analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

16 February 2001 Friday



Since Monday I have been trying to connect to the Internet. "No dial tone," my laptop flashed repeatedly. Whether it's AOL or ATT, whether it's through the telephone or directly from the wall, whether it's from the bedside outlet or the desk outlet, the result was the same: no dial tone.

My colleagues were able to connect from the hotel and from the exhibition floor. I tried there too. Same result. Somebody said something about disabling the dial tone. I ignored it because I couldn't find it.

Could I have possibly ruined the modem on my way here? Could the cables be damaged? Are they protesting about being on the road for too long?

The Sheraton Essen staff were kind enough to let me use their business centre on the same floor as my room. However, my lack of familiarity with the German keyboard hindered my usual touch typing. I typed Z instead of Y and vice versa. Finding the @ key was even more difficult.

Today I called my computer guru friend who suggested that I run a diagnostic from the control panel modem properties. Lo and behold! There was the switch for turning off the dial tone. As if by magic, I connected! But only for a few seconds, as my Internet account had been cancelled and I needed to set up a new one.

So I figured I would access the Internet from the business centre. After booting and rebooting several times in English and then German, I still could not get the computer to detect its modem. Once more the damsel in distress, I called reception for help. It turned out that the hotel's Internet connection was down. There was never need for a modem because it was all ISDN.

When I finally got access to the Internet, I had only half an hour before I needed to check out of the hotel altogether. It took me ten minutes to find the correct website to register a new account. I copied down my new user name and password. Good, I can just about make it back to my room and try it on my laptop.

Not so fast. I must have copied the password wrong! I still couldn't get in! Now what?????