From Hell’s Heart, I Stab At Linksys

I wrote this as an email to my brother several years ago about the trouble I was having with a Linksys Wi-Fi router. I eventually got it configured and it still works to this day…

Following a recent spate with someone who doesn’t know the difference
between DSL and LSD (well, they are both drugs), I stepped up the date of acqusition of a Wi-Fi router to today. I settled on a Linksys
WRT54G 802.11G Broadband Router, partially because it looked cool,
partially because my laptop has a G card, and partially because it was on sale.

I read up on it online and saw 1 bad review and like, a hundred
glowing reviews. I didn’t check to see if the sites offering the
glowing reviews were owned by Linksys or not, but I’m guessing now
that they were.

I bought the thing, fondled it a bit, and followed the instruction CD
to install it (the CD was designed so a 3-year-old could understand
it, it had pictures and arrows and shit).

The line from the modem goes into the hole marked INTERNET, one end of the other wire goes in any one of four holes (you get to pick!
Customer’s Choice!) on the router and the Ethernet port on the back of your desktop computer. Then after some kind of magic spell, and
powering it up, a 2.4 GHz radio beam launches itself throughout your
house, irradiates you for a few grays of exposure and somehow finds
its way into the Wi-Fi 802.11G card on your laptop, causing you to see stuff online faster than you used to could.

All the wires went where all the wires go. The thing was up and
running and emitting some kind of signal my Wi-Fi card picked up, yet
the install wasn’t complete. I still had to configure it.

Configuring was nothing more than pressing “next” and “next” and
sometimes, “continue” worked its way onto the screen. It did whatever
it said it was doing, no way I could figure out if it did. Eventually, it said it could not find the Internet (!) so I made sure the Internet was still where it was (it’s still here). Checked the connections, re-checked the drawings and arrows, everything was where it was supposed to be (even checked to make sure the wires still worked).

Still no Internet.

I looked at the troubleshooting guide that came with it, and all it
said was “check to make sure wires are connected” so I’m like, “I did
that” so then I decide to give tech support a call.

I rig up my laptop in the living room and hook it up on the phone line splitter and dial into the Internet. After a few minutes of loading, the Linksys support page pops up. The Ever Helpful tech support guy (who actually seemed interested) talked to me for a bit and directed me to download their special install program.

I installed and ran it, and found that it was dumbed down further than the one that’s packed with the router. Yes. It’s made for a newborn, or a high-functioning autistic chimpanzee. Not only does it have arrows and pictures, it’s got Flashing Lights.

I go through the Rainbow Lite Brite Install Sequence and it too can’t
find the Internet (oh, what a surprise!). So, then the tech guy tells
me to go through this sequence of accessing the router via Internet
Exploder and changing its IP address from 192.164.1.1 to 10.10.10.1
which, as I thought, does nothing more than make me have to remember a different series of four digits.

So now, I have a $55 wireless router paperweight until I figure out
how to make it find the Internet. If starving kids in Africa have no
trouble finding porn on the Internet within minutes of first turning
on one of those XO One Laptop Per Child doodads, then this thing
should have no trouble finding the same Internet.

Amen and pass the aspirin,

Brad

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