Why my partner will never be an engineer: Reason # 1

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 12-Jan-2007 12:45

So I get a text today from my long suffering girlfriend (she has put up with all manner of geek gear around the house)

"I tried to plug the fax in, and now the internet is broked"

(She always uses Engrish when she has done something bad).

Fax machine - brother all in one printer thingy. Fax almost never plugged in, because we hardly ever use this antiquated technology - in fact, the machine gets moved into a different room of the house more often than we send a fax.

All that was required to connect it, was to find a spare telephone cable (she did that), plug one end into the fax (she did that), then plug the other end into a telephone jackpoint (this is where things broke down).

She ended up with:

  • The cordless phone base stations jackpoint port plugged into the ADSL only side of a line filter.
  • A telephone line cord plugged from the wall jackpoint to the handset port of the Linksys VoIP adapter (a PAP2T). This is meant for a telephone, not a jackpoint.
  • The DLINK G604T ADSL Modem/Router/WiFi has been factory reset, and of course with everything on static IPs here, no internet or VoIP worked at all (because I use 192.168.0.x addressing vs. the DLINKs factory 10.1.1.x).
  • Despite the router being re-setup by me, the WiFi now refuses to work.
  • The PAP2T is have some serious issues too, and also does not work properly at the moment (power cycling and intermittent access to the web config).
  • My 'server' running Skype, our IRC bot (irc.zirc.org:6667 #geekzone), and some Virtual PCs is off air, because WiFi is the only method I had to connect it for now (Distance from router issue, no cable).

And believe it or not, she actually managed somehow to send a fax!?!?!?!

Now, I dont know why the WiFi and the PAP2T are playing up - I know some cables were plugged into places they werent meant to go, but I didnt think there was any device-killing currents happening... (anyone?).

Summary - all she had to do was plug the cable she was holding, into a wall jack, and not even touch any other equipment at all (she unplugged virtually everything at some stage).

I also have zero idea as to how the hell she factory reset the router! She denies touching the reset hole in the back (I believe her, because she freely admits to everything else).

Part way through fixing this, she announces "Im going shopping with my sister... see ya!"

Did I mention my partner works for a major NZ telco, and does not suffer fools well who do stupid things regarding their telecommunications?


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Comment by chiefie, on 12-Jan-2007 13:08

oh. poor you left with cleaning up the cable jungle... moment like this... you need... cable-free solution.

Comment by Grant17, on 12-Jan-2007 13:23


You have my sympathies Tony.  I too have had to clean up the aftermath of a major cock-up like that which has been caused by technologically illiterate people...

Just one thought here:

If you don't look at what you are doing, it is possible to plug an RJ11 (US-style phone connector) into the centre pins of an RJ45 (Ethernet connector).

This could conceivably damage the devices at either end .

Remember that a phone jack has 48VDC on it, whereas Ethernet runs at around 5V (I think???).

Hopefully it is just setup that has been lost and you can reconfigure the misbehaving devices to get things up and running again...

Good Luck!

Comment by juha, on 12-Jan-2007 13:47

Heh. I guess with the Internet broked, she won't be able to read your blog so you're safe...

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