Posted by: mdmusingsie | June 16, 2010

Technology is grand…when it works!

Here I was, worried about having nothing more to write about. Tá an spéar gorm agus tá sé te. Things were settling into a nice comfortable routine. However, as usual, the fates intervene.

It was only 6 weeks after my physical entry into Ireland that my VPN router and IP phone arrived (with a hefty COD VAT charge, to boot). No sense rushing these things. Of course I couldn’t connect them as the router in my new apartment was in the downstairs unit and I needed to connect an Ethernet cable from it to my VPN router in order for things to work properly (a result of miscommunication between me, my flat-mate who arranged the apartment, and the landlord). Long story short, the landlord delivered another router and NTL Pace connection box that she thought might work if we just plug it in. Nothing is ever easy, and it took a day or two to come up with a wrench so we could unhook the coaxial cable from the NTL wall box and connect this new connection box/router.

I was somewhat skeptical that this would even work as the connector box has a little card in it and the card number is different than the one in the downstairs unit, but to my amazement, it actually did work. So I strung my 50 feet of Ethernet cable along the floorboards, over doorways and through the apartment to my room where I could plug in my VPN router and IP phone. Lo and behold, I had connectivity! I now had a Vancouver, Washington phone number in Ireland and could call the States for free.

My window to the world was short lived, however. I did notice during the night that my IP phone had awakened (the screen goes dark after a period of non-use and wakes up when working) but assumed it was a quirk and went back to sleep. This morning I saw that it was “registering” which meant it could no longer connect to the network. After rebooting the phone, the VPN router, the NTL box and the NTL router (several times), I determined that my 4 day old window had been shut.

I suspect NTL figured out the card in the connection box was no longer registered and shut it off. Thus, back to the landlord the texting went and back to a waiting period went I. At least I have other connectivity options, just not directly to my corporate network for the IP phone.

It isn’t just electronic technology that breaks down, either. Having decided that an omelet sounded good for breakfast, I set about the preparations. The non-stick omelet pan, borrowed by my flat-mates from their previous landlord, looked a little worse for wear, but dropping in an extra dollop of butter to give it a boost, I began the cooking process. It became obvious after a few minutes that the pan no longer had the resilience to produce said thinly cooked egg and I wound up with a ham scramble, which, in the end, was just as tasty. However, it just goes to show that some technological advances do have shelf lives.

It’s a good thing I’m fond of lemonade, as I’ve been dealt neart liomóidí i mo shaol.

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