It’s actually been a very busy few days. Busy damn month, really. I spent a weekend trying to fix a thoroughly virused computer, which actually involved letting 8.1 download overnight because, seriously, it took that long. Then, my phone broke. Really broke. Like, no more phone broke.
Which is where my adventure started.
Well, kinda. This was more of a side-quest, really. Totally optional. But I’m pretty sure it resulted in me making the tech support guy very confused and uncomfortable.
In the middle of straightening out the whole phone mess, I noticed that the store had the router that wirecutter.com mentioned as a ‘crazy deal’, and even recommended for those who could get it, kind of. And, hey, I was actually noticing some issues with our current router. And that price really is pretty good, and it really isn’t terrible….
So, I went for it.
I get it home. I get it set up. Everything is good. Mostly.
Mostly good, mostly set up. I can’t quite get my quaint attempt at network-attached storage working on it, and there’s fuck-all for documentation available for this thing, because it’s a slightly stripped, slightly rebranded thing and holy shit Google is just not helping me at all. But we’re online, at least.
And I suddenly have other shit to do. Like, out of nowhere, everything at once. A friend would like the header image replaced on their site with a slightly different one [You should check them out, but don’t judge the site too harshly. I tried, and there are some complex things I’m trying to work out].
Another friend wondered if I’d be willing to help out with something I’d never even done before oh shit at the same time.
Naturally, I got to the second one first, because the first one? I didn’t even have Photoshop installed, and that shit takes so much time and probably a reboot or three.
So, network storage? You get to wait. And learning about VPNs can wait, too, because I’m going on an adventure!
And it totally was. Because that friend? Well, she’s kinda brilliant and amazing, and, unexpected third quality you don’t often find: able to combine them into a cunning sort of ‘teaching without teaching’. Over Facebook Messenger [via the shittiest possible screenshots–actual photos taken of the screen with my phone], she taught me how to set up a server. On a USB drive. Like, with PHP and mySQL.
Then, she helped me figure out how to get Android Studio running, and talking to my phone. And just cut me loose to see if I could figure out the ‘make things look this way’ part.
I played with that for a bit. Then, I got really hungry and sleepy all at once, possibly because I’d brained harder than usual.
I think I ate something. I know I passed the fuck out.
When I woke up, my nicely working network was, well…not. It was still nice. It was kinda working. It was not communicating with the outside world.
And those fuckers at Comcast still don’t understand that I’m supposed to be allowed to use their convenient ‘what fresh hell is this’ management app that I think lets me see if the network is down and trigger modem refreshes and shit.
grumbleYou fucking…I just woke up. I’m in the middle of all the things, I haven’t had soda yet. I’m like…tail end of the Dresden Files series again and I’d really rather be listening to James Marsters read that shit while I try to learn shit that people at least half my age are doing with no effort and…now I have to deal with this. And I know I’m gonna be getting blamed for this somehow, even though I’m pretty sure I was legally comatose when it happened.
Good thing I’m in my BatGirl PJs [what? I don’t care what it’s supposed to be. It was sleepwear-adjacent in WalMart and it’s actually really comfy for sleep]. It’ll clash with the theme music I’m gonna need, but….
Mission Impossible Theme.
Here we go. I’m in the fancy wire rig. Let’s lower me into my goddamn account so I can see what’s going on without…fuck, there goes security. I guess I’m gonna have to shoot my way in or something.
Yeah, I’m a terrible spy, and an abysmal BatGirl.
And I’m apparently up against Daleks and Cybermen here. It’s like the fandom box got tipped over and nobody cleaned up.
So, business as usual.
Basically, what I’m trying to convey is that it was unreasonably hard to do something that Comcast brags about making easy. I got in, got the reboot signal sent.
Well, that did something. It pushed everything off the fucking network.
I cannot find an appropriately sarcastic Archer ‘Hooray’ for this moment. Because this means I have to go fuck around with the actual hardware instead of remotely doing it. Because I can no longer access it from any device.
I go. I reset. I reboot. I cast some fucking runes. I make sure the salt lines are unbroken, just in case there’s some fucked up spiritual element I need to ward off.
I consider pre-setting an angelic banishment. Just in case.
I ready the required sacrificial goats.
Comcast suggests that I have fucked up, and that I should really, really not have more than one device on the internet–and certainly not through anything that they aren’t charging me an extra rental fee for, oh no.
Motherfucking serenity now.
On second thought: fuck that. Time to go nuclear.
I ditch their unhelpful bullshit and pull all the plugs.
And the battery.
And I waited.
Maybe I made some offerings.
Then, I put everything back together.
Network is back. Hooray.
Lights are green.
Still no internet. Not even directly.
Fuck it. I’m out of ideas. I only have one weapon left, and it’s pathetic. Win-R, cmd
While I’m there, I decide to try one last thing to get the network storage working.
I move the USB plug from the 3.0 slot to the boring old 2.0 slot.
See the above gif. Because guess what?
Yeah. That shit worked, too.
Now, I’d been chatting with T-Mobile off and on about this and other issues. And…I got back in touch with them today about it. Well, about other things.
The other things? Kinda sum them up with: Transparency in policy changes regarding discounts is an absolute must, you guys. Do not change this shit on me without telling me. Text me or something–you have my number. Email me. Send me a letter. Something.
And maybe make these special circumstances a little more clear in your system so that the people at the point of sale can aid in this whole transparency thing. I would like to know how plan changes will change these things.
Seriously. Communication. You’re doing fairly well at it [unless you’re the Sunday evening web chat guys–holy shit, English was not your first language]. I just…would like a little more if that’s okay?
In the interest of communication, I decided to update them on the problem they weren’t able to help me with. And, in the interest of further communication, I decided to actually call them after I was done with the online chat.
Which brings us to the end of this little side quest, and the achievements I unlocked.
Achievement Unlocked: FIRST!!!1 Be, apparently, the first person to call about this problem.
Achievement Unlocked: Um…. Make tech support guy very uncomfortable by hitting him with something he has no script for.
Yay for me, I guess.
Now, I admit that I’m just terrible at the whole phone thing. And that I kinda went in a bit prepared. I hit him with several things, all at once. “Here is my specific and strange issue. Is this a known issue? Could it be something that will be fixed with the next firmware update–if there is one? How likely do you think it is that a T-Mobile store will allow me to test a router they have in the store?”
I think it was the last one. Because, apparently, the proper procedure here is ‘we give you a shipping label, and you send the router back to us and wait for us to send you another one.’
I guess ‘store’ is undefined, and calling it is just…really unexpected.
But whatever. I got to be semi-competent at something while wasting a lot of time. And it’s hardly an emergency.
I’m all caught up on everything.
I’ve thought up a few more tests, assuming I can find viable test subjects.
And, I got a blog post out of it. A really long, rambling, disjointed one.
So I wasted your time, too!