While I was out Friday evening having a gab-fest and pizza feast with some girlfriends, a terrible storm went through our area. The lights flickered a few times at the restaurant, but thankfully the pizza ovens continued chugging out our pasta goodies (I hadn't had pizza in over 9 months thanks to my diet, so I was drooling as I waited).
When I got home, Calvin met me at the door. "I'm glad you were out with the girls. Lightning struck the corner of our house and made a horrible boom in the den. You'd have been frightened to death! The TV, computer and lights went out. The cat crawled up my leg, wild-eyed, with his tail puffed out like a feather duster."
I walked into the den, noting that everything was working. "Seems like things are fine now." That's when he said the Internet was out. We made our first call to Comcast, our Internet provider via cable. The lady at Comcast ran a diagnostic test and said our modem was receiving a signal. Perhaps the cable running from the modem to the wireless router was fried.
The following morning Calvin went to Radio Shack and bought new cables. I crawled under the desk and connected the cables from the modem to the router and from the router to the tower of his computer. Nothing. We rebooted the modem, the router and then the computer. Again nothing.
I went to Best Buy and bought a new router, thinking perhaps the lightning had fried the old router. I came home and installed it. The router told me we had no Internet connection. We made our second call to Comcast. The young man I spoke to ran a second diagnostic test, claiming the modem was getting a signal and therefore we should be able to get online. He told me to call Belkin; the problem is in your new router, he claimed.
I called Belkin's help desk which, according to the heavy accent of the man I spoke to, is either in India or Pakistan. I couldn't understand his questions. And as my frustration grew, my stuttering worsened, so he couldn't understand my answers. Folks, it was a communication circus!!! He had me opening screens and changing settings that I never knew were there. We had zero success. He also had me bypass the router, connecting the modem directly to first Calvin's computer and then my laptop to see if we could access the Internet that way. Our end result was the same--nothing. He said I should call Comcast again. I didn't have it in me.
Today we called Comcast for the third time. The lady I spoke to ran the diagnostic test; and for the third time I was told, quite smugly I might add, that our modem was getting a strong signal. The problem HAD to be the new router. I offered a pithy reply.
In response, she had me open more files and adjust more settings. With a fiendish tone to her voice, she barked orders at me for two hours. My finger tips were getting sore and my patience thin. I performed more operations on the computer than a plastic surgeon on Cher. Nothing. Comcast is sending out a technician on Friday--their earliest available time.
I did learn that my laptop has wi-fi and that I can access unsecured Internet networks to get online. Thus, I am able to write this tale of woe.