TECH CORNER – On World Wars and Wifi in Brussels

TECH CORNER – On World Wars and Wifi in Brussels

Logo_belgacom_tcm326-119106Alright, I’m a techie. Self-avowed nerd, if you will. I believe in salvation through technology. The integrated circuit will save us. That sort of thing. All electro-induced problems should be solved with better stuff, rather than a Ludite club-wielding run on the factory. You catch my drift. Here’s to looking at the future.

And yet… And yet. I am not an expert. I am a user. As it’s part of my new job to oversee the computing, networking, and printing needs of about a dozen people, I’ve taken it upon myself to relate my experiences. In as entertaining a way as possible, mind you. Don’t run away, my technofobic friends. This concerns you! I will advocate your concerns. This is not some “Java update 3.13 kernel node integration error” –type mumbo jumbo. I am not an IT guy. Never will be. I haven’t spent four years of my life on this mortal coil studying code. I deem it a basic and inalienable human right not to know html. May NATO bomb all who disagree back to the Stone Age. Where you belong.

My approach is this; I bought a shiny little box. Whatever shiny box, ok? I plugged it in the shiny box. Now, does it work? Yes or No. That’s all there is to the matter. A simple Yes or No. Everything else is techno-fascism. Fuck you. Plain and simple. Everything else is Metropolis, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Here’s a digital divide even smart people can’t bridge. Here’s ten thousand years of bran over brain reversed. The ultimate revenge of the nerds.

Having spent century upon century confined to dungeons and ill-lit monastic alcoves hiding from Inquisitions and knuckle-dragging mobs, the geeks have emerged victorious. Having failed at wiping out the masses by means of ever-deadlier technological means applied in the killing fields of the Twentieth Century, they have changed tack. The Twenty-first Century will be one of domination through gobbledygook.

Vista Basic. Vista Home. Vista Business. Vista Ultimate. Vista Uebermensch. Microsoft is but the tip of the iceberg that will sink, if unchecked, Western civilization as we know it. Their Gulag revolution must be stopped. Rosicrucians, if any of you are of yet unbought by this creeping venom, to arms! Here’s to keeping the ‘human’ in humankind, and striking ‘kind’ from our dealings with the Radioshack usurpers. To arms! Anywayz, I’m having a little trouble getting my Mobistar wifi up and running. If you are living in Belgium, and you own an Apple computer, it may worth your while to read the following. A sequence of events;

1. I ordered an internet connection at the Mobistar shop around the corner. Their task was to deliver a wireless “Livebox” adsl modem. Then, a Belgacom guy would come to my home and check the phone connections, and that would be the proverbial that. By means of a simple clickie-here, clickie-there, I’d be up and running in no time.

2. Three days later, my parents call up to say they’ve received a large box from Mobistar. Now, I had a Mobistar mobile phone subscription four years ago, but was already living in Brussels at the time. The chick at the Mobistar shop took my new Brussels address straight from my ID card, so why, I’m at wit’s end to fathom, and how goddamned, did they manage to ship this thing a full one hundred kilometers off course? But hey, mistaking’s human, so that’s a good sign, right?

3. On the morning of the Belgacom visit, I get a call from Mobistar. “Belgacom came round to your place, but you weren’t there. Here’s the guy’s phone number so you can arrange a rendez-vous. So I call the guy, and he goes “Nu’uh, I haven’t been to your place yet, I should be there in two hours. Ok.”

4. The Belgacom technician arrives. He see-eth, and in less than fifteen minutes, he install-eth. With a little help from the Mobistar help-desk I’m up and running. In no time indeed.

5. But! There’s no wifi reception in the room next to where the modem is, so I unplug and reposition…. Nothing! So I go back, and replug in the living room. So what if I can only surf in the living room, ey? The machine, however, disagrees, and cuts off completely.

6. Help-desk: “Okay, unplugging the modem was unwise. The machine is confused now, so you’ll have to re-set the firmware using the CD-rom. Unfortunately, that function is not available for Mac computers. Do you have a friend with a PC?”

7. Irate, I take the Livebox to the Mobistar shack around the corner and attempt to explain the situation. There’s something special about their PC’s that makes is impossible to help me out so they get the help-desk on the phone. Michael tells me; “My colleague is full of BS. Resetting’s the easiest thing. Even on a Mac. Go home, call me back, and we’ll tackle this baby.”

8. I go home, after a little to-and-fro I get Michael again. He has me fiddle some buttons on the Livebox after which he concludes; “Sorry, it’s beyond help. I’ll have a new box sent to your Mobistar shop. Should be there in a couple of days. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

9. Six days hence have past now without a word, and I’m still borrowing wifi from the school across the street.

To arms!


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