I live on the Internet. I work on the Internet. I keep in touch with my friends on the Internet. Without the Internet, I’m out of business. I’m not the only one. But lately, with my rock-solid AT&T DSL connection (6Mbit/sec. down, 512Kbit/sec. up), I’ve taken it for granted. That was before my connection went sour and I rediscovered just how miserable life can be without a good network connection.
Last Friday my network connection started turning on me. It never completely failed. Instead, it started torturing me with a thousand cuts of minor slowdowns and nagging latency delays. By Saturday morning, my network connection was down to dial-up modem speeds of 32Kbit/sec.
Imagine trying to run a hundred-yard dash in knee-deep mud and you have an excellent idea of how I’ve felt over the last few days. Instead of getting my work done, I’ve been working, with AT&T, on getting my Internet connection back into shape. It hasn’t been easy. I’m falling behind in my real work; and my connection is still having fits.
It could have been worse, though. Yes, I rely on the Internet to do my job, but I don’t rely on network-based applications. I use the Web, instant messaging and e-mail constantly. But I don’t write stories using Google Docs, manage projects with SharePoint Online or use Salesforce for CRM (customer relationship management). If I did, I wouldn’t just be angry and miserable; I might well be on my way to being out of a job as well.