A $70 lesson . . .

Before I tell you my lesson that I learned yesterday, I need to back up and fill you in on some background data.

It started between 2 and 3 months ago.  The PS3 that we used for both playing video games and watching Netflix streaming videos started misbehaving.  Mind you, it is getting a bit old, so I wasn’t upset about that.  But, there was a mild bit of frustration in it not consistently loading the audio when I wanted to play a video game from a disc.  That was the only time I noticed a problem, and at first it didn’t happen very often, so I waited.

A couple of weeks ago, it had gotten to the point that this same problem occurred about half of the time.  That was annoying, so I decided it was time to replace the PS3.

However, I had what I thought was a bright idea.  Since the old system was working fine for Netflix – let’s use BOTH systems, and put the gaming load entirely on the new system, while continuing to use the old one for Netflix streaming.  The TV had an adequate number of cable connections available to do this, so it seemed a great idea.

Thursday I got a migraine, so wouldn’t you know the new PS3 would arrive on Friday.  I looked into how the data transfer utility on the PS3’s worked, and it looked like something I should be able to handle.  Perhaps if I hadn’t had the migraine, I would have slowed down.

First, I had to do a software update for the new PS3.  That was the first problem – I’d forgotten what the password is to access our wireless router.  Ok, I’ll just reset it.

Wrong.  I’m still not exactly sure what I did wrong (I had a management utility disc and thought I was following directions) – but I managed to kick the entire wireless router off-line.  After phone calls to 4 different IT departments, I learned that I’d have to replace the router to restore functionality.  Meanwhile – we had NO internet access at all.

Why did it take 4 phone calls to learn that?  I’m so glad you asked!  The first phone call was to the tech support line for the company that hosts our ISP.  Because our phone service is connected to the internet service, when they remotely rebooted the modem to try resynching it to the router, it cut off the phone call.

Call 3 was to the tech support line for the company that owned the manufacturer of the router when I bought it.  It was their number listed in the owner’s manual.  But they sold that subsidy 3 years ago, so they don’t offer support for those routers anymore.  They were nice about it, though, and looked up the 800# for the tech support people I did need to talk to.  That was call #4.

Call 4 was nowhere near the pleasure of call 3.  They were rude, and wouldn’t even discuss my problem until they had a database file on me, complete with personal information I don’t usually give to anyone over the phone.  When I finally got to tell them the make/model of the router, they said we’d just wasted all the time making the file (well, that wasn’t their point-of-view, but it is MINE) because it was old enough the warranty had expired.  So they could help me, if I wanted to pay them a set fee per half-hour for live tech support.  I have a personal rule – never pay for anything “by the hour” if you can get it done at a flat fee.  Pay by the hour is a trick shysters use to run up expenses while pretending to be busy.

So, I made a few local calls, and found a replacement router and had my wife swing by (she was out grocery shopping yesterday morning anyhow) and pick one up.  We were back on the internet before noon.

And the lesson I learned?  Never try to do anything that requires concentration and critical thinking skills while dealing with a migraine.  I should have been able to reset those security settings with no problem, in about 5 minutes.

Anyhow, as I type this (about 30 minutes after midnight, local time) the PS3’s are both fully updated, the trophies synched, and the data transfer is about 35% done.  The on-board time estimate to completion is another hour and a half.

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