29 June 2009

At least we're not Detroit!

So it turns out my wifi problems of which I wanted to speak no more have reared their head again. My poor MacBook has been shipped away for repairs to either the wifi card or antenna. (Aren't they one unit in MacBooks? The technician tentatively hinted otherwise, but he got a glassy look in his eyes whenever I mentioned the word "firmware" so I'm not sure how on-the-ball he was).* I have a full backup (actually two), but no record of my firefox session, so all the tabs I had open and ready to blog about are beyond my grasp. (Also, blogging on this old iBook G4 with Safari 3 is really annoying.)

As filler, check out some Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Videos:

* I can not express how galling I find it that Apple refers to their tech support staff as "Geniuses." If you haven't had the (non-)pleasure of visiting a tech support desk in an Apple store, know that I'm not exaggerating. Their actual job title is "Genius." The arrogance of it would astound even if they were particularly good at their jobs, which in my experience, they aren't. On multiple occasions I have had to come in with problem already diagnosed in order for them to take action. On multiple occasions I have had to explain the difference between the "Core Duo" and "Core 2 Duo" system profiles to them, especially as it related to upgrading to 802.11n. This time I had to show them records of ping** output and extracts from log files in order for them not to blame it on my router and send me away, which is exactly what they did to Special Lady Friend when she went in a week ago complaining of the same symptoms. For the record, we both knew the problem was with our laptops and not some external cause because the laptops did not work at our homes, offices or public libraries, and other devices connected fine at all those locations.

** Speaking of ping, I found out this weekend that RCN (among other ISPs) blocks the return of ICMP packets, making it impossible to ping anything further upstream than your own router. (Or perhaps some subset of ICMP? -- not sure, but traceroute doesn't seem to work either.) I only mention this because it's really hard to Google for something like internet is working, but ping is not working, because what you end up getting is a bunch of forum posts about the opposite -- network or internet access not being available, and people replying that you need to try ping to diagnose the problem. So if anyone has internet access but can't ping anything, it's probably your ISP or a similar firewall. (NB: I'm not really a networking guy, but this does seem to be what's going on to the best I can tell.)

Okay that's enough disgruntled ranting. Enjoy those Cleveland videos.


  1. So ... when I stayed in Independence last week I wasn't actually missing anything by not driving into Cleavland?

    Imagine my relief.

  2. Besides both of their buildings and a place where industry used to be, it doesn't sound like you missed much.