A new customer calls, saying her windows 98 pc is no longer able to connect to her broadband internet. The isp (telstra) tells her she needs to find someone who can re-install the tcp/ip stack.
So I arrive armed with the necessary instructions, but the re-install doesn’t fix anything. She is also using a wireless router, which connects to the cable internet modem, so there are many “points of failure”.
I investigate a few, but start running out of ideas.
She also mentiones that she recently bought a laptop, & was hoping to use that to connect to the internet, as it allows her to work anywhere in the apartment, rather than be shackled to a small room.
Given that windows xp networking is much more robust than windows 98, & given that she prefers to use her laptop anyway, we decide to abandon the win98 PC & try setting up the laptop instead.
Here I start tripping over some peculiarities that are very specific to Telstra.
Telstra initially sent out an adsl install cd (instead of a cable cd). The rectify this by sending out a technician, who installs the appropriate cable software, but doesn’t leave a cable cd. Telstra seem reluctant to send out the correct CD & the customer decides not bother.
about 1 year later, I’m now stuck, as I cannot install the telstra software (no CD & software is essential, as teltra send a “heartbeat” to the PC software & if it doesn’t get an “appropriate” reply, it disconnects the internet.
At this stage, its getting late, so I promise to come back the next day & fix everything.
I install the new heartbeat software from telstra & burn it to a cd.
I then go back to the customer & install the software & setup the wireless (eventually… wireless setups are always somewhat difficult).
The connection is a little strange: when the pc first starts, the heartbeat software gives an error message, but after a few minutes, lets us connect to the internet anyway. The customer says this is normal & has been happening with the old PC for many months.
I also help setup skype & email & then I’m on my way again.