We Need Wireless Power

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.

Comments (6)

  1. Mike Foley says:

    Hey Alfred,

    I’m still without power in Hubbardston. Generators are looking pretty good to me right now! Maybe when the stock market goes back up.

    Anyways, my 6yr old son saw an antique typewriter (aren’t they all now?) and said it was an "old fashioned texting machine". Wow…


  2. ben says:

    I keep a couple typewriters in the computer lab (more as a novelty) but they are useful for explaining "why" certain thing are, such as the difference between "Enter" and "Return". I’ve also been known to loan them out to students who want to interrupt my class to type a paper they waited too long to work on. But the funniest thing was a 7th grade girl who just stared at the keys – she couldn’t find the ALT key to make smileys!

  3. gflint says:

    I have a sliderule, some stamps and a pencil.  Who needs electricity!

  4. I’ve been in more than a few classrooms where there was a sliderule on the wall behind glass with a note to "in case of power outage break glass." Kids always ask "how does that work?" When I was in HS most classrooms had a huge sliderule hanging above the black board. How things have changed.

  5. gflint says:

    I have one of those six footers hanging in my office now.  A nice bright yellow Pickett.  I also have a 4 footer and about 50 regular size.  I also have some pocket protectors and wear a sign accross my chest that says "GEEK".  Now if I can only find a manual portable typewriter I will be ready for the Apocalypse.  Oh yes, and a dictionary so I can check my spelling.

  6. I wonder how many of our students can use the dictionary let along the typewriter or sliderule? Spell check is everywhere these days.

Skip to main content