Oh boy, what a saga that was!
I tried working on iBurst yesterday morning but gave up in frustration after 10 minutes when it became obvious it didn't have enough oomph to open our database even though email and internet were OK (having said that I did have to load yesterday's market photos with the laptop and iburst balanced on top of a dollshouse in the front room so the iburst aerial was in direct line of sight of Telstra Tower - not the most comfortable position to use a laptop in, let me tell you but it did speed up my connection rather nicely.)
So I was in the car and heading to Dick Smith Electronics by 9:30am to buy a new ethernet cable. The pain of the $20 cost was far outweighed by the delight in discovering they now make ethernet cables in black so I didn't have to live with the sight of a nasty blue one.
Back home I plugged it in and settled back smuggly, ready to download my weekend's email and get back to work. But it was not to be.
So I rang Ozemail support and talked to Alex. Who did not very much at all and then said I'd have to talk to Computer Support. Then did the whole "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" routine to which I replied "Yes, please put me through to Computer Support so they can fix my problem!". He told me I'd have to talk to my own computer support and that was the end of that.
I scratched my head. I looked at Nibbs. He ignored me (typical). I got grumpy at both him and Ozemail support and decided I'd just have to wait and call back when they were patched through to the Auckland Office who are actually useful.
The grumpiness continued for an hour or so or frustration until I called Ozemail support again and talked to Jason. Who told me I had to keep restarting the computer and modem "until they found each other" which sounded crazy but much more helpful than Alex's "Piss off and get someone else to fix it" routine.
So I tried a few times and realised that logically it wasn't going to work.
Luckily I still had my iburst connection working on the other laptop. I did some Googling. And reading. Not much understanding, I'm afraid, but it did seem that there was a known issue with Windows XP Service Pack 2 causing connectivity problems. Whatever it was I appeared to have it. With much trepidation at first I started tinkering under the bonnet, uninstalling things - my modem, some driver or other and reinstalling them in the hope that a) I hadn't mucked things up completely and b) it might possibly work.
I kept reading. Blah blah blah.... PPoe blah blah... corruption.... blah blah... static IP address... blah blah blah...
Hmmm..... I started to suspect I didn't need a whiz bang new black ethernet cable afterall (but I'll be keeping it for aesthetic reasons). I started to suspect maybe I knew more than I thought I did. I rang Ozemail support for the third time.
And got to talk to Leon. Now I don't know if it was just plain luck or that I muttered enough rambled computer geek speak (actually I think I said something like "I suspect this is an issue caused by Windows Service Pack 2. So far I've turned my firewall off and on again with no luck. I now suspect my PPoe something something is corrupted so I need a static IP address in order to be able to see my modem") obviously I made more sense than I thought I did as Leon knew what I thought I meant and licketty split had me pinging and propertying and typing in 10.1.1.thingies and http//10.1.1somethinging - all of which I sort of knew I needed to do but not quite how.
And then, suddenly, there was Google! Lovely lovely Google. Lovely lovely Leon. The sun came out, birds burst into song.... OK, not quite but that's what it felt like!
Alas, by this time it was almost 4:30pm so not much time left to actually do any work work. But this little Gemini Gemini rising was much relieved to be in contact with the outside world once more, without having to balance on top of a dolls house, and learnt that there are levels of Ozemail tech support person. And level 2 is much much better than level 1, no matter whether they are in Perth or Auckland or Sydney.