM.

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