Saturday, 30 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 39

Still no broadband.

Took the afternoon off work again yesterday to wait for the BT engineer who was suppose to visit between 1PM-6PM but he didn't show up! That's twice that's happened now.

I rang Demon at 6PM and they said according to the notes on the system he was on the way and I should wait another couple of hours, let's be honest he wasn't going to turn up at 8PM on a Friday night was he? Anyway, they have rescheduled his visit for 8AM Monday morning.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 36 - Week 6

Still no broadband, it hasn't come on at all since it went off on Monday.

Had an email from Demon today to say a BT engineer will be out on Friday afternoon.
Monday, 25 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 34

Whilst the broadband did come back online yesterday, it was on and off all day and is still off now.
Sunday, 24 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 33

Things aren't good. The broadband connection continued to die for an hour or two each evening and last night it went off and is still off today!

I reported it to Demon last night who fobbed me off with it was probably BT doing work at the exchange and to call back today if there were still problems. I rang them back this morning and they did a line test and said there's a fault and they've reported it to BT. So we're no further forward than we were 33 days ago.

There's a slight change in the nature of the problem. Previously the DSL LED on the router would flash continuously whilst it tried to connect, now it doesn't flash at all which I think means it can't even see the DSL on the line.

NEWS FLASH! As I'm typing this the ADSL has come back on, I don't expect it'll be up for long though.
Thursday, 21 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 30

We might be getting somewhere now.

The workmen turned up at 7:30AM to remove all the crap they'd left behind.

The BT engineer turned up at 8AM and was here a little over an hour running the new cable. Everything's looking good, the broadband still works and the voice line sounds clearer than it ever did.

However the broadband did go dead for an hour or so early in the evening. I think there are other problems going on in the exchange which are unrelated to my line. The engineer told me that the problems I had with the crossed line was to do with problems with kit that TalkTalk had installed in the exchange, apparently they are trying to run just to many customers on it and it's causing problems for thousands of people in the area.
Wednesday, 20 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Dr Gary and Mr Lynch

I've come to the realisation that I have this little drink problem that brings out a Jekyll & Hyde sort of character in me. After about 4 pints reality seems to become suspended and I become this awful leche that says the most inappropriate things to the most inappropriate of girls - quite often good friends, work colleagues, brides on their wedding day etc. What's worse, Emma is often with me at the time - that's so disrespectful. There really is no hope for me.

PostHeaderIcon Day 29 - Week 5

The broadband died again at 6:30AM but did come back on again an hour and 15 minutes later.

The workmen turned up at around 8AM to continue laying the pipe. They were a bit concerned the neighbours car was in the drive but I told them they'd gone out to work for the day and wouldn't be back until the evening. The workmen said they'd be all finished in a few hours and they'd left a note with the neighbour previously warning them about the work and informing them they should park the car elsewhere if they needed to use it.

When I got back from work in the evening, whilst they had completed everything they'd left a lot of stuff on the driveway protecting the newly laid cement and hence my neighbours car was completely blocked in their drive and there was no way any car could get into mine. I asked the neighbour if they had been informed and they said no.

I spoke to the BT engineer who'll be connecting the new cables and he said he'd come around first thing tomorrow morning to connect them up.
Tuesday, 19 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 28

My broadband has been up constantly for a few days now without problems and so the IP Profile on the line reset today and I'm now getting proper broadband speeds. This could all change tomorrow as the new lines are going in.

Talking of which, they turned up a day early to start the digging work (late today) and so have only done half the job which means we have a trench across the driveway preventing us from getting a car in or out. I was told that it should be a quick job and they'll fill the trench in soon after digging it and there would be no inconvenience to us or our neighbours.
Friday, 15 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 24

BT sent me a text message to say the contractors would be out to dig the trench on the 20th (next Wednesday, Day 29).

Broadband still up and down all the time. IP Profile still set to 135K, which can hardly be called broadband. I think there used to be a 250K service that they called Midband, so what does that make 135K? Narrowband?
Thursday, 14 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 23

The contractors who were suppose to turn up today to dig the trench for my new cables never showed.
Wednesday, 13 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 22 - Week 4

We had broadband first thing in the morning as my wifi radio alarm worked, though the bandwidth was so low there wasn't even enough to stream Virgin Radio which streams as 128K MP3 but Radio 1 was OK with just 20K WMA.

By about 7AM the ADSL died yet again and it has been off all day.

The BT engineer who came out last rang me today and said the contractors would be out tomorrow to dig the trench and lay the ducting to my house. He will then hopefully be able to lay the new cables tomorrow or Friday.

He also told me that my problem with the crossed line was something to do with TalkTalk, who share the same equipment in the exchange as my ISP (Demon), and who had a major hardware fault affecting 1000 customers.
Tuesday, 12 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 21

My broadband is working today and thus far has stayed up all day. It is synching at 8MB but the IP Profile is set to 135K and I'm only getting 100K throughput! I was getting 3 times that on the 3G phone I've been using whilst the ADSL was down. Hopefully it should recover to proper speeds within a few days.

I knew things were to good to last, at 7PM the ADSL died again.
Monday, 11 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 20

The BT engineer that was suppose to call back round again last week rang me this morning to say he'd looked at the old cable coming into the house but couldn't put me back on it as it was faulty.

I explained the crossed line problem to him and he said it’s probably a wiring problem at the exchange and he will look into it.
Sunday, 10 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 19

I spoke to the lady I have a crossed wire with after we both answered the phone at the same time and told her about the problem and asked that she also contacts BT to report the fault. This lady lives near me but not near enough that it would be anything to do with the cables outside my house which BT are waiting to replace before continuing further.
Saturday, 9 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 18

This morning the phone rang and when I picked it up I could hear a lady talking to her Grandmother! Part way through the conversation she complained about thinking there was a crossed line and that it had been happening for a couple of days.

I tried reporting the incident to BT to confirm there is definitely a crossed line and when I picked up the phone the lady was on the line again, this time buying insurance or something and she was giving her bank details to pay by direct debit! I was eventually able to ring BT and they didn’t seem concerned about the security implications of this and said they couldn’t really do a lot until the new cables have been run to the house.

They said the incident has been escalated and I should hope to hear something by Monday and then it would be a further few days before the work would be done.
Friday, 8 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 17

BT rang me to confirm I still had problems.

Had this email from Demon:
--------- LATEST NOTE --------
Date: 08/06/2007

BT have advised the external engineers have resolve an
underground cable fault and believe that you should now be able to connect ok. Please contact us on the usual number if you have any further issues.

All bollocks of course. I rang Demon to advise them that BT are full of crap and the problem is nowhere near being resolved.
Thursday, 7 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 16

I rang the engineer that came the previous day on his mobile to report the problem and he said he’d come around in the afternoon to look at it. I took the afternoon of work (for the 4th time) to wait for him but he never showed.

The ADSL was now synching with the exchange, at ever decreasing speeds but no data at all will transmit/receive on the line.

Later that evening the phone started doing weird things. A few times it rang and when I picked it up I could hear someone else pick up their phone and we were both saying “hello, hello” as if both our phones had rang. I tried reporting this to BT but when I picked up the phone I could hear other people dialling numbers and recorded messages saying ‘the number you have called has not been recognised’. I eventually got through to BT and they weren’t very helpful saying there isn’t a lot they can do whilst the order to run new cables to the house is outstanding.
Wednesday, 6 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Jan, Ste & Gary's Bogus Journey 1992/3

In July 1992 after being completely disillusioned with work I quit my job and headed out to Canada with two friends, Jan & Ste, to embark on what was suppose to be the first leg of a World tour. As things turned out that World tour didn’t get much further than the North American continent and a year later I was back home doing the very same job that I’d quit. Today, some 14 years later, I am still stuck in the same bloody job!

I recently found in my loft the diary I’d kept whilst on that journey and reading through it made me laugh, so I’ve decided to reproduce it here for posterity. I expect most people will find this very boring and even banal as it’s not so much what I wrote that amused me so much as the memories it brought flooding back. It's certainly not in the same league as Che Guevara's The Motorcycle Diaries and much less anticipated than The Blair Diaries but it's probably a lot more honest than The Hitler Diaries.

To be honest I did a pretty poor job of keeping a diary as I couldn’t really be that arsed with it and so weeks would go by between entries - most of which were written whilst drunk after coming in from a night out or during the morning after whilst lying in bed nursing a hangover. Consequently a good deal of what I wrote was just about nights out getting pissed, who with and where. Looking back there is so much more interesting stuff that I should have written about but I was a lot younger then and my priorities were mostly all about just having a good time.

I’ve reproduced the journal exactly as it was written with only the odd spelling correction etc. I thought if I was to do this then there would be no point doing it unless it was complete and faithful. Being a diary it is also home to a lot of personal thoughts and feelings that get written down just to get them off your chest and to help sort things out in your own mind, so there were times when I wrote some quite unpleasant things about people who otherwise were and still are very good friends. I’m sure they won’t mind but if they do then tough shit they probably deserved it at the time anyway. There’s also a lot of very personal thoughts about my love life or lack of, it was all a long time ago now so I don’t really care. I’ll admit to leaving out one sentence but it’s not about anything you could possibly imagine. There is so much more in here that will embarrass me but leaving in this one rather innocuous sentence could destroy what little street cred I may have left at the end of it.

As the diary turned out to be mostly the hurried scribblings of a drunkard I have decided to annotate it to fill in the gaps, explain things in more detail or just to comment on how stupid I was in hindsight.

Jan has asked to add some comments about the trip – his additions are in this blue.

I really enjoyed reading this… there were a few minor points and additions that I wanted to add. Just a few little points that I think were worthy of a little more attention.

PostHeaderIcon Day 15 - Week 3

I had this email from Demon:

--------- LATEST NOTE --------
Date: 06/06/2007

BT have contacted us regarding your broadband fault and
advised that they have identified an issue with the exterior cabling between yourself and the exchange.

Engineers are currently investigating and we will update you as soon as any further information is available.

The BT engineer arrived, did a lot of work with the cabling in the street and put me on a spare line that was coming into the house. I now had new copper all the way from the house to the exchange and my broadband burst into life and I was getting proper speeds that I was obtaining before all the problems started!

The engineer still wasn’t happy with the last bit of cable leading to the house and made arrangements for someone to dig up the road to run new cables. He also gave me his mobile number and said if there were anymore problems then to ring him direct.

The broadband was working fine all evening and then died completely late at night.
Tuesday, 5 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 14

Broadband still dead. The BT engineer turns up and finds a fault on the line at the exchange end. He gets someone to reset something in the exchange and the broadband comes back on although the throughput now appears to have dropped to 150K! The engineer said this is normal and it might take 72 hours for the speed to recover to its max.

About half an hour later the broadband died and didn’t come back on. The line also developed a loud buzzing on the voice side that wasn’t there previously. I reported the problem to Demon again. This time they said because there was a problem on the voice I could also report the line fault directly to BT, which I did. BT were much more helpful and promised to send an engineer asap.
Monday, 4 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 13

Broadband still dead.

I had this email from Demon:

--------- LATEST NOTE --------
Date: 04/06/2007

BT have contacted us regarding your broadband fault on
number 02920866729 and advised they have agreed to send an engineer to your premesis to investigate. To avoid any further delays we have booked the earliest appointment BT have available which is for tuesday 5th between 1pm and
Sunday, 3 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 12

Broadband still dead.
Saturday, 2 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 11

Broadband was still dead so reported it Demon who could now report it BT again.
Friday, 1 June 2007

PostHeaderIcon Day 10

I had this email from Demon:
--------- LATEST NOTE --------
Date: 01/06/2007

BT have contacted us and advised that your broadband fault should now be resolved. This email is just to confirm if that is the case.

After receiving this email I tested the line and whilst it was up the IP Profile had dropped to 250K!

Later in the evening the broadband gave up all together. I rang Demon and they said they couldn’t do anything about it as once BT have closed a case they aren’t allowed to report another case on the same line for at least 8 hours. I tried telling them that it wasn’t a new case it was the same fault but they couldn’t understand that.


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