Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Editor's note: Scroll down to the next one. It's almost passable. Read this one if you are have some extra time on your hands. Not as bad as "Here Kitty..." but 3:45 PM posts tend to scoop the bottom of the well, creatively speaking.

Hi All!

Why am I up past my bedtime? Because my pricey purveyor of broadcast, telephony and broadband was DOWN for a few hours today, for the 4th time in 5 days and I was catching up on all sorts of stuff before I settled down to writing. (If you can't get enough of me here, go to eBay and search on the seller, "merkurpro").

I guess it is instructive and illuminating to come to the realization that losing one's internet connection is missed as sorely as an electrical outage.

NSP doesn't give compensation for downtime, so I suppose Comcast won't either.

The thing about an internet outage is that, at least initially, you assume it's on your end and if you fancy yourself computer-literate, you are way too smug and over-educated to call India for service until you have gone thru extensive, system-debilitating machinations which will likey leave you needing to re-install Windows (you DID save the original, din't you?) on a newly re-formatted drive and have a fresh start sans gigbytes of "priceless" data which you will eventually miss less than you think.

Too smart to use backup software? Not me! Got myself Norton Ghost 9.0, made a backup before major surgery on my drive, screwed it up and got a fatal error when trying to restore (a problem that haunts this version of Ghost, I have learned too late).

I've conjured a practical, if not especially ingenious "work around". Save all those shiny mini-frisbees that the dialup people keep sending (although not as much as they used to). By the way, you can make great bird-scaring garden mobiles out of them.

Make sure your old-fashioned 56K (28K if lucky) modem is installed hard by an old fashioned phone jack. When your broadband deserts you, hook up the modem, start your free trial and remember what a pain dial-up speed was. Oh, and remember to cancel the service before the billing kicks in. Once they've got your attention with a charge, they are pretty greedy about holding on to at least a month's worth.

As you gaze out the window waiting for screen-uploads, try to fathom how so many clueless souls are draining their savings with an AOL or MSN account - especially those with automatic credit card charging who have never even USED them.

Oh, and swallow your pride and call service. If you're lucky, you will get a "reassuring" message that the system is temporarily down and that dedicated technicians are moving heaven and earth to get you back on-line. Otherwise you can wait on hold (great opportunity to use that speakerphone) for Sarita to key in your vital statistics and to apologetically inform you that, yes, there seems to be an "unreported" outage in your neighborhood. Not to fear, as a crack squad of highly-trained technicians are working feverishly to get you back into the Web and hence, relative sanity.

Cripes, it's bad enough what Comcast charges, but be patient. Competition will work it's wonders in due time, if the durned gummamint can stay relatively out of it. Meanwhile, I will keep paying until they pry my cable modem (you own your own vs. renting it, right?) from my cold, dead desktop.

Beware the Trojan Horse of City-provided wireless service. The threat of such may keep the commerical providers on their guard, but ultimately a City "Service" would be as inefficient and subtly costly and make as much sense as any City-owned utility. Ok, I'll give you water and transit, but who built the systems and walked away when they become unprofitable? Easier to let the government pick up the mess and hide the real cost thru taxes.

Aside: If you know the history of Kid Kann(sp) and his young accolite "slick" Carl Pohland and the Twin Cities Rapid Transit system, you can write off the Twins helping out much with a new stadium, which is agreed, particularly of old "Save the Met" activists like me, unless MLB allows for municpal franchise ownership. You think he's gonna assume room temp soon? I thought that in 1981 when I got to know him as the Board Chair of the Minneapolis Chamber and I had to snow him about how great a computer genius I would be for a modest fee. Even the Pope wasn't immortal, but I'm not sure about "smile'n" Carl. In any case, his sons haven't fallen far from the tree, and they hardly need to sell the Twins to pay for funeral expenses.

I think I'm getting tired enough now. Off to bed and the reading of Steven Kings autobiographal book on writing. Think I've learned so far is I need to start punctuating my prose with well-aimed, if jarring profanity. Since 10/03/04 I have strained heroically to keep things "clean" but sometime it gets boring so eff it.


Editor's note: Wog's video card had had quite enough of this ceaseless wakeful revising. From what he could read in the Mega-Supersize screen display, all was lost and it was time to reset and lose your work.

Wog reports that he beat the system for once. Although the screen was unreadable, he managed to remember the keystrokes to save and post, not that it made the piece any more readable.


Blogger tweedledeetweedledum said...

This blog is awesome! If you get a chance you may want to visit this spyware software site, it's pretty awesome too!

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is excellent - keep it up! Don't miss visiting this site about computer hardware

8:26 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home