The New Cable Modem And Huge Numbers

It is a 24 digit number! Have you ever tried to copy a tiny 24 digit number down then read it back to someone over the phone. What a pain!

Helaine was in the kitchen going through the mail when she called me in. She was looking at the cable bill, now surpassing the monthly rent for my first apartment!

Our cable cost is up again, though I have an explanation. Recently I added a converter box to my office to allow me to use my HD TV in HD. What a concept!

I began to look through the bill and was surprised to see how much it costs to rent our cable modem–$7 per month! The exclamation point is there because buying the very same model runs between $50 and $60 at retail. Comcast has to get a much better deal.

Years ago we had trouble with a cable modem. This was rental meant as a temporary solution though it somehow became permanent.

I went online and bought a modem of my own. It’s a DOCSIS 3.0 version from Motorola providing a little future proofing! It will pay for itself in less than a year.

Tonight I called Comcast to light it up. I prepared for the call by jotting down the 12 digit MAC number.

Not enough! Comcast also needed the modem’s serial number. It is a 24 digit number! Have you ever tried to copy a tiny 24 digit number down then read it back to someone over the phone. What a pain!

A one and three zeros is a thousand. A one and twenty four zeros is a septillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000).

According to the University of Hawaii:

There are seven quintillion five quadrillion grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. That’s a 75 with 17 zeros following! (7,500,000,000,000,000,000)

In other words the serial number schema from Motorola is large enough to give each grain of sand on Earth its own number with plenty of room to spare! In fact the entire grain-of-sand catalog would make such a small dent in the available bank of numbers it’s tough for me to explain. Let’s just say it hardly makes any dent at all.

Motorola — why do we need numbers this large? What are you trying to prove?

How Times Have Changed

Last night, in the middle of the night, I plugged a cable from my new cellphone into my laptop. An experiment was underway.

Since the phone is on the Internet, it’s possible to tether it to my laptop and use the cell connection as an Internet connection. In essence, the Samsung Blackjack would be my modem.

It was very simple and it worked, but it was ploddingly slow. Though the phone works with AT&T’s high speed 3G network, there’s no 3G service here. I ran a speed test and found 76 kbps. My cable modem speed a moment ago was 7,275 kbps, nearly one hundred times as fast.

At least I know it works in case of an outage.

There’s something else I thought of at the same time. Back in the dial-up days, when modems were 28.8 kbps, I used to connect at 24.4 kbps.

As slow as last night’s experiment was, it was still three times faster than the Internet service I used to be happy with. Times have really changed.

What we have now for connection speed is only a stop, not the destination.

How Do You Deal With It?

I like Noah Finz, our sports guy at the TV station. I like his wife, Kendra, too. I’ve known her a lot longer than I’ve known Noah. They are both technophobes.

Actually, being a little skittish in the face of technology puts them in step with most everyone, which leads me to what happened today.

Noah’s laptop was old. He wanted to upgrade to faster hardware, especially with a two year old, infant and very nice camera for picture taking.

Most people would have unplugged the old machine, plugged in the new and then forgotten what was left on the laptop. Sure, they’re networked together, but how many people know how that works? Few!

I popped in the car and headed to Fairfield County.

His Dell desktop machine was the most quiet PC I’ve ever heard – startling, since the trend has been in the opposite direction. It needed a Firewire and wireless network card. No sweat, except it only had two slots, one of which was already filled by a dial-up modem.

“Put this away,” I told Noah as I handed it to him in an anti-static bag. Truthfully, it will never be used.

The Firewire card was effortlessly installed suing native Windows drivers. The wireless card was more trouble. It didn’t conform to Belkin’s instructions!

It finally installed because I ad libbed. How do they sell and support these things when the installation process isn’t remotely connected to what’s in the instructions?

As with Helaine’s computer, this Dell came loaded with ‘nagware.’ I don’t want programs bugging me. Some are difficult to remove. Others are confusingly described. Most have limited lifespans, meaning you’re later expected to shell out more money for the software that came on your PC!

Hats off to Cablevision, Noah’s ISP. Their Optonline cable modem service has an automated configuration tool which set up Outlook Express correctly on the first try.

We installed Picasa, MS Office, the new free AOL anti-virus suite and a few others. Then it was time to move photos and documents. I couldn’t get his computers to speak to each other. I have no idea why, nor do I know how I finally encouraged them to have limited access to each other.

It just happened.

You never accomplish 100% on a mission of mercy like this, but we came close. Again, I have no idea how Noah or Kendra could have done this themselves, and they can’t be alone.

What do most people do? Or do people like me just drive around on weekends helping out and playing with little kids – they couldn’t have been cuter.

Sh*t Happens

When do you first know you’re coming down with a cold? For me it’s that moment when I realize my mouth tastes like I’ve been sucking on a crowbar (not that I’d actually know). That happened Wednesday evening. From then on, it’s been downhill.

This time it’s not just getting a cold. For the past two days nearly everything that could go wrong did!

My Internet connection had been slowing down. We have so many computers and devices spread around the house, finding the real culprit becomes very hard. By last night, there was virtually no connection at all.

I spent a half hour on the phone with Comcast (where in India is Newfoundland?) with nothing to show for it. It might not be their problem.

Meanwhile, at work I had pushed the button to lower the volume on the TV near my desk. The button fell directly into the set! Now you can raise, but not lower the volume… well, once.

Also at work, the computer which displays weather watches and warnings decided to disregard two warnings. I was watching, actually more anticipating, so we only missed by a few seconds, but it was frustrating.

With thunderstorms in the area, I asked some friends who were going to dinner to bring something back for me. They went to Friday’s. When I opened my dinner, it was someone else’s leftovers! That’s a first.

Since I hadn’t gone out, I went upstairs for coffee from the machine. The cup was leaky. No problem, I just double cupped… except I didn’t realize it would continue leaking. All it took was me tilting the cup back as I went to finish it for it to pour on my white shirt… about 30 seconds before air.

And then, of course, there’s the cold. I tried to just grin and bear it, but acquiesced to Sudafed at 6:00 AM.

Last night, knowing I wasn’t going to be better before I got worse, I sent an email to my bosses asking if someone could fill in. I called midday, no email had been received!

I think I’m better off staying in bed today, even if I didn’t have the cold.

Blogger’s addendum: I have the Internet working again. I left the modem off all night, though I’m suspicious the real fix was replacing the cable between the cable modem and router. Meanwhile, it’s the first thing that’s gone my way today.

HD For Me?

I had a chance to watch some HDTV while in Nashville last weekend. My friend Mike has the DirecTV HD service on a big, beautiful set. It was good, but I wasn’t blown away.

My guess is, in order to fit in all the HD local broadcasts from around the country, DirecTV has to compress the living you know what out of the signal. I don’t know that for sure, but I saw digital artifacts I didn’t expect to see and compression is a reasonable explanation.

The question is, should I upgrade to HDTV at home?

Note to Helaine: This is not a fishing expedition. As you will see, I’m really unsure.

When we bought our new TV for the family room, it came HD compatible. All I need do is get a tuner and voila, high definition. Comcast does provide an HD service… but is there enough on to justify even the small cost?

The big deal would be sports. Most of the other shows we watch are perfectly fine on the low def 4:3 analog world. Sports might be another story… though after yesterday’s Eagles game, a 5″ black and white model might suffice.

Then there’s the question of our DVR. The one we have now puts out ‘normal’ analog video. I checked Comcast’s website and didn’t find an HDTV DVR.

I’m going to have to go to Comcast to return the cable modem I am renting. I’ll ask, but I don’t think it’s time yet.

Enter The Cable Guy

Last night as I was leaving Nashville, as my laptop, wallet, belt, shoes and other personal belongings were in three plastic trays ready to be x-rayed, my cellphone started ringing&#185. I reached into the machine, pulled out the cellphone and answered.

Helaine was calling. She had just returned from Atlantic City. The cable modem was out, again. Did I have a quick fix?

I couldn’t talk then, but I was so flustered I walked through the magnetometer still holding the phone! Beep!

There was nothing I could tell Helaine that would allow her to regain service. This has become a nagging problem, getting worse by the day. Luckily, the cable guy (how much must they hate Jim Carrey for that movie) was scheduled to be here this morning.

Helaine woke me when he got to the house. He was about 12 (OK – he was in his mid-20s) but seemed knowledgeable and confident. I have yet to meet the first Comcast employee who has disappointed me. That’s why, even though this problem persists, I have not been overly angry.

First stop was upstairs to my office. With Steffie gone, it is the only room in the house that looks like it’s been ransacked.

I fired up the PC and he looked at the diagnostic screens from the cable modem. As with toothaches, having the cable guy scheduled is normally enough to make the problem go away. Our signal was low, though acceptable.

I explained how this was an intermittent problem, seemingly weather related. He looked further. Then he went outside.

When I next saw him, he was up on the pole outside the house, tools in hand, crimping a connector on a piece of RG-8U cable.

The connector on the pole (15 years old) had signs of corrosion. He would replace that and then, run a totally separate line which would only serve my cable modem. He’d need to drill a hole in my basement wall, which was fine with me.

It didn’t take long. Pretty soon we were back upstairs take measurements. There was a huge improvement.

A cable modem is pretty much all or nothing. If it has enough signal, you’re going to get all the speed promised. If you don’t have enough signal, you get nothing.

But, as I said, this was an intermittent problem. The jury is still out.

&#185 – No phone actually rings anymore. Mine plays the ABC Contemporary Network news logo from the 60s and 70s.

More Cable Modem Woes

For the longest time it’s been tough going with my high speed Internet service. Who knows why, but without warning, usually in the middle of the night, poof – no service.

I figure I’ve called Comcast 8-10 times about this problem. In the beginning, when the cable service would mysteriously reappear, I would cancel the service call.

The past two times I let the techs come. They’ve found some loose connectors and things like that. When they were done tightening and tweaking, they told me everything would be all right, and left. But, of course, it wasn’t all right.

I tried to figure out the problem myself. My cable modem, an older Best Data model, doesn’t have a diagnostic screen. I looked for some info about it online and found it only supports an older cable modem protocol (DOCSIS 1). Maybe that’s the problem?

Yesterday, I went to Comcast to lease a new modem. I figured $3 more per month would be worth it for the peace of mind.

No sooner had I installed it than it failed! This morning, with stormy weather surrounding us, my cable Internet service went kerflooey. As of this hour, it’s still out.

My guess is there’s something outside, between the pole and the house, that is affected by weather. Most of the outages come on cold nights. Today’s outage came while the cables were undoubtedly swinging.

Whatever it is, I need the cable guy. I called Comcast and made arrangements for a visit on Monday (I’m going to Nashville tomorrow). If I ever get service back, I’ll report on how it went.

The Trouble With Comcast

There was no blog entry yesterday. Grrrrr.

We got home from Philadelphia only to find no high speed Internet access. OK, I thought. We’ve had these sporadic, intermittent problems before. Wait a while and it will return.

Meanwhile, I got on the phone and gave Comcast a call. The guy on the other end was nice, but couldn’t help me. He wanted to arrange a Tuesday appointment for service, but I pled my case, asking him to look at the myriad times I had complained about lost service earlier.

The repairman came around 11:00 this morning.

My little home office is a pig sty and I wasn’t thrilled to invite him up, but Internet service is Internet service. It’s not what it was nearly 20 years ago when I started logging onto Compuserve… at 300 baud.

Having Internet access is as important as having a phone or television set. Without it, in this day and age, you’re cut off from the world’s information.

The technician removed the coax connector from the back of my cable modem. He took the tiny bare wire that usually makes the internal connection and touched it to another bare wire. He frowned.

He went to the splitter. Another touch. Our signal was down by a lot. He’d go outside, where the cable service entered the house, and if that didn’t work he’d go to the basement.

About ten minutes later he was back at my door. He had found a corroded connector on the side of my house. It was a Comcast installed piece of equipment, so I didn’t have to feel guilty.

By the time we got back to my room, the modem lights were on. What had been a 0 db signal was now an 8.5 db signal&#185. He did a little more checking and tightened a few not too loose connections before going.

Hopefully my connection problems are solved. However, I am surprised the ‘innards’ of my cable modem doesn’t report its signal strength back to Comcast so they can head these problems off before failure occurs.

It would seem to me my modem is already capable of this trick. Maybe Comcast is just not asking.

&#185 – db, or decibels, measure power on a logarithmic scale. A 8.5 db loss (which is what seems to have been happening) means about 90% of the cable signal was being lost to corrosion before it got inside my house!

It’s Back

Helaine reports the cable modem service is back.

It is astounding to me that each and every time it’s gone out, the problem has been on their end! And yet, when dealing with their service techs, I am always the one asked to go out of my way to troubleshoot it first.

What is wrong with this picture?

No Cable Modem

I think this is being sent to you via my next door neighbor’s high speed Internet connection. I’m not 100% sure. I’ve scrambled around, looking for a signal and found one… if I sit in the corner of the bed with the edge of the laptop facing Dubuque. It won’t work any other way.

Next door, in my office, the cable light on the cable modem is off. Bad sign.

I called Comcast and spoke to a Canadian woman (based on her accent). Dealing with the first level of tech support is the part that makes me want to pull out my hair.

Before I call I unplug, replug, reset, double check – you get the idea. I am not without some knowledge in this arcane subject. Yet the first thing she had me do was unplug the modem (again) and the router.

The router is behind the cable modem. Only through a thorough repealing of the laws of physics could it be causing my trouble. It would be as if my pipes didn’t work, so the plumber checked the glass I was thinking of drinking from.

Helaine points out this has happened more frequently lately. She’s right. And, the fact that this technology, though getting more mature, is failing more is a very bad sign. It’s also not good that my neighbor’s connection (also via Comcast) is fine.

A problem limited to an individual account is going to be harder to fix and slower to fix than a widespread outage.

Meanwhile, back on the phone, she couldn’t find my account, couldn’t find a way to schedule my appointment, and often seemed to be talking to herself! None of this is reassuring.

I continue to fear the cable connection will fail right when I’m taking some pivotal timed online test for school. Until then, I’ll be popping back into my office every few minutes looking for a lit cable modem light.

School Day Blues

I was up until a little after 5:00 AM taking my two quizzes and two tests at Mississippi State.

I am still finding the thermodynamics course tough. I got an 88% last night, but should have done better. Eight of the points I lost, I lost stupidly on questions I probably knew. My fault.

For both of my two course, this last week is critically important. The quizzes I took are worth less than a point on my final grade, but the tests are 7.5% and next week’s final is 30% of my final grade. So, nearly 40% of my final grade will be decided over a very short period of time.

Why am I anguishing over these grades? No one will ever see them. Yet I do anguish.

The tests are timed, the quizzes are not, which last night almost led to a sticky situation. As I was finishing a quiz, getting set to move to a test, I pressed the button to register my answer and… nothing. I tried again with the same result.

I went upstairs to see the ‘cable’ light on my cable modem off. Comcast was doing something (probably maintenance of some sort. It was 3:45 AM) affecting my service.

If this had happened five minutes later, I would have been in the timed test – and screwed. There are lots of ‘no exceptions’ admonitions on the course websites.

I waited a half hour or so, writing a note asking Helaine to make sure I was up this morning early enough to finish my work before the noon deadline. Just before I went back to bed, I looked and the light was back on.

Sometime before Wednesday I’ll take my two finals and be done with it… only to start up again May 16th. This summer semester, a shortened period with the same number of classes, quizzes and tests, is the end of the line for me.

I’ve found lots of the work interesting, though some of what I’ve done was trivial or needless. There is much too much emphasis on severe weather (thunderstorms and tornadoes) and not enough on the challenges a forecaster faces on a daily basis.

Visiting Hofstra University

As a parent there are some moments that are benchmarks – signals your child has reached an important milestone. Sunday was one of those days.

We woke up early and drove to Hofstra University, where Steffie has been admitted for the class of 2009.

It was a spectacular day with bright sunshine, dry air and comfortable temperatures. I asked Helaine to shoot a few pictures as we crossed the Throgs Neck Bridge, because on a day like today, Manhattan in the far distance is very impressive.

Our trip to Hofstra went without a hitch and took around 1:30. By the time we got there other families were also arriving. There was little need for on campus directions – all we had to do was follow the throng.

As we walked along there were students and faculty wearing ribbons and “Ask Me” name tags. One of them corralled us, took Steffie’s registration information and handed her a cloth bag with school materials and a very large, gray, Hofstra t-shirt.

We stood around in the sunshine for a few minutes and then walked into a large theater, taking our seats in the fourth row.

About 15 minutes before the scheduled start time the Hofstra Pep Band began to play. They started out of sight, but were lifted up to stage level on an elevator in the orchestra pit. Though they weren’t the tightest group I’d ever heard, they accomplished their goal, because we were getting enthused.

It should be noted, there are pep band songs that every school’s band plays. It’s probably very lucrative to own the rights to “Give Me Good Lovin'” originally done by the Spencer Davis or a dozen others that are played wherever hoops are shot.

The first official speaker was the president of the university, brought on the the dean of admissions. The the provost came and spoke a little longer.

Though Steffie has already made up her mind to go to Hofstra, it became obvious that a major thrust of this session was to sell undecideds on choosing Hofstra.

Colleges and universities have a difficult job. They must take enough students to fill their school, but they have no way to know how many who are accepted will really attend… or how many who are wait listed will still be around if they’re needed.

Even as a non-profit, without a neutral or positive cash flow each year, schools won’t survive.

Steffie has decided she wants to major in public relations which is within the School of Communication. In a wonderful talk, Professor Ellen Frisina explained the long painstaking deliberations that came before deciding to call it the School of Communication, not Communications. She admits she still isn’t quite sure what the difference is, but it is singular!

We were very impressed by Professor Frisina and went up to talk with her, as did with many others, after the session.

There is one thing I’ll disagree with. I heard it today, and it had been a theme when we visited other college campuses. The claim is their program will prepare you to walk out of college and into a job, already having mastered in college what you’re going to be doing in the professional world.

I don’t see how they teach, or what they teach, but college is not the real world. I have yet to see anyone, ever, walk in off a college campus “good to go.” There are always nuances and pressures not experienced in college which factor into every job from day one.

This was a positive experience for all of us and I think (at this moment) Steffie is more confident than ever in her choice of a major.

I am more than a little jealous after having read a brochure for their on campus facilities. Each dorm room is connected to the Internet with OC-3 speed – 115 Mbps. That is approximately 25 times faster than my cable modem delivers!

It was also interesting to see this bank of copying machines on the lower level of the library. I’m curious if the availability of ‘cut and paste’ research materials has turned these into expensive dinosaurs?

Our school visit over, Stef asked if she could make a short stop at Roosevelt Field Mall. I’ve written about this mall, built over the airfield Lindbergh used when he flew across the Atlantic, before.

At 7:52 A.M., May 20, 1927, Charles Lindberg left on his solo flight across the Atlantic. The Spirit of St. Louis, loaded with gasoline, lumbered down the runway before finally becoming airborne. He barely had enough altitude to clear the telephone lines at the end of the runway at Roosevelt Field.

You would think Roosevelt Field, though no longer used for aviation, would be a memorial or historic shrine to the bravery, accomplishment and good luck of Charles Lindberg. No, this is Long Island – it’s a mall.

While they shopped, I attempted to sleep in the car. I parked in the garage with the thought it would be cooler out of the sun. That was true. However, the radio reception was awful and I learned everyone on Long Island… OK most people on Long Island… have car alarms which chirp when they’re enabled and randomly wail!

A Quick Glance At The Future

I went out to dinner last night with Noah Finz. He’s our sports director at the station, a very nice and smart guy, but a technophobe.

We got to talking about where technology is going, especially as it concerns communications. I was surprised at how interested he was… or how well he feigned interest.

With that in mind, I thought I’d write a little about where I see things going. Please remember, the past has taught us it’s really tough to accurately predict the future. This is even tougher than weather prediction because this part of the future will not replicate past events. And, remember these predictions are coming from someone who loves technology. I’m trying to hold back my bias.

To me, the key to the future is not in speedier processors nor more memory and storage, though certainly those things will enter the picture. The big deal is bandwidth. It is the 500 pound gorilla in the room.

Bandwidth limitations is why you ‘only’ receive 150 TV channels. Bandwidth bottlenecks are why your computer often waits while it is plucking data off websites or the Real player takes so much time caching those first few seconds of video before it starts to play.

With enough bandwidth, television can become a one to one medium – unlimited video on demand. Any show or any video source can be run when you want it. Desperate Housewives Tuesday at 8:41 AM. Why Not?

Already, even if you’re not in their home market, you can still watch your favorite baseball team play, because nearly all the games are available over the Internet. CPTV, here in Connecticut, sells a package of UCONN women’s basketball games for out-of-towners with high speed Internet access.

The radically changes the paradigm of commercial television. Without a mass audience watching the same commercial at the same time, television begins to lose its unique sales appeal. There will have to be another way to pay for this.

It could be commercials, maybe a subscription, or maybe both. We’re not limited by what we’ve seen in the past. Sending video as a digital stream rather than analog allows for the integration of other info.

This ability to receive the programming you want, when you want it, will turn television into a narrowcast medium rather than its current broadcast model. There is a demand for shows on knitting or cars or computers or… well you get the idea. Those sharply targeted programs&#185 will steal audience from today’s broadcasts.

In the pre-cable days there were a lot of shows that, today, look like they were ‘going through the motions’ to fill the time. I’m afraid we’ll look back at what’s on TV now in the same way, as soon as the floodgates open in this new communications world.

The days of high production cost TV production are limited. Gresham’s economic laws will be seen affecting TV. We’re already seeing some of that as networks run more ‘cheaper to produce’ reality shows and re-run more of primetime TV.

Is there a long term viable business model for shot-on-film hour long dramas? I’m not sure.

Today, local television stations serve two general purposes. They produce and distribute local programming, like news, and they act as a distribution channel for nationally networked and syndicated shows. With video on demand, I can’t see why these program producers will need local stations.

Local stations will be forced to be local stations. Those who don’t will be marginalized out of profitability. This has happened in radio over the last 40 years.

That doesn’t mean the economic model of local TV is gone. It just means stations will have to better understand how to produce more content for local consumption. I also think they’ll have to shift their focus from producing programming to fill their air time to being producers of programming for anyone who will distribute it.

Today’s TV stations will have to turn out video streams the way Chinese companies, like Twinhead, turn out laptops. The majority of Twinhead’s products are produced for others with other people’s brands on them. You might be using one now, with no way to tell. Twinhead’s expertise is production… as is today’s TV stations.

A newspaper in Wilmington, DE is already producing video webcasts of local news. The New York Times is expanding their multimedia content online. I think, in the mature model, newspapers will provide the news and a company with video production expertise will package it for them.

All this is happening and we haven’t even hit our stride as far as bandwidth is concerned. My cable modem at home now brings in data nearly three times as fast as it did a year or two ago. It’s getting to the point where it will soon become faster than my home network can handle!

The price of this bandwidth will do nothing but fall for the foreseeable future. There are many factors at work here.

First, there is the onrush of technology which promises to deliver bandwidth wirelessly. That should add another level of competition for the cable and legacy phone companies.

Next, there is a vast network of ‘dark’ fiber – glass lines that have loads of capacity but have never been used. My guess is, the intercity capacity of unlit fiber is a multiple of what’s currently in use.

The people who really need to be worried are the incumbent wireline phone companies. More bandwidth is their enemy. Already they are facing competition from broadband VOIP companies like Vonage, with cable companies jumping in.

When there are wireless access ‘clouds’ of connectivity over most areas, portable VOIP phones will trump cellular and wired phone networks with cheap and probably unmetered, flat rate, phone service.

It is a very exciting, very different world of telecommunications that’s right around the corner.

&#185 – I am having trouble using the word program here because it describes something that might not be. When content becomes very narrow and the viewer becomes very focused on its content, the formality of a ‘program’ may vanish altogether.

Why My Website Disappeared Today

In a perfect world (one where no one sends spam and windshield wipers never streak) I would own the server this website is on. It’s really not a big deal. You take a computer – not even a powerful computer – hook it to a fixed IP address, run some free software and voila, you’ve got a website.

It’s that easy. It’s just not that cheap!

A fixed IP address and permission to run a server don’t come with a cable modem. And putting a high speed line in my house would be fun but impractically pricey. I contract with a company in Chicago,

I pay $100 per year to rent the space and the computing power on which this site runs. For $100, the hosting package comes with restrictions. I share the computer I use with others. I don’t know how many others but at least dozens, maybe hundreds.

I have to be a good neighbor to the other websites that live with me. So, I can take some resources, but not enough to slow the others down. It’s only fair. Of course, I never have an exact feel for what I’m using or what they’re allowing.

Earlier today took a look at what this website was doing and realized the process I was running to post weather bulletins (on a day with two active hurricanes and other severe/strong weather) was a resource hog. I didn’t think it would be, but this week in general and today specifically are not the norm.

Here’s one thing does that really upsets me. When they found my server was using too many resources, they just shut me down!

Where my website once lived there was now a note telling anyone who came that there were problems. My mail was shut down too, as was my shell access (the ability to command the server computer from my home computer – or anywhere).

I contact via computer. The tech support person who answered my chat said I needed to send an email. Of course, they had shut down my email!

I called their 800 number. After a few minutes of holding I was told no one could take my call but I should send an email. On my second try I reached someone by phone.

To make a long story short, the process that was causing the problem wasn’t important enough to fight about. I like my hosting, I’m comfortable here. So, I removed one tiny part of the website and they let me back on.

Actually, they had to let me back on first. Without access to the website, I couldn’t do anything to fix it.

Case closed – I hope.

Comcast Returns

When I came home from work cable modem service was back to normal. Phew.