Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Still No Internet

RCN rewired some amount of the internal wiring in our building, and we had internet for almost an hour yesterday. It was glorious. It was also about 1.15 meg, says Speedtest.net. Apparently there is a signal problem on the outside RCN line that has to be addressed. They're working on that over the next day or two, they claim. We shall see.

I found where the patch panels are for cable, and I tried connecting us back up to Comcast, to no avail. I can't figure out why we can't get that to work. We haven't canceled Comcast service yet. Maybe the wire I think is Comcast isn't actually Comcast.

Today I ordered AT&T U-Verse, 3 meg for $19/mo. That magic is supposed to happen on Monday. We shall see.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Living in a cave in the 1950s

So this is what it was like before the internet existed. Our internet (RCN) has been down since last Thursday. A week prior, we switched from Comcast to RCN, because we kept having repeated connection issues with Comcast and wanted to try something else.

Then, on Thursday morning, at exactly 7:30 AM, we lost the RCN connection, totally and utterly. A cable must be disconnected somewhere, as we don't even get the "night light" channel 3 TV signal. I call RCN, they send somebody out on Friday who spends a few hours tracing lines and trying to figure out what's what. He can't figure out which lead on the outside pole is ours. Not a surprise, since it took the installer forever to find it, because it's not labeled. The installer didn't label it, though. If he had, troubleshooting might have gone a little easier.

Both the original RCN installer and current tech kept asking where the splitter junction was located, and both were sure it should be inside my apartment. After again visually inspecting every closet a second time, I think we finally convinced them that we have no such device or panel.

No luck, he can't figure out what's up and has to leave.

On Sunday, a neighbor shows me the hidden rooms where various connection boxes live for phones and cable. The RCN tech returns on Monday, and our landlord meets us here to let them into one of the rooms with the panel. Except, the landlord's key doesn't work, he can't get the room open. I email the neighbor who has a key, and it turns out that he's out of town, so no luck there. My wife asks another neighbor who calls everybody on her contact list looking for the key, to no avail.

So the RCN tech can't do anything on Monday, either. Still down. After he leaves, I email the management company and ask them for help. OK, they can send out a maintenance man with the key to that room. Our building has a maintenance man? I learned something new today.

Now we're on to Tuesday -- today. Maintenance man stopped by, unlocked the room, and left. RCN tech is now here, and is running wires. Will we get lucky? Will we have internet again today? And if not, what do we do?

Should we call Comcast and ask them to come out and try to undo whatever happened here? Or should we call AT&T and get Uverse? Looks like it's available on our block.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Avoiding Pink Slime

Even McDonald's has said they'll no longer mix "pink slime" into their ground beef. ABC News says 70% of ground beef you buy at the grocery store contains this gross stuff -- yuck. Looks like locally, the easy way to avoid it right now is to buy ground beef at Costco or Whole Foods. No word on whether or not you'll find it in ground beef at Dominick's or Jewel.