with computer communications? Having problems? Here's what's going on and how to
deal with it:
is a brief explanation of communications issues that should help promote a
better understanding, more reasonable expectations and gives an explanation of
the limitations of the computer communications systems and programs that we all
now use daily. You'll also find the suggested steps to take when experiencing a
problem with a communications program:
By Jerry Erbesfield, Webmaster
Click on one of these for:
communications programs and equipment have become such a big part of our
day-to-day life now that it is important to understand what is going on and how
to deal with the problems that will occur while using them.
matter how hard we try, on occasion we, as well as all other
companies that deal with computer communications, will have problems, complaints
and frustrations when dealing with these programs. Its just simply not
possible to avoid such problems altogether due to the very nature of electronic
communications. No one is immune.
seems that sometimes almost nothing can be more frustrating than receiving
hieroglyphics on the screen, garbage from the printer while on line or just
being completely disconnected in the middle of using your browser or other
on-line communications program. In an effort to help you better understand the
complexities and limitations of these programs and computer communications in
general, the following information is being made available to you.
Understanding whats happening helps so here goes:
ability to connect via telephone line for on-line data communications has only
been available in the current form of computer communications on a PC by private
individuals for less than the last twenty years. That an untrained person can
access information like this, from a far away remote location from another
computer, is phenomenal, technologically speaking. To keep it in perspective,
this is a relatively short time as far as life on earth is concerned.
communication while greatly improved in recent years, is still however not a
perfect science. It is very much a leading edge technology. With todays
increasing demands and needs for ultra high speed communications, theres
going to be complications no matter how flawlessly set up our computers may be.
A 10 to 20 percent glitch rate is normal and simply should be expected. This is
completely within a normal range of acceptability even when everything is
any computer communications program, every time you use it, in addition to using
the computer terminal you are sitting at, youre also using two modems, or two
network interface component card modules, yours and theirs. Additionally youre
using a second computer, at the host location - and youre using miles and
miles of telephone or data lines and much other equipment in-between. There are
switches, transformers, amplifiers, connectors and multiple other gadgets along
the way too. Almost anything can happen to interrupt your session.
plays a part too. Any extremes can interfere: rain, ice, and very cold or even
very hot weather. The sheer number of devices and equipment at the other
location have a big effect on performance. ALL Internet Service Providers have
multiple computers, multiple rollover telephone lines and multiple modems,
usually numbering into the hundreds. You might connect to any of them at any one
time and if that one particular device has a problem, youre going to know it.
The human factor is involved too. We all make mistakes - and with this leading
edge technology, its very easy to do. You can see the possibilities.
following are the suggested steps to take when experiencing
a problem with a communications session:
dont panic at the first sign of a problem. Expect some glitches. - And,
remember that its not always the computer that YOU are using in front of you
that is the cause of the problem. More often than not the percentages are that
its not going to be your computer that is at fault. If it was working
correctly during the previous session, it should still be working okay this
time. However, equipment does occasionally fail and you will have some problems
on your side once in a while, but the percentages far favor the problem more
likely being on the other end - or somewhere in-between.
experiencing a problem, first, be patient. Hang up, exit the program, wait a few
moments and then try again. If using a telephone line and a conventional modem,
turn off the modem for a couple of seconds if an external modem, or shut down
the entire computer for a few moments if its an internal modem. The same goes
if youre using a data connection (T-1, DSL, ISDN or whatever) with an network
card or other type connecting device installed. The first step is to shut the
computer down electrically and completely for a moment or two. In some cases, it
could take more than a few moments or a couple of attempts - and sometimes you
may even have to wait till later in the day to try it again. Just the luck of
the draw of connecting via a different route or by a different telephone or data
line, or the communication session routing itself through a more direct line
path and/or different equipment, will often correct the problem. This is a
random process and we have absolutely no control over it.
problem could very well be on the other end and connecting to a different
terminal station or a different modem on the other end may solve your problem.
Sometimes problems are noticed and corrected in a short period of time from the
other end - and sometimes not. Try again a little later. Also occasionally a
host system (the other end) will experience an overload. A system is designed to
handle just so many calls. When this happens, everything will slow down - or
even stop. Try again later or at a different time of day. Remember that weather
and other outside conditions such as construction in the area also may be
the problem doesn't go away in a reasonable period of time, a voice telephone
call by you to whomever it is that you are trying to electronically communicate
with is the next step. Maybe they ARE having a problem that they DO know about,
and can tell you how soon it might be up and running smoothly again. If there is
a problem that they don't know about, they can't fix it until someone actually
lets them know about it.
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Copyright © 2011, Jerry A. Erbesfield