Saturday, October 31, 2015
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Had to buy a new router yesterday, owing to its predecessor packing up without warning. The replacement, a Netgear AC1600, ticked all the techie boxes, including streaming and gaming. But it resolutely refused to accept my ISP's login settings, so I called Netgear technical support.
After several minutes listening to loud muzak, a female operative answered the phone and proceeded to take my details. After a short while, I was asked if I would like to join Netgear's mailing list (hint to Netgear marketing: technical support calls might not be the most fruitful source of future sales, if the caller can't get their present purchase to work).
I was then taken through an obviously scripted sequence. When this didn't resolve the issue, we went through it twice more. An hour and a half later, the operator admitted defeat and we ended the call with her telling me to contact my ISP and ask them to 'reset the Internet connection and refresh my username and password'. The ISP's tech support dept took some getting through to ('unexpectedly high call volumes'). But eventually a guy traced the problem and the router connected. At this point, I asked about resetting the Internet, only to be told that this was impossible (the request actually reminded me of the IT Crowd episode where Jen 'breaks' the entire Internet by dropping the box that Chris and Moss have told her contains the world wide web as a joke).
The router works, but Netgear tech support didn't help bring this about, and the scripted approach prevented the problem being identified sooner.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Spent the weekend in a 'contemporary hotel' but didn't give much thought to what it meant until I took a shower and then ordered breakfast.
The reception area, corridors and rooms were all clean lines, bold feature walls with contrasting lighter tones. But ''contemporary" has its limits, as I discovered in the shower. This was an old fashioned mixer affair, with the intending showeree trying to gauge flow and temperature from the bath, before turning a third tap to switch the water from bath to showerhead. All of this effort could soon be undone, however, as anyone drawing water elsewhere could either send a stream of scalding water cascading from the shower, or turn the temperature to a level that would be more appreciated by polar bears or penguins.
As I experienced the latter twice during the shower, I went down to breakfast craving hot coffee. But, here again 'contemporary' had its limits. The cups were small and guest seemingly not to be trusted with a cafetiere. Leading to a situation where every sip was followed by a scan of the restaurant, in the hope of securing a refill from a passing and suitably equipped waiter.