Tag Archives: internet

Long rambling, of which Thanksgiving is a not insignificant portion.

The internet has cut out again. And while it’s not terribly critical at this moment, I’m still rather annoyed at it. Not just because it’s flakey, but because I thought we’d fixed this. I haven’t had any trouble with it in (two months? A month and a half? However long it’s been since I stopped complaining about how finicky the internet here was. But since the internet is broken, I can’t go check that) ages. I’d eventually come to the conclusion that two of the wireless networks in this building must somehow be similar, and Miss Eliza was latching on to the one that was further away but still sort of reading this one, which is how I could have next to no signal (judged by the fact that it was REALLY slow and sometimes I couldn’t load web pages at all) while Airport thought that it was receiving full strength. And when we made the ivan network, we also had the wrong signal, and the fact that it was someone else’s internet explains why it was always so wobbly, and why the original WEBSTAR network didn’t disappear after we renamed it ivan.

So I tried renaming WEBSTAR again, and the newly created Pepi was fast and cheerful and came when called. And I was proud of myself for having solved things all on my own. But I don’t know what’s up with the Pepi network right now. Half the time it doesn’t show up on the list, and the other half of the time it does show up, but I still can’t connect to it. And unplugging the modem and plugging it back in hasn’t done anything. I’m giving it a time out right now; hopefully it will be more willing to cooperate when I’m ready to post this.

But I didn’t intent to write this entry to complain about the flakey internet (because I didn’t know it was broken again until I tried to go online); I was going to tell you about my shopping trip, and about Thanksgiving In Spain.

hence, shopping and Thanksgiving

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Saved once again by the kindness of strangers

(and also the fact that Mac, for a giant company, is unusually buena gente.)

So. Yesterday I was fiddling about with the internet, as per usual, and was suddenly ambushed with Rainbow Swirly of Death. Since there was clearly nothing going, I manually shut it down. When I turned it back on, I got a white screen and a faint hard drive noise, and nothing else. Several times.

I was kind of freaking out about this. While the logical part of me was saying, “It’s not the end of the world, it’s still under warrantee, the only thing you haven’t backed up are the pictures you’ve taken this month – and honestly, worst comes to worst, you can survive in Spain for three months without a computer! You’ll certainly learn more Spanish that way,” the rest of me was way too busy having an incipient panic attack to pay any attention. I borrowed somebody’s computer to look on apple help, with no result.

Pepi took me over to the computer store around the corner, where they told me that there’s a mac store in Plaza de Colon. This was a relief, since I was a little bit worried that I was the most mac-savvy person within a very large radius; everything seems to be Windows here.

This morning we had a group excursion to the art schools to check out the offerings (I want to take bookbinding), and then I headed over to the Plaza de Colon with my computer. The store was a very mac sort of place – white decor, snazy technology sitting around – and lacked the vague sketchiness that I have come to associate with computer-anything here. I told the guy behind the desk what happened when I turned it on, and showed him. We discussed the fact that my system disk was in the United States, and he got another guy from the back room who spoke excellent English (also, very, very British English – it took me at least ten minutes to figure out that he was a Spanish guy who spoke good English rather than a British guy who happened to be in Spain and spoke good Spanish), and we discussed the problem. He pulled out some external hard drives and a system disk, any my computer failed to be very cooperative. His preliminary analysis was that it was the motherboard – this got changed to, “No, your hard drive is very dead,” when we tried to use my hard drive as an external to get the data. Apparently it was probably a power surge (I didn’t have a surge protector. I’m going to fix this ASAP. It would already be fixed, but the mac place didn’t have any, and the other place they sent me had only the fanciest model left in stock – the one that would cost over 100 euros). So they replaced my hard drive, and are trying to get the data from my old one. I was also advised to take out my battery whenever I’m working with the computer plugged in and not charging it. I didn’t know this.

I have a working computer. This is a great relief.
Hopefully I won’t have lost anything important. And I can survive three months in Spain without Microsoft Office.
Mostly, I’m just really, really glad.

Oh, and for those of you who are following the saga of my internet – in the course of my running around, I got an ethernet cable and have it plugged in to the modem. My internet appears to be slower now than it was on the wireless.

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Okay, that’s really bizarre

After fiddling with the internet for an hour or two last night, we finally got it to work on an unsecured connection. So this morning when it wouldn’t let me on, I was rather annoyed.
I decided to unplug the wireless box, give it a time out, and plug it back in in the hopes that that did something – and then I glanced at the computer to see what that did – and our network had stopped asking me for a password and I was connected. Now I’m really confused (though glad that there’s internet); everything I know about electronics says that this one shouldn’t work at all if it isn’t plugged in. I don’t actually understand wireless networks, though; I just know how to use them. Any insights from the rest of you?

And in other news, I’m fine, I like my host mother – I think the greatest danger here is that she would happily feed me five meals a day if I let here – and Córdoba is beautiful. Well, not the part where I’m staying; that’s more comfortable, but a block-and-a-half walk takes me to the Judería, the old Jewish quarter, which is all whitewashed walls and cobbled streets and little arches into patio gardens – and that’s where the Facultad de Filosofía y Letras is.

Oh, and before I forget – yes, host mother – I’m staying with Pepi and her niece, not Pepe (which is what my e-mail told me). The niece isn’t here yet, though – her classes don’t start until October.

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