Yep, school is back in session and I managed to get my internet connection working again. I've never installed the software that Charter Communications bundles with their cable modems, and I had not intended to start this past Saturday when I received my self-installation kit. However, WinXP wouldn't see the connection to the internet (Linux did!) and I didn't feel like fiddling around all afternoon to get the thing working, so I folded and popped the CD in. Once the installation software was done taking down my life story, everything seemed to be working great. I removed all of the software that Charter had installed (everything that showed up on the control panel under "Add/Remove Programs" anyway) and my connection was still good - proving that Charter's software is absolutely useless.
Of course, Charter being what it is, it wasn't long until things started going wrong. Shortly after dinner, I noticed that AIM had been disconnected. After some random pinging and poking around in XP's settings, I determined that it wasn't a problem on my end of things. Actually, I could still get things to work if I plugged the modem directly into the cable outlet instead of going through the splitter. Turns out the signal levels weren't where they needed to be in order for the modem to work properly (which explained why the cable TV still worked). Anyway, a technician came out Tuesday and got everything working again. I have to give credit to my dad who suggested the signal problem when I told him about the problem Friday Saturday night.
Anyway, everything is up and running smoothly. Now I can regal everyone who reads this blog (all two of you) with plenty of exciting, thought-provoking entries sure to keep them awake for hours.