Internet Withdrawal

Having moved recently to a house wired only with telephone copper, my family and I are now into our fourth week without an internet connection. It’s a really frustrating way to learn just how dependent we’ve become on the net.

For one thing, we don’t own a printed telephone directory, and our only street map of greater Stockholm is in the car. We can’t do on-line banking, and we can’t mail-order stuff. I can read email on my smartphone, but my wife’s going nuts over being cut off. And simple information searching — woah, I miss Wikipedia five times a day. Suddenly we have to use our printed cooking books again.

I can’t work from home as my files are all on a DAV server elsewhere. As for recreation, I guess as a blogger and habitual forum denizen I’m also the hardest-hit family member. Junior’s adapted well, installing my old Dungeon Keeper CD on our PC instead of gaming on-line. Good thing we haven’t allowed him to take up WoW, or I suppose he’d refuse to leave his mom’s place for more than a few hours at a time. Anyway, everyboy’s been knocked flat by the flu, except for myself who took a shot for it, thank Dawkins.

I can’t understand why, in this day and age, a DSL connection still apparently requires the manual intervention of a technician in the local phone station. The advertised wait is several weeks! After ordering the service, I got the modem in days, but it’s useless before the rewiring’s been done. And of course there’s been the holidays.

Oh well, I’m having plenty of time to unpack and get our new place organised. And read books. Only I’m running out of them and would like to order a few on-line…

Comments

  1. #1 Miguel
    January 7, 2009

    Wow, grandpa! How did you learn stuff in the olden days? You know, before Wikipedia was invented. *chuckle*

  2. #2 Erik J
    January 7, 2009

    Wow, I feel you. When hurricane Gudrun swept past here a couple of years ago we were without electricity for four days. That may not be much, but to shiver in bed trying to fall asleep makes you feel for homeless people. And even as much as that sucked, not being able to use the PC or browse the internet was really the worst blow. In today’s day and age you really are gimped without it, and it really is an addiction.

    I’m looking forward to telling my future grandchildren how my family first ‘got internet’ on our slow-ass modem. Thems were the times.

  3. #3 Kaleberg
    January 7, 2009

    DSL in the States is often delayed by various resistors, capacitors and inductors along the line. They were necessary in the old days for proper voice transmission. In fact it was Heaviside, of the Heaviside layer, who developed this technology which made long distance, and apparently middle distance, telephony possible.

    Unfortunately, we have much better signal processing, so we can use the same wires to transmit a lot more information, so now we have to rip all of that stuff out, or at least most of it. We had been using DSL for five years when we started having line problems. QWEST, our provider, was very responsive and within a day one of their people was prowling our backyard ripping out another resistor and a filter of some sort that had been missed earlier.

    Good luck with your DSL.

  4. #4 DianaGainer
    January 7, 2009

    This is your great opportunity to do some old-fashioned anthropology, researching how people did stuff in the olden days, before computers! Like making S’mores, roasting marshmallows over an open flame, hoofing it down to the local library and trying to convince the librarian that it’s really okay to read a book on ancient Egyptians — that you weren’t planning to WORSHIP them or anything, then dragging the little, red wagon full of them heavy books that you checked out back to the flat to read by the light of the flashlight or kerosene lantern, whichever still works, while munching them S’mores and blackened marshmallows.
    You mean to say your DSL hooker-upper actually admits he ain’t coming for weeks instead of telling you day after day you gotta be there, waiting on him, morning, noon, and night, 6 weeks running? Man, I am SO-O-O-O envious!

  5. #5 Martin R
    January 8, 2009

    Another bothersome thing is that we can’t get rid of all our moving-stuff boxes, the kids’ old bunk bed and lots of other discarded gear, as we can’t put it up for sale or donation on-line. /-:

  6. #6 Mark P
    January 12, 2009

    In the benighted US, we live too far from telephone company equipment for DSL, and cable is probably a mile and a half away. We lived with slow (even slower than normal) dialup for a couple of years before getting a cell phone wireless modem, which, although fairly slow, is a miracle compared to what we had.