Monday, October 09, 2023

Another personal victory today

Today I had a major victory, but first a reminder: Back in July, my Ethernet switch (which is kind of like a traffic cop for my wired home computer network) failed. I had to do troubleshooting I’d never had to do before (such things were Nigel’s role). I worked out that the problem was a failed power adapter, but there was also at least one port that had failed.

Next, I mapped the ports in my network so I could tell which ones were most important. I then connected the most Important ports to my wifi router, and I could again watch streaming video.

Meanwhile, I knew Nigel had used a different unmanaged 16-port Ethernet switch, and I knew exactly where it was—and I don’t say THAT very often! However, I didn’t know where the power adapter was (that’s much more common…). I spent time, off and on, searching if could buy a replacement.

Now you’re all caught up.

Last night I decided to search for a replacement again, and I still couldn’t find anything. So, I went to the maker’s website to look at the manual for the version of the switch I had. Then, it finally sunk in: There IS no power adapter (which is why I couldn’t find one). The label over the power connection clearly said that, but I had a blind spot because I’d convinced myself the power connection wasn’t a standard AC power cord connection, even though it was.

When I first looked at the switch, I thought it used a power cord just like all my former PCs used, but Macs haven’t in years, and that’s why I didn’t really recognise the connection, and convinced myself it was a proprietary cord. I know now that this was stupid, but at the time I wasn’t really working with full information, or understanding.

I have a box I put all the cables I’ve found into, so I went to it today and found two power cords in there. I plugged at the Ethernet cables into the switch, plugged it in, switched the power on and, of course, it all worked perfectly. My entire wired network is now up and running again, and it’s because of my own efforts and sweat (literally—it was HOT in the garage today!).

Honestly, it was all far easier than I can convey, but the specifics aren’t really the point. I was faced with a challenge because of a technology failure that I had to fix on my own for the first time ever. I focused, breathed, and persisted until I succeeded. Yes, I should have realised the power cord thing immediately, but I didn’t, and I don’t care: I DID figure it out and I got there in the end. I’m proud of myself. What I’m happiest about, though, is that this sort of success is becoming more common. I really am slowly finding my way forward, and I think that’s worth celebrating.


Roger Owen Green said...

Good on you.
I still suck at these things. The Internet on the house's first floor is weaker than on the second floor because the router is upstairs. I bought these extenders that I'm supposed to plug in after doing... something... but suffice to say that after spending an hour on something the instructions suggest should take 10 minutes, it's still status quo.

Arthur Schenck said...

As I've said in the past, I used to be good at such things, but then I gradually wasn't. Part of that was the usual skills getting rusty from non-use, but mainly it was because technology kept zooming ahead, and I was left behind. I'm extremely lucky that I at least have a kind of understanding of the concepts, even if I don't understand the specifics anymore. This is an ongoing process of learning—or re-learning, as the case may be.