Now I know they have lots and lots of planet sized brains working on it, but after 20 years and 5 billion dollars will it spark up without side-effects?
On a tiny human scale, having taken about 18 months to resolve my first broadband problem, I was disheartened to begin another phase of degrading performance debugging.
I discovered the poor performance was not the wireless connectivity as I’d first thought. I ran some tests, which showed that the ADSL downstream rate (about 2mbps) was actually performing at about 1/8th of that speed. So here’s what happened next…
- Go to room with phone connection (other side of the house).
- Find the emergency USB modem.
- Spend even more time locating the driver disk.
- Install it on Vista notebook (I know, I should have known better).
- Extract XP notebook from docking station perched on window sill under large printer and assorted heavy items.
- Boot the XP notebook (takes an eternity).
- Screen display occupies only about 20% of the LCD display panel (I just squint rather than sort it).
- Insert CD into drive (discover the drive no longer works).
- With great difficulty remove DVD drive from docking station (the one under the printer).
- Remove RH battery from notebook to use DVD instead (further discover DVD only goes in LH slot).
- Put battery back in RH and remove LH battery (machine then dies).
- Swap batteries and reboot (second eternity).
- Start to read from DVD drive (other battery dies).
- Root around in the attic for notebook power supply.
- Reboot (third eternity).
- Install driver from DVD (wait for installshield…).
- Spot the message: ‘The installshield kernel.exe could not be installed’.
- Reboot (leave the room for a while).
- Install driver, this time successfully (test is good at a ping response of 40-50ms).
- Plug Vista notebook directly into the router (test is good at a ping response of 70-70ms).
So the culprit appears to be the very long cable which goes out of the new to the old office ….
- Call BT and wait in a queue …
- Get a quote to move external telephone line socket 20 metres (£166).
- Fetch the drill (needs recharging).
- Recover the ladders from back paddock under 2 feet of undergrowth and struggle to hoist it in place.
- Drill two holes, one in each windowframe.
- Promise to finish the job properly with cable clips and sealant (so leave the ladder in place).
- Plug everything back in and yippee (150ms ping times).
(After a bad night’s sleep due to severe back pain from crawling under desks, lifting heavy ladders etc,I decided to leave the finishing off).
Today, we had a violent storm (just 24 hours before the CERN LHC boots up so that can’t be the cause). Out of my window I saw the yellow network cable doing a vigorous two meter pendulum, just before the ladder moved close to its tipping point.
I braved the storm and the ladder is now on the ground. Lord knows when I’ll get round to picking it up and fixing the cable in place.