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11/30/09
Loose Threads and Weird Interwebbishness
Filed under: general, interwebbishness, bike commuting
Posted by: The Cyclofiend @ 5:53 pm

There have been a few things going on the past couple weeks, and as I mentioned in this post, I’ve been working on a longish-and-ever-lengthening post on cranks. (Well, cranks, bottom brackets and interface woes. You have been warned…)  However, there’s been a bit of an issue in getting these things posted. It’s turned out to be odd enough that I’ve got to share it.  Sorry for the clipped prose, but I’m having to do this at work, between phone calls and dealing with reports.

Last time I tried to log onto my blog at home, the page kept timing out, rendering the notice that the server was taking too long to respond. Same for the blog itself. Ok. Tippity-tap and I start a trouble ticket with my friends at hostway.com.  They get back to me within an hour, saying they can’t see anything wrong, and it renders, pings and traceroutes just fine for them. I try the same and it doesn’t, doesn’t and won’t.  Hmmm….  I share this back to them and they quickly make some suggestions, and using a non-cached web relay, get the thing to work.

This all points back to my ISP at home, who I contact via their real-time chat.  The funniest moment was when the first person said that they couldn’t see the page either.  I took this to mean that it was doing the same thing, giving me hope (well, terror, actually…) that it was an ISP issue. So, I asked for specifics of traceroutes, what error messages she was seeing, etc. Instead, she finally admitted that she couldn’t actually check the website, as she was prevented from doing so at her job. That would be “surfing”…. Uh. OK.

Got kicked up the chain 5 times (this was the day before Thanksgiving, so I really didn’t think there would be anyone actually working who might be able to diagnose the problem.)  The last two people pointed me to a form on their company site which would request that a site be unblocked.  At this point, it had taken too long and I needed to move onto other things. I thanked them and moved on. Did the unblocking thing.

Got an auto-responder email by the Thanksgiving morning, explaining that that IP address was not blocked and that email should be getting to me if sent from them.

OK, what we have here, is a failure to communicate…

But, the pointer kept swinging back to my end, and something being weird. Finally after chatting via email with JimG, I realized that I had dumbly never tried bypassing my router.  Did that and  - BAM - spicy internet log in web page…

Rerigged the stuff and then dug into the router - a Netgear wired 614v4 model.  Reset, reset again, set up and dug through every permutation of menus and pass-throughs and everything I could think of, all for naught.  Finally, sometime later on Thanksgiving night, I found my way to the Netgear help bbs and found out that this was a feature* of this series.  In other words, for no apparent reason, my router will not allow this one website to communicate with my computer. Of course, this worked fine a week or two ago.  Seems they get senile and/or decide they just don’t wanna play any more.

Suggested fixes seemed to involve a router from a different company. Which I just wasn’t going to do on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  So, it’s still languishing and I’m not posting regularly.

*First Rule of Computer Manuals - A bug can be defined as a feature by documenting it.


But, if I was posting, one of my thoughts during a recent ride to work was as follows:

California has one helluva budget problem right now. Based on my informal, entirely non-scientific, visual survey on the way to work today, I think they could go a long way toward fixing that if they enforced the “hands-free” wireless telephone use regulation

“The first law prohibits all drivers from using a handheld wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle, (California Vehicle Code [VC] §23123). Motorists 18 and over may use a “hands-free device.” The second law prohibits all
drivers from texting while operating a motor vehicle (VC §23123.5). The
third law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a wireless
telephone or hands-free device while operating a motor vehicle (VC
§23124).”

A coworker got popped for this infraction earlier in the year, and it cost him more than $200, with added penalties.  I think I could have raised about $1800 on the way to work today, without even trying….

One Response to “Loose Threads and Weird Interwebbishness”

  1. Jim G Says:
    As I ride the commuter shuttle to work each morning, I entertain myself by watching for idiot drivers. Tops on the current list is the — and I’m not kidding here — guy who was EATING A BOWL OF CEREAL WHILE DRIVING on the 101 a couple weeks ago. I’m gonna start filming them, I am!