Living in an offline world

It’s hard to believe, but once upon a time there wasn’t an internet. There’s plenty walking around today who have known nothing else but an online and connected world. I’m old enough to remember a time when the internet might have been considered science fiction, and had to find other ways to occupy the time. Weird, huh?

I was a relatively early adopter. I was online from 1997/98 using a very slow dial-up modem which, if I recall right, I had to configure using ASCII. I was online because I was tech savvy and curious and wanted to get eyes and hands on this thing called the world wide web. I’ve been online ever since, just about, and all in.

Over the years my profession moved into related areas, and I took a professional interest in something till then had been a high-end hobby. Since those days it became something much more. We live in a plugged in world, but I was plugged in sooner than most, and deeper. Even in these days of rampant social media (which I also participate in), I’m probably well ahead of the curve in terms of knowledge and use of available online technologies. I live in a connected home.

Well, I used to. I’m typing this while connected to the internet by a pocket wi-fi modem. That means I can do simple things like this (in moderation), can check my email, and do some modest browsing, but I can’t hook up my home to it, streaming movies and movies like I might, or browse using wi-fi sitting on my couch. As yet, I’m still not fixed up to connect to the internet from home.

It was supposed to happen Thursday. You may recall I had to face down work to get time off to meet with the Telstra technician connecting my home with a phone line. Work gave way, but sadly the Telstra techie never arrived. You can imagine how I felt about that.

They were due to arrive sometime between 8 and 12 and wintry, blustery day. At about 11.20 they called to tell me they wouldn’t be coming. They re-scheduled me for another 3 weeks.

A friend has since told me that it’s almost Telstra policy that they never arrive on the first appointment – the same thing happened to him. It’s infuriating that a business like Telstra, which literally makes billions of dollars, has such poor kpi’s that they can’t resource and allocate staff to do fundamental work like connecting telephone infrastructure. It’s not just that they don’t turn up – I shouldn’t have to wait for three weeks in the first place.

Not much I can do about it unfortunately, though I made my displeasure known, and requested a credit for the inconvenience caused. In fact the compensation should account for the extra I have to pay for these premium gigs via pocket wi-fi. In the meantime I’ve got to wait till 21/7 – hopefully – before I can get online again, and life back to normal.

Maybe it’s opportune to stop, smell the roses, and get back to more basic and archaic entertainment, such as reading a book. I read anyway though. I do those things, what I miss are things that add that extra layer of civilisation to my life.

Maybe I should go outside and ride my bike. It’s what I used to do, before there was any internet.

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