Homer's Travels: Frustrating Tunnel Vision Of Doom

Friday, August 01, 2008

Frustrating Tunnel Vision Of Doom

Geek Alert: The following post contains some geek techno-babble and T.L.A.s (Three Letter Acronyms). Reading this post may result in blurred vision and possible auditory canal hemorrhaging.

Yesterday I received a new wireless router/gigabyte switch. I decided to install it before going to the Jazz On The Green concert later that night. How difficult could it be? Take out the old 10/100 router and Wireless Access Point (WAP) and replace it with the new wireless router. Piece o' cake. I've got a Computer Engineering degree. I've built my last three computers. I know how to do this stuff.

I followed the instructions by the book. Install the software, plug in the router, and successfully access everything that is currently on my home network (A network printer, a Network Attached Storage (NAS), a desktop computer, and a laptop). Installation went smoothly and I was happy. That lasted about 15 minutes. It lasted until I turned on my laptop.

The laptop booted and I was on the internet lickety-split. Then I tried to access the NAS. NAS not found. Huh?? I tried to print. No go. Huh?!? I started to investigate. Rebooting the laptop. Rebooting the router. rebooting the NAS. Each time I rebooted, what network assets my Laptop could see changed. In all cases when I tried to access the asset, it would not be available. I could see it but couldn't do anything with it. I started becoming very frustrated.

I have a big character flaw. Actually I have many but for this post only one matters. When things don't work as they should, I become frustrated and when I become frustrated, I am not pleasant to be around. Fortunately the Wife in in New York and she wasn't there to witness my pacing back and forth and my under-my-breath ranting. I'm surprised There's any rug left between our den and the kitchen, I paced so much. I develop tunnel vision and the world around me fades away. I'm sure my heart was racing and my hands were shaking. I get that way when I have a computer problem that's in my way. Homer must have thought I was crazy. He was smart and stayed out of my way.

I worked on the problem from about 3:00 PM until I went to bed at 10:15 PM. I wasn't in front of the computer all that time but my head was running a mile a minute and Last Comic Standing and Fear Itself didn't register much on my consciousness.

At 10:15 I went to bed and tried desperately to clear my mind, slow my heart and breathing rates, and to fall asleep. It took me a while but I finally managed to get to sleep. Homer had no problem at all and was snoring way before I was able to join him in a duet.

I woke up at 6:00 AM and, as I lay there contemplating the day ahead, the compact florescent lit over my head. Of course. That must be it. Since the Wife is coming home tonight I told myself no computer until the house was clean. Four hours and a clean house later I turn on the laptop, opened up Zone Alarm, and made the necessary changes. Eureka!! I'd forgotten that my firewall treated the internet and the local LAN differently and I had set up the software using the old router IP address. The new router has a different IP address (DUH!). I change the setting and everything started working again. My mood went from dire desperation to walking on a cloud happy.

I am such a geeky dork! Jazz On The Green was a victim of my single minded problem solving-ness. My only consolation for missing this concert was that the heat index was in the 100s. Still, I should have gone instead of obsessing on my network configuration. I do have a second chance. Tonight is Jazz In The Park (no relation to Jazz On The Green) down in Gene Leahy Park. I'm going to try to get to this one, even if it kills me.


  1. Oh, the joy's of firewalls...

    Whoa, we share the same frustration level, I see. At work, I usually just end up locking myself in the server room. Best not to have people asking me every 5 minutes "is it up yet?" when I'm that frustrated!

  2. GH: It was frustrating. And the sad thing was the is was so easy to fix. I just tend to overlook the firewall - out of sight out of mind.