Techno Prisoners

Yesterday was a day for the ages. One of those lifetime events that you don’t want to experience. One of those lifetime events that you have no choice but to suffer through.

My day began at 5:30 AM. The Lioness was already up. Couldn’t sleep. She sat motionless in front of her monitor. On the screen her browser was trying to load.

“Been up for very long?”

“Twenty minutes or so.”

“Just now logging on?”

“No. Just waiting the last fifteen minutes for something to happen.”

“Restart the computer?”

“…This ain’t no technological breakdown
Oh no, this is the road to hell

—Chris Rhea, The Road to Hell

“Three times so far and I still have nothing.”

“Let me try my Mac.”

We are a Bi-terminal household—it’s California—I use an iMac and she uses a PC. When there is a major problem we cover all the bases with Tech Support.

My connection was spotty. I had a problem a few days ago. Looks like it is back. Check indicator lights on modem and wireless router—all in the green. Check cables—all tight. Check Airport Utility—OK. Check Network Preferences—OK.

Make coffee—Check!

The next four hours consisted of caffeine and tech support with our provider (sounds like Downcast). In the end, it took a village to solve our problem. The second Support Agent—the first one never called back within the half-hour as promised—diagnosed a faulty modem in three minutes flat. Hmmmm, shoulda thought of that before sunup. We needed to go to the Downcast store and pick up a new unit.

We picked up a new modem and ran a few errands while we were out. I hooked up the new modem before I had to leave for an appointment. Let me correct that last statement: I thought that I hooked up the modem before leaving for an appointment. My Mac worked pretty well and my wife’s PC would not connect to the internet.

The Lioness offered a solution: When I returned from my appointment I should just put the problem aside for the night and tackle it fresh in the morning. We had already put up with more than 12 hours of techno-hell and I readily agreed.

After dinner we decided to watch some Netflix Streaming programs. The Apple TV box worked fine, until it didn’t. Our TV picture froze up, we got the spinning wheel, the program was restoring the cache.

Time to switch to Cable TV. An hour later the cable box stopped working.

Really? These are the types of problems that I used to get paid to fix. Now I am working for free and not getting good results. I did gain a lot of experience along the way, particularly with being on the phone with Tech Support.

A call to Downcast provided us with a solution to our connection problems—there was an outage in our area and it would not be repaired until 1 AM this morning.

Time to count our blessings at this point. We were healthy, we had clean water and electricity, and we had a roof over our heads. We sat and talked a bit and then we each got a book to read before going to bed at a decent time.

This morning I got up an checked our electronic devices. The Gremlins must have taken the night off because everything worked as advertised. Thank you, Downcast, once again.

Never one to leave well-enough alone, I finally activated an Apple Airport Time Capsule that I have been putting off using. It has dual bands (2.4GHz and 5 GHz) and both of our machines like it. The rest of my morning was spent changing the wireless connection preferences on the rest of our household Smartdevices.

I will share two tidbits with you from what I learned yesterday.

  1. If you are encountering connection problems with your computer and do not know if it is your problem or the page that you are trying to access, go to In the box that shows you can type, or copy/paste the web address you want to check and it will tell you if the page is working, or if the problem is on your end. See the header of this post for a look at what I am talking about, or click on the link in the previous sentence.
  2. This song by Chris Rhea started running through my head this morning once everything started working as planned. I am glad that it didn’t start yesterday.

How is your threshold for technical problems? Do you have a trusted friend/family member that you can count on for help or can you work through it on your own?

  11 comments for “Techno Prisoners

  1. alstacer
    September 4, 2015 at 1:36 PM

    Tech traumas tough to ditch. My threshold to tolerate tech troubles is lower than it oughta be. Spent too many years on call for system problems that routinely surfaced at 2 AM exacerbating a tendency toward insomnia. My retirement a few years ago felt good as it sunk in, I don’t to have to do this IT sh*t anymore. But I enjoy many aspects of technology and get annoyed when what I expect is not there or not as quickly as I’ve grown to expect. Cursing is part of my coping when fast internet, cable etc is denied. So I get Downcast after being AT&Teed off. Books be a blessing. Thanks for the perspective.


    • September 4, 2015 at 3:27 PM

      It is nice to hear from you, Al, and good to hear from the “other side” of the support calls. I have found that whether it is a multi-million dollar toll system or a home computer, much is gained by turning it off and back on again. The anxiety during reboot is much higher on the pricey systems, though.

      What is it with the Gremlins and the 2 AM—4 AM timeslot? Must be a union-thing…. Ω


  2. September 3, 2015 at 7:49 PM

    My husband’s a tech guy which helps me a lot, at least most of the time. I have to admit, though, sometimes I don’t really know what he’s talking about. 😉 glad you survived. Technology can be a blessing and a curse… Or something you want to curse.



    • September 4, 2015 at 5:54 AM

      It is a love/hate relationship at best when everything is working correctly. Patience is the key to slogging through the mire. Have a long, stress-free weekend. Ω

      Liked by 1 person

  3. September 3, 2015 at 5:17 PM

    I’m a prisoner and I’ve been going through hell! Just like nail biting torture…. while hubby calmly sat on the sofa and read his book. 😛 I’m saving your link, thanks very much.


  4. September 3, 2015 at 4:04 PM

    Thing about books, they never have connectivity problems. You just pick one up off the shelf and start reading it! What a concept. 🙂
    Glad you figured it all out, and thanks for the tip on that website.

    Liked by 1 person

    • September 3, 2015 at 4:34 PM

      Thanks for checking in, Bill. I actually had to decide whether to read a book on my iPad Kindle app or go for the one on a dead tree. I had reached my limit and went with my paperback copy of “The Sun Also Rises”. It was a goal and good read.


  5. September 3, 2015 at 4:02 PM

    Another of your post I will bookmark for when it happens to me.
    Good name Downcast.
    The son-in-law-almost is in tech security. They don’t have downcast. What dose that tell us???


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