Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fall colors

The fall colors have finally arrived in South Carolina. Today, driving from the home of the big yellow bus, they were very noticeable. More of that later though. Today was notable because this was the final day of a course that has been undertaken. Thus, as the exam was today, from tomorrow the schedule is a lot freer. This should allow time to get out and photograph the autumn colors. Thus, there might be some posts of autumn colors in the next few days.

Photographically there has been nothing happening for a long time. The weekends are normally fully occupied and the days have been occupied with two jobs on a Tuesday, a job and a course on Mondays and Wednesdays. Thursday has been a hectic day of shopping and my main job. Friday starts slowly but after the job week ends, the weekend activity starts on Friday evening.

In other news, as mentioned earlier, the MiFi pad has taken place of a constant internet connection. With a combination of 5GB of data from a mobile phone and the MiFi pad, a constant connection has not been necessary. The MiFi affords connectivity when it's necessary to do something online but data conservation has been the order of the day. With the proliferation of free public access WiFi, the big stuff can be done when a WiFi hotspot is nearby. It's just a case of scheduling around personal and hotspot locations.

The MiFi pad didn't start too brilliantly, gobbling up 1.2 GB of data in 2 days until the background data activity was switched off. Now, 3 weeks later, available data from a 4GB data card purchased when the MiFi pad was put into use stands at a little over 2.5GB. That is really quite impressive and a quick calculation puts MiFi data usage at 100mb a week. Clearly smaller data cards might be in order. The 4GB card cost $40 and will be active for 2 months before it expires. The constant internet connection cost $55 a month with a $5 surcharge should the payment (for which there was no reminder) be forgotten. The data used for 3 weeks has cost a shade under $15.

In terms of speed, the MiFi pad is noticeably slower when accessing full websites but for mobile, it's pretty quick and most websites are now mobile compatible. The purchase price of the MiFi pad was $80 but at this rate, it should pay for itself pretty quickly. If a full $5 of data is used in the 4th week then it will have been less than half the cost of using a constant connection. If usage continues at $20 per month then the pad itself will pay for itself in about 3 months. Overall, the Straight Talk MiFi pad seems to be pretty darned good value.

In terms of connectivity, there has never been an occasion thus far when the MiFi pad has been unable to connect to the network. At the home of the big yellow bus, connectivity was poor but it was usable. This will of course be most beneficial when it is time to start living in the big yellow bus.

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