Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Upgrade Day

It's 5:47 a.m.  Bill is outside doing some clean-up with the tractor.  I usually head out by 6 to do the chores.  

Foster just came upstairs with a pretty persistent hint that he'd like to go outside.  

I told him that Bill probably wouldn't like for me to let him out because it's hard to see little pups in the dark when plowing snow.

Foster seemed to understand.

I decided to get started on the blog early because I may have a visitor coming in a just a few hours,  and I'll need to have my morning items completed.

This visitor, a technician from Sandpoint Satellite,  will come to show me the difference between what I have now for satellite Internet and what I could have with an upgrade.  

I'm leaning heavily toward giving the nod to change my equipment and get me set up for the next increment of faster use of the World Wide Web.

I'm especially interested to see if this upgrade will help me with my daily blog photo-loading problem on this desktop computer.  

Seems like it should, and even that much change will make me happy.

Thinking about this upgrade takes me back to the dark ages when we first hooked on to something resembling the Internet.

It was called Panhandle Free Net, and I can't really remember what all options we had or didn't have.  It's a bit of a fog now nearly 20 years later.

I can distinctly remember, however, the BUSY signals when we'd dial over and over again, trying to log on.

I can also remember virtual friends that I made back in those pioneer days----Melody Martz was the administrator.  Trish Gannon and her daughters were on board, as was Zach Snyder. 

I eventually got to know them in person, even taught Zach, who has since gone on to the big time in the tech world.  Seems like he works for Disney or someone like that. 

In those days, Annie and I spent a good share of our time surfing the old Free Net.

As the memories come back, I do recall that we did have access to some feature---I think it was called "Fetch"---that got us into folders and folers of data at various colleges.  

Through much persistence, playing around with Fetch, I found contact information for one of my cousins, then working at the University of Michigan.

The data struck up an introduction, of sorts, and eventually she and her dad made their way West to visit our family.  

We've since exchanged Christmas cards every winter and have actually gotten together at a family reunion in Chicago.

What a marvel that Internet tool was way back there in the 1990s!  What a marvel it has continued to be in our lives! 

I think of the oodles of family members I've met, thanks to virtual information. These days,  I'm in touch with most of those family members through Facebook. 

My Internet history includes the Free Net, followed by a real live email address and WWW access at Nidlink, then Imbris, now Dishmail.  

My knowledge of the virtual world and its possibilities evolves from another day long ago in the past when I first read a newspaper article about the Sandpoint Digital Cafe (started by Chuck Trapp, I believe)  and wondered what kind of food they served there.

I never did get down to sample the menu because it wasn't necessary---just got hooked up with a modem. 

Anyway, today's newest chapter of my in-home surfing the world---in January, no less---should open some new possibilities.

I do have one concern, though.  The other day I went to You-tube to hear someone play "Old Joe Clark" on the banjo.  

To say I was intimidated with the lightning-fast speed with which that guy plucked his strings would be an understatement.  

Heck, I'm just now getting notes to sound somewhat like the song.  Furthermore, it takes me about five minutes to get through the first two lines,  which my instructor gave me for practice.

You can imagine how scared I'll be once I hear that guy play "Old Joe Clark" after my Internet upgrade. 

Happy Tuesday.  If all works out, next time I'll be sending you blog thoughts at the speed of light.   You'd better crank up your cheaters.

1 comment:

Dennis Brady said...

As a long time Sandpoint resident that travels for work a good part of the year, I always rely on reading your blog to "keep up on local happenings" in our town. Reading about your satellite problem made me write to offer this. I was on DirectWav and WildBlue for years experiencing your same woes. A few years back I switched to Intermax which offers a micro wave technology PLUS unlimited bandwidth. Same price and way better service. If you can see in the direction of their towers, it's a far better choice.