Geek / Technical General

The Internet: I Has It

Yesterday the cable was finally setup in my apartment. Since they don’t support Gnu/Linux, and the tech couldn’t figure out why my laptop thought it didn’t have an Ethernet port, he had to set it up on my girlfriend’s PC.

I had to talk to them on the phone since I was at work when they were there. “Which computer is it?” It’s the only Windows PC outside of the office. “You’ll need to be a bit more descriptive than that. Is it the small one?” I’m pretty sure my girlfriend will know which computer is hers. Also, both computers outside of the office are small ones.

Don’t even get me started on the frustration I had earlier from explaining to them that my laptop runs Ubuntu by default and they would need to switch to Windows when the menu appears at startup.

Why they need to install any kind of software in order to register the IP address, I don’t know. This morning I was able to unplug the modem (which kept blinking its lights…creepy), plug it into my router in my office, bring up my desktop, and immediately my browser showed me my homepage. I thought I was going to have to change some settings on my router, but apparently not. They can’t just carry a device that automatically registers whatever they need? Why does my computer need any third-party software to run a network connection?

I am currently on hold waiting for tech support to help me figure out why I can’t send email using their SMTP server. So far I have had to get through the “We don’t support anything but our own email” line after explaining that I don’t need them to do anything but support the outgoing mail like they obviously do.

Anyway, I am currently downloading over 6000 email messages from I imagine most of it is spam.

I’ll need to setup some kind of dynamic DNS system in order to be able to SSH into my machine from outside the home. Comcast doesn’t offer static IP addresses to commercial customers, and I’m not paying as much as they want for a business line. Even if I was willing to spend that much, I wouldn’t want to give them that kind of business. I’m was not happy with how long it took to get service in the first place, and then it took three visits over the course of almost a month before I was able to sit at my own computer and update my blog from here.

I still need to setup the rest of the network, especially since my girlfriend’s PC now needs a wireless connection in order to connect from the other room. It’s kind of nice having my own office, though. My window has a nice view over a park, and I can see the sky. It makes up for the gloom of having a corner cube at the day job. B-)

EDIT: After being on hold with Comcast for way too long to get no useful information, I finally found this webpage with the following useful info:

If you get a error message that the SMTP server may be unavailable or refusing SMTP connections there is a undocumented configuration that several users have gotten to work. Use port 465 , set “use secure connection” to SSL, check the authentication required box and provide your full Comcast address as the username.

I can now count myself among those who had to use this undocumented configuration. It’s not even the end of the first day, and I am already frustrated with Comcast. Bartender! More orange juice! Make it a double, and keep ’em coming. I’ll be here for awhile.

7 replies on “The Internet: I Has It”

They don’t need to install software on your computer. They need access to IE in order to hit a specific web site and register the modem’s MAC address. Why IE? I see two possibilities. One, they have a registration site that requires ActiveX or is otherwise not compatible with anything but IE. Two, they only train their techs to click on the E, and they get scared by anything else. Or it could, of course, be both. Either way, it’s a sign of basic corporate stupidity. Once your MAC is registered, you’re all set until your cable modem needs to be replaced.

I don’t know why you were having SMTP issues. I run my own mail server and have for years. I have it setup to use as a SmartHost (meaning it routes all outgoing mail through that server) on the usual port 25.

I’ve had Comcast for 4 years, and aside from techs who didn’t know Internet from The Blue E during setup, I’ve not had a problem. (OK, there’ve been a few outages, but they’re not frequent and my memory of RCN before that was that they weren’t much better either.)

As for setting up your network weirdness for remote access, I recommend my setup. 🙂

Double orange juice?! Be careful! You don’t want to develop a fruit juice drinking problem. Or is it already too late?

Btw GB, you might be able to get your service pro-rated for the period you couldn’t use it (since it sounds like the problem was with their techs…).

Glad to see things are kind of working, good luck with the rest of your setup issues.

I was thinking lolcats when I saw it.
“The Internetz: I can has it!”

Anyway, hoping for more posts now, boring to check in every few days and there’s nothing new. Keep up the good job! 🙂

GB – I think I’ve got the problem you’re having with Planitia fixed. I’ll try to be on later tonight so hopefully we can test it.

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