funny that it didn't seem to bother me, but for several months i've been getting spotty internet service with my router. to fix it, all i have to do is remotely restart the router through the online admin page. however, i've been having to restart the router a lot more often these days, about 20 times a day. maybe in my old age i've grown more patient. or maybe because of my old age (having grown up in an analog world), i'm used to technology not always working 100%. the weird thing is whenever the internet went down, it only affected my browser access; my e-mails, my instant message, all those other internet services were still fine. a while back i swapped in a spare router i had lying around but it only made it worse; i ended up losing all of my internet services, not just the browser. i've been meaning to get another used router but never got around to it until today.
through craig's list i found somebody in belmont selling his linksys WRT54G. this particular model can be flashed with an open source firmware, although v8 means less choices (but still doable). none of that matter though. the seller lived in the next town over and for $20 this was a local bargain. the seller didn't call me back until the early evening, said the router was still available but he and his family were going out for a bit and that i should call him back later to see if he was home. i called around 8:00 but got the answering machine. he got back to me right when i was eating some soup for dinner. i dropped everything and raced to belmont. having grown up in belmont i thought i knew the place pretty well, but the seller lived in an unfamiliar western half of town and i ended up getting a little lost and had to call him for further directions.
the seller was super nice, apologized that he couldn't find the manual, but had everything else including the original box and cd's. all i really needed was the router and the power plug. he said if it didn't work i could come back and return it. i stopped by my parents' place on my way home, they were packing for the camping trip tomorrow.
the linksys worked after i power cycled both the cablemodem and the router. but it was a short-lived victory because minutes later i lost all my internet connection. something about the cablemodem not sending the proper ip address to the router via DHCP. i spent the rest of the evening (after finishing my reheated soup dinner) trying to fix the router. after 3 wonky routers though, the problem seemed to be something else. maybe the cablemodem? maybe something with my computer? finally, what may have solved the problem is having the router clone the MAC address of my macbook after i first attached my computer to the cablemodem directly. i've been online for an hour and half without a drop in service so maybe this might work out after all.