Monday, October 20, 2014

A brave new world.

Today is the first day of NOT using a DSL connection. This blog entry is being typed on a laptop while the laptop is connected to a mobile phone via a WiFi connection. The connection is 2G, not 3G and seems fast enough for basic web and text. It's not something that's going to be good for large file uploads or for Youtube. On the other hand, this site doesn't actually do much with Youtube aside from the odd Photography 101 video.

Tomorrow, two things ordered a few days ago will arrive at a designated pickup point. The first is a refurbished Nexus 7 from 2012 and the second is a MiFi pad. The bizarre thing was that the two items were in store in Walmart but if I'd bought them then and there, in person I'd have paid 20% extra for both. Buying them online from Walmart and picking them up, the price was 20% lower. Now while $20 is not a huge amount, when all it takes to save $20 is a couple of days wait and dropping into a location I pass daily to pick them up, it seems insane not to take the cheaper route. It's not as though the internet is desperately important!

The old DSL was shut off on Friday (well, it should have been - I called their number and asked them to shut it off). Here's where a Comcastesque story should have been written but alas Windstream was quite pleasant and not pushy. The conversation went along the lines of...

  • Me.. I'd like to cancel my Windstream Internet.
  • Windstream... Why? Is there something we've done wrong?
  • Me.. I'm moving house.
  • Windstream... Would you like to port your account to a different address?
  • Me... I'm moving to an RV full time.
  • Windstream... OK. Well, thanks for 3 years of being a customer. You'll get two letters. One confirming closure of the account and one with the final bill. You're paid up to date. 

It was all really quite civilized, which was a little disappointing. The truth is that while I'm not moving imminently, I did decide to go over to MiFi instead of using Windstream. It was something I'd considered several years ago but instead of going MiFi, I'd gone DSL. This is a mistake that's now being corrected. It would be folly to say that Windstream did not prompt the change by adding a $5 charge to my Windstream bill when I forgot (for the second time in 3 years) to pay my bill on time and paid in full, the next month.

With careful moderation of internet usage - IE using my refurbished tablet for Youtube videos when at a WiFi hotspot and with care not to remain online when I'm not by my computers, there is no reason on earth why a combination of the 5GB of data from my phone and a few extra GB from the MiFi pad should not get me through an entire month.

Uploading photos is something that will have to be done from the tablet and public wifi. There are added benefits to having restricted internet. One of those is I'll probably do a lot more housework (which I've been neglecting) and the other is that I'll probably work harder on a course that I'm doing. It's just too easy to flop down in front of the computer after a day's work rather than study.

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