I'm used to hearing about people getting ripped off when it comes to getting advice on their mis-behaving computer; like waiting inordinate lengths of time in queues, paying £1.50 per minute for help-line non-advice etc....Why should I worry? I have to make a living after all and I quite enjoy wrestling with computer problems.

I also build the odd website for progressive customers, keen to take advantage of the Internet.

It came as a pleasant relief then, when I contacted Tiscali about a problem with a Lineone website and received free advice, without question.

Apparently Tiscali have absorbed a number of other ISPs and are presently rationalising things, such as phone numbers etc.

Somehow I couldn't access a customer's small website. It was OK when first uploaded, the best part of a year ago, but had become out-of-date because it went on about 2002 prices etc.

I tried every combination of account names, host names etc. that I could think of.

Have you tried to create a website?

Every ISP is different.

Unless everything is just so... one cannot access these things. Obviously security must figure high. You wouldn't want just anyone fiddling with your special data. Was it that my customer had changed over to "free" Internet and was using a different phone number? Was it that my entries in the upload program were wrong? Maybe it was the procedure?

Accessing webspace is still a bit of a black art. True there are lots of helpful hints on website topics on ISP home pages nowadays but when it comes to filling in the various fields... what exactly is meant by "Host Name", "Host Type", "User ID" and "Account"? Each ISP has their own favourite way of referring to these things. I was sure I had the Lineone data set up correctly, but try as I might, I kept getting error codes and timeouts..

I nearly tore out my hair in frustration. I read and re-read my notes on how I'd made the first occasion successful. I tried adding extra characters, re-typing the password, using different dial up numbers... ad nauseum.

Finally, I gave up and allowed myself to be routed to the Tiscali homepage. This is what one gets when "Lineone" is set in the IE address line.

I went from page to page looking for clues. I thought I'd found the answer in some notes applying to ex-Lineone customers' accounts... but no.. I still got a timeout and an error report. I checked on the meaning of these numbers but failed miserably to succeed.

Eventually I spotted a little note about "Help for setting up a webpages". I filled in the details, pretending to be my customer, as my e-mail address just wasn't acceptable... after all I wasn't a proper customer, was I?

I filled in the form and it was duly accepted.

The next day I received a courteous reply from Keith Sutton at Tiscali. The advice implied to me that the problem had been tied up with Tiscali's rationalisation of the webspaces from absorbed ISPs. I keyed new data into my uploader and quick as a flash up came the webspace. I uploaded the new information about 2003 and it worked like a dream.

Thanks Keith! Keep up the good work.

return to computer problems page