Gobble Gobble

I really felt it necessary to write a post about Thanksgiving this year. While listening to 93.3 (WMMR), Pierre was discussing how Thanksgiving is the "no stress" holiday. Why? No pressure of gift-giving, no worrying about who should get what. It is simply a time to spend with your family and friends and stuff your faces until you fall asleep.

What really stuck out, though, was the significance of giving thanks for what we have this year. Sure, we're all thankful for what we have going on in our lives... but this has been a VERY difficult year for a lot of folks. I see this reflected in my line of work everyday. Folks are being laid off*, money is tight, houses are being lost, food is not being had, life has been thrown into survival mode for a lot of people.

SO... I want to give thanks this year for all of the amazing things happening in my life. I'm thankful for my job, no matter how crazy it gets. I'm thankful for you, my Customers, for putting a smile on my face every day (even you grumpypants folks). I'm thankful for friends and family who have really stepped up to the plate after the unfortunate breakup earlier this year. I'm thankful for the opportunity to own a house (this still blows my mind), and the AWESOME advice a lot of you gave me. I'm thankful for my stinkybutt dog, Mylo, even if he is being bad right now.

But honestly, the thing I'm thankful for the most? Having the ability to help all of you. We've come a long way in this company in regards to this very important topic. We're working hard to improve the customer service you receive over the phone, chat, and every other avenue imaginable. It's difficult to break old habits, and I'm sure a lot of you can relate to this. The job I do is just a small cog in the bigger machine of change happening across the company. I genuinely love helping each and every one of you (if I didn't, I probably would have quit due to insanity a LONG time ago), and I want ALL of you to know that I'm thankful for YOU.

Thanks for keeping me sane during moments of insanity. Thanks for being understanding when insanity turns into chaos. Thanks for gently poking me when I forget to do something. Thanks for being there. I'll always be there for you :)

So when you enjoy your meal tomorrow (or enjoy whatever it is you're doing), take a moment to look around at what you have going for you... and give thanks for that. Oh yeah, and to make sure this post isn't TOO serious... here's the video of me being the turkey whisperer.

*For those of you who have lost their jobs, please check out http://careers.comcast.com for our job postings. We're all over the place, and have a lot of jobs that require talent from people like you!


(I was originally going to post this back in September. Oops!)

Since the new school year has begun, let's learn some fun stuff about your internet connection and how to fix it! Prepare to amaze and awe your neighbors, family, and friends who will suddenly deem you as their tech support person :)

OK, class! Let’s begin…

Today, we’ll start off our fun learning series with the simple stuff. When I see problems, the very first thing I'll ask is: Have you reset your modem? If the answer is yes, then I'll ask: Do you have a router? This isn't because I'm trying to blame any particular piece of equipment. You'd be amazed at how many times a router will get "out of sync" with a modem, and vice versa. To fix this…

1. pull the power from both the modem and the router
2. Next, plug the power into the modem ONLY.
3. Wait for the lights on the front to calm down. On Motorola modems, you need four SOLID green lights. (Scientific Atlanta/Webstar needs a SOLID cable light. RCA modems need the Cable Link and Internet light SOLID. If you have a modem not listed here, chances are you bought it or it’s an end of life modem and should be replaced)
4. Once this is done, go ahead and plug the power back into your router and wait for it to finish up it's startup sequence.

Easy enough, right? If you’re still unable to connect, try moving on to the slightly more complicated steps below.

For a direct connection to the modem:

* PC’s: Go to “Network Connections” in your Control Panel. Right mouse click on “Local Area Connection” and click Status. Click the Support tab in this window, and check the IP address.
* Macs: Finder>Applications>System Utilities>Network Utility This will display your current IP address.
* Does the IP start with 169.254? If so, your computer is not getting a connection from the modem and you should probably give us a call. If you see 192.168, you’re connected to a router, have your IP set static, or something else is going on with the modem. Again, something you might want to call us up about.

For connections using a router:

* Make sure your router is obtaining an IP address by going to its home page at (login required in most cases). You should be able to check on the router's status page and see if you are getting an IP. If you see a 169.254.xxx.xxx address, your router is not connecting to the modem. This could mean that it was not powered on in the right order OR the modem is not assigning IP's.
* Make sure your computer is receiving an IP address from the router by following the steps above. A 192.168.x.x of 10.x.x.x address should show. If not, your router has a problem!
* Make sure you’re connected to your own wireless network. I get more of this than most people think. Be sure to put your wireless network as top priority over others in your network preferences.

For the super geeks out there:

Speaking of modem's not handing out IP's... I see this little problem all the time. The geeks out there seem to notice this the most, and take extraordinary measures to correct the problem. I'll see folks spoofing their MAC Addresses to get the modem to talk to the equipment on the other end. Guess what? You don't need to do that :) ANY TIME you connect something in to your modem, you will need to reset the modem. Otherwise, it will still consider the original device connected, and hence refuse to work with the new device. Easy fix, right? Make sure you’re not overlooking the basics above, since it’s easy to forget the most obvious things sometimes. I once troubleshot a modem for well over an hour, and then discovered it was in standby. The lights on the modem will tell you a lot about what’s going on.

I hope this gives you a little insight into the basics of troubleshooting. Next week, we’ll move on to checking out your internet signal from the comfort of your own home :)

Got a topic I should cover? Let me know in the comments! Got a question about any of the stuff above? Ask away! Let’s keep comments about the lessons on-topic, so we can all chirp in about each thing :)