In the Broadway show "A Streetcar Named Desire", there is a song titled "A Stranger's Just A Friend You Haven't Met." This seems to fit in with the small adventure I had after venturing to the local Starbucks after dinner.
While in line, a man was ahead of me with his notebook asking one of the baristas (Jennifer) if he could connect to the Hot Spot that was advertised. Unfortunately, the signal has been down for a few days, and the provider had not yet come to fix it. After learning that the man wanted to confirm that his computer did not have any problems connecting to the internet, I invited him to my home, where he could check out whatever he needed.
As expected, his computer worked just fine on my network.
I learned that a tech support person with his internet provider had tried to blame the extended outtage on this man's computers and network hardware. What didn't add up was the number of computers that were affected, as well as the timing when they all failed. Thinking this might be a similar issue to what I faced with Telus a few weeks ago, I mentioned a few of the possible scenarios.
So we decided to head to his home in an effort to put an end to his problem. After all, a Canadian home just can't be without internet. It's a crucial utility for most of us, now.
After checking that his modem and router were fine, we checked the network's ability to ping an outside site. When that failed, I changed the DNS servers to those offered by great people at OpenDNS. After this change, we had internet again!
It seems that the change had occurred within a slight window of network operation. For two hours we checked and rechecked everything with only occasional success. After changing the DNS servers back to Shaw's defaults (in order to check Shaw's mail servers), we were no better off. So, after it was all said and done, I could not solve their problem ... Shaw will need to step in.
I can really sympathize with these people. They've been in this home for only a short while, and the internet is a crucial part of their livelihood. I become incredibly frustrated and irritable when my internet is only remotely acting up, and downright upset when it fails altoghther (my landlords can vouch for this, as they've heard my shouts), so I can understand their frustration with the situation.
But in every dark could, there is a silver lining. The good things that came out of this chance occurrance was the ability to meet some great new people, and help provide some context on what the problems could be (it's not always a customer's fault, Shaw). I really hope that their connection problems can be made a thing of the past, considering how friendly and courteous they were despite these issues.