January 11, 2011

Oh vacuuming

Posted in Everyday, Home at 9:33 pm by ListenMaudy

We have a Roomba. It is totally awesome. We just pick up all the junk on the floor, move our socks out of reach, blockade areas the Roomba shouldn’t go, and let it rip. I hate vacuuming, and actually, before I met Muffin, my allergy specialist told me that I shouldn’t vacuum because I’m really allergic to the dust. He told me I should actually leave the house while my significant other did all the vacuuming.

Muffin is wonderful, but he doesn’t like to clean any more than I do. No one’s perfect! This makes the Roomba an excellent solution for our (lack of) housekeeping skills.

The other day, while Muffin was out of town actually, I had vacuumed half of the house to clean up all the junk that had fallen out of our vents and fixtures when the roofers were pounding around up there. Then, I ran the Roomba three times to get the rest of the house and all the leaves that have been getting tracked in. I went out to run some errands, and when I got back, the Roomba was stuck underneath a table, directly next to its docking station.

The Roomba is stupid. It can almost never seem to make it back to its home, and we can’t figure out why. This time however, the Roomba didn’t just get stuck, it managed to rip the Uverse cord out of the wall and pull the wires out of the back of the jack. The jack wasn’t really attached to the wall or anything, but the wires had been attached to the jack! That little wire was the only thing that connected our house to the internet, and since we don’t have cable, we watch Netflix pretty much exclusively. I was adrift with no internet and no TV!

Unfortunately, the jack has six pins, but the cable has eight little wires in it. WTF?! Who uses a jack with fewer slots than they have wires to put in them! AT&T apparently. Anyway, since I have an iPhone, I was able to use the internet in order to determine that no one else has ever had this problem. Great.

I decided I didn’t want to mess with it anymore since Muffin was on a plane, on his way home. Next time I talked to him, he said he didn’t care either way whether I tried to fix it. I wasn’t going to mess it up, but it didn’t need to be fixed. I decided I didn’t want to “fix” it, so I popped in a DVD my sister lent us and ignored it.

The next day, I spent a little time at work trying to figure out what the heck to do. All I could find was different configurations for Cat5 and other wires with eight pins; there was nothing about only using six pins. luckily I found a site that explained what each colored wire did in the whole setup. It turns out that two of the wires aren’t used (I can’t find the site that had the diagram of which wire does what, or else I would link to it.), so I figured that maybe I could just pretend those wires didn’t exist and connect the other six in one of the recommended configurations. I wrote down the pin assignment options and went home to try it out.

Muffin had recommended that I use tweezers to push the wires into the pins since they’re all so small, so I got out my super-sharp tweezers and went to work on the first configuration. Two minutes later, my internet was back up and running! I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to rub it in to Muffin when he opened the door a moment later. He was impressed with my mad skillz but wasn’t nearly as excited as I thought was warranted, go figure.

I was so proud of myself I had to spend the rest of the night asking Muffin if he could believe I fixed it and how totally great I was. He could believe it.


Here’s the final configuration that worked for our AT&T Uverse connection:

Six-Pin Assignment for AT&T Uverse

(Part of the reason I’m posting this is that I hope someone in the future who might have the same problem will find this page and get an easy answer. If so, and that’s you, good luck!)


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