A VisionNet 204 DSL Modem died Friday night in a horrible packet crash and left no survivors. My VisionNet DSL modem. Around an hour after the local phone company office closed Friday my modem started acting up, taking longer and longer to load a web page to the point that it finally stopped working. Noticing no PPP light on the modem, I went to the modem setup page to see if it had reset and lost my PPPoE settings. Everything looked fine, so I hit save and reboot. That’s the last I spoke with it. After still not being able to log in, and still no lights, I tried once again to enter the setup page. I knew I was in trouble when typing in 10.0.0.2 into my browser received no response. Desperate now, I pressed in the reset button, but received no response. The modem would not even reset. At approximately 7:30 Friday evening, I pronounced my link to the internet dead. May God have mercy on it’s soul.
Of course, calling the ISP, the soonest I could get a new modem was Monday. I had to live the whole weekend unlinked. Funny thing, though. I called on Saturday to find the local dial-in access number. None of my Macs had a modem, but my wife’s Vaio had one. I figured at least I could check my e-mail, right? My own daughter looked at me and asked if I was serious! “You’re really going dial-up? Even I, ”she shakes a bit at this point, “can’t live without the internet, but you must be really hurting to go dial-up.” So it was on. Fine. I could live one lousy weekend without going online. It can’t really be that hard, can it?
Try it. I dare you. Just shut down the internet for the whole weekend. I’m not talking while on vacation or spending a quick holiday weekend somewhere off the grid. I’m talking regular at home, bored doing chores and stuff weekend.
Saturday I was jonesing. What was I going to do? What if someone sent me an e-mail and I needed to answer it? The quick Google searches that we all take for granted. All gone. What am I going to do with this big expensive box now?
Sunday. Now how does that go? I am powerless against my addictions… something like that. Remembering that I had just purchased an older Airport Extreme Base Station, low and behold it has a modem in it! Now we are cooking with gas. Thank you, thank you, thank you again Dennis! It’s been a long time since I’ve been on dial-up, but after a few trials and errors I was up and running.
I don’t think I could do much nowadays without broadband. It was painful. Even checking e-mail seemed to take forever. In this world of instant gratification, it was hard to go back. I couldn’t imagine going back to the days of dialing in to your favorite “underground” bulletin board system. You know the ones, you sign up and they call you to see if you are really you. After a little while if you were found trustworthy you gained access to all the files. And getting that 1200 baud modem. Wow! The speed increase over the 300 was amazing!
So what have we learned during all this? One, once a technology is firmly ingrained into your life it’s hard to do without. And I think that’s OK. Think about what would happen if we all suddenly had to do without lights or electricity. Would it be the end of the world? It might, but we would get by. I guess what I’m saying is that there really is no turning back. We only have to go forward, and the technology that we currently have will only get better. There might be certain setbacks or downright inconveniences, but nothing that we can’t live without, and I don’t believe we’ll need to. And what did I do this weekend? Well, I did get to finally watch all episodes of Life on Mars, which oddly enough, I couldn’t have received those episodes without my broadband, which I no longer have. (Albeit, only temporary!) To top it all off, it’s exactly what Sam Tyler experienced! How weird is that?