Wednesday, May 13, 2009

my internet is broken

i don’t know what the hell is going on here... some websites and things work and others don’t, but the internet is not working the way it normally does most days. a few hours ago, the internet was completely offline in the house where i live for about an hour, since apparently the cable modem could not communicate with the dhcp server run by the broadband internet service provider. half the websites on the internet come up with error messages, or the text loads but the images don’t show up, and they are very slow. but some websites still work 100% perfectly (at least when i am online and the internet isn’t completely off). all the computers in the house are configured perfectly for the internet and nothing has been changed on them, and these problems occur no matter what web browser is used. it is not just the web (hypertext transfer protocol) but stuff over other internet protocols is also effected. it seems the problem is certain servers either do not respond, respond slowly, or cannot be contacted in the first place for some reason. i think the dns servers are probably working but i dunno. i am pretty sure this is the internet service provider’s fault. the cable modem actually has lights on it to show whether it is connected, and when the whole internet was offline, you can guess what was going on with the lights: they were all indicating that there was a problem and it could not connect. i think perhaps the internet service provider (which, to be more open about things, happens to be time warner cable’s roadrunner service) might be a bit overloaded with its bandwidth. as ted stevens would say, the tubes are clogged. now obviously i am able to access right now to post this; it is one of the sites that happens to be working. but there are sooooooo many websites that are down right now, at least when i try to connect to them. this is just getting really annoying. broadband internet access is not supposed to be this crappy. half of all the news websites i try to connect to do not work, and i am not talking about newspapers that are out of business, but news websites that are popular and updated very often. how am i supposed to know what the news is when i can’t even access half the news websites for some strange reason? i could watch news on tv, read a newspaper, or listen to news on the radio, and i suppose even my cell phone has a service that lets me read news and other websites (that costs an extra $5 a month so i am not subscribed to it). but... seriously... none of those news sources is anywhere near as good as the internet. on the internet i can look at like 20 different news sites or whatever i want instead of getting it all from 1 source and having to assume that the 1 source is correct on everything and will fully inform me on everything i need to know about what’s going on. at least that is how the internet USUALLY works. currently, the internet JUST BARELY works. now, if you are connecting to the internet and your connection works fine, and you can access any website you want, ok great. i am just complaining that my internet connection is a bit iffy. we have actually had this same internet service provider for about 10 years. they are the only broadband provider in the area. so there isn’t really anywhere else to go. every once in a while over the years we have had problems with our internet connection, and sometimes they fix the problem really well, and other times the problem is something more pervasive, like they replace your cable modem with another identical model and you continue to have the same problem, or they look at the wires in your basement and do some stuff with some tools and tell you everything is ok, and stuff is still the same afterwards. sometimes you can just call them on the phone and some guy in india just presses a button and it fixes everything with the connection between the cable modem and the internet service provider, at least temporarily. sometimes they say silly things like that maybe the router is broken or something, even though the router and cable modem have different ip addresses and i can access either one in my web browser to look at their status and configuration web pages, and both of them have plenty of indicator lights. and there is a firewall after all, so hackers and such are not a problem. anyway i am pretty disappointed by the internet connection failing like this. it is just not cool. i just want the internet to work. maybe there is some kind of virus or worm or something that has hijacked a bunch of computers with the same internet service provider as me, and those computers are using up all the bandwidth. that is a feasible explanation for the current phenomena, based on how the tcp/ip protocol operates. in any event, i am hopeful that this problem will clear itself up soon and the internet will go back to working normally again.

update immediately after i first posted this and then tried out some websites: the internet seems to work now. i guess that it was just a temporary problem. things like this just piss me off though. why can’t the internet just work 100% of the time like it is supposed to? i think perhaps a number of websites i was trying to look at have scheduled server downtime in the middle of the night, and perhaps i was trying to connect during their server downtime. that makes more sense than there being a ton of bandwidth being used in the middle of the night. still, i wonder what is wrong with the dhcp server that assigns my cable modem its ip address, and why it wasn’t working for an hour, keeping all the computers in the house offline for that time. all of the websites that i remember not working before now work perfectly and come up very fast, so it seems the broadband internet connection is now working perfectly again. i just wonder what happened to make it temporarily not function correctly. it is too late to find out now, since now everything works perfectly. i could print out the log from the cable modem of all the error messages it had when it couldn’t connect to the internet, indicating that the dhcp server did not respond. it is all rather puzzling. despite all my technical knowledge, i cannot really explain what happened, and now it all seems to have resolved itself automatically. i am not very satisfied with that situation. i want to understand everything, understand how things work and why they work that way, and understand what goes wrong when something goes wrong, and why it went wrong. however, this does not seem to have been much or even any of a learning experience for me. as someone with a degree in computer science who is a+ certified in computer repair, it really frustrates me when i encounter computer problems that are beyond my expertise. this is actually a networking problem though, not a computer problem per se, and there are a number of separate certification programs for people who want to be experts in computer networking so they can set up and fix computer networks. it would be nice, though, if i already knew everything and were basically omniscient. or if the internet just WORKED and never had any problems, which would mean nobody would have to know anything about it. whatever... who cares... it works now... meh. i need to sleep now... bye bye... i had pretty bad insomnia last night... hope it doesn’t happen again tonight... who knows... i sure as hell won’t be on my computer posting to my blog, i will either be asleep or trying to sleep... good night.