El networko del wirelesso in la home-o of meo

by sidin in

My heart aches. I am fighting back the tears of indignation that well up. Cannot cry during Diwali, I tell myself, as I sob in time with the roaring of the AC in the office so that no one notices.

How could you people do this to me? How could you let me carry on this blog with two copies of the exact same blogroll on the sidebar of this page for two whole weeks without as mush as a peep.

All you people care about are the blog posts and the content and the wisecracks and all that. I am just  a piece of meat, with some words thrown all over it, for you guys.

I feel used. I have removed the extra blogroll. But our relationship is never going to be the same again.

ROAR! Sob!

In other news the missus managed to destroy the tryanny of under-connectivity perpetrated upon us by the vile people at Wilson Cable here in Wadala East. She is terribly proud of it and I think it only right that I tell you all about her moment of inspiration which now helps me, literally, to run around anywhere in the house and browse porn interesting material on applied sciences and contemporary sociology.

The Wadala East area is heavily under the control of a cable-internet cartel managed by the people at Wilson Cable. They may sound like a nice, warm and friendly outfit in the english countryside as depicted by Blyton or Herriot.

"Hey it's the man from Wilson! Hello Tommy! Top of the morning to you laddie. Good show with that Set Top Box. DVD quality indeed!".

To which the real Wilson Cable people from Antop Hill would respond: "Oh why don't you pop over with me to this khopcha and I could, perhaps, feast you on some of my special and copious  kharcha pani."

You take panga with these people at your own risk. They have their own TV channel and stuff. These are bad asses I tell you. Ms. D'Costa from upstairs refused to pair her bill last year on account of poor picture quality. Then one day she went to the airport to catch a flight and was never heard from since. (Some say she migrated to Canada. But we are not believing that story.)

And yet the missus prevailed. Woo hoo!

The thing is this. We have a 256 kbps connection laid to our home by the people from Wilson. Now they may be tough nuts but they are reliable people to do business with. The connection works well and more than once, minutes away from a column deadline, they have repaired a down line so I can mail off things.

Two years ago, when we first got the connection, you could plug in the ethernet line into any PC's lan port and dial up. All you needed was a PPPOE connection. (Look it up. Basically it is a way to put a dial up connection on the end of a broadband connection so that there is some security and control.)

Then suddenly one day we received a call from the Wilson Cable office. There was a moment of discomfort in the home when we saw the caller id flashing. What did.... gulp... they want... with us? Gulp. Shudder.

"Ab ek hi MAC address chalega... Nahi... Sorry... Bas ek. Aapko kuch problem hai to aap ek kaam keejiye, Antop Hill Wilson office mein aayiye... Oh Ramu! Woh peeche waalah 'discussion' room khulwake rakhna..."

Apparently some genius had signed up for one of their unlimited internet connections and then, through a router, set up an illegal internet cafe. So they decided that henceforth they would have two types of accounts: cheap single user accounts for poeple like us, and more expensive multi-user accounts subject to location checking and vetting.

We did not complain and continued to use several laptops on our connection, all using MAC address spoofing but, of course, only lappie at a time. And we always paid Wilson Ke-bill on time. Heh! (Phew. That one's been inside me for months.)

Then last week, the tech geek that I am, I decided to have a wifi enabled home. This way I could work online not only in the bedroom, but also absolutely anywhere in the living room. Imagine!

Two days later a shiny, cute Netgear wifi router was shipped in by Ebay and I eagerly unpacked it with dreams of complete domestic mobile computing in my eyes.

Eight hours later I went to bed with the sheer ecstasy of someone who had just wasted eight hours of his life and 2000 bucks (inclusive of VAT) of his hard earned money.

I had forgotten one simple fact. Stupid me. Even if I had spoofed MAC ids all over the place on both lappie and router, the network would still not allow more than one device to access it. Therefore even if I was hooked up to the internet, and the lappie was hooked up to the router I could do nothing with the network.

"Connection ek, aur computer do! Bahut na insaafi hai!" the network would say unnecessarily falling back on a tired Sholay cliche yet again.

Therefore I was adamantly left offline. Completely unable to get on the net and do anything.

Except, of course, obsessively update the software on the Netgear router.

But after four hours of this, the initial exuberance dims somewhat. "Goddammit you fool! NO NEW FIRMWARE VERSION! F&@# I quit!" was the sort of message the router was beginning to spew.

I gave up and went to bed. A sad, broken man.

Next morning I gave the wonderful people at Wilson a call to find out what was wrong.

"Aapne ghar pe ROUTER lagwa diya!" he said with undue emphasis on that exclamation mark. Apparently I had broken some unmentioned rule of the Cable Omerta. After a few moments of pregnant silence he said that this would not work and I would HAVE to take a multi-user account. At a little more than double the rent I pay now. "Main aapko ek aisa offer doonga jisko aap mana nahi kar sakte!" he said. I hung up immediately and ran for protection to the honourable Don Bosco chapel nearby.

Later at home I walked over to the router, packed it back into it's box, then into the Ebay envelope and then placed it on the coffee table in the living room to forever remind me of my folly.

That evening, back home from work, the wife suddenly had a brainwave. The sort of idea that only comes to those truly gifted with IT. A eureka moment sans compare.

"Use the router as a node. Don't let it dialup. Then connect to the wifi network with lappie and dialup as usual. Should work..."

I had tears in my eyes. I ran to her and fell to my knees as I tripped over the internet wire. But no matter. I got up and did exactly as she wanted me to: did the dishes and put out the washing to dry.

Then I worked on the router.

Would you believe it? It was working perfectly. Now we have internet anywhere at home. Everywhere at home.

Truly we are a tech advanced household.

If you want to see how it works you are welcome to drop in for a looksee. However we have hidden away the router behind the flush tank of the attached bathroom.

We don't want them Wilson Cable people ever finding out. And don't you be telling them a word. Silencio. Mucho secreto! Grazie.