Thursday, 30 October 2008

My Network is Down

Yesterday, in the middle of downloading the Radio 5live Daily Mayo podcast (with Gok Wan, in case you care), a little icon popped up in the bottom corner of my screen, saying "A network cable is unplugged." I saw it happen. The podcast stopped downloading. A window popped up from Outlook: "Failed to connect to network - check your server." Mozilla told me it couldn't find Google any more. All the clues were there.

I went upstairs to check Mr A's Internet access, hoping it was an ISP problem. While that would be worse in the short term, at least I could be pretty sure it would recover eventually. The Internet was still there. Back downstairs, under my desk, the lights were flashing optimistically on the network connectors, and the plugs that route the signal through the house (wireless doesn't penetrate our Victorian walls), and on the router upstairs. But my computer thinks that the network isn't there. A network cable is unplugged.

You take something for granted until it isn't there. I can't believe how much I rely on having a permanent, always-on connection to the world, even though such a thing was almost unimaginable ten years ago. I can't update my podcasts or get the next instalment of my audio book, let alone download lectures from the university system or catch up on my blog reading. I can't even print - the printer is upstairs and I need the network to connect to it. I started researching my new laptop computer options straight away.

I can do most of the important stuff from university, where I am now, or from another computer at home if I can borrow one. But I can't download anything for my ipod without major reinstallation and messing about, and that's my life support system.


Anonymous said...

I had the exact same thing, only my processor and motherboard broke down. I thought we had installed the new internal memory card the wrong way, because my computer didn't work anymore. Turned out I needed a whole new one.

Maybe there's something wrong with your network card in your computer? You could have it checked out, it might only be a minor repair that's necessary.

Lola said...

Yes, a new network card would fix it. But the computer is old and slow and not portable, and it's time for me to splash out on something I can take to uni with me if I need to.