Neighborhood tech support, 2011

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been getting in the practice of reviewing “on this day” journal entries and blog posts. This came up for yesterday, Jan. 3, 2011. It’s Mac-related, so I’m sharing it here:

In which I attempt to rehabilitate my reputation with the neighbors

Our neighbor across the street was having some Internet problems. Their granddaughter is staying with them a while, and she needed to connect her MacBook to the Internet to do a class project, but she couldn’t do it. So I came over and connected them.

Turned out to be a simple fix: I unplugged the Ethernet from the grandparents’ PC, and plugged it into the MacBook.

The MacBook still didn’t see the Internet at that point and the kid and her grandparents started to get alarmed, but I said, “Don’t worry, I haven’t tried everything yet."

I tried refreshing the DHCP on the network settings, and that didn’t work either. The kid and her grandparents got even MORE alarmed, but I said, “Don’t worry, I haven’t tried everything yet.”

Then I powered down the cable modem and the MacBook and went in the other room to chat for five minutes. When I came back, I powered on the cable modem first, waited until all the lights were steady, then powered on the MacBook Pro and it connected to the Internet. The kid gave me a high five and I left the house covered with glory.

This should help me rehabilitate my reputation among the neighbors. They’re all good, solid, blue-collar folk, many of them retired. I sit in my home office at the back of the house all day at the computer doing things they don’t understand. They probably think I’m sending child pornography to terrorists.

12 years later, I no longer remember what refreshing DHCP does or how to do it, and I’m amazed that Past Mitch was so casual about it.


FWIW, I’m quite certain this is what my neighbors think of me, too.

You’re much nicer than I am though. Volunteer tech support has a way of becoming permanent, on-call tech support. LOL!

As Chevy Chase said to Bill Murray in Caddyshack,

People don’t say that about you … as far as you know.


It was a special case. They were a very nice older couple going through family difficulties. I was happy to be of service in that small way.