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Tech Tips

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    PlanetQuake | Features | Tech Tips | 3-31-2001
   

Tech Tips 

This is where your gaming and hardware needs are met. Be all that you can be or get out of the game! This won't be a forum for techno-geeks to find more ways to impress their non-technical friends, it's for plain folk who need help to better their gaming experience. But don't blame us if you blow your machine sky high; we're offering tips, not the Bible on computers. The mailbag is alive and well - send in those questions to TechTips. !

by Love2Play

 

A Rant and a lesson

I'm starting out this week's mailbag with my own piece of mail to you the readers. It's what I consider a valuable lesson in today's growing market of high bandwidth. Before those of you with a phat pipe start 'dissing your 56k neighbor, take a long read here and humble thy self.

On March 28th I called my ISP XO Communications to talk about upgrading. I explained that my 768/460 ADSL had really been lagging and spiking over the last 5-6 weeks or more and my gamers were unhappy on my servers. I had even exchanged a couple of emails with techsupport in search of an answer and  that suddenly fell silent in the middle of problem solving (now I know why). During the course of my conversation the customer service rep. kept mysteriously referring to "the issues". I got enough information on speed and pricing and she curiously did not push my expansion.

I was suspicious that no hard sell to charge me $300 a month took place so I went to XO.com to see what packages etc... they talked about on their website. I just happened upon a little box that said Northpoint. You see Northpoint supplies the DSL, XO Comm. is the ISP. So I clicked the link. There was a page, dated that day of March 28th detailing the rise and fall of Northpoint. It explained that on January 16th Northpoint filed bankruptcy and while XO didn't expect a problem, they could not guarantee we (the customers) would stay connected.

At that point I ICQed my boss the link and we shared our panic. Not 5 minutes later my connection went down. Yes friends, I am serious. My connection was no longer. I called my ISP because I thought "oh, it's just coincidence" but it was confirmed. I had been disconnected forever. Then I started with the tough questions like; "so what now?" and "what plans were made to cover this?" The answers were evasive and vague right down to "someone will call you" and "30-60 days before new service MAY be installed".  I helplessly let him take my name and number for a representative to call me to make plans to have my dsl restored. 

Once I came out of shock that I had just basically become unemployed without notice, I decided I am not waiting. As I see it, the company that told me nothing and is doing nothing is going to do nothing for me now. I called a new provider. Then today (March 30th) out of curiosity I visited the XO website to see if they were telling their customers anything now and I found a page dated today (March 30th) explaining that we are now being disconnected (gee, a little too late?) and then it went on to say that as of April 27th they will no longer even offer Home Office DSL (the service I had) so to make other arrangements. Now mind you, I STILL as of this moment have received no phone call, no email, nothing to acknowledge the fact that I have been disconnected and left in the dark. And was supposed to be "waiting for that phone call" for new service arrangements. Only by going to their website did I find that even if I DID wait for that phone call that they simply would have said to me "sorry, we aren't offering that service anymore".

Moral of the story? NEVER wait for your provider to tell you anything or to tell you the truth. If you are experiencing problems or your techsupport is evasive, be suspicious. Do your homework. If you are paying the big bucks for service, demand a straight answer.  If you don't get one, go looking. One place I found out about too late was DSLReports. No, not the site. I knew about the site for excellent tips etc... but they also have a huge forum where real people discuss real experiences with their ISP's. Had I gone there sooner, I may have found out in time to have never been without service. I think this story can ring true for any of you with cable, DSL or even 56k. Don't settle for failing service.

Ok, on with your questions!

 

From: Valaris

Subject: Need to find Quake 2 servers to play on

Hell-o, I have just purchased Quake2 and i havent been able to take it on-line yet.
I contacted Activision and they send't me to PlanetQuake.com to get the server name
but haven't been able to find it. Any help you could give me would be great.
new and enthused Quake customer Valaris,

Yes indeed, there is nothing like having Activision refer people to the Big Fuzzy! We love that! Thanks Activision!

Ok, I'm calm... Valaris what you need is GameSpy3D or GameSpy Arcade. Each is a fabulous server finder in their own right. Each bring you a list of servers to choose from in a convenient easy to use format. And each with techsupport to help you fulfill your gaming needs. Never having to search again for servers for Quake 2 or any other of your favorite games. Between GameSpy3D and GameSpy Arcade the list is endless!

But don't forget to make a stop at our article First Time Quaking Online from last time so you will have everything you need ready to go.

From: Dan

Subject: Modem support

I'm a senior tech at an ISP in Wisconsin. I like the article you did on tweaking your modem. It will help a lot of people, but won't confuse the hell out of them! www.56k.com is okay, but a lot of it is links to the peoples sites. modemhelp.net is better, because they link all the driver pages directly, and have tech articles about specific modems.

: )
- Dan Holman
- CoreComm Technical Support

An awesome find Dan and are we ever glad you shared it! Everyone should check out that site modemhelp.net if you want to see everything possible there is to know about modem usage. And thanks a lot for the compliment, we really appreciate hearing a good word!

 


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