Offline ain't that bad

06 September 2008

evdo satellite starbucks wifi

I'm in the process of moving to some farmland in Virginia. It's out in the boonies.

How far in the boonies? No cable. No DSL. GSM is sketchy.

Thankfully, I've moved my personal development to Git as noted previously, which works wonderously. With no TCP in the air, I can still commit, and push my complete history on to the repository-of-record when I do find some radio waves.

So, I spend my mornings at Starbucks using the heck out of their wifi and the afternoons in a small 4-square house surrounded by cows. I've seen various strategies and tools for turning off the internet for some predetermined amount of time, to allow you to focus without distractions. I've indeed found The Farmhouse Method to be great for focusing on coding, and not browsing porn blogs.

Next week, though, I'll take a half-step closer to being somewhat online. WildBlue delivered a dish and a modem to bounce some bidirectional internet signals off a satellite. At a stellar 1 watt broadcasting power. It's not going to be awesome, particularly coming off 6mbps DSL. The latency on interactive traffic is also debilitating. The speed of light is just too slow bouncing all the way up to the bird and back, plus the return trip for the echo.

I also plan to evaluate Alltel's "wireless internet" EVDO service, supposedly unlimited, but also probably not funneling between the mountains to my valley (or "cove" as we call them here in the south).

But then again, I get to wake up and drink coffee with the free-range cattle. That's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

And there's always Starbucks.