It's never a good idea to be assigning inanimate objects a personality. I've never been a fan of giving cars a name, for instance. The same goes for items of computer hardware. However I've been sorely tempted by my wireless router over the last few weeks.
Wireless routers are (when they work) indistinguishable from magic. You can be there, sitting on a sofa some considerable distance from your internet connection, and yet you're getting wonderful experience after wonderful experience delivered to your warm lap.
I realise now how that sounds. Never mind.
But it's only when the technology fails that you realise how entitled you've become. The magic stops working and you're left bereft, stomping up the stairs to press various reset buttons, pull out power leads and count to 30. Life is so unfair.
That's been me for the last fortnight or so. While She Who Must Be Obeyed has intelligently reverted to simply opening a book and enlarging her mind, I've been stomping like a brachiosaur who's annoyed at the lack of ferns.
I'm just trying that out as a metaphor. I'm not sure it's entirely successful.
A few days ago I realised that there was a way out. This is actually a two-router household. My ISP sent me one out of the blue about 18 months ago. I didn't like to contact them and ask why in case they realised their mistake and asked for it back. My wireless saviour has been collecting dust in the spare room all this time. And this is where I thought some mind-trickery might work.
I got the new router out of its box and immediately the old one started working again. At least it did for a few hours, then it dropped its connection once more. So I started reading the instructions aloud. Full service again.
I marvelled at this turn of events for a few days, until tonight. Nothing would work. I got the quick installation wall-chart out for the new router. Nothing. I unravelled the ethernet cables. Not a thing. I even read the warranty card. My wi-fi was no-no.
So I took a deep breath. But before pulling the plug I tried one more thing. It's hard to describe in words, but perhaps the following video will help to explain. Just replace the Austin 1100 with a Belkin F5D wireless router. And replace the branch with a D-Link installation disc: