When Internet Connection fails
As a family we are heavy Internet Users. We have three laptops and one PC for three (myself and my daughters) of us – all connected to High Speed Internet Broad band Connection. I am on my PC eight to ten hours a day. BSNL is our primary service provider and we have Tata Photon USB (wireless) account as a standby. Of late BSNL connection is almost always flaky and unreliable. For large urgent downloads we become desperate if the Net Connection fluctuates. It is a big problem if you are doing any online transaction like buying a railway ticket or transferring money for paying bills. In recent months the Net used to fail totally. Complaints take anywhere from two to ten days for rectification. This kind of personalized Internet outage makes us very upset, fidgety, nervous and even temporarily psychotic. The pain is written on our faces.
What do I do in such moments of distress? Besides cursing our luck, we try to carry on with 'non-internet-related' work. Go to a cyber café and manage essential work. Go to a friend's house for a couple of hours and grab his PC / laptop. Try completing all pending works that are Non-PC type of tasks.
As mail management contributes to major chunk of my work and I use Gmai, I downloaded & installed Offline Gmail. As the name implies you can manage email even if Internet is not available. Offline Gmail keeps important messages (you specify what to store on your disc) that you have received on your hard disk and also helps you compose messages and keep them ready for sending as soon as Connection is available. More than twice I installed and removed off line Gmail merely because it slowed down my PC very much. I just could not tolerate the low speed.
During the most recent Internet failure lasting for two days, I started exploring contents of my hard disk. What a discovery! Many lost files were recovered. I read many articles that I never remembered having written in the first place. Many e-books gathering e-dust got de-dusted and read. As reading long files was a strain to the eyes I listened to them using Adobe Reader's 'Read out files' option. Here I discovered how errors in punctuation marks in the original can distort reading out. It is important, I learnt, that we put a dot at the end of each sentence and leave a space before we begin next sentence. It was also very funny to listen to some foreign voice reading out Indian names (characters in stories) in my friend VK Narasimhan's e-book of short stories entitled: Pebbles on the Shore.
I have poured out the problems that I face and the alternatives I resort to when Internet fails. What do YOU do? Can you give me any tips in exchange, especially like techniques for stealing Net connection from your neighbor's wireless connection, if left unguarded?