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Service Status


Our first day of business and a very auspicious one it is too. Welcome to our Service Status section. I'm Carol and I'll be keeping you up to date with our maintenance programs and other scheduled changes. Currently we are down. The connection equipment is in fine order but we're having problems establishing a line of credit for it. This should be sorted out any day now. In the meantime, our apologies for the poor service.


Impatient to get up and running, we wired up the equipment today. Mark is very good at this sort of thing and had all the grey boxes talking to each other and twinkling their lights within minutes. Unfortunately the telephone lines have not yet been installed so we don't have the 100% service we were hoping for. Our apologies.


Today the shopkeeper noticed the wires connecting all the equipment and leading out of his shop and unplugged it all, so we're back to square one. As soon as we can get the stuff out of the shop, we'll be up and running. Apologies.


Jeff's credit card came through today and the connection equipment is now sitting in our office waiting to be connected up. Tomorrow should see us in fine shape.


Mark has gone on holiday. We realise this is unfortunate timing but we were really expecting to be fully functional by now. It was a pre-paid holiday so he had to take it or lose the money. Unfortunately, since Mark is our technical expert, this means there will be a short delay before we can get up and running. Once again, our apologies.


Mark emailed us from Australia to say he is having a fine time and even managing to drum up a little business for us. He should be back soon.


Mark is back tomorrow. Full service should be available within two days.


Another email from Mark. He's having such a good time that he's decided to stay on for a few more weeks. We're obviously disappointed but we'll do the best we can.


Mark called from Australia today and talked Jeff through all the technical stuff. There are now a lot more lights flashing, which is a good sign. The boxes are called modems, routers and web servers, if you're interested.


Oops, with all this fuss about the modems and routers, we completely forgot about the telephone lines. Mark left his mobile behind when he went to Australia and we've taped it to a handset. It's a bit tricky at our end, but if you call +44 (0)950 348579 you should be able to get through to the Internet, although at a limited bawd rate.


Please stop calling the mobile. I made a bit of a mistake. That wasn't Mark's number I gave you, that was Jeff's and he uses his mobile for freelance work and has to keep it switched on. The incessant ringing is driving us nuts. Also I shouldn't have given any number at all because Mark says it takes more than a day to go through all the technical checks once we're up and running. He doesn't know we're using his mobile, so if any of you are in touch with Mark in Australia, please don't tell him. And please stop sending me emails about the last update. I know it's baud rate, not bawd, that was just a typing error.


15.10 Hurrah! We're up! System checks are go!

15.45 Flat battery on Mark's mobile.


Does anybody out there know what kind of charger is used for an Ericsson 3110?


Thanks, Evyln (is that really how you spell it?) for the information about the charger. Are you any good with modems and routers? Jeff did Politics at college and he's finding all this electronic stuff a bit of a headache. Alex isn't much better, though at least he's got a set of scewdrivers. It was supposed to be Mark's job but he's still out in Australia. He says he'll be back some time in early March. I think Jeff's going to kill him. We're running up a bit of a bill on his mobile while he's away, but it's all allowable against tax, so that's not too bad.


Mum, you've left your phone off the hook again and I can't get through. And your Yahoo mailbox is full again. I know you read this every day, so please sort your phone out, dear. We've got to go over the arrangements for Delotte's christening next Saturday.


Ho hum, not a lot to report. Mark is still having a good time in Australia. Jeff's bought "The Bluffer's Guide to IT Network Management" and a new set of screwdrivers.


Jeff spent all day fiddling with the machinery, but didn't get very far. Does anybody know where the power switch is on a Cisco 1450?


Thanks, Emily. It's not very obvious, is it?


Oops! Apologies to Heathrow Air Traffic control. Jeff's still a bit of a learner and it's amazing that our network somehow managed to get tangled up with yours. Have you guys got no security? We're still checking to see if our insurance covers the lost plane. Mark got it from a travel shop before he went on holiday. Certainly if there's any dental work involved we might be able to help out. But the plane itself I think you're going to have to put down to experience.


Hey! Up and running!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jeff's gone down the pub to celebrate. We're still not sure how he managed it, but it works. Just call Heathrow airport and then press 3 on your touch tone phone. You'll hear all these weird call signs and pilots' voices, but that bleeping thing in the background is our modem. Get yours bleeping too and you've got an Internet connection!


Weird day. According to our computers it doesn't exist. They're all showing the first of March. Amazing, isn't it? At least we're not the only people to have problems. We've heard that Heathrow airport is having difficulties too.


They're really nice people at the airport. Would you believe they sent an engineer all the way up here to look at our network, and it hasn't cost us a penny! The guy was fantastic - really brilliant with computers, and he worked so fast it was incredible. He was a bit rude to Jeff, but I think that was just stress. He kept muttering "My wife's on a fucking plane". Straight out of a Bruce Willis movie. You know the one. Anyway, all that pilot stuff is off the line now. You can just ring in and get a connection. We're really pleased. Jeff's gone down the pub to celebrate.


Yes we're working on all those sudden disconnections. It's going to take a while. The problem lies with the power supply. When Mark bought all the equipment, he didn't get enough power leads, so we had to borrow one from Jeff's mum. They're exactly the same as the leads that go into electric kettles, and our network centre also doubles as Jeff's mum's kitchen (actually it is her kitchen, but she's a very tolerant mother), so we just plugged in the one from her kettle. It's only a problem when she wants to make a cup of tea. For now, our advice is not to connect to our service between 8 to 8.30, just after 11, between 1 and 2, 3.30 to 4, 6 in the evening, 8, and 10 to 10.30. The really safe period is when Eastenders is on the telly. If you're doing an important download, that's the ideal time.


We're down today. Sorry about that. We got a new lead, but we still had to use the same socket as the kettle, so that wasn't the solution. Then we got a two-way adapter, but when the kettle's switched on the mains wiring in the wall gets a bit hot and starts to smell, which puts Jeff's mum off her tea. Jeff's running an extension down from the attic right now, so we should have a 24/7 service from tomorrow.


All fixed.
ADVANCE WARNING. On the 16th, Jeff's mum's got people round to dinner. We're going to have to switch off for the evening so she can use all the work surfaces. Sorry about that.


There's a problem with one of the routers. Slight tiramisu damage (is that how you spell it?). One of Jeff's mum's guests had an accident during desert and the router was under the table. Jeff had been tinkering with it and still had the lid off so there's a hell of a mess inside. The box is still under warranty but the people in the shop are being very awkward. Wouldn't be too much of a problem but we only have the one router, so service is down again, I'm afraid.


Apologies on the email front. It's just a slight numbering problem, something to do with computer numbers starting at zero rather than one. You'll all have been getting somebody else's mail since January, but all you have to do is find out who signed up with us just before you did and they'll have all your mail. All the mail you've got needs to be passed on to the person who registered just after you. It's a bit messy but if everybody does their bit we'll have it sorted out in no time.


Down again. Jeff's mum just got her phone bill and went spare. She's cut us off. A bit unfair, really, because we'd asked her if we could use it. And we always disconnected the service when she wanted to make a call (you might have noticed that from time to time). But I guess three months of 24 hour connections does add up a bit. Something like three thousand pounds. Jeff's under a bit of a cloud. If you want a connection you'll need to ring Mark's mobile again.


Had a visit from a Health and Safety inspector. What a bitch! When she'd recovered she told us we'd have to close down. We pointed out that the service wasn't working anyway (Mark's mobile's been cut off) which really took the wind out of her sails. How can you close us down if we're not functioning in the first place? She had no answer for that one. Anyway, she takes far too much Valium to think straight, if today was anything to go by.


Oh dear, slight financial problems. We had been relying on a stock flotation to make money, but the market's not looking too good right now. Bit of a disaster, really. And our backers, Visa, have put a stop to further funding. In other words Jeff has reached the limit on his credit card. Not looking too good. So far we've had outgoings of six thousand pounds, excluding the phone bill, which is still under negotiation, and an income (if Jeff's got his sums right) of nothng. Got us a bit puzzled, this one. How do the other companies keep going? We thought the whole idea of an Internet company was to make a loss, but the banks around here don't seem to have caught on to that one yet. That's what comes of living out in the sticks. Bet it would be different in London.


This is awful. What's going on? Suddenly Internet companies are worth nothing. Even in London they're worth nothing. Yet when we started up they were really valuable. We've been brainstorming, trying to work out where we went wrong and what to do next. Jeff's gone down the pub to see if he can find the answer there. Mark's applied for Australian citizenship and stopped answering our mails. Jeff's being pestered by his mum to get a proper job on the tills at Sainsbury's. I think I might go back to hairdressing.


Watch this space! Soon we're going to reinvent ourselves as a protal (at least I think that's what Jeff said).


I don't think there's a business expression "suspend making a loss", so presumably we're suspending trading. Oh well, it was kind of fun while it lasted. To all our customers, we'll miss you (sniff) apart from the ones who made those rude phone calls. And if you want to pick up printouts of your emails, you can find them at

Veronica's Hair and Beuty Salon (signwriter's fault, not Veronica's)
42 Bridgewater Road
South Yorkshire

They've saved us a small fortune in womens magazines, but they do get dog-eared quickly, so it's best to pick them up whenever you get the chance.

Bye for now.