Saturday, April 6, 2013
After four months of living in a place without internet of any kind (and really, about 5 years of living without legitimate internet), we have surrendered and paid a national company to send us a router and the magic fairy dust that fills the wifi-indicator with dark lines.
When I first moved here five years ago, the city was experimenting with a city-wide Free Wireless For All type of program, which was wonderful, but was also in 2008 and I suspect it was a victim of budget cuts. It peetered out shortly after I moved in. For a long time after I was able to pirate unsecured connections from neighbors -- being careful never to do any banking or bill pay whilst connected to these. Sorry, neighbors. But it was very helpful. At the time I was broker than I've ever been, no day job and living very small indeed, and it was because of this pirating that I got my housecleaning gig. (And was able to keep it, since our correspondence, scheduling, hour-reporting and so on is done entirely online.)
Then I got a future-phone and learned I could tether it to the laptop to get online. Many things didn't load properly and I had to ignore java or flash relient pages (including my own website), but it meant I could send real emails and update my various web-places without much hinderance. Finish a painting, post it, share it. This was all with an unlimited plan of course, and when I updated my phone that had to be scaled back. A lot. I was back to saving a lot of "computer chores" for later and then nursing a cup of tea or getting a cup of soup at a coffee shop to try and get everything done all at once. This then became my ONLY means of internet-ing, as with the latest system update killed all of my tethering capabilities, and my attempts to figure this out (sans internet) was completely maddening. I gave up, and for about four months we've been just going without.
That was an interesting time honestly, because it reorganized home life and work life completely. In some ways things got way more productive around here, without the internet to distract me. It was very clear what I would need to work on at home.
But of course in many ways it has put other aspects of my work life at a standstill, particularly in the midst of the difficult cyborg words I am trying to figure out. And this phase of my career in general, where maintaining a good web presence and sharing images and filling out forms online to apply for grants all need require an internet connection.
It has made me feel, well, disconnected.
It all came to a head last month, when I crunched the numbers and figured out that I was actually spending more on cafe food and drink per month than I would be for slowish internet with our selected national provider. Silly. Plus all that time wasted getting from here to there. I may as well do all this at home. And thus we are.
I've missed weird things. Being able to comfortably read blogs -- simply not possible on the smaller screens, I completely lose interest. (Which is a PERSONAL issue, not a DESIGN issue, nor a CONTENT issue, please don't try and make things even more digestible, tech-world.)
Blogging is another thing that has gone by the wayside. I have touched base here and there, but when the sanctioned internet-time was needed to be spent on more important things, like paying bills, little text-files inevitably started popping up on my desktop, filled with dated stubs. (Those may in fact be post-dated and posted, and if so a link will be posted on my Facebook page when that happens, like my page to stay abreast.)
So here I am, back aboard the USS INTERNETS. I have a whole lot of catching up to do, but the good news is I will be able to talk about it as it happens.