Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

  • Mood:

I should probably go and mow the grass while it's dry

There was an Oh, noes! moment first thing this morning when I discovered that the Internet wasn't there. Yesterday we'd been totally rearranging G's room, so my first thought was that we'd disturbed the modem and/or cabling. So I switched the broadband modem off and on again, pushed at all the connectors, checked the phone line and rebooted my PC. Still nothing. Running the diagnostics revealed that everything seemed to be OK at our end, but the LAN was failing to get any response out of the WAN. Demon was not responding. Phoning Demon's helpdesk gave us a recorded message saying that they were aware that many of their broadband customers were unable to connect and they were dealing with the problem. After a while, the basic diagnostics said the connection was back up, but it only took us to an error page from BT about a problem with the wholesale broadband lines. Some time after that the little red crosses on the diagnostics page turned to happy red ticks, and we were online again. Whew!

As I said we'd been rearranging G's room yesterday. It's supposed to be the sitting room, but he uses it as his study and for some years, it hasn't really functioned very well as a place to sit and relax and watch TV, though we do have some floor cushions in the corner in lieu of a sofa. Anyway, a few days ago, his old computer started to play up. Word wouldn't run and it generally started to seem wobbly. As it's about 8 or 9 years old and still running Windows 98, it's done quite well and, officially, had already been replaced, but G likes to have two computers on the go so he can run a program on one and type up notes about it on the other. This has meant having a big desk and a table and then another table with all his piles of files and papers on it. Add in two filing cabinets and a tall thin bookcase, and the room just always looked a mess, however much you tried to tidy it.

I've been gradually working my way around the house, trying to do a makeover in each room, but that sitting room was a huge stumbling block because I couldn't do anything with it as it was and, though I had an idea as to how things could be better arranged, without G's consent and cooperation, I couldn't do a thing.

So the computer deciding to die was a blessing in disguise. When the new one arrived I thought, great, he can amalgamate everything onto one computer and we can get rid of a table and move things round and...

And then he said he wanted to still keep two computer because it was easier than flipping between windows. Anyway, the newer old computer is a dual-boot Linus/Windows and it's possible that he might still want the Linux software that he used during his PhD.


But then, after a bit of rearranging, he discovered that now they were both flat screen machines, both computer would fit side by side on the same desk. Success! He only needed one computer table after all.

We worked hard yesterday lugging stuff around and I took several boxes and sacks of paper to the recycling. It still looked disorganised though, until finally I said (as casually as I could), "Would the small filing cabinet fit over there by the big one?" A bit more lugging and struggling later, the room suddenly looked ever so much better. There is now a distinct office side, that looks like a tidy and efficient office, and when we get a new sofa, there will be a relaxing side.

The room still needs an awful lot doing to it, but it's now stuff I can do, a bit at a time, so I'm happy.

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