Thursday, July 06, 2006

The king and queen of complicated

My husband and I seem to be really talented at making what should be the simplest thing complicated. Case in point: our recent experience with installing a wireless network.

For a couple of years now, we have been using our laptop as the “server” for logging into the internet. While we had been discussing upgrading to a wireless network for some time, the prospect was less than desirable (read: we are lazy, lazy people). The laptop (a Dell Inspiron) has been the bane of my existence ever since I bought it four years ago. The other day, it started having problems again and so we finally decided to bite the bullet and go wireless.

Off we trot to THE computer store here in Greece (Plaisio). My husband explains exactly what we need and we come home with the wireless router and two wireless cards for the computers. We weren’t about to mess with it that evening, and when I looked over our purchases the next day, I realized our crappy ADSL modem would not work with the router, because our modem connects via a USB cable. So off we go again to the computer store to buy a new modem. We got home, had some dinner, and we were going to put off the installation until today. However, my husband, in his eternal, unwavering brilliance, remembered how quickly he had installed the wireless network at his parents and figured with a half hour until the France/Portugal game there was plenty of time to install and get finished in time to watch the game.

Yeah, right.

We followed the instructions as to installing software before we added the new hardware. We made sure the ADSL light was set on the modem. And we proceeded to setup the wireless router.

But it wouldn’t cooperate. Oh no. It seemed to require knowledge of quantum physics and rocket science, not to mention the ability to bend time. So we figured maybe we should configure the internet connection through the modem first, even though we wouldn’t be using it that way. That refused to work as well. My husband and I tried all kinds of things, back and forth between the modem and the router. By the time the France/Portugal match was over, my husband and I were both seething, the room had filled with a dark brown smoke, portals were opening to unknown universes and an acidic, green rain had begun to fall. I was fairly certain Armageddon was upon us.

Suddenly, in my last gasp of perspicacity, I discovered that there was a manual for the router on the CD. A whole manual. A manual from which we could follow very explicit instructions that actually made slightly more sense than the largely ambiguous and ill-named “Quick Start Guide”. To our amazement, we were able to follow the instructions with great success. We had a wireless network, we could access all the computers, but our internet connection betrayed itself by not connecting. And not connecting. And not connecting.

We eventually decided to go to bed and deal with it later on – the worst of it was over, at least. Yet, about 3am I had an epiphany – I remembered our login name wasn’t what it used to be, and tried it, and sure enough, I was right. Success! 6 hours after starting a project that should have taken 30 minutes we were done. True to form, we had turned something simple into a frustrating, onerous task.

Now we are basking in our wireless success, happy, fulfilled, and soon to forget the nightmare that was “Wireless Network Configuration 2006”. Until the next time we need to upgrade our computers, all should be right with the world. Maybe.


EllasDevil said...

Congratulations on joining the wireless crew! It's great blogging while sat on the balcony with the laptop on your knee!

PS: Off topic but I have had a request from a friend of mine who has been reading your blog.

He says will you kindly support France in the World Cup final. He's Italian and he's established a pattern in your posts, you seem to back that team that looses. So he's asked me to ask you to support France and in no circumstances offer your support to Italia.

He wants them to win you see!


melusina said...

Ah, tell your friend I will do my best. There is one small problem though - I tend to lean towards Italy because I like the place. If I can overcome that then all will be ok. But I can't promise anything.

Stone Age Man said...

I've been skeptical about wireless because of security concerns. Is it truly safe to do online banking via wireless connection? At least in the states, I've heard of roamers who can access your wireless connection should they be within 1000 meters (?) of your connection.

Anonymous said...

zardoz says :

o.k . its nice to know the final score from sundays game ,,
yes now ill do some serious betting ,,,, thank you mel and and thankyou ellasdevil and italian friend,

if i win big ,, ill send 10 percent to ms mel and the good doc ,, then they can buy a new apple
and stuff .=z=

Jay3gsm said...

Mel, thank you. It is obvious you did not support Italy last night, and once again your jinx worked. Well done:)

Ti mando un grande bacio