Geeks With Blogs
programmer_mike a managers view from development hell

I picked my new flat because the location was perfect for my beautiful 5 year old daughter. Easy access to parks, rivers and shops would fill our weekends with adventure and discovery.

Having carefully selected the ideal location for my fledgling family, I then reached for my pc and checked that broadband was available.


I was in luck (my move could proceed) but my broadband supplier quoted 10-15 working days to move over my account. 10-15 working days is 3 calendar weeks by my calculations. Could I last that long? Would I be able to manage with only dial-up in the interim? Would I have time to care? Would the world pass me by, and would it wave as it went?


For the first week, as predicted, my life became a torrent of cardboard boxes, phone calls, van trips and flat packed furniture. (Tip: If you don’t own an electric screwdriver, buy one NOW!)

Then came that niggling feeling. How much was sitting in my inbox? Did I need to check my internet banking? Wasn’t it about time I dialled into work and put in a few hours?


The LED on my router remained ominously red.


What followed was a full 2 months of call center hell.

I can’t find you on the system”.

“You’re on the system twice”.

“Our systems are down at the moment, can I call you back?”

“All of our supervisors are in a meeting together”.


And finally


“You seem to have fallen into a black hole in our system”.


Pure purgatory. Much bad language.


And so to the main purpose of this post. Could I survive without broadband access for a whole 2 months?


...Well no quite frankly. It was hell.


No email means no techy social life.

No Internet banking means worrying about finances.

No internet access means no online forms and enquires means calling the helpline (Aaaaaaaghhhh)!

No Internet Shopping (Possible monetary savings need to be weighed up against the hell of having to pay over the odds to venture into real shops and deal with disinterested teenage morons who struggle to operate a barcode scanner).

No access to work systems means guilt over impending deadlines and work untouched.

No access means that Vista turns into a blur of error messages every time you switch it on. (Anti -virus updates fail, windows update fail, just about every program you have installed want to get some kind of content from the web, and therefore takes 30 seconds every time you click on anything before responding with an error message.


No access to google maps meant that I couldn’t even find anywhere to visit whilst my tech life was cryogenically frozen. Think about it. How many times to you “just look that up on the internet” on a daily basis. Train times, route maps, contact numbers, tv schedules. Its ridiculous.


Then there’s content. News sites, blogs, iTunes Store, podcasts. All suspended. All silent.


Electricity, gas, water, high-speed internet access. I need them all, and I can’t live without them. I have lived in a cultural abyss for two months and I never want to go back. If you’re thinking of moving, think twice. Maybe you can see if your new neighbours will share their wireless connection?

This post is just a warning. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful daughter and a sensational girlfriend to distract me in my hour of darkness and despair. I visited parks, I breathed sweet fresh air, I talked on the phone. I even take lunch breaks now, and a lot of people would consider that progress. But I’m connected now. I’m downloading on my home pc whilst sending emails on my work machine. I’m looking for holidays on the internet outside of office hours and I’m working through the night once more.

Please don’t take my toys away again.

Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2007 7:03 PM | Back to top

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