What next?

How slow was the internet the other day? A knitter could have made a good start on a sweater in the time it took to load a page. Come to think of it, having a hobby such as knitting might not be a bad idea if things don’t improve.

Here at The Leader, our new VOIP phone system works just fine unless somebody is downloading or uploading something. Then, invariably, the person on the other end of the line will say: ‘You’re breaking up!’ or, ‘Hello? Hello? Sorry, I can’t hear you!’ This is often followed by foul language at our end that it’s good they can’t hear at their end.

Speaking of the internet, when it craps out like that it makes you think about the good/bad old days before it existed. How did we manage to find things out and communicate? One way was to make a lot more phone calls. Sometimes it was to ask people to fax you documents. The old facsimile machine used to be humming non-stop. Now it sits there gathering dust. There are probably idle fax machine factories all over Silicon Valley, or wherever they were made.

It’s a good thing we don’t have to use the phone as much these days, because – as noted above – it doesn’t work that well. On the other hand, we do have to use it a lot due to COVID restrictions. There’s no way around it; if the internet goes on the fritz we’re pretty much hooped.

Nobody saw this coming. Or maybe a few did. One early internet visionary in this area told us 20 years ago or so (it might have been 25) that one day our cars and even our refrigerators would be connected to the web!

‘Yeah, whatever,’ (We thought, but didn’t say).

Well, guess what. In an Edmonton store the other day, there was a fridge with a big screen on the front of it. Just as predicted. You can get it to answer the door for you, remind you of a meeting – what have you. Check the weather, chat with friends – even keep your beer cold.

What next?

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