Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Tales of the Web: On not being able to log-on to a familiar site, or, greased electrons in Philadelphia?

The web cracks me up. It’s so strange.

For several years now I’ve been a regular contributor to Replicated Typo, a group blog devoted to linguistic and cultural evolution. Several weeks ago I found myself unable to access the site. I kept getting an error message: “Safari can’t open the page www.replicatedtypo.com because the server where this page is located isn’t responding.” Well, this sort of thing has happened before.

I tried accessing it with another browser, Firefox and then Chrome. No dice. But the Firefox error message is more helpful: “The server at www.replicatedtypo.com is taking too long to respond.” I flushed the browser cache (all of them) of Replicated Typo cookies. Still no dice.

So, just before Christmas, I got on Facebook to chat with James Winters, the site founder. We quickly determined that the problem seemed exclusive to me.

Saturday morning, December 24, I travel to Philadelphia to visit my sister, taking my laptop with me. And then, either later on Saturday or, more likely, Sunday morning (I forget exactly) I got online and, wouldn’t you know, I was able to access Replicated Typo. Yippie! But why?

Who knows?

Anyhow, I made to posts to RT and exchanged comments about them. I returned to Jersey City yesterday afternoon (December 26), hooked up my laptop, and gave it a whirl. Guess what? I was able log-on to RT.

But, again, why? Did Philadelphia have some greasy electrons that flushed some buffers on my machine? Sure, that’s nonsense, but then this whole story is nonsense. Yet if that were the case, why’d my sticky electrons affect RT and none of the other of the websites I use? And maybe it's because my sister has a different internet provider than I do.

Who knows?

But I was happy to be able to log-on to RT. And it saved me from Plan B, which was to go to the Starbucks around the corner and see if I could log-on through their Wi-Fi.

Now that things were back to normal I figured I’d write a post about this incident. It would be a quick and easy cheap post to help hold things down while I’m thinking about OTHER STUFF. Just to be sure I was up and running before writing this post, I decided to confirm that things are back to normal for me at RT.

Guess what? No go. Not on Safire, not on Firefox, not on Chrome.


Am I really going to have to try Starbucks? Is there a way I can get an infusion of those Philly electrons up here in Jersey? Will Trump be able to fix this problem with a magical tweet?

Who knows?

Addendum, 31 December 2016: I can now access the site. Will I be able to access it tomorrow, or the next day? who knows?

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