Sunday, April 29, 2007

I Knew It...

...I really should remember to double-check that my bill payments go through.

For some reason, my scheduled electronic payment to the broadband company didn't go through when it was supposed to. So, what do they do? Do they send me a email or a notice in the mail that there's a problem? No. They simply wait and then put my account in "Overdue" status, which I don't discover until I actually log into their site and check my account myself.

What I've discovered about this is that now what they do when you're in "Overdue" status, but not enough in arrears to actually cancel your account and demand their equipment back, is they turn your broadband from a torrent into a tiny dribble in terms of bandwidth, just enough to get your email and do some slow websurfing, but not much else. This is what they'd apparently just done to me, just a few hours before class time. As you might imagine, trying to play EVE like this is next to impossible...trying to play EVE and run Ventrilo at the same time for the class IS, apparently, indeed impossible, proven by the repeated crashings of both programs when I tried to use to use them together.

The next day, once I'd called the company and made the payment by phone (a pain in the ass process by itself) and then rebooted the cable modem and my computer, it was like magic.
Everything worked fine...better than fine, fact. EVE seems to be running better, more smoothly, than it ever has before, and that's even with streaming audio running so I assume the same will be true with Ventrilo even though I haven't actually had the chance to test that as yet. My email, browsers, etc. all seem lightning-quick. Contrary to my initial assessment, I now believe that all the trouble I was having in EVE was completely due to this problem.

Can you imagine if other utilities operated this way? I mean, imagine if when your electric bill was a day overdue all of a sudden your lights and television started browning out? Or if when the gas bill was coming due your house would only be heated intermittently until your account was paid in full? Yet, somehow, I guess because there can really be no rational argument made that Internet access is an essential service (regardless of what we who are avid online gamers might think) in the same way as heat or power are, these companies. at least the one that services my area of New Jersey anyway, apparently feels free to just turn down the tap to almost zero without notice...I guess they figure, rightly so in my case, that you'll become so frustrated that you'll do everything you can just to get the thing working properly. It may eventually gain you the desired results, but one unintended result that will almost surely occur are plenty of really pissed off customers...I'm quite sure I'm hardly the only high-usage Cablevision customer who's missed her payment date by a day or two and has had to deal with this crap.

Ok, enough bitching about my ISP...hey, I know! Let's talk about EVE! What a novel idea! So, last night, atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed, I zipped around Gallente and Caldari space with nary a technical care in the world. It was quite literally the best, most lag/glitch-free experience I've had playing EVE since I started. Deeply weird...I go from my very worst EVE experience ever right to my very best EVE experience ever with no in-between. I can't wait to see what it's like when I fire it up in a little while.

And of course, I'll be even more ready (if that's at all possible) for the next AU Basic PvP class. ;)

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