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How to Handle an Internet Outage 341

canadian_right writes "Do you know what to do if your internet connection goes down? This article includes many helpful tips, including a functional use for AOL disks."
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How to Handle an Internet Outage

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  • by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:44AM (#7519525) Homepage Journal

    Be proactive, people! Print off a copy of the guy so if and when the net chokes you can tape it to your monitor. You may not even remember that you're offline after a few hours.
  • by SMOC ( 703423 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:46AM (#7519544)
    Is that /. slang for masturbation or something?
  • a last resort, pull out an emergency AOL CD, the one with 910 free hours of connection to the AOL service. Take the CD in one hand...and slash it across your wrist! Suicide will probably be a better alternative than connecting to that service.

    Now that is just too funny. What else is there to do :P
  • At work... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Soukyan ( 613538 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:47AM (#7519552)
    I have games installed on my PC for just such occasions. The only problem: I'm a technical support rep. :\
  • sad (Score:2, Funny)

    by fjordboy ( 169716 )
    I actually use one of those tips - for classes where I don't have an internet connection available here at college, I install games on my laptop that I would never play otherwise. I rarely play games while I have a network connection. I'm pathetic. Oh, and when the network in our school was down (freaking kids with their stupid viruses), my roommate and I definitely made use of our "modems" and connected them to our phoneline and used dialup.
  • by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:50AM (#7519602)
    Last time my net connection went down I had such bad withdrawl symptoms that I had to smoke some weed to aleviate the pain.

  • Call 55S-LAS-HDOT for the latest news, delivered to your snail-mail inbox on CD!

    If only the last-mile solution was as dead-nuts reliable as the power grid, then it would never fail... uhmm...

    Okay, so maybe we should investigate solutions for last-mile internet serving as backup electricity, and the power grid serving as last-mile for redundancy?

  • Laptops (Score:4, Informative)

    by bazik ( 672335 ) <(bazik) (at) (> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:51AM (#7519621) Homepage Journal
    This Article is missing that you can always grab your WLAN enabled Laptop and go War-Driving if your connection is down :)
    • Re:Laptops (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
      Or, just use your bluetooth / GPRS mobile phone, although at around 2 quid / MB it's a bit expensive. Mind you, you could always try forwarding the bill to your ISP...
  • by fine09 ( 630812 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:52AM (#7519628)
    You have your ISP Service Desk on Speed Dial.

    My old ADSL connection had the habit of going down more than i would like. I had it down to a rythem. I would reboot the router, reboot the modem .... call the help desk to see what the problem is.

    I thought this was normal until my girlfriend pointed out that the only two numbers i had on my speed dial were her and my ISP
    • by merlin_jim ( 302773 ) <James.McCracken@ ... .com minus punct> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:21AM (#7519890)
      You have your ISP Service Desk on Speed Dial.

      RoadRunner is on my cell phone's voice dial list. I just pick it up and say roadrunner.

      I navigate the menu to get to roadrunner level 2 support by pressing
      1,3,1,2,3, which means: 1 (english), 3 (existing customer / high speed internet), 1 (road runner), 2 (I do not want to refresh my converter box), 3 (the scripts for options 1 and 2, which are rebooting the modem and rebooting the computer respectively, did not solve my problem)

      Needless to say, roadrunner in my area is not incredibly reliable.

      Actual, more accurately, AVP2 has a documented problem with it's network stack and the Toshiba cable modem. For the curious, a NATting firewall fixed it. D-Link DI 614+ is I believe the model I got.
      • I navigate the menu to get to roadrunner level 2 support by pressing

        It depends on your phone, but I was able to program in pauses between numbers so that my phone would dial, then navigate all the menus automatically (waiting several seconds here and there for the prompt to get the appropriate place). Isn't technology great!

    • by b!arg ( 622192 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @01:32PM (#7521139) Homepage Journal
      My old ADSL connection had the habit of going down more than i would like

      Now only if you had that same problem with your girlfriend, then there'd be no need for broadband.

      I'm really sorry. It was just there for the taking.
  • Easy... (Score:3, Funny)

    by SomeGuyFromCA ( 197979 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:52AM (#7519629) Journal
    Heh, I know exactly what to do... wait for my SMC Barricade [] to realize the drop and dial out on the modem fallover line.

    Behold the power of technology.

    (Yes, I did RTFA, I know it's not serious... but I wanted to brag. ^_^)
  • by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:53AM (#7519644) Journal
    Simple :-)

  • by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:54AM (#7519650) Homepage
    "Do you know what to do if your internet connection goes down?"

    Look at the pr0n on my harddrive instead of the pr0n on the TGP sites?

  • by tekiegreg ( 674773 ) * <> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @10:55AM (#7519659) Homepage Journal
    4 guys living in a dorm together, 2 computer majors, 1 engineering major, and one ag major who was also a geek....

    Me: "Net's down..."
    Roomie #1: "Yeap..."
    Me: "Simpson's?"
    Roomie #1: "Yeap..."

    I never really saw what the problem was...
  • The subject says it all, really...
  • Why I like DSL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jchawk ( 127686 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:05AM (#7519739) Homepage Journal
    I have DSL service at home, because it runs over the phone line which does not rely on the same source of power that my house uses, I can stay connected to the internet through power outages. I have my computers, switch and dsl modem plugged into UPS backup power supplies. . . If the power goes out, my network is still online and running.

    Thankfully my internet service provider is rock solid and so is the network they operate on. My remote has had about 30 minutes of down time in the past 2 1/2 years, and it was a scheduled upgrade to the remote. :-)
  • by heironymouscoward ( 683461 ) <[heironymouscoward] [at] []> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:10AM (#7519792) Journal
    Surely you all have dual redundant Internet links? My company has _three_, all through different providers. One is just a simple ADSL.

    But sometimes I wish the Net would just vanish and we could return to the good old days of a 9 to 5 job, before these thing called "productivity", "always-on", "emails from other timezones", and of course "unlimited porn", the carrot that makes it all feel worthwile now and then.

  • Sure enough, last night, my internet connection went out, so I went to go read the article, which I'd thoughtfully bookmarked just in case...

  • .... designing a fail safe internet connection.
  • Not only is this not very funny (why is it on /.?), I'm willing to bet that the person who submitted it first saw it via bbspot [] (under 'What Should You Do'). bbspot as a satire/humor site periodically can throw up the clunker of a dumb link, but why is slashdot choosing this as the best of humor/news for nerds on the web?

    Whatever. Give credit next time when you see a link on another site and then submit it here.
    • Go to your preferences and decline articles posted by Michael. You'll no longer get unfunny "funny" articles, lame "interesting" articles, completely erroneous "technology" articles, or half-cooked editorials.

      I'm only here because I was bored and saw the foot icon. Ah, Michael must have posted a non-funny. I was right.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:13AM (#7519811) Homepage
    Remember "Marge vs. Itchy and Scratchy"? When the kids lost the cartoon, they discovered all the wonderful things they could do outside and together...

    Being adults, we should be proud of ourselves if we can remember this example and at least keep from sitting in a corner, rocking and drooling.

  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Decameron81 ( 628548 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:13AM (#7519814)
    "Do you know what to do if your internet connection goes down?"

    I repeatedly click on the "connect" button until it starts working again?

    Diego Rey
    • That only works for Windows users. For Linux users, you sit at a root console and repeatedly type:

      pppd call adsl

      or, if you have a cable modem:

      ifdown eth0 ; ifup eth0

      If the modem isn't even working right, THAT'S when you consult the list. Especially the part about the AOL disk.

      This guy has the right idea: []
  • What's funny is not the story, but the fact that there really are people that are like that. Sad. Just sad.
  • obvious, if your internet is down, how can you read the guide on what to do if your internet goes down?
  • by Quixadhal ( 45024 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:26AM (#7519937) Homepage Journal
    1. Panic!

    Ok, I can do that.... now what?

    2. Find a telephone.

    What do those do? I think you used to order pizza over them before you could get it from the internet...

    3. Use your back-up computer.

    Ummm, they're all on the same LAN, and the internet is down... how would this help?

    4. Install a Game.

    Good idea! Ok, installing.... needs a patch via the web... DAMN! Ok, online registration? DAMN! Ah, finally got it installed with no patches... now to find players on the net... DAMN!

    5. Perform Routine Maintenance.

    Sure, why not? Checking for new security updates... no connection to internet. DAMN!

    6. Turn on a television or radio.

    Hmmmm, no radio reception because of all the computers. I can watch cable TV though... I have a cable modem, it's down... so is the television! DAMN!

    7. Read

    Ok. nothing there to read, it's still down. DAMN!

    8. Go Outside.

    I did. The cable is still physically connected to the house, and to the pole. Didn't help.

    9. Spend Time with Your Spouse.

    I'm supposed to meet here online for a private chatroot with web cam??? DAMN!

    10. Use your Emergency AOL Disk

    Ok, I put my coffee on it instead of directly on the desktop. Network is still down. What now?
  • Play video games. Maybe even explore that mysterious region nown as outside. I have even heard that the world does not end beyond the view I get from the window, that in fact it goes beyond the limits of what I can see. I of course do not believe this but you never know...
  • by Patik ( 584959 ) * <> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:30AM (#7519982) Homepage Journal
    48-Hour Internet Outage Plunges Nation Into Productivity []
    (a mirror, since didn't archive it)
  • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:38AM (#7520062) Homepage Journal
    A friend of mine lost his 2 Mbit ADSL connection a couple of days ago due to a fuck-up at the ISP (they had some fantasy that he hadn't paid the last bill). His connection won't be back before monday. This guy is a complete internet addict, even though he doesn't read Slashdot. I'll be sure to send him the link on ICQ.

    Or maybe I'll just print it.

  • The webmasters can read the local copy of the article, while waiting for their bandwith usage to get below 100%. 'Cause nobody going to be doing any surfing from that connection for the next couple of hours.
  • Backup Plan ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RayOfLight ( 266465 )
    As a backup solution we always have a dial-up connection ready ... Coupled with scripts which automate the switch from Cable Dial-Up Internet Access, the perfect solution to still have at least communication going at all times.
  • by Cyno01 ( 573917 ) <> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:47AM (#7520168) Homepage
    If you own a dremel, and most nerds should, the large sanding drum bit is the exact size of the center hole of a cd. DISCLAMER: i will not be responsible for death and/or maiming, wear saftey goggles!!! Depending on your model, you can rev it up ienough that the cd will explode in a shower of plastic and foil. Its best to hold the cd paralell to yourself as it explodes outward in the direction its spinning. I have a cordless model that only goes up to 10k RPMs, but with a lttle practice you can shake the CD off the bit while its spinning and te cd will peel out and shoot off along the ground. The force these move with is incredible, i had one shoot down the hall and explode when it impacted the radiator, a good sized chunk flew striaght back, cut my pants and my knee. Good times...
    • ...a game we use to play called DANGER NUT.

      Materials Required:
      • Beefy screwdriver.
      • Steel Nut of choice.
        1. Deadly (1" nut)
        2. Destructive (3/4" nut)
        3. Dangerous (1/2" nut)
        4. Get Down! (1/3" nut)
        5. Fun (less than 1/4" nut)
      • 700psi air connection.
      • Relatively tight quarters (We were on a submarine).


      • Place nut through beefy screwdriver.
      • Put nut+screwdriver combo next to high pressure air outlet.
      • Throttle air to spin nut up.
      • Watch and listen as nut gets to insane speeds.
      • Shut air valve.
      • Throw nut from
  • by nicwolff ( 91386 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @11:59AM (#7520273)
    wardrive around your apartment until you can get on some random neighbor's open 802.11 network...
  • Last time I've had an awful 3 weeks internet downtime, and since it seems I've survived I feel right to share my experience with other people who may face the same danger.

    At first, when I saw that the connection went down and didn't return in a couple of minutes, I've panicked, then called tech assistance and waited for the presumed end of the (known and probably caused by ill weater) problems.

    When, a couple days later, they told me that all problems had been solved and my connection still didn't work I

  • by BigDish ( 636009 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @12:12PM (#7520393)
    I live on a college campus with a high number of geeks. Last year when Slammer first reared its head, it brought our network to it's knees. We couldn't even do anything on the local LAN, much less get out to the Internet. It was so strange, because everyone came out of their dorm rooms and seemed bored that evening.
  • For example, I worked at a job where we waited for 3 weeks before the T1 was in place. In the meantime, I used a dial-up AOL account, networked all the machines using a small hub, and ran proxy software off of the machine conected to AOL.

  • My internet line went down yesterday, will not be back up again until next week (upgrading from ADSL to VDSL, lame ass ISP, disconnecting the old service before sending me a new modem). Posting this at work.
    I am experiencing fear, loneliness and boredom. Will probably experience stress tonight, if I try hooking up the old POTS modem...
  • by op00to ( 219949 )
    Did they come up with this all by themselves? I've NEVER seen anything like this before. How original!
  • Prepaid internet cards, like prepaid phone cards, can be used while travelling or in an emergency. A search [] on Google garnered a large number of hits. Many have nationwide local dialup numbers. Be sure to pick one that can't expire before the first time you use it and which has a long expiration time afterward.
  • by Prince Vegeta SSJ4 ( 718736 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @12:42PM (#7520688)
    1. Power Cycle your cable modem 2. Restart your computer 3. if that doesn't work call your ISP's tech support 4. Listen to the pre recorded message saying there are no known network problems. 5. Wait 6. wait 7. by the time you reach tech support, do the 'Broadband Dance', your internet connection should be back up Broadband Dance - first tier tech support telling you to power cycle your modem, clear your internet cache, restart your machine, asking you how much RAM you have, blah blah blah.
  • by barfy ( 256323 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @12:42PM (#7520693)
    This is great stuff... I bookmarked it for when I need it later!
  • by mwa ( 26272 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @12:46PM (#7520728)
    Everyone knows it's "down, not across" []. (See 5.4)

  • On a slightly more serious level, I've had cable for several years, and other than obnoxious TOS am reasonably happy with it.

    But sometimes it goes down, and sometimes I travel out of towm.

    I'd really like to have dialup capability for travel and emergencies, but have NO desire to pay a monthly fee for it. (My cable ISP has dialup, but that's separate from the cable access.)

    Anyone have a reccomendation for a pay-as-you use dialup that has decent access even in the Economic Backwater (and usually like it th
  • by swillden ( 191260 ) * <> on Thursday November 20, 2003 @12:52PM (#7520773) Homepage Journal

    The Linux box that acts as my router is configured to automatically bring up a dialup connection if packets stop flowing over the DSL. Of course, my dialup provider is the same as my DSL provider, so it's certainly possible that both could go out at once, but it hasn't happened yet. They don't seem to be able to keep the DSL up as reliably for some reason.

    Anyway, every few months or so I'll notice that my network connection is slow, and when I check the router I notice that ppp0 is up. The most common way that I notice DSL outages (which seem to happen every other month or so) is when my cellphone rings. My office phone is set up to automatically forward to my home office and then to my cell (if I don't pick up the home office line), so I notice the DSL outage by observing that my cell phone rings first, since the phone line is tied up by the dialup connection.

  • Work (Score:4, Funny)

    by peterpi ( 585134 ) on Thursday November 20, 2003 @01:11PM (#7520944)
    I find that "Getting some real work done" keeps me occupied for a few hours.

    Couldn't do it all day though

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.