New Hampshire was hit by a major ice storm last Thursday night. The power at my house went out initially around 7:30PM but my UPS system kept the Internet modem and Wi-Fi access point up for a while. The power came back briefly around 10PM but went out for good at midnight. This time the storm took out the cable so there was no Internet. After almost 36 total hours without power or heat (it dropped to 20F or –6C outside) the power finally came back Saturday morning. Now on Monday there is still no cable or high speed Internet at home. I was able to get to the Internet on my cell phone using EDVO and also make phone calls. The wireless networks were a lot more resistant to the effect of the storm than the other utilities. If only Tesla had been more successful with his research on the wireless transmission of power.
Schools are pretty much closed state-wide in New Hampshire as much of the state is still without power. The north side of my town is still without as are several near by towns. You really don’t realize how dependent we are on electric power until you have to go without it. The same is true for the Internet. I found myself stopping several times a day thinking “Oh I’ll look that up on the Internet.” only to catch myself with the memory that the Internet was not available. No looking up bank balances. No looking up that company someone told me about. No ordering that Christmas gift. It felt weird.
How did we get along before? Well my neighbor who has a very old house had a gas stove that didn’t need electric power and a fireplace. We were able to cook and stay warm there. But somehow I don’t see us going back to encyclopedia in place of the Internet. Not for full time at least. And have you seen a typewriter lately? I saw some in a store recently and they were clearly labeled for collectors rather than for people who wanted to use them. Long term there is no going back.
Well that is my observation for today. More useful posts once I have had time to tap the network for a while.