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I have just emerged from another ridiculously stressful week of technological problems. I was absolutely determined to get these wretched wifi extenders to work before the family arrives (I’m afraid when I hit a problem like this, I can’t let go).

Tuesday was supposed to be the day I sorted out these extenders, but hah, fate decided otherwise. The entire pays viganais, for miles around, was without internet or telephones all day. And the next day. And the day after. The deadline for services being restored after what was supposed to have been a temporary glitch kept on being extended. Orange offered us more credits on our mobile phones to compensate, but not much use for the many houses which have a poor signal.

Last time we had a break like this was in 2015, when some workmen cut a cable between Montpellier and us. For several days not only was the internet down for individuals, but not a single bank, cafe or shop was able to operate its computers or tills. We suspect the problem this time was related to the current work on bringing us fibre optic, but of course we were never given an explanation. I suppose it is all worth it if we do finally get fibre optic this side of Christmas, as promised.

Today I was able to return to my wifi extenders and after HOURS glued to my boxes I have finally got them to work. I’m too mentally exhausted to go into the long rant I planned about how impenetrable and badly documented all network devices are.

Suffice to say that I still regard Apple as a relative model for accessible user interfaces and Netgear to be one of the bad guys. My particular bone to pick with them is their inability to ever explain whether the password they were demanding was the one for the router (in my case provided by Orange not Netgear), for Netgear’s own network, which runs alongside the Orange one, or for one of my two routers.

Even though things are working – sort of – I am not out of the woods. I decided as usual to note down as much as possible of procedures for the next time (there is always a next time) I hit a problem. This turned out to be now!

I have failed to log onto the Netgear app, irritatingly called Nighthawk, as I am told I have entered the wrong password. There is a link to “Forgot Password” – but that simply takes me back to the page where I have to entered the password again. I have entered every password I have created this week, to no avail.

All this is a bit ironic as I am the one who usually, somewhat smugly, tells the people I help with their computing problems to scrupulously record their passwords. I myself use an application called LastPass to do just this. Well, it is my turn to fall down.

Time to stop, water the garden and feed Poppy and myself. I will return to this problem in September.

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