Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Surely Wifi Wants to Be Free 

Today my workplace was affected by the virus/worm that has been infecting Windows 2000 PCs over the past few days, causing my computer there to engage in an endless reboot cycle, until a PA announcement from our IT group told us to disconnect our computers from the network and await further instructions... which trickled down and cleared things up by mid-day. Until when I puttered, read the papers, and puttered. It's amazing how little it seems possible to do without a computer, these days.

I don't plan to recount my Europe vacation here, except (searching for any kind of skiffy relevance) to note that the rates for wireless connections in Amsterdam and Paris were just as exorbitant as they were in Glasgow. By Paris, I was logging on for only an hour at a time, every couple days. In contrast, my last few hotel stays in the US have provided free (if sometimes slow) wifi connections. Travels to Europe provide bracing contrasts to the occasionally stultifying and backward cultural attitudes of the US, but in this tech case, it is they who are sadly behind the times.

Still working my way through stacks of new books, magazines... and audiobooks and galleys, that I've been receiving more of, of late. I need to figure out a way of acknowledging and listing them on the site as well. There will be several Monitor pages of books and mags on the site by this weekend.

UPDATE on Thursday -- All my credit card charges have been posted, so I can summarize actual costs of Wifi access in various cities:

Glasgow Moat House hotel, 1 week: 69 pounds = $127.02 [$.75/hour]
Dublin airport, 1 hour: $3.82
Amsterdam hotel, 1 day: 15 euros = $19.22 [$.80/hour]
Paris hotel, 1 hour: $10.24

(Of course, *everything* is expensive in Paris.)

At home, my DSL service runs $49.95/month, or about $.07/hour.
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Mark R. Kelly

The opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of Mark R. Kelly, and do not reflect the editorial position of Locus Magazine.
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