December 2001

Is the Modem Pool Working? Here's How to Check
Recently, a portion of our modem pool ceased working around noon on a Saturday. We learned two things from this incident worth sharing:

1. We need to remind everyone to call the Help Desk even during off-hours to tell us if there are equipment problems. ITSS staff are often willing to fix things off-hours if we know what is broken. On this particular weekend no one called the Help Desk (726-8847), so we weren't aware of the problem.

2. We need to teach customers how to tell when the modem pool is not working properly.

There is nothing really magic about the modem pool phone number (728-7300) - it can be dialed from a regular phone. If you call it from a regular phone one of two things should happen:

1. It should ring once or twice, then answer, then squeal loudly at you. This means it is working OK.

2. It might provide a busy signal. When you get a busy signal, it means all the modems in the modem pool are busy, so none are available to take your call. You can try redialing (continuous redial if you have it) until a modem is freed up by someone else disconnecting.

There are several things it might do if it is not working correctly:

- It might ring continuously and never answer
- It might answer but be silent
- It might squeal without ringing

If you find problems with the modem pool (other than a busy signal) please call our Help Desk at anytime. Describe the problem, and indicate which phone number you are using. If you call during off-hours please leave a message. ITSS is not funded to provide 24 X 7 support, however, often we can fix things during off-hour periods. We actively monitor on weekends, for example, including checking the voice mail on the Help Desk.


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