The other day I was in a Starbucks café in Sofia, Bulgaria. Once I’d got over the issue of cold milk in ‘black’ tea (an abomination in the Balkans), and having confirmed they had free WiFi (no password) I sat down, turned on my PC, and attempted to join the Starbucks network on my iPhone.
‘Unable to join the network.’
The usual troubleshooting, restarts, disconnections, connections, to no avail. My tea is getting cold.
‘Your network doesn’t seem to be working,’ I said to the girl at the counter.
‘OK, I’ll restart the router.’
She said it in a nice and generous way, but clearly she’d been saying it hourly.
On the second attempt it worked.
But why, why, why are we always restarting the router? Can anyone tell me? I just don’t understand it. We do it at home, at the office, we ask hotel receptionists to do it, waitresses and counter staff in cafes do it. People spend minutes of their lives switching off that little switch, waiting a few seconds (is that just superstition?) and then switching on again.
Why doesn’t the router know its in trouble and cure itself?