The adagio ‘never change a running system’ does not only apply to software systems, but basically to all. Here’s what can happen if you don’t follow that rule.
In September, October last year I decided that it was time to change internet provider. At that time my ISP was giving me some headaches, such as slow connection speeds and sudden disconnects, which could only be resolved by switching off my ADSL modem for a couple of hours. But, most of the time it worked. Nevertheless, when a sales person of Deutsche Telekom appeared on my doorstep, she didn’t have a hard time convincing me that I’d be much better off getting my ADSL from T-Kom: flat rate, higher connection speeds, blah blah yada yada.
My ISP at the time didn’t let go that easily though and in November I could inform T-Kom that my running contract would end on February 4, 2009. Soon enough I got an answer from T-Kom confirming that 6 days after the confirmed end of my current contract I’d have my T-Kom ADSL up and running. I would receive a welcoming package with everything I’d need shortly before said date. Fair enough…
Time went by and I almost forgot about the whole thing, until I realized that I was only 2 days away from being shut down by my old provider and I had still not seen anything from T-Kom! Time for a phone call. “Oh, haven’t you gotten our confirmation letter, then?”, the help desk asked. “I haven’t gotten anything!”, I replied. “Oh, we’ll send you the confirmation immediately!”, the help desk answered. I waited the rest of the week. Indeed, I was unplugged and without internet connection.
Saturday, five days after the call, I finally got the confirmation (and nothing else, mind you!): “We’re delighted to inform you that we will offer you our ADSL connection as of February 20!” Whot?! 4+6 doesn’t make 20 the last time I checked my math! “Aahh, noo, “, the hell desk explained, “Your current provider first needs to free up the line or slot and six days after that, we can plug you in!” To make a long and heated discussion short: T-Kom did manage to get me connected on February 11. That’s still not what they originally promised, but that all didn’t matter because I didn’t have my login data anyway. *Sigh!*
Another weekend later, I call the hell desk again, explain the situation and get the answer that I can get some temporary login data. “Just hold on, I’ll patch you through to our technical staff…” <*click!*waiting melody*waitingmelody*repeatwaitingmelody*click!*>”Sorry, there are technical problems at the moment. Please call again tomorrow”. One day later: “All our lines are busy, please call back later”<*click!*>
Anyway, a couple of days later, I finally get through to the hell desk again (Ok, I haven’t called every day, there is life without internet after all). “Ok, “, the hell desk says, “here’s your temporary data: t-online number <looong number>, ‘Anschlusskennung’ <another looooong number>, ‘Mitbenutzer’ <another number> and password <more digits>”. “Right”, I say, “and what should I do with these?”
“Erh, you fill those in one the configuration page of your SpeedTouch.”
“I don’t have a SpeedTouch! You f**** b**** haven’t given me anything! That’s why I’m calling…”
“Erh, then I can’t help you, sorry. Erh, here’s the number of our technical staff. They can help you set up your ADSL modem.”
Called the ‘tech desk’, they told me to just put all the numbers after each other, add “@t-online.de” at the end and there’s the login name. Password is password, of course. I guess giving me the correct order for the numbers the first time was not fun enough or something.
In the mean time, I’ve received my final, real, login data, but nothing else. And I found out that in order to use the t-online SMTP server to its full glory (that is being able to send mail with From addresses other than @t-online) I need to pay extra.
All in all, I am far from happy with my new provider. Even though everything is now up and running, I feel ripped off. Thing is, everything is now up and running and, as I just found out the hard way, you should never change a running system…
Here’s my news of the day: I have decided to adandon ship. Exactly eleven years after signing my contract with ICT, I have sent in my resignation. As of the beginning of next year I will be self-employed; Freiberufler, as they say here in Germany.
Fresh from university, I started my career as a programmer, back in 1997, and worked on quite a variety of projects for several of ICT’s customers. Within two months after I started, ICT offered me the opportunity to work in Germany for a while, and I jumped at it. During my stay in Germany, I paid several visits to Munich and I really liked the city. When, late 2003, ICT announced that they would open shop in Munich, I volunteered for a transfer to the freshly born ICT Embedded Software GmbH and started working in Munich in the beginning of 2005.
Now, four years later, the time has come for me to move on and find new challenges. And I think freelancing will be quite the challenge I’m looking for. Wish me luck!
And there it is: the first post on my brand new web site. I do have to admit that I’m not completely sure, yet, how to fill up this space, but I’m pretty sure that that will sort itself out. The main idea is that I eventually would like to share my views and opinions on anything related to embedded software development, since that’s the business I’m in. Additionally, I’ll be posting about anything else that I find of interest.