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One of the most useful things about the Yahoo! Messenger application is that it serves as a keepalive indicator when I leave my Windows 2k machine logged in. When I got up this morning it was showing trouble logging in, and I verified that the outside metaverse was unreachable from all the other computers here. I did the usual cable swapping and power cycling and everything but the net was mostly unreachable until this afternoon (from system logs it looks like things went blooey around 0330 EST today).
I was in the process of navigating Verizon's voicemail on their support line when I noticed that the Hotmail site was reachable from my wife's Win98 machine. Quick, hang up the phone before some tech answers and I have to admit that everything was working! But in the subsequent half hour the PPP connection bounced maybe a dozen times, and there was a noticeable crackle audible on the voice line itself, so I reckon that yesterday's deluge had some bad effect on the local loop. Here's hoping this post gets out there to some search cache to explain why things are flakey here.
First update: Today the phone went dead entirely for a while, just about the time I heard a sort of "thump" happen outside. I went out in the expectation that the wire leading from the utility pole had been severed, but to me it mainly looked saggier than usual (I'd been scoping it out yesterday while trimming some branches around it), and it seemed to be very very close to the wire running to our next-door neighbors' house. I phoned Verizon to report the problem and the recording gave information on how to isolate the problem as being related to the inside wiring or to their network, by plugging a "corded phone" into the jack found in the Network Interface Device on the side of the house. When I did so, initially there was no dial tone, but then it started coming back, and it was a rather ratty-sounding tone at that. The odd thing was that the DSL problems seemed to be anti-correlated with use of the voice line (in other words, the problem would go away if I picked up the hand set for a while), as if things were improving from the point of view of line resistance when the phone were in use.
I phoned the support line again and scheduled a visit by a lineman (lineperson?) tomorrrow "between 8AM and 7PM." Right.
Second update: The situation has worsened somewhat so that the voice line is down more often than not. It is possible to "wake it up" by calling in, but after a few minutes it generally goes away again. The Verizon tech was not able to come out to the house yesterday, but is expected to visit "some time between 8 AM and noon" today. Pam and I will take turns sitting at home waiting. I went to the library yesterday to check on my email, and instead of paying the bills online I made out paper checks to send.
Last update:Yesterday afternoon Verizon called to say that the tech visit had to postponed yet again. I complained that we'd been out since Wednesday, she gave me the phone number for the Business office to request a credit.
Today after lunch, to our surprise, a repair truck came up and the technician asked for the location of the test box. In under a half hour he was done with the repair, having replaced a bad connection up on the utility pole, no charge.