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When Good Technology Goes Bad June 22, 2006

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Ramblings, Technology.

I’m a technophile. But every now and then something happens to my gizmos and gadgets that simply stumps me:

Yesterday morning, my wireless internet connection went dead.

This has happened to me occasionally. Truth be told, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my current router, an Apple Airport Express. In the past, right in the middle of surfing or a videochat, it would just go nuts and stop transmitting, though the internet connection itself would remain up and running. So when I booted my laptop and found that the wireless connection was gone, I took it in stride.

Then things got very strange.

For one thing, not only was my connection dead, but apparently my computer couldn’t pick up any of the five or so other wireless networks in the building. I know they’re there: some of them are encrypted, others aren’t, but at some point or another I’ve been prompted by my computer to decide whether or not to join these networks. And all of a sudden, poof. Gone. Each and every one of them.

Thus I began to troubleshoot, which led to the next discovery: I couldn’t connect to my router. My laptop could briefly detect it, but couldn’t access it in order to change the settings. And again, later on, poof. I couldn’t even detect the transmission from the router at all.

So I went back to basics, connected the ethernet cable directly into the laptop (which worked, thankfully) and began surfing to find a solution. Was it the router? Perhaps: it was possible that the sheer amount of wireless signals floating around my area constituted too much interference. Was it my wireless card (an airport)? Maybe. You never know what parts get damaged or dislodged with a laptop.

But a soft and hard reset of the router later, and numerous attempts to discern whether my airport was working properly, I was still no closer to solving the problem.

Was it the user? Let’s not go there.

I abandoned all efforts to fix the problem when the last possible option involved a screwdriver, removing the bottom casing of my laptop and fiddling with the wireless antenna directly. Deciding that it was better to just take it into the shop and have some real tech support take a look at it, I threw in the towel and went to bed.

Yet when I woke up this morning, poof. But in a good way. The problem was gone. I could detect all the wireless signals in the building. I could connect to my router. And, most importantly, I could once again go online from bed.

I still have no idea what went haywire over that 24 hour period. It was as if the wireless connection just up and decided to take a day off. I’m sure that somewhere the omnipotent technology gods had a good laugh at my little riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.



1. Jojo Vicencio - June 24, 2006

Wow! Did not know that PLDT provides services even in the US.

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