Friday, March 06, 2009


I have come to realize now that my computer is almost useless without its Internet connection!

It has transformed to become an interface tool with the cyberworld from working tool at home... and most part at work too when the server goes down.

For the past several weeks, I had little carbon footprint in the Internet realm. So no updates and no comments left by me.

Our home connection had been frustratingly intermittent. I noticed a drastic reduction of our surfing speeds and it finally came to a halt in the last few days. Totally rendered us cut-off from the world... cyberworld.

The solace I got from listening background music from the Internet radio while I work on my iMac was gone. It became an irritating noise with its frequent streaming stoppages. I turned to my own MP3 music in iTunes instead.

Apart from downloading the many photos I took with my camera and iPhone, I practically had nothing much to do on my iMac since it was without its Internet connection. I turned to the next flat screen panel that streams signals... my LCD TV. So did Sonny.

I am aware that TV has killed conversation somewhat, but PC took its helm immediately when it was brought home, powered-up and successfully connected to the Internet. It is a good thing and a bad thing inter-twined into one moral dilemma.

Anyway, my daily blogging and blog surfing was affected badly with the breakdown. There were frequent "Connection Interrupted" error prompts with the useless "Try Again Later" messages.

Not knowing the cause at first, it even shook my long-standing faith on my iMac; being impenetrable to hackers and computer viruses... or at least not a hot favourite to hackers than Windows OS.

"Ayah! My Internet connection is getting worse by the day!" Sonny hollered in frustration from inside his room. It was affecting his online homework and submission to his school... and yes, it affected his online game as well.

That go me thinking of the many possible suspects...

My first thought was that one of the other 3 computers at home with Windows XP and Vista OS might have been infected with a virus or ad-ware. It might using the PC as a server for spamming thus taking-up the bandwidth.

That set the frantic checks on all PCs for latest updated virus definitions. After several tries to get the updates while there was Internet connection, a thorough scan resulted in no form infection. Hmm...

My next suspect was our 3 year old LinkSys Wireless-G Router. It was our second when the first went bonkers on us the same way it displayed its symptoms now.

Bypassing the router by connecting Wifey's PC directly to the modem alone solved the problem at first. Resetting and reconnecting it several times directly seemed to resolve the connection.

It had me convinced the router was faulty. I had Wifey accompanied me for a quick run to Sim Lim Square to buy ourselves a replacement router that same afternoon, undaunted by the crazy heavy rain. Yes. It now rains everyday... be very careful what you wish for.

The Engenius Wireless-N Gigabit Router set me back S$179.00! We got an upgrade to 3 long-range antennas. That was a good deal.

Setting-up the new wireless router was easy and painless. The Wireless-N speed was fantastic... at first. My heart was cheering "Hip Hip Hurray!" especially when my Facebook loaded in record time... but it was short-lived when the same problem crapped in the morning after.

Connecting Wifey's PC directly back to the modem finally revealed the same failure symptom... after spending S$179.00 excluding cab fares!

Nope. Not the router. I have two routers now! Sigh.

It led me to suspect Starhub's broadband line. There was that far-fetched inkling of a feeling that we might have quietly been shortchanged with our subscription of a 12MB line. I had this ill feeling that our ISP was cramping too many users around my area to the same line that resulted in congested broadband.

After hanging-on to its hotline and listening to my "call is important to us" for over 20 minutes on end, I got through to the technical support after the third call. Fortunately the person assisting was very patient and totally helpful.

It did not resolve the problem after several troubleshooting guides over the phone - "ipconfig/release" and renew, reboot and replacing Ethernet cables. A technician was finally sent to my home 2 days later.

Their prime suspect was my ageing 6-year old Motorola Broadband Modem.

Fortunately, the technician schedule in the late afternoon was the same day I took half-day leave off work to fetch Dad back from the hospital. I made it on time to be at home when the technician arrived.

The bad thing about it was that the old modem worked well while he was here for the whole 40 minutes. Not a glitch was observed, but he just replaced the splitter anyway after finding the "noise to signal ratio" a little higher "but nothing serious."

I as to pay for the new modem that cost S$99.51 if he had replaced it, but he suggested for me to monitor it for another day and replace the modem at Starhub's branch in Tampines Mall, paying the difference after off-setting my accumulated points.

The old modem called it quits 2 hours after he left. I was not pinning high hopes on the splitter anyway, but thank him for replacing a new one and the cost savings he suggested, though. That was last Wednesday.

Today, I met Wifey at Starhub's Tampines Mall branch after work.

We got our 3 week-old dead Cable Digital Set-top box and the Hub Station Remote Control replaced for free; purchased our much needed new modem for S$40.00 after off-setting the cost with redeemable 1,900 points we had.

That was after they tested and found no problem with the modem. Of course not!

Well, at least having a nice dinner with Wifey soothed my aching heart at Long John Silver.

Once at back home, I got the cable TV working again in our bedroom, the remote working properly too in the living room and especially the Internet connection lightning fast, working faster than ever now with the Wifeless-N speed!

All is well again. Phew!

The whole ordeal was as tiring as it is painful for you read this rant. Thanks for reading this far, anyway.

Continuing to post trivial stuff as usual again. Yet I am happy to be able to blog-surf to my favourite friends' once again.

I am back online... working-world-wide again!


  1. My friend, I can feel your pain. I HATE having connection problems, and have been through issues just like you described.

  2. Oh that is just like us. Whenever something breaks down we spend tons of money on stuff to try to figure out what it is. And it takes forever to finally find out what it is.

    I'm glad your back though!!!

  3. Oh the ordeal of not having the computer! We live in a very remote area and have to have satellite internet. It is so different and not as high speed as when we are in town.

    Long John Silvers!! Funny how small the world is, as here in New Mexico, USA we have the same restaurant.

    I am praying that your father continues to heal, and that your internet stays up, so that you are able to wander the world with your fingertips!

  4. My modem quit on my when it was only 2 years old. Made me so mad. Like you my computer is basically useless now without internet! LOL I am on facebook also.


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