September 27, 2004
From time to time my modem likes to engage in an activity I like to call "spazzing out." Basically, it randomly resyncs itself and I have to renew my DHCP lease once it calms down. It started doing this a lot more frequently lately, and I decided it was time to do some homemade tech support.
Removing the switch I no longer need accomplished nothing. OK, that wasn't it. Given that the old network card was a 10-year-old ISA 10-base-T, I thought it was the problem. Then when the old computer croaked and I bought a new one, the new NIC didn't change anything. Replacing the four-year-old DSL modem didn't solve any problems. At least I was able to pass that along to a friend whose modem drowned in a rainstorm (hint: don't put your DSL modem on a shelf near an open window). Unhooking the router and installing PPPoE (and ZoneAlarm) actually made things worse.
At this point I was ready to call the phone company and do some high-quality bitching and yelling. These bastards have done something to my phone line and---
The phone line. Hm.
I walked over to the closet and grabbed an extra phone cord. One quick trip behind the couch later, and the new line is in place. After a reboot I start some Web surfing. Concurrent downloads are what seems to do it in, so I open several tabs and fire away. The phone line takes it like a champ.
On the upside, I have a stable connection again. On the downside, I spent God-knows-how-long fighting with the equipment, installed useless software, and generally pissed myself off when all I had to do was replace a $2 phone cord. How anti-climactic.