… to paraphrase “Bones” McCoy in Star Trek.
My satellite hardware has died after just over five years. I’m surprised to find out how dependent on it I’ve become – not only for work but for blogging and communication with friends all over the world. Once I would have phoned a friend and heard the nuances in their voice, but until last Monday it’s been shooting off email messages and blogging that’s kept me in touch – even to the extent of emailing Andrew in his studio across the courtyard. It’s amusing to think of the signal going from my computer to the magic box in the studio, then up to the satellite, back down to the box and across the room to his computer, crossing a total of 20 human steps via several thousand kilometres.
Most of my work is emailed to me, and I email the edited result back to my clients. I spent some time calling them the old-fashioned way to explain the situation and they’re fine with it.
Being in a “remote” area (if 30 minutes from a major rural centre is “remote” – apparently so because we don’t get any mobile phone reception or broadband over phone lines), we qualify for a government subsidy. This is very welcome as satellite dishes and related hardware are pricey. Once we complete the paperwork, it shouldn’t take too long to be back in the sky. One estimate is two weeks, so I’ll not be blogging or regularly emailing for at least that long. I miss it already!
The upside is that we’ll be swapped to a newer satellite and the download and upload speeds will be much faster and the service cheaper.
Star Trekking across the universe, indeed!