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Pick of the Literate 
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Monday, January 7, 2008

Life with out Broadband

Life does go on without broadband. It is amazing how dependent you become on getting your email, notice of your bills, your credit card and bank statements, ordering your prescriptions let alone blogging. On vacation, I found good connections in each hotel we stayed in. We don’t have broadband or even a land line where we are staying. My tech resistant wife even asked what good is a computer without internet access.

We are making every other day trips to the library. It is adequate but barely. My normal response when I hear something on the news that I want more data on is to google it. When I think of something I want to relate to a son or a friend, I email. When I want to see my grandchildren, I video conference. Convenience and immediate access is a big part of my internet experience. I hoped to see multiple available wireless connections while here. I intended to track down the strongest signal and offer them payment for use through out the month. There are ZERO wireless signals being seen. At the last hotel we stayed in, I had 6 different wireless networks seen and four of them were unsecured. My son said the reason there are no signals available is that everyone where we are staying is old, with the unspoken assumption that they are also computer illiterate. I am aware most folks in my age group are not particularly interested in computer literacy. However, three of my age appropriate friends, just sprung for the Verizon wireless modem. So we aren’t all illiterate but perhaps I am presently ensconced in a computer illiterate environment.

Speaking of Verizon, or perhaps cursing, I have a great new Verizon phone which gets a next to nothing signal in my home. I get next to nothing signal where I am presently staying. How Verizon can lay claim to their vaunted best network is beyond me. I don’t see it but the point here is that if I can’t get a Verizon signal on my phone, I can’t expect to get a good signal on their modem. I have considered smoke signals, it is definitively broadband but not too conducive to computing.

My new phone, see previous blog, claims to be a wireless modem. Verizon doesn’t seem to be aware of that or at least the customer service reps I have spoken to are unaware of that feature of the phone. I have emailed Samsung tech support several times to no avail. No response, so I don’t know if they know about this feature they claim or if we are back to blowing smoke. Regardless, if it is using the Verizon network, which since it is a Verizon phone seems a reasonable assumption, I wouldn’t get a decent signal anyway.

I am listening to the New Hampshire candidate debate and frustrated to no end because I can’t get online and verify some of the trash talk. We need something better than we have. The Internet is a daily part of my life, I won’t die without it but I do miss the easy access. Frankly I miss my grandchildren more, but that is my priority. There is life beyond broadband, I have been reading about a book a day and that too would not be happening if I was pulling down my normal net time. I am golfing, swimming and fishing too. So don’t get me wrong, vacation and retirement are great but I really miss my broadband.

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