This afternoon whilst on vacation (and yes, the kids were accessing the Internet after playing in the snow) we had a problem with the DSL connection at the house.  Of course, it necessitated a reset of the DSL modem and wiped the account info and password to the ISP.

Great.  I could imagine the cries as the kids were unable to access their favourite Weird Al videos online.  And having the broadband access allowed me to work with our super folks around the world over the last few days as a South American country decided to change their daylight saving time settings... with only a couple of days advance notice.

So, after scouring the house for an inkling of the account name, password, ISP settings and the like with no success, I fired off a mail to the from my trusty Windows Mobile phone (the HTC 8925)... at least my AT&T Internet access was reading two or three bars...

"We are staying with our family at <a snowed in address> in <a small snowy mountain village>, telephone # <local phone number>. We reset our dsl gateway connected to your service and wiped the account name and password on the modem and are unable to access the 'net. Could you help us get back on line?"

OK, I thought, perhaps we'll hear from someone tomorrow after they get down from the slopes and before they head off for a New Year's Eve party.

Or not. 

Fear of dread and an inability to log on and get the latest tunes for a festive countdown from Zune.net struck me, or more importantly print our boarding passes before our flight

Then, less than 30 minutes later, the phone rings:

"Hi, this is John... I read that you need to reset the settings on your DSL modem."

I was floored.  Sunday afternoon with still enough daylight to see the ski runs, and a tech is calling me via his mobile to help me out.  How cool is that? 

As he spoke, I typed the information John provided into a Word document and followed along, editing the settings via a direct cable connection to the DSL modem and wireless router.  A few minutes later, after running through the setup, the IP settings and DHCP Server configuration, we were as good as new.  And I set it up so that future guests could access the wireless Internet via a secure key, posted to the side of the router.

As noted, I compiled the directions that John rattled off in a document to leave at the house for our hosts to enjoy the next time their network settings are wiped clean, complete with screen shots.  John noted that the basic configuration and setup information (sans account info) is available on their web site: sure enough, that web page proved a good basis for my brief tutorial.  With that, I have a neat step-by-step instructional document to leave at the house on how to access the internet, coupled with account information... and the telephone number for tech support should it be required.

Great customer service from Vail.net - kudos and my thanks to a super support tech.