This should be a Sunday entry… but installing DSL on my friend Steve’s computer took 4 hours, including a few on the line with tech support (using up my entire cell phone battery in the process).
I went over,after the end of another vicious round of thunderstorms, at about 8:00 pm. It was wet, but the air was starting to have the feel of lowered dew points.
Steve is running Windows 98SE on a somewhat older Pentium. He has plenty of RAM. I know, because I put it in (and RAM is usually the best, cheapest way to speed up and rejuvinate an older PC). Because he has sensistive information, and because (like most users) he’s a bit petrified, he has Norton Anti-Virus, Disk Washer, and other stuff strewn around.
I’m sure they have a purpose, but I have never seen any of this stuff be anything but trouble. And, an unwary or un-savvy user can still bring viral infection right in.
Doing any installation, such as DSL, pits your installer versus the Norton’s of this world, who are trying to keep new programs from getting in!
The installer CD crashed, or more accurately, locked up twice. Each time it was re-run, it went a little further. Then, well into the process, Windows complained that we had too many tcp/ip devices (a sure sign something was screwy, since we certainly didn’t have more than the modem and NIC installed).
By the time Earrick at SBC tech support in Houston was on the line, the install program had become unresponsive, even from a restart. All of Earick’s suggestions brought new and different error messages, many of which he had never seen before.
We finally uninstalled the NIC and tcp/ip protocol entirely. Then rebooted. Then manually reinstalled the PPP software. We must have rebooted 25 times tonight; no exaggeration.
Finally, success. Steve will send a nice note to SBC because Errick was excellent and patient. But, this is further roadkill on the information superhighway. A DSL installation should be totally painless, quick and easy.
Why isn’t all the intelligence needed built into the DSL modem? The most you should need is an ethernet connection… not all this passwording and configuring.
Anyway, bottom line was, it’s fine now.
As soon as we were done, Steve wanted to check his mail. So, he clicked to connect via modem. Old habits die hard. But, he’s probably not alone is not understanding how all of this is routed and connected, and that the phone pop he normally goes in on is no closer to his mail than this new DSL connection.