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technofile  by al fasoldt
Columns and commentaries in a life-long dance with technology 
Simple gray rule


Rejoinder from cable customer 

From: (name withheld)

Sent: Saturday, June 27, 1998 2:17 a.m.

To: afasoldt@dreamscape.com

Subject: Road Runner, and, a confession

Al-

I have to admit that I was grinning like an idiot when I read the e-mail the Time Warner installer sent you Thursday morning. Grinning, it turns out, because in that little pastiche about the perils of being a customer service

Yep, I was the offender...

To prepare for the RR installation Wednesday night, I decided to take my 56k on a last joyride. Off we went. Interestingly enough, IE4 wouldn't install (it never has), so I tried the developer's edition of IE5. Bingo. Then it was back to Big Bill's place for a copy of Outlook 98. I figured I'd be all set for the onslaught that night.

Sure enough, they came. They came with yards of cable, with odd little instruments that measured something that must be secret to cable men, with network cards and stupid-looking beige boxes with birds on the front.

I met them, sure enough, with your article. Very patiently, I explained that since IE5 and Outlook 98 were already installed, there would be no need to install 4.01 and Express. My protests were to no avail. The man tried to install them both. He failed miserably. Hehe. Ten minutes after stating in no polite terms that said installation was in his contract, he left angrily with his mystery instruments, only telling us how to navigate the Road Runner site.

Well, duh...

Anyhow, I'm not ashamed. Sure, the Time Warner online help wasn't much help in configuring Outlook to my account (I still can't receive mail [this problem is now fixed]), and sure, I've had download speeds across the board-from a lowly 5 k/sec at prime time (6 pm) to a crazy 130 k/sec at 3 am. But I like it just fine, and I'm not going back to AOL direct access anytime soon.

Now for the truth. The installer was a real [deleted], I guess, to you and to me, because of who I am. You must understand that my software installation made things difficult for him, and also that I am 15 years old. In front of his boss, no less, this nice young man was forced to admit defeat to the preparation of a child...

Also some things I've learned: One. Both Netscape 4.05 and IE5 tend to be buggy with speed. Opera is amazingly fast-I've downloaded at initial speeds of 460 k/sec (which then dropped to about 170 for the duration of the transfer) and had no page loading problems. Two. It's best to download in the middle of the night. Usage affects speed on our network at such a horrific rate, it's silly. Three. That modem makes a heckuva conversation piece.

Well, I'm off to see what kind of havoc I can create...hope to hear more stories of the fun that is Road Runner.

-(name)


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