Monday, April 24, 2006

Technical Difficulties

I have not been online since Saturday.

We had a lightening/thunder storm here on Saturday morning. I was not home, I was at a friend's nursery helping them out. It was a typical storm, nothing too crazy. I figured since our power had gone out everyday last week that when I got home, I would be reseting clocks and rebooting my computer. When I got home, my clocks were fine but the computer was off so I rebooted it. I have just about everything in this house on surge protectors, including the digital cable box in the livingroom. The only thing not protected from surges was the coax coming into my cable modem, only because the surger protector in that room doesn't have a coax jack.

While I was waiting for the computer to reboot, I went out to check on the cat, and she was in the sun room but was acting really weird. She kept wanting to come into the house. Strange since she loves the sun room. I just figured that the storm must have scared her a bit. Anyhow, I went back to the computer, and while it seemed to be working fine, I couldn't get on the Internet. I checked the connections, rebooted both the cable modem and the computer a couple of times. Nothing. I go into the family room, and turn on the TV to make sure the cable is is fine in there.

So, I call our cable company and start an hour long process of checking everything to see what is going on. It seems that they can see my modem but there is no talking going on between my modem and my computer. The diagnosis is that either my ethernet card went bad in my computer, the ethernet cord went bad, or the ethernet port on the modem went bad. I can get a free replacement of modem on Monday. I test the system on my laptop with the same results so we figure that my card is okay, that it is just either the cord or the modem.

On Sunday, I go and get another cord, figuring I can always use a second one if that is the trouble, but would hate to wait to switch out the modem if that is not the problem and it could be fixed simply with the cord. The new cord does not bring about any better results. While I am the store buying the cord, I also pick up a broadband wireless router so that I can use my wireless card in my laptop in the rest of the house, and network to my printer without having to use the thumb drive everytime I want to print or upload to the Internet.

Naked stripe on pine tree from lightening strike. In the meantime, I have started using the dial up access so I can at least check email until Monday. I leave on Sunday afternoon to play soccer and when I get home, I start watering. I am in the back yard and I notice this really weird looking piece of wood sitting in the raised flower bed. I pick it up and it is this long piece of bark. I look over at this 60 foot tall pine tree we have in our yard, and there is a spiraling three inch wide barkless stripe down the length of it, and the ground below is covered in bark. The porch (which is about 25 feet away from the tree) is covered in bark too. We didn't think this was odd at first because it had been really windy on Saturday. Anyhow it seems that this tree was struck by lightening on Saturday when I was not home and blasted a ton of bark off our tree along with scaring the sh1t out of our cat. I am so sad I was not here for it, because I can imagine it was quite the crack when that thing hit. The tree looks fine minus the stripes of nakedness. I will check with my nursery guy to see if it is going to die or be a hazard to the house. Now I know why the cat was acting weird (she was in a glass room only about 30 feet from that tree, and I know why my modem was fried (which in all the power outages we have had, has never happened before).

Second side of tree, the naked stripe goes down to right above where the wheelbarrow was leaning.So today (Monday), I go to the cable company and get the replacement modem. She gives me an extra cord. I get home, and hook everything up and the box is still not working. At first I couldn't get it to even flash that it was receiving but after playing with the jack a bit, I get it to receive but it still won't connect my computer to the Internet. I call the cable company again, and we start walking through all the scenarios. She tells me that the signal quality is really low for that jack. I take everything into the other room and hook my laptop to the modem and am finally able to get it up on the Internet. Looks like we need to have the technician come out on Wednesday to check our lines and make sure that they didn't get fried internally.

So once I got it working, I decided to stretch the cord to my PC and see if I could get it up on the Internet....nope. Seems that the ethernet port on my motherboard is toast, I guess I am lucking I didn't lose the entire board. So I need to check and see if I have an extra slot so I can go buy card to put in so I can have Internet back on that computer. In the meantime, I have plugged in the broadband router to the cable jack in my bedroom and without any kind of setup, my wireless card on my laptop is functioning. Guess this will have to do until the tech comes on Wednesday to fix my lines and I get a new card for the PC. I will just have to limit my use to non vital things since I wasn't able to set up the security features on the router yet...won't be able to do that until I can connect it to my computer.


J.a.G. said...

Good grief! But so cool.

I like the idea of being there when the lightning struck but I wonder what the reality of that would be like.

Mind Sprite said...

Holy cow! That is just a little too close for my comfort! Poor little kitty. That must have scared the crap out of her!!!

Mishka said...

I agree and someone was telling me that she might also now be much more sensitive to all storms that come because of it...poor thing.

Chicken said...

My friend was standing near someone who got stuck my lightening. He said that every hair on his body "stood up". Imagine if that happened to Chase.

Mishka said...

Apparently the neighbors across the street were here when it happened and they said that there was this huge flash and boom, but they didn't know where it hit.

It knocked their power out (didn't ours) and fried some of the lightbulbs in their house.

I need to get a coax surge protector for the modem so I am not having to replace another card on my PC if we should have something similar happen.