Nice to see Murphy still has a job

I have this ancient steam-powered cable modem of seemingly questionable parentage — all I have to do is mention the brand name and tech types stare wide-eyed and wonder how it’s still functional after seven and a half years — and the cable company warns that they will no longer be supporting it at some point in the future.

So they boxed up an even cheesier-looking box and FedExed it to me, with a page full of extremely simple instructions. I duly disconnected the old clunker, wired the new one into place, and, as instructed, called the tech-support line. I have no idea why I’d need to call them — they have the serial number, so there’s no reason they shouldn’t have the MAC address, unless they’re completely brain-dead — but I did call them, and they shunted me off to the Robotic Voice, which complained for a good half an hour that it couldn’t detect that brand-new piece of [suitable pejorative].

Well, we are not having that sort of [similarly-suitable pejorative] at Surlywood. I undid everything I did, threw the new box back into its packing material, and shoved it into a closet. I am not trying again until fifteen minutes before they shut me down entirely. And you don’t want to be the person who reads the inevitable customer-service survey I’ll be sent.


  1. ms7168 »

    5 June 2011 · 10:24 am

    It never can see mine either. Is it behind a router? That is usually the reason. Just for funs take it directly into your computer so that it can install it for you and once you get it online then take it through your router :) I think you will be lots happier with the new modem. I’m shocked that your old one still works! I’ve been through four in the 10 years that I’ve had Cox Internet.
    Also the last time I did it the person did it and did not shunt me off to automation.

  2. Joe »

    5 June 2011 · 10:35 am

    If you do hook your computer to it and it sees it you will have to disconnect it from your computer for 24 hours until the router can work with it. The new ones use the MAC of the machine to authenticate and they are 24 hour leases.You can always log in to the router and alias the MAC of the pc if you can’t wait. I bought a replacement modem from Newegg when mine went belly up. They kept telling me nothing was wrong with it but I only had connection half the time. Once I got it and plugged it in a phone call later didn’t take ten minutes for their system to see it. :)

  3. Dan B »

    5 June 2011 · 2:08 pm

    You got one to last 7 years? I never could get a Cox-dup box to last more than 18 months before the need for hourly resets set in.

  4. ms7168 »

    5 June 2011 · 4:36 pm

    When I first got Cox I went to CompUSA first and bought my own cable modem. Not sure what happened to it I theorize it was hit with an electrical spike but one day I came home and it was lit strangely and offline. The Cox guy came and pronounced it dead and said I could either buy another one or I could take one from his stock free if I signed a one year contract. Sounded good to me. I used that one until they came out with tiered speeds and I opted for the faster one and the modem wouldn’t do it. So I had to buy a new one but it had a 100% rebate. Then in either late ’09 or early 10 they started talking about DOCSIS 3 and at the time there were only a few modems that would do it and they could also step back to DOCSIS 2 where necessary. They couldn’t be had locally so I bought it online. I noticed recently it is on the shelf in the stores now for I think $89. I paid $109. for mine. Sadly when it was new I had problems with it going deaf. All the lights would be lit but you would be offline and you had to power cycle it to get it back online. But then one day during a proper reboot Cox slipped it an update and it had been just fine ever since.

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