Wunder Kinder at Work

Why did the engineer wear black socks with his shorts to the beach?
He was saving his white socks for work.

Wunder Kinder, Greg from work, clued me into what became an elegantly simple solution, to what had been a quite vexing problem. He turned me into a miracle worker, when before, I had only been Miracle Whip. Thank you, Greg! Last Thursday, our desktop computer lost its internet connection. It does this on occasion. Usually, rebooting the DSL modem and/or the computer once or twice is enough to get things working again. This time, I even tried the mysterious and obscure (at least to me) netsh winsock reset command. This was all to no avail though. Using our laptop, I was able to diagnosis that the problem laid not at AT&T HQ, not in the intervening phone line, not in our DSL modem, not even in the Ethernet cable from the modem to the desktop, but in our desktop itself. I toyed with the idea of calling AT&T, because they had been quite helpful once before, but first, it didn’t seem to be their problem and second, I didn’t want to have to climb the tech support pyramid to get to someone who could actually help me: Yes, I am not stupid. Yes, I’m sure of that. Yes, the computer is turned on. Etc.

I consider myself to be a pretty tech savvy guy, especially with computers. After all, I’ve been operating these machines for over forty years, yes, forty years. I started back in the day of wooden mainframes and iron men. I even got my degree in computer science, but I have always had a blind spot for networks. More is the pity, because it is one of most lucrative of trades. As an analogy for my aptitude for computer networks, I’ll use my aptitude for plumbing. Back in the day, when I announced that I was going to fix the dripping faucet in the bathroom, Anne would gather up our young children and flee the house, all to avoid exposing our young sons to a complete four-letter word vocabulary.

Greg’s suggestion was simply to buy a new Ethernet card. On the way home today, I swung by Micro Center, play land for geeks and most of my co-workers. $25 and an hour later, we were back in business. I think that this qualifies in classical computer parlance, as a work-around. In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that the $25 bought a gigabit Ethernet card, which is more bandwidth then is currently required. If however, I upgraded our DSL to U-verse, it might come into its own then. I’ll have to ask the Wunder Kinder at work tomorrow.

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