Not so rock steady

If you’ll think back to way back when (or just follow this link), you’ll recall that I recently had some technical work done on my DSL like to improve stability. Shortly after, I got a new video card to reduce the awful noise coming from my tower. With the two big issues resolved, I settled into a happy routine – for about a week. After that blissful time period, performance degradation started to be apparent. Not of my video card, but in my internet connection.

Typically, I’m a very easy-going guy, and the type of customer that most companies probably want. I try to fix things as much as possible by myself, and if I am unable to do so, I’ll usually put off calling for a while. I’m sure this procrastination is a result of any companies carefully crafted plan of making customer service/tech support as bothersome, repetitive, and completely unhelpful as possible. Every call is a painful rehashing of the previous conversation, often with someone who speaks a different native tongue from you. The experience is worse in technical support, because each step/layer you get accelerated to, they try to walk you through the exact same “solution” procedures as the previous representative.

So, after going through every step that my understanding could handle, I dithered for a few weeks, dreading the eventual vocal battle of congeniality I was soon to have with AT&T. Yesterday though, I did it, I grit my teeth, and picked up the phone, and dialed the number. It was almost every bit as hellish of an experience as I thought, with one silver lining: the representative sounded like a native speaker. I still had to repeat everything to him, and go over the entire situation as I had to before, I was able to stop him from trying to convince me that I should power-cycle my modem  – further interrupting my service to fix interruptions isn’t a solution if it’s not a permanent fix. The good news after the whole ordeal, is that he was able to see that there were faults, or errors further up the line that are causing my disconnects, and that they would send out ANOTHER tech to try to fix it. Yes, Saturday works.

Shit, Saturday doesn’t work, and then I had to call them back for a reschedule and go through the whole process again…

The labor of self-educating

The reality of being a PC gamer, is that, over time, you end up learning a lot about various aspects of computer care – frequently the hard way. Whether it’s learning that you absolutely should back up everything before tinkering with a registry, or maybe you shouldn’t listen to that tech service guy who tells you to remove the quarter-sized back-up battery to reset your bios, there are so many aspects that go into maintaining and keeping a computer running smooth and ensuring a quality persistent gaming rig, without having to replace it every two years. My goal, as it relates to PC gaming and spending, is to try to only replace a tower after it’s seen three years of use at the earliest. If I can push it to longer than that, then I feel like I did a good job.

Read more of this post