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Talkin' Smack: The Problem with Cox

A rant against ISPs

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

So I'm currently in the process of moving into a new house, which means, of course, that I'm out of luck in the broadband department until my service provider gets around to providing service for me. (This explains the tardiness of this week's Talkin' Smack.) I thought it would make for a good impetus for a rant against those ISPs out there who treat their customers—particularly their Mac customers—like garbage.

For a long while now, I've been using a cable modem at home (with service provided by [email protected]). I had a lot of trouble with the installation—namely an idiot doing the installation who made a point of proclaiming Macs slower than peecees for networking and telling me it would be impossible to use the cable modem on an Ethernet network. (Wrong on both points, dork.) Nevertheless, it was a pretty positive experience all around, at least until the last few months.

Some time around midsummer, the whole thing fell apart, with network outages literally every week at the start and every 15 minutes in the last month or so. Of course, it's the Mac's fault, at least according to the Cox tech support guys. Helpful folks, those! Or maybe it's my Ethernet hub, even though the network still goes out even when I'm not using the hub. Whatever. It's like this: Fix it, or I'm leaving.

So, things the way they are, I'm leaving. Cox sucks, and I see no hope of them changing for the better. They really had it going on a few years back, but now it's just garbage.

Now that I'm moving into my new house, I've decided to get DSL through Pac Bell. Maybe they'll be better. I doubt it, since I can't even order the service for a week after my phones are activated, and then I have to wait a few more weeks for them to push a button to activate the DSL service. We'll just have to see.

(As a side note, I've resisted DSL all this time in protest to those phone company "Web hog" commercials, which were blatantly propaganda.)

In the meantime, I'm stuck with that 56 K modem Apple crammed into my G4. It's disgustingly slow—only slightly faster than the NT network I'm on here at work. Now that's slow!

Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, Digital Media Designer, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.

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