Thursday, August 30, 2012

The internet is not MAGIC

It's official - we are slaves to the internet.  Thankfully the internet does not manifest as Jabba the Hutt and I don't have to wear a bikini with a collar and leash - so that's a plus.  (Although to many, this might be deemed a perk.)

Not the Internet

While in Toronto last week, we found ourselves without wireless and rather than spending mucho dineros at Starbucks and the Second Cup in beverages/food we didn't need while leeching their Wi-Fi, we instead paid $200 for a Rocket Hotspot from Rogers and started a Flex Rate wireless plan.  No, the math does NOT work out.  But now we HAVE the hardware should this situation arise in the future.

I know... you're thinking "What, you couldn't survive for a week without the internet?!?"  No, in fact we couldn't.  I  need email.  Not like it's my heroin or anything, but I communicate with the cast, musicians and crew via email.  I required the ability to be able to check in at least a couple of times a day - and David needed to be able to work online when he wasn't troubleshooting the tech at the theatre.  We had thought we would have wireless at the theatre, but we did not.  Upon this realization, a medium-sized panic ensued.

I so wish that this could be animated into the panic dance that David and I did.

Shortly thereafter, David made the executive decision to bite the bullet and purchase the Hotspot.  David knows that neither he nor I are organized/have energy enough  to finish our day at the theatre and then spend an hour at a coffee shop  juggling administrative tasks.  Plus, we had Rissa with us who would not have appreciated the extra hour of keeping herself occupied, even if we were feeding her.  PLUS, I would have gotten really fat last week if I'd had more than one large flavoured decaf soy latte a day. No, we didn't save any money doing it this way, but we did conserve precious amounts of sanity.

I realized the first day with the Hotspot that I know NOTHING about how the internet really works.  It is not, in fact, magic and mostly free.  I thought that if you weren't opening new pages online and downloading crap, that you were not using bandwidth.  Apparently, I was wrong.  David should have explained how data is transferred and what bit rate exactly is before before he said "We're good to go - you can check your mail!"  

We got the bill today for our first few hours using the Hotspot - you know you're in trouble when your bill takes 8 pages to explain everything.  We used 214.40 MB (megabytes) in approx 4 hours of owning the Hotspot.  I was not downloading ANYTHING - I had thought.  I was again wrong.  It wasn't that I had been mis-informed, but rather that I was missing information - my knowledge regarding the internet and its true nature was... apparently almost non-existent.  I HATE when I'm stupid - even if it's due to ignorance.  I know enough that if you have a laptop that has Wi-Fi capability but don't have Wi-Fi anywhere near you that you can't connect to the Net.  I know that.  I know that one shouldn't download large things or get huge updates when you're worried about bit rate.  But I really didn't know that once you are on a site like gmail that information just pretty much flows like a tap and sucks like a dock hooker on the first day of the Merchant Marines' shore leave.

And there's this too: Our first bill from Rogers was only $40.89 - and I thought GREAT!!  We totally didn't use as much as David feared we had.  YAY US!!!  Then I realized that $35 of that $40.89 was  the activation fee and the rest was just for the first few hours we had the equipment in our possession.  Anyone care to guestimate what our bill will be for the other 4 full days we were using this technology?  David suspects we'll be in the upwards of $100 for the time.  But really, that's only about $25 a day - which we totally would have spent at a coffee shop,  PLUS - we now OWN the "HOTSPOT" - how many people can say that??  When we speak of it, we can instead pretend that it's not something the size of a deck of cards but is instead a Toronto nightclub - in which we have now invested with other hip, happening people.  I can confabulate with the best of them.   Plus this way... I didn't get fat.

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