Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Connection2003-08-03 12:10
by Flemming Funch

Lots to report on, but right now I'm having a really hard time connecting to the net. We've moved into our new house, and I did reserve a phone line, which should have worked from yesterday, but I suppose they must have connected it to the wrong wire or something, as none of the plugs are working. Anyway, after that works I can at least dial up again. And, after I succeed in getting a bank account, I should then be able to order DSL, which should take less than a week to get going.

Right now I got so desparate for an Internet connection that I drove around on the streets of Toulouse with the MacStumbler Wi-Fi scanner turned on on my laptop, until I found an open connection. I'm parked on the street in front of College Lamartine right now as I'm typing this and picking up my e-mail. I suppose it is a school of some sort.

One gets so easily used to an always-on broadband connection that one forgets to prepare well for times when one doesn't have it. My work is pretty much based on being connected all the time, and it becomes really painful when suddenly I can't. Although I theoretically could do all sorts of work while off-line, I'll usually quickly run into things I don't have handy locally, because it is normally so easy to access things anywhere.

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3 Aug 2003 @ 19:25 by mx @ : good to see you back..
I got worried a bit, heheh...

3 Aug 2003 @ 22:37 by ashanti : Co-netted
Now you know how those of us who do not live in easy, affordable net-access land feel! :-)  

4 Aug 2003 @ 10:19 by Jon @ : Connecting to Connected
I imagine that there are probably good worthy business opportunities helping people there get and feel more connected, or to have better more reliable net connections - and to help them use the net.  

4 Aug 2003 @ 19:51 by George Dafermos @ : at least you didn't give up
It's true that many european countries are far behind the states when it comes to connectivity. And you must consider yourself lucky for having found a wi-fi spot. welcome to europe, the land of the disconnected:-) maybe that helps explain why in europe the penetration of mobile phones is larger.

i admire your courage though, and i am sure you're gonna need it to deal with the bureacracy. eight or nine months ago, when i first arrived in greece after a long time, i paid a visit to the national telecommunications provider with the intention of setting myself up with the latest fashion. so i stood there, trying to explain why i needed somethig faster than a dial-up and struggling to make any sense out of their admittedly confusing pricelist. somehow it seems i lost my temper, and they made themselves very explicit about owning the Net. honestly, that's what they said: "look son, we own it, therefore you'd better go along with what we have to offer"!!! this may have something to do with the fact that only two homes out of ten are currently connected in greece. here, i wouldn't even dream of Wi-Fi, although a friend is having something on the works, and there may be grounds for hope;-)  

4 Aug 2003 @ 22:08 by ashanti : Digital Imperialism
Interesting - I had no idea it was also backward in Europe, making it as hard and as expensive as possible to get access. Am I correct in assuming that in fact, the USA is the only country in the world where citizens can affordably spend hours on the Net, while the rest of us have to be quite wealthy to spend the same amount of time online?  

5 Aug 2003 @ 06:11 by ming : Connectivity
Actually the DSL offers in France are now as good as in the U.S. and the coverage area is better, and it is faster to get. Same in Denmark where I set up a line at my Mom's. Here in France they basically give you the modem and you go home and plug it in, and you're on. In Los Angeles it took me a month to get DSL, involving several visits from technicians from different companies.

However, at least in France, it is all more centralized and bureaucratic. There will typically be some kind of dialogue going on at a government level on whether people need to have broadband or Wi-Fi or whatever. And if they decide yes, they'll make sure pretty much everybody can get it. If they haven't gotten to the yes, then it is very hard. Here, they've decided to make DSL really easy, and from the news it sounds like they're about to make a big push for ubiquitous WiFi soon.  

5 Aug 2003 @ 06:14 by ashanti : Cool.
I dream on. One day, when South Africa grows up, we too will be able to have affordable, equitable access. That's what we're working for, anyway. :-)  

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