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[vox] minor rant about technically unsophisticated customers - was: dSlM
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[vox] minor rant about technically unsophisticated customers - was: dSlMaDnEsS

I see this a little different than you do.

Peter Jay Salzman wrote:

>"we ran some tests and couldn't find anything wrong with your dsl".
>"ok.  when were the tests done?"
>"this morning".
What he tested was the wiring from the magic box at your end (technically the terminal block on the outside of your house) to the magic box on pacbell's end. He probably tested it a computerized high tech version of a time domain reflectometer. This would tell him if the line could deliver pulses from one end to the other at the rate necessary to operate the magic boxes on both ends. Intermittent is not a common failure mode for telephone wiring.

>"well, the problem is intermittent.  it works ok now.  why not test the
>line when my dsl goes down again?"
>"that wouldn't tell us anything."
The only time he could see anything worth seeing would be the time frame 
from just before the system went down to just after it went down, 
probably just a few milliseconds. He wouldn't see it "go down", he would 
only see it when it "is down". Big difference

This is the part you have to understand, something is causing one of the 
magic boxes to quit talking. Although it doesn't look like it from your 
point of view, the fact the magic boxes are not talking is not the 
problem, it is just the symptom and looking at the boxes not talking 
won't give anyone any useful information. The problem is that something 
caused the magic boxes to stop talking. My best guess would be a burst 
of noise on the phone line.

Apparently the phone wiring in your house consists of multiple branches 
going to phone jacks located around the house. For plain old telephone 
service this is fine, but when you start sending a 1.5 megabit signal 
down it the line starts acting like a "transmission line" and multiple 
branches start looking like an radio frequency nightmare of mismatched 
impedances and reflections which those little filters attempt to conrol. 
Of course when you hang a massive inductance (aka telephone) on one end 
of a branch without a filter things get really weird. Then the 
refrigerator connected to the power line running next to the phone line 
kicks on and all those extra induced pulses show up at the input of  the 
magic boxes and one of them does the electronic equivalent of freaking 
out. Maybe one of the boxes has embedded windows 98 in it.

What I have, and may help your situation, is a DSL splitter. This is a 
gray plastic blob, mounted where the phone line comes into the house, 
that takes the incoming phone and splits it into plain old telephone 
service, connected to the existing wiring, and a new dsl wire which is 
routed to your toy room to connect directly to your magic box.

I believe pacbell will sell you a splitter for a not outrageous amount, 
if you have the time, skill and knowlege to install it yourself, or for 
an outrageous amount they will install it for you.

>"if there was anything wrong with your line, our tests would show it
True It's just a transmission line.

>"if my dsl works perfectly right now, wouldn't you expect the test to
>show nothing's wrong?"
>"when my dsl doesn't work, wouldn't you expect the test to show
>something's wrong?"
He was wrong here. Disconnecting, testing then reconnecting the phone 
line would probably cause the magic boxes to reestablish the link. 
Remember, it was probably just a noise burst the caused the link to go 
down and the burst is long gone.

>"then why not test my line when dsl goes down?"
Remember the difference between "goes down" and "is down"

>"because our tests show there's nothing wrong with your line".
>"what part of 'intermittent' don't you understand?"
>"what part of 'there's nothing wrong with your dsl' don't YOU
You're both wrong here, but that dosen't matter anymore because it is 
now a battle of egos.

>where do they GET these people?
same place they get cutomers like you

I have been in the electronics equipment maintenance field for about 40 
years and have found that there are three major types of "customers":

1. Those whose understanding of the operation of the broke device is 
sufficient that they can help you troubleshoot the problem. These are a 
joy to work with.

2. Those that know that they don't know much about the broke device and 
answer your troubleshooting questions as best as they can and then get 
out of the way. These are sort of ok to work with.

3. Those that don't know much, but think they do. These can be 
subdivided into those that can be educated and those that don't want to 
be confused with facts.

Pick one
if you want to, email me an I'll send you my phone # and we can talk 
about the details. I actually a nice guy in person.

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