Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back from Banishment

At last, I'm back online. My ISP has been giving me the runaround for almost 3 weeks and being offline for that long made if feel even longer. In the end I can't even point to a definitive issue that needed to be resolved. I have to phone my ISP quite regularly to get them to terminate what they call "hanging connections" which to my mind, ought to be automatically terminated as soon as there hasn't been any data for a set amount of time. They don't and they definitely don't let you log in twice so I periodically (about once a month or two) have to phone the support desk and get them to reset the connection which takes about 30 minutes of arguing on the phone before they believe me and trot off to do it.
This time there were no hanging connections so then we had the windows vs linux argument, they wanted the diagnostic messages from their windows dialer but of course I don't have it and there is one long silence on the other end of the phone (along with an 'eish!!!') when I tell them I'm using linux. They make it sound like I'm the only user of linux in the world and why don't I just go and buy windows so that their life can be easier. They generally give this direction up when I tell them I'd happily use windows but they need to pay for it as well as all the applications which I am going to need in order to do what I do for nothing on linux. Another silence when I ask them where their software for linux is. Eventually they ask me to take the modem into one of their shops which I do and they upgraded the firmware and showed it working on one of their laptops. The shop, can you believe it, doesn't have a decent signal. The attendant has to stick the modem into his display cabinet in order to get any kind of signal, a bit ludicrous but that is what happened. Came back home but still nothing, next possibility was the network card so I took the firewall to work and reconfigured the ip settings and eventually proved that the network card was in fact working. While I was there I took the opportunity to clean the dust out of the casing with a blower. A day later I still couldn't walk into the room without my feeling the effects of the dust in the air. Came home, reconfigured the the IP setting to what they were and voila, it worketh.
I've been reading up on patents and such like and it is decidely the most confusing topic. I've just finished a book called "A Patented World" which started out on patents and copyright but by the end of the book it was discussing gender politics. How does one get from patents to gender politics one might ask, well read the book and you will see. Some of the chapter are a bit difficult to digest but mostly it is quite well written and understandable.

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