Just As I Thought

Livin’ on the EDGE

When I left for DC — was it a week ago? A month? Seems like a fuzzy nightmare — I disconnected some “non-essential” services at the house, fully expecting to be moving out of the house when I got back. So, today I am living in a house that’s been packed up, with no internet and no TV.
I’m going to try living without TV for a while, since during the writers’ strike there’s nothing much to watch; and even on a good day when the writers were scribbling away, I didn’t think there was much worth watching. Netflix will sustain me quite nicely, I think.
But internet? Oh, boy. That is a staple of life. It is awfully hard to telecommute without the “tele”, and I’ve been reading the newspaper and blogs every day using my iPhone and its EDGE connection. I always thought that the EDGE was fast enough, not as bad as people claimed, especially when out on the road and looking up a few things. But for everyday use? Not so much. Add to that the dismal signal in my house and it takes minutes to load the front page of the newspaper.
I used to have Speakeasy DSL, which — from a customer service standpoint — was fantastic. No ridiculous restrictions on how I could use my connection or what I could or couldn’t download; I could even share the connection with my neighbors. Unfortunately, it was half as fast as they were charging me for, and those charges were a bit high. Still, I called them up and found out that because I’d canceled, I couldn’t just reconnect it. I’d have to have a completely new line installed, with all the hassle that involves and the long lead time.
So, tomorrow Comcast will be out to stick a cable modem on the end of the cable and I’ll live with the threat of hackers and viruses for the time being. At least I’ll be able to surf again without having to go into the office.


  • I think you’ll enjoy the massive speed increase of cable internet over DSL. On Comcast cable modem service, I average better than 10mbps downstream, occasionally more like 15mbps, and bursts even faster. As far as hackers and viruses, just go down to Fry’s and get yourself a Linksys WiFi access point and firewall unit, and do DHCP. That’ll block all the bad stuff, handle your wifi access with better security controls than you get on the Airport units, and give you a few extra ports to plug into in case you need to wire up anything. And you can go get the nifty WiFi adapter for your TiVo, which works well on our network.

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