Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cable service and lightning

Our internet service provider is our local cable TV company (Cox Communications).

For some reason the cable seems much more susceptible to outages during lightning storms than does our electricity. Today a line of thunderstorms moved through with lots of sound and fury. Unfortunately it moved through so quickly that we didn’t get nearly enough rain. But our drought is the subject of another post.

During the height of the lightning and thunder, our power dimmed once or twice, but never actually went off. We can always tell because the clock on the microwave just shows straight dashes instead of digits whenever there’s an instantaneous interruption of power. Even if nothing else in the house is affected, the microwave tells the tale.

Today the microwave clock still showed the correct time, but our cable signal disappeared. For those of you not on cable internet, when that happens you must unplug and re-power the modem. Also, if you have a wireless router as we do, it too must be powered down and then restarted.

And there’s a trick to it. You must wait about ten seconds between pulling the plug and powering up again. No, I don’t know why. This is just one of those circumstances in which patience is not only a virtue, it is essential if you want positive results.

Even then, sometimes things are still squirrelly (that’s a computer technical term I learned at work) for a while, and the computer(s) have to be re-booted as well. I guess that allows everything to start over fresh, in case some of those little stray electrons running around during the power fluctuations might have scrambled your IP address or your subnet mask.

Occasionally (as in today) even after you do ALL of those things you still have problems. Perhaps you didn’t reboot the various components of the chain in the proper sequence. Perhaps you weren’t gentle enough when you cycled the power switch, or when you pulled out and then pushed in the plug.

Or perhaps, if you happened to be away at the office and your wife was trying all these steps, the dark forces of resistentialism might have reared their ugly heads and laughed at her.

She meanwhile, was probably calling you on the phone every few minutes telling you what she had done, and what still didn’t work, and what she was going to try next. And asking if what she was going to try sounded OK, or if it might possibly do further harm. And getting more frustrated by the minute.

But of course, none of that happened to ME. I was just saying, “Perhaps...”

Besides, even if it WERE to happen to me, Carol reads my blog so I would never post about it.

And in case you’re wondering, our internet service is working very well right at the moment.


Anonymous said...

But, if it WERE you, I would recommend calling Jay for advice!

Duke_of_Earle said...

VERY good advice, Christina, VERY good!


Shesawriter said...

At the moment is the operative phrase. ;-)

the many Bs said...

Well, thanks for that information. I happen to have cable internet service also, so if/when the cable goes out, I will know what to do - call YOU!

Robin said...

Some of us wifey-poos are computer illiterate and rely on our oh-so-knowledgeable and patient hubbies to help us out....;)

(Carol - I know just how you feel!)

Karyn Lyndon said...

sometimes it's nice to have dial-up...

Anonymous said...

I once found Mrs Robot complaining that her monitor didn't work after she "set it up". She had only plugged the power cable in and not the data cable. When I asked her what she thought the data cable was she said she thought it was " a spare power cable".

Like have you ever seen any appliance with 2 power cables just in case ?

kenju said...

I know what you mean - we have cable internet also. But they told me to wait 45 seconds before plugging the modem back in...LOL.

Thanks for the visit. I had forgotten about the Platters version of that song, and while I liked the Platters a lot (In the still of the night), I still prefer the older version of "smoke".

Anonymous said...

You must wait about ten seconds between pulling the plug and powering up again. No, I don’t know why.

I've been given this advice when rebooting computers, too.

I've never been told why, but I was thinking about this recently (my laptop is acting up so I've been rebooting it a lot)and I wondered whether some charge might linger in a device's circuits for a few seconds after it's shut down -- kind of like the way a light bulb filament continues to glow for a bit after the off switch has been thrown . . .