There are some days I surprise even myself with my geekiness.
Going to Crystal City's outdoor showing of Star Trek by myself tonight isn't that big of a surprise. I've been going weekly with Captain Deviance, J Pearcy, and Apple, but they weren't available this evening. I had to pick up something from the organizers anyway, and I really like "First Contact".
But when I got home, my internet wasn't working. Tragedy! I ran the computer's troubleshooting and it said it was the modem. I unplugged. I reset. Nada.
So, I called Cox.
The friendly customer service rep checked his end and talked me through testing the cable directly into the modem, instead of going through the splitter, which worked. My internet was back. The rep said it was either the cable or the splitter, but could easily replace those and this solution would work fine for tonight. I finished the TiVo'd episode of "The Big Bang Theory" I was watching, then went to live TV.
Oh yeah, the splitter was also sending the cable to my TiVo box for TV, and I had bypassed the splitter. It was either TV or internet tonight, and not both. No matter that it was after 11:30 by this time and I probably should have just gone to bed.
I realized that I could test, all by myself, if it was either the cable or the splitter. If I switched the cable from the TiVo to the modem and it worked, it was the cable. If it didn't, it was the splitter. Well, the cable wasn't coming unscrewed from the TiVo, but I quickly realized another way. If I just plugged the cable back into the splitter and the TV came back on, it was the cable.
I did. And it did.
It was the cable.
I was proud of this troubleshooting, but that still meant it was either TV or internet, but not both.
Then I thought: If I'm really a good geek, I'll have an extra coax cable in my cable stash.
I had a long one, a short one, and even an extra splitter.
The short one has replaced the bad one, and I have both TV AND the internet, and I don't have to go buy anymore cables.