What One Man Can Do, Another Man Can Do

I’m sure I’ve seen the phrase elsewhere, but it first entered my lexicon after reading this page of Dr. McNinja. The alt text to the image is the title phrase of this blog post, and it has been surprisingly inspiring for me.

Something exciting about our house is that it’s already wired for Ethernet. Therefore, there’s an Ethernet jack in the living room, but it’s in the corner adjacent to where we placed the TV and, subsequently, the XBox 360. There were holes drilled in the floor for speaker cables (the previous owners had surround sound in the living room), but those holes weren’t big enough for an Ethernet cable. So I bought a drill.

In the course of this exercise, I had to crawl under the house (into the crawlspace; the basement only goes up under the formal dining room, and the living room, office, and front porch have just a crawl space under them). The “door,” if you could call it that, to the crawlspace was tiny, maybe just a foot and a half square, and loose rock and dirt and spider webs were poised to greet me on the other side. It was daunting, but I knew that I wanted this wired properly, and since I’d already drilled the holes…

The home inspector went into there (weeks ago, when we had the home inspection done), a more portly fellow than I am (though not by much anymore, much to my chagrin), so I knew it could be done. What one man can do, another man can do, I kept repeating to myself. I crawled in.

And it was OK. I got the cable through, though I had to go back into the house and drop a straightened hanger through the hole in the floor, go back outside to twist it around the cable, and then return to the living room to pull it up through the floor. I also went to Ace Hardware and purchased some wood filler to seal up the gap around the cable. I was crafty, and as someone who sucks at working with his hands (on anything other than computers, with which I’m practically magical), I was pretty pleased with the outcome.

Now, if AT&T could just get our freaking DSL straightened out and working, all of that work and effort would actually have a point to it…

2Wire FTL

I was so excited about getting my laptop all set up with Linux last week that, when I got home with it on Friday, I wanted to get it connected to our wireless network and transfer files and set everything up just the way I like it, etc. So I got the access key off the bottom of the 2Wire “Gateway” (which is a combination modem/router) that SBC foisted upon me years ago when I first got DSL, typed that key into my laptop, and watched the connection icon swirl futilely.

After a few frustrated minutes, I looked back at our modem/router/gateway. Rather than the three happy green lights I was used to, it kept flashing red and turning itself off. By the end of my fiddling with it, both the power and the broadband lights were solid red and I had managed to throttle an error message out of the curs’ed box.

Somehow, the firmware in the device had become corrupted, and because the 2Wires have no reset process, the only solution is to 1) Have AT&T replace it if it’s under warranty or 2) Buy a new one. Considering my gateway is almost four years old, I called AT&T on Saturday and bought a new one for the one-time-only low low price of my soul.

Amusingly enough, a Mediacom representative came to my door during this debacle to offer free setup for cable internet and whatnot. Even with this frustration with my gateway, it’s still better than Mediacom, so that made me feel a little better.

We’ll hopefully have the new gateway by Wednesday or Thursday. Until then, perhaps I’ll finally beat some of those XBox games I’ve been putting off. (Mass Effect was overcome yesterday and a second game was begun. Oh, the beauty of space opera!)