Computers: Avoid

Hi, if you’re reading this and just started finding your way in the (to you still) amazing world of computers: stop while you still can. Seriously, the deeper you dig, the more crap you’ll dig up.

Sorry about that. I’m back! It has been a while since my last post on this blog. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of which is that I had other things to do. As you know, I just moved into Dublin and was getting to know it; figure out where the good stores are. My parents came over for 4 days and we explored more of the city together. The other is that I’ve been fighting with the internet connection we have here, and we haven’t been on speaking terms for a while.

If you live in Dublin, you undoubtedly heard of this marvelous thing called RipWave. Which is a device that allows you to wirelessly connect to the internet, you don’t need a phone line or cable to use it. It uses a radio signal (I think). Problem is that it’s crap. The speed is supposed to be 512kbit up/512kbit down, but I’m very happy if I can get it up to 20kbyte/s downstream (using a killer download accelerator), usually it’s like 2–4kbyte/s. The signal is bad, sometimes you don’t have a connection at all, sometimes it’s fast, sometimes it’s slow. It’s basically a phone line connection on steroids, but without the steroids and with the phone line half broken.

On top of the privilege of being allowed to use RipWave, I bought a wireless router when I came to live here. It was a D-Link one. At first it would crash after a couple hours — only way to bring it back up was to restart it. I found new firmware on the D-Link website and put that on. Then it didn’t connect to the internet at all. I tried changing every setting in the whole damn thing — nothing. I downgraded the firmware to an older version. This time it seemed to work. However the router rebooted itself sometimes. Sometimes every couple of hours, which would be bearable, but sometimes every few minutes. Why!? Why can’t a device like that not just work?

I searched around the internet, and apparently there are a lot more people having similar problems with this device. They advice to install older versions of the firmware. I tried about 5 versions: no results (it wouldn’t even start up normally with most). How can a company get away with such a bad product?

Anyway, yesterday I returned the router. The guy in the shop said they sold about thirty of those and never heard any complaints. Whatever. I bought a cheap Linksys router somewhere else and it seems to work fine. If I ignore the crap internet connection I’m fairly happy. We requested a smart telecom internet connection which is supposed to be 2mbit down/128kbit up. But it can take a couple of weeks before we get it.

Anyway, try to avoid this stuff if you can. Computers (and all things related to it) are nothing but trouble.