George V. Reilly

A Minute or an Hour

A Minute or an Hour

I serve as tech support to my parents, Frank and Lyndol, and a handful of others. I was at Lyn’s tonight to find out why he no longer had an Internet connection. I told him when I arrived, "This will take a minute or an hour." Either it was going to be something that I’d spot in a moment or I’d be fighting with it for a while.

I im­me­di­ate­ly noticed that the network hub was un­plugged—and dared to hope that it might be just that simple. It wasn’t, of course: the hub had been unplugged during Lyn’s own fruitless trou­bleshoot­ing. I quickly pinpointed that the DSL modem was not connecting and no amount of power-cycling would convince it otherwise. His ISP’s support line had closed down for the evening. I left him with a few sug­ges­tions on what to tell them. It occurs to me in retrospect that I didn’t verify that all cables were correctly plugged in, but I think the real reason is that the modem is configured with Frank’s user ID. We trans­ferred the billing to Lyn after Frank died. It seems plausible that the DSL modem needs to be re­con­fig­ured with Lyn’s cre­den­tials.

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