So – recently my home-hosted Mac server’s boot drive took a powder, and needed to be hosed and rebuilt. The server functionality has proved significantly more difficult to rebuild than in the past, primarily a function of orphan docs clogging Google search results pertaining to this or that combination of this or that system and server software release.

At about the same time, AT&T cut off my phone’s data plan with no notice, something which I learned after an increasingly aggravating three hours on the phone with various personages in customer service and tech support. In AT&T’s case, the cutoff was the result of a policy rather than a functional issue – my Treo, which I have used with an AT&T $20/mo plan called MediaNet, is apparently not eligible for the plan, even though I have had the plan for three years and was initially set up with that plan by Cingular’s CSRs in the first place.

Cingular, for future readers, purchased the juddering, smoking ruin of AT&T mobile and rebranded. This is something which confuses the shit out of me when I go to pay the bill online. Each time, I struggle to remember that Qwest, my local landline provider, which was once AT&T, is not the new Cingular. My bill pay service won’t let you change the names of the accounts once you have it set up, so this is likely to get worse as, oh, gas companies purchase municipal utilities and are eventually absorbed by corporations owned by leathery-skinned ETs who arrive from Sirius five years from now.

Anyway, fuck AT&T, and I’m ready to move on. Being of conservative mien with regard to functioning hardware, I just want to swap SIMs in my current cell phone farm, which kinda-sorta limits me to T-Mobile, the other GSM provider in the US. Naturally, figuring out T-Mo’s plans and options is an undertaking akin to parsing Pentagon and TSA press releases regarding ‘progress’ in making America more ‘secure.’

Complicating matters, on Monday, T-Mo rolled out a $10/mo VOIP landline add-on for extant customers, which, once you really wade through the details, requires either DSL or cable, so your landline is likely to remain in place unless you know enough to buffalo your Qwest rep into dropping the charges for the POTS line while keeping the DSL in place.

Meanwhile, my server rebuild project keeps getting shorted time.

I really hate all of this needless complexity. As implemented in our culture, it’s effectively a non-governmental tax on time, and I resent the shit out of it. I suppose I could just Craigslist my phones and my computers, and transfer the mercury and lead disposal burden to shiftless cheap-ass hippies.

Come to think of it, there is a certain appeal in that idea.