Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday Family Outing Part 2

After the Sunday lunch outing, we went back to my brain damaged brother's house to fix up his computer. Help G out, my mother asked. I thought it would be a quick catch up for lunch and then we would be home. Turned out to not be the case and we did not get home until 5pm.

Brother had big email problems. I logged onto his isp a few weeks ago and cleared some of his big and not so important emails, but his internet would still not work. He was talked into upgrading his service from dial up to broadband. On the face of it, a good idea.

But he was upgraded to mobile broadband, when what he is running at home is a static desk top pc. I puzzled over what he had been sent, a tiny modem, a SIM card, a couple of USB cords and some instructions about how to connect. I could not understand how broadband would work without a telephone connection. I refused to do anymore after I installed the program from the isp. The program was within the modem, with a disk for Mac users. To me, wireless broadband is that you have a receiver plugged into the phone line, and the receiver distributes the signal around your house. I should have taken note literally of the writing on the box. I could not understand how this thing dangling from from the back his pc could connect to the net without a phone line connection and I would not talk to the activation person who's number we were supposed to call. This stupid thing hanging from the back of the computer cannot connect to the internet without a phone connection and I am not making a fool of myself by talking to a call centre.

Brother called the call centre to activate the device but of course, somehow, I ended with the phone in my hand. I quickly pointed out that that it was not plugged into the phone line and would not work, and then the call centre bloke revealed to me, it uses the mobile phone network. that was the point where I felt slammed in the head for being so stupid. Brother's phone was in a different room to his computer, so after checking for permission, the call centre bloke called me back on my mobile and we set up the connection. I spent an hour on my mobile phone talking to this guy, attempting to sort out the connection.

Eventually he said he would pass it to a higher level person who would call back within twenty four hours. The problem was a lack of signal strength, and after looking at the service area map two days later, I can see why.

By his accent, the call centre person was in Manilla, and he was fantastic. Good English, nice bloke and laughed quite a bit. Of course he could be in Australia, but I could hear similar accents in the background.

But brother was sold a pup. Mobile wireless internet is inappropriate for his circumstances. He needs ADSL. He has a phone plug near his pc, the one that he used to use for dial up.

Of course I am going to have to go to his place again to set up phone line ADSL, so for the time being, I will let him suffer with his mobile internet. It is as fast as dial up anyway.

But wait, the afternoon was not over yet. My other brother turned up with his new girlfriend. We had not met her before and she seemed quite nice, in spite of her loud and husky voice.


  1. Anonymous4:26 pm

    'she seemed quite nice, in spite of her loud and husky voice.'

    sure it wasn't a bloke in drag?

    Mobile internet connection is utter shit we use it on laptops at work and it is so slow.

  2. Husky voice, very nice :)
    Computer problems, arrrgh! Awful. You are good to help out Andrew.

  3. Hi Andrew

    And here was I thinking I was a ditz when it came to the internet. How did you think all those people on trains get online?



  4. She did actually look a bit draggy Anon.

    I know I am good and kind Cazzie...bah.

    Yeah Pants, I know that, but his old desktop connecting to the internet via mobile phone waves was just not something on my radar.

  5. "By his accent, the call centre person was in Manilla, and he was fantastic. Good English, nice bloke and laughed quite a bit."

    You won't be saying that when you get the phone bill.

  6. Eek, that mobile wireless/blue fang/tooth thingie whatsit talk scares the begebus outta me.

  7. Anonymous4:43 am

    If you want a free, objective way to check the reception in your area BEFORE you lock yourself with a specific carrier, you should really check out "Got Reception?" (

  8. He called me Brian.

    Maybe I will such a device one day Jayne, but otherwise, I will ignore it.

    Thanks Michael but this does not seem appropriate for Australia.