Week 5, part 8

A wax maitre'd greets us at the buffet of Herties Department Store in Munich.

This storefront on Neuhauser Strasse is one of the few buildings left intact by allied bombing in World War II.

Customers line up to buy fruit from an outdoor stand on Neuhauser Strasse.

This detail is typical of old Munich doorways, and gives new meaning to the construction term "door header."

Images of Pan decorate a Munich fountain that is shut down for the winter.

First we had to deal with the issue of getting our own computer plugged in. There's an Easy Everything across the street from the Bahnhof, and a Times Square Online Bistro within the building, but neither of these places would let us use any computer that wasn't theirs. (Easy Everything is a chain of huge cyber-cafes in major cities around the world, famous for having hundreds of modern computers in each place, and for setting their rates according to how busy it is at any given time. For our purposes they were completely useless, not easy at all.)

Attached to the Bahnhof is the four-star InterCity Hotel. We thought that they might know where we could access the Internet with our own computer. After explaining the situation, the lady at the front desk said, "have a seat, there are the plugs," as she pointed to chairs in the lobby with phone jacks in the wall next to them. Another gentleman helped us with our connection. We had to try three different modem cables, and seemingly every phone jack in the lobby, but within ten minutes we had the right combination of cable and jack to get a dial tone. We set up to dial our German access number for Earthlink, and budda-bing! we were in.

We started sending new pictures and pages to our web site. We fired up Eudora and told it to do mail. A week's worth of incoming mail came in (2/3 of it was spam; why don't these people know that we're not interested in refinancing our mortage or enhancing our private parts?), but when it came time to send the outgoing, we once again received the now-familiar message, "Relaying denied." But wait a minute, we're dialed into an Earthlink number, we shouldn't be having this problem. Oh, yeah, we messed with our TCP settings while we were in Bobber's office. So into the TCP control panel we go to put the settings back the way they belong. Close the control panel, save ... oops! We're still online, we don't want to do that until we drop the connection first. All of a sudden windows disappear all over the place and the system freezes up. OK, we'll restart and pick up where we left off.

We restarted, and the normal sequence of events started up. Then we noticed that the displaying of extension icons was taking longer than usual. The pointer didn't move, we were locked up again. Things were starting to look very, very ugly. The machine would start with extensions off, but no matter how many unnecessary extensions were removed, it would still lock up on start-up if extensions were left on. We tried starting up in OS X (which is ok for the Internet, but we can't work with our photos or Palm Pilot data without OS 9), but the modem wouldn't recognize a dial tone. OS 9 would start within OS X, but Photoshop still wouldn't work. This was REALLY getting ugly, and early afternoon was becoming late afternoon with no solution in sight. Surrendering for the time being, we booked a room at the hostel down the street.

After downing some overpriced Chinese food in a very smokey place, we went to a small cyber cafe nearby and tested our web site. Damn! A very important page did not go through. So much for telling everyone to go to the web site to read the update. So we fired off an email to Bobber, which was the "computer hell" message you should have received Monday morning. One of the perks that came with our room was a free beer for each of us. So from the lobby just outside the bar on the ground floor of the hostel, we tinkered with the laptop while sipping on beers ... much less stressful than our time at the InterCity Hotel.

A glass wall seperated us from the lounge (too much smoke to sit in there), and we kept looking to the tv in hopes that some miracle of international communication would cause the Packer game to magically appear on the screen. No such luck. Through a tedious process of trial-and-error familiar to every Mac support technician, we finally isolated the bad extension. Not having a boot CD for OS 9 from which to replace it, we'd have to go to a Mac dealer and beg to borrow one.

"Pudding Santa" greets shoppers at Herties in Munich.

RoZ likes to pretend she just caught a really big "katzefische."

These sculptures decorate the outside of a Munich hair salon.

RoZ checks out a doorway in Munich.

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