Blowing in the wind

As mentioned before, in January my parents switched over to Optimum for TV/Internet/Phone. It’s been quite the journey thus far.

First there was the substantial delay in getting a phone number ported over. Then in late February the TV began to pixelate like mad – and after a flurry of calls and resets and two different service visits, the drop line (from pole to house) was replaced – and it seemed all was well.

Yesterday saw high winds (25 mph sustained, gusting to 50) for several hours, and service became unreliable, before ceasing entirely around 10pm. Checking Optimum’s [useless] website via cell service showed “all is well” in the system. This morning, under clear skies and a near-calm situation, service has returned.

In class I used to joke with a name of “Optimum Offline” – I’m beginning to realize my business experience with the company bears little resemblance to the travails of the residential consumer.

 

Phone number Phollies

After six years on FiOS, the parents decided it was time to move on – rates up, customer service non-responsive (it’s difficult for older people to deal with fast-talking jargon-spilling agents on the phone).

So they moved to the other choice, Optimum.

Optimum isn’t.

Oh, the Internet is fast, and the TV works ok. But there’s a little problem of moving a phone line. Or really, just a phone number. And on that simple issue, Optimum can’t manage. So far, it’s taken eight phone calls (over three hours aggregate on hold)… and we’re still not there.

The latest (as of 1/7/2019) is that 1) we need another phone line(?); 2) that will add $15 to the monthly charges; 3) they need to install a second modem(???), and 4) they scheduled the appointment without bothering to tell us about it (found out via a call in to them).

So… as of now, we’re waiting. I’ll update this when there’s a resolution.

Off the schedule

Come January 2019, I’ll have all the nights of the week free – as of today I’m  off the schedule for Spring 2019. It’s the end of the line for teaching… 21 years in higher education is enough.

Soon I’ll start the process of official retirement for the NJ PERS (Public Employee Retirement System), so that I can collect a pension check… while NJ still has money to pay.

I’m going out on the horse I came in on. I was originally hired to teach the ‘hardware’ course – and that is the course I’m teaching now. Symmetry.

 

Winding down…

I’ve started winding things down. This blog will continue as an intermittent feature, but its days of being hosted on wordpress.com are numbered. GDPR and a poor choice of username are the main culprits for this change.

It’s time to move on… 34 years in the same gig is long enough, time to find that greener pasture elsewhere. The future will emphasize photography, travel, and writing; software development and education will take a back seat.

The main sites will be moved to virtual private servers out in the cloud – the days of hosting internally will come to a close sometime late this year. A few things will not make the transition.

 

Reading instructions…

There’s just two more sessions left this term for my “Internet & Web Architecture” class (tonight, and next Friday night).

The class has a weird name. I preferred calling it “Introduction to Systems Administration” or perhaps “Basics of Internet Infrastructure” but when you’re the adjunct (part-timer) and the PhD wants another title… you go with what the PhD wants.

Either way, the basis of the class is to teach the bits and pieces most classes ignore – setting up servers, virtualization chores, DNS, registering domains… and introduces students to a real-world issue: keeping track of credentials.

It’s this last bit which causes the problems… that, and that no one seems to want to read instructions.

Well, guess what. I’d rather not read them, either. Except I know what happens when you don’t read the instructions – it blows up in your face, and then you have to go and start all over again, and this time, read the instructions.

So reading instructions first turns out to save time.

But just try getting students to understand that…