Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The WiFi That Wasn't

I lost 2 days of work last week because of the wonky WiFi cutting in and out, taking forever to stream a video (talk about broken cataracts of streaming), and losing packets. I called Skybeam to complain and see if there was an area-wide outage only to find out the antenna was working fine and my router, now 7-1/2 months old, would have to be replaced. They offered me a fix. Send a tech out on Monday to realign the antenna and installed a Skybeam router for $6.99 a month ($83.88 a year) added to my bill, which would ensure me that my service would always be up.

Monday dawned bright and clear after my car accident of the afternoon before and I waited and wiated and waited and waited until well into the afternoon when it would be past the time for a service call. To my surprise while I waited, the broadband signal was strong and the videos were actually streaming. Music downloaded at a proper pace and web pages did not take forever and a half day to show up on my computer. I could enjoy the net in peace. My peace was to be short-lived as I soon found out the truth behind the wonky web and WiFi buffeting over the cataracts of the stream.

I didn't need a new router. The Linksys I bought in July 2014 was perfectly fine. The antenna did not need to be aligned, showing up on the tech's small Asus computer as 12 x 12. That as true as it gets in the radio business; 12 vertical and 12 horizontal. That is true. He would be happy to install the router he brought with him, and which came with a hefty yearly rental cost, but it would not solve the problem. I had put my trust in Linksys which is the workhorse of routers, and indeed of electronic equipment, as I had believed prior to Saturday's call to Tech Support at Skybeam. The problem wasn't what I had been told. The real problem was the tower.

Skybeam does a lot of business, but their equipment is outdated and overloaded. The equipment providing my signal is brand new, top of the line, and the latest word in WiFi technology. It is supposed to service 60 households and therein lay the problem. It was servicing 90 households, exceeding the bandwidth and slowing down when all 90 households were using the WiFi broadband at the same time. Think of 90 mice and their families clamoring to get through a hole made for 60 mice and children at the same time. The hole gets filled up and only a mouse or two will be able to squeeze through to the warehouse of cheese on the other side.

I chose not to add the router rental to my bill and will be forced to wait while Skybeam takes down the older tech on the tower and moves 30 customers off my node on the tower so the 20 Mbps I have been paying for will finally stream over smooth broadband waves.

Since the problem is a fairly recent one, I can be assured the addition of the 30 extra customers on a filled node happened quite recently -- about the time my stream began rushing headlong over the cataracts like Bogey and Hepburn in The African Queen. Bogey and Hepburn were separated, but eventually found one another, just as I have been separated from my smooth WiFi stream and fast download times. Since Skybeam is the only line of sight service in the area, I'm stuck, but not for long. Since I won't be writing a negative review for my Linksys router, I will in exchange bombard Skybeam with negative reviews and spread the word that they need to get the tech on the towers updated and the rocks and white water out of my broadband stream.

In the meantime, I'm keeping relaxed the best way I know how . . . by cross stitching and reading. I've been switched back and forth between one of Lanarte's Cultures Collection pieces (all of which are stunning), Dimensions Gold 5 x 7 geisha, another Lanarte -- Arabian Woman 5 x 7), and Joadoor's Swan, taking breaks by reading Isaak Walton's The Compleat Angler and various and sundry other books (some on Kindle and some, like Walton's, in hardback form with a ribbon bookmark included.

I can't show you the books, but I did snap a photo of the Eastern Beauty from Lanarte, which is nearly done. I am quite pleased with the progress and can't wait to get her matted, framed, and hung on the wall. So what if most of my cross stitch pieces are of the female variety? Joadoor's Swan could be a male. Show me a male who looks as beautiful, intriguing, and stitchable and I shall stitch him and add him to the collection.  As much as I like male bodybuilders, I am looking more for grace and style than muscles. Give me a male dancer in a high jete or, as in a couple of patterns I own, silhouettes of dancers doing the tango or jazz, and I'll add them to the list. Most of the time, I stitch what appeals to me and the mystery and mystique of women all over the world and across the ages appeal most to me, like the lady below.

Arab beauty

That is all. Disperse.

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