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Intermittentnet

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My Internet access may be spotty for the next couple days.

On Thursday morning, my house suddenly lost Internet access. As far as I could figure out, the Time Capsule (which is a backup device and a wireless router) suddenly lost all memory of its settings. A little time on the phone with Apple tech support (apparently Time Capsule is covered by the AppleCare on a computer used with it) restored things, and all seemed well.

But then when Kam and I tried to catch up on Dr. Who on Thursday evening, using iTunes, we got most of the way through one episode, but then the Net connection kept going away again, requiring me to perform a five-minute restore procedure every few minutes. We gave up.

I figured I needed to take the Time Capsule in for repair, but I also figured I should back it up first—it's got a year and a half of backups on it, and taking a device in for repair can result in loss of all data on it. So last night I bought a 2TB(!) hard drive, same size as the drive in the TC, and I left an Archive operation running overnight. (Using Airport Utility.)

But when I got up in the morning, the archive seemed to have hung (without finishing) shortly after I went to bed.

I tried it again, and it failed again when the Time Capsule shut itself down. After half a dozen more instances of that, I went and sat in the room with the Time Capsule to watch what was happening.

And I discovered that all electricity in that room was blinking off for a few seconds, every few minutes.

I haven't yet figured out whether all the electricity in the house was also blinking off. I'm pretty sure not, but I'm not quite certain.

If the whole house is momentarily losing power each time, then that makes me think it might have something to do with the tall bushes beyond my back fence, which are hitting the power lines. I would have thought power lines were insulated, but apparently not; if I understand right, PG&E has told me that some of the local intermittent power outages have been caused by (for example) my bamboo hitting the lines.

But if it's just that one room that's losing power, that seems more mysterious and scary to me.

I was planning on having an electrician come look at a bunch of electrical issues sometime soon; gonna add this to the list.

But in the meantime, my Internet access from home is going to be a bit intermittent.

(It was even weirder this morning, when I couldn't reach any Pair-hosted website (including kith.org and strangehorizons.com) for about an hour, even when I did have Internet access. Their system notices page gives no indication that there was a problem, so maybe it was just me.)

Perhaps we've yet again entered a technofailure region of space.

1 Comment

Having your electricity blinking on and off is really scary--electrical faults can cause fires (though that's usually a short rather than a bad connection.)

I would suggest you have the electrician in as soon as possible.

And in the meantime, move the Time Capsule :-)


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