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Amazingly, since my last post, the downstream speed on the DSL has shot up nearly 300 kbps, making it faster than I've ever seen it. Let's hope (again) nothing screws that up.

Did I mention I'm sick of winter? Today was no "couple of inches here and there". No, apparently today we got over a foot of snow. Right now I'm bowing down to the snow blower gods. After running for a few seconds and dying, and then not wanting to start at all, the snow blower started and ran for the next hour and a half straight. I managed to clear the driveway, the sidewalk, the walk to the front door, and 4 other driveway aprons. I guess somebody was smiling on me.

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Hopefully things with TDS are winding down. Things were set to 4 meg today, and while the download speed is only a hair faster than it was at 2 meg (due to the distance), the upload speed is quite a bit faster. Currently things are about the best they've ever been. So next up is getting the phone number moved to this line and then disconnecting the old line. And hopefully not disconnecting this line in the process (again). I really just want all of this over.

I'm really sick of winter. It's been nice a few times, but not long enough to melt much snow. And rather than a few big dumpings, it seems we get a couple of inches here and there. Which means more shoveling. I want to be able to walk inside without tracking in snow and salt.

Worried about Freckles. She's had a sore on her arm that she keeps licking, which just makes it worse. Putting a bandage on it usually just creates more problems. The other day I put a cone on her. I really hope it is going to start looking better soon.

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It seems like while many of the folks at TDS are incompetent, they aren't jerks. The person I just talked to was the exception.

After the initial shock of being bounced around yesterday, I realized that if I was setup in the billing system at 2 meg, the DSL help desk would be able to set it at that if I called. So I called, explained everything, and was put on hold. While on hold, I started to refresh the stats page on the modem. First I saw the download speed up over 2 meg. Good. Then it dropped a bit. Then more. Then the upload speed went way down.

The guy gets back on the line. "Ok sir, I have it all set for you. I saw some errors so I set it at 1.5 meg for you."

Long story short, I asked him to please set it to the full 2 meg, but was told "you don't want me to do that". After explaining that, yes, I've been down this road before and yes, I really did want him to do that, he finally changed it. On the download side. Had to ask again to get him to change it on the upload side. Which of course was met with more rudeness. And when it was all said and done, he essentially just hung up on me.

So anyway, it is at 2400/576 kbps (down/up) for the moment, which is pretty good. It looks like that is close to the limit for download, while there's plenty of headroom left for upload once they adjust the speed. We'll see what happens on Monday.

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Several people have said I should write a book about this. Anyone know a good publisher?

The TDS saga continues. After much delay, I was told on Monday that the new line would be going in that day. Great. AT&T was out to install it, but when I tried it, it was completely dead - no dial tone or DSL. Shortly thereafter I got a call from TDS repair indicating they knew there was a problem (surprise!) and that somebody would be dispatched on Tuesday.

Monday night I left two notes on the phone box outside, one labeled "TDS" and one labeled "AT&T". They explained the problem and requested that I be called when they were out.

Tuesday afternoon - one letter gone, no call, and line still doesn't work.

Wednesday afternoon - second letter gone (later found in the snow in front of the house), no call, dial tone now working but no DSL. The main line was down for a while, making me worried that they were working on that instead of the second line.

Thursday - AT&T dispatched again. The guy was still there when I got home from work, so I asked him what was going on. After telling me "everything looks fine", I asked him what line he was out to work on. Turns out he was dispatched to look at the main line, not the (new) second line. "But it looks like there's a dispatch for that other line tomorrow". Ugh.

Friday - Left a message with my supervisor in the morning. Came home over lunch, still no DSL. On the way back to work I got a call from customer care: "your new line is installed and working". "I was just home and the DSL still doesn't work" I say. "Can you go back home and call the DSL help desk? They will have to fix the problem from here". Rather than fight, I called my supervisor again when I got back to work. She was busy with somebody at her desk, so she said she'd call me right back. She did, and it turned out when they set up the new line, they never set it up for DSL. "I'm talking to two people about it now, and they should have that up and running soon".

Got home and the DSL was indeed up and running. Except the speed was set at the 1 meg limit, while it should have been set at 4. First, a call to repair:

"Oh, the help desk will have to change that for you, let me transfer you".

Then, the DSL help desk:

"Well, you're set at 2 meg".
"No, I'm not. I can see it is set exactly at the 1 meg limit".
"But we don't offer 1 meg service".
"I've had 1 meg service before and this is the exact same speed!"

After trying to further explain the situation, he got a person from customer care on the line.

"Sorry, sir, if the line was set up through repair they will have to be the ones to fix it".

I got transferred *back* to repair and got a supervisor. My confidence level with him was not very high, however, after telling me "I'll go talk to them tomorrow about it" and "We'll see how things are on Monday".


I should really keep my mouth shut until they finally get things set correctly, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I've got a bit more "headroom" at this speed than I did the last time they had me set this way, so I'm hoping that once they set it back to 4 meg it will be even a bit faster than it was before. As with anything TDS, though, I'm not holding my breath.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.