What can you do nowadays with a computer and no Internet access? Not a lot, as I’ve found out over the last couple of weeks. OK, so I had some Internet access, but this is one of those things where having none at all would be less torturous.
The Tuesday before last our Internet access went to pot. We assumed it was a bad day, as can happen, and only got in touch with BT when it was still going after two days. Then followed the familar pattern of calling and re-calling guys with names like “John” and “Dave” who sounded suspiciously Indian and seem intent on telling me that the reason all of the ten-odd devices connected through our router was slow is because of the firewall settings on one of the PCs. I’m sure I don’t need to go through that horrible process for anyone remotely technologically inclined. We’ve all done it.
And so, after numerous brief engineer visits and failed promises of it being fixed, it’s resolved itself suddenly and without fanfare. A podcast that was taking five hours to download and was being measured in bytes per second is now here in less than three minutes. Thank fuck for that.
What the experience of being all but without the Internet for almost two weeks has taught me is just how reliant I am on it. My Xbox feels empty without Live, my iPod library is staid without daily podcasts (I now have 19 hours of them), and I might as well not have a computer without those magical airborne bits and bytes flying in from the other room. And yet I can’t help but think how sad it is that I’m so completely reliant on one source for entertainment…