It's all geek to me
I've been having ISP problems for the last couple of months, but they got really bad over the last couple weeks to the point yesterday, I could only chat on AIM (Hi, Mad Chatters!) and not actually get online; every website I clicked on came back with a message similar to: 'http://www.cnn.com could not be resolved'. Considering the Internet is as dear to me as water, air and blood, this was a no-good solution, and I was thinking about firing my ISP -- doesn't our relationship, after three years, mean anything to you? -- and going with the super fast DSL. (I actually had a theory that my ISP problems started shortly after I ordered DSL the first time, and the ISP got all jealous and cranky and refused to work. You'd think DSL would have the opposite effect).
So I called tech support. Now, there are good tech people and there are bad tech people. Since my ISP went call-center, it's been an even mix of both. So obviously, I dialed with trepidation, explained my problem and then the conversation went something like this:
"Are you online?"
"So open Internet Explorer."
"I don't use Internet Explorer. I use Mozilla."
After a rough WTF is Mozilla start and a mix-up in instructions with IE, tech boy got it together and had me clear my cache, dump my cookies, and then restart the computer. And then came the magic. The magic of ipconfig /flushdns. Apparently Windows XP caches the old IP address everytime you go out there, even if it doesn't resolve, and after that, no matter what, you get the old IP address, even if it has changed. You can run ipconfig /flushdns from the cmd line to clean out your DNS cache on your system and then, like me, you too can zoom along the Internet Super High Way. You can read more about this issue here. I know at least one of the Mad Chatters has had this problem and thankfully, it doesn't mean you have to fire your ISP, just clean house.