Monday, 24 June 2013


I can remember back in about 1991 or 92, when I worked for Unilever Engineering in The Netherlands and shared an office with André, I was introduced to the Internet. One day André told me there was something I just had to see. So off he took me to the huge laboratory library where there was a computer that had “Internet Access”. He showed me a search engine (probably Alta Vista, but I can’t really remember) and he said all I had to do was type in anything I wanted information on and the world would open to me. I did ask him what I could possibly want to know, that wasn’t in a book in the library and he was a bit stumped for a minute then he said “the results of a sailing competition”. So we searched and sure enough we found the results of a sailing competition in The Antilles. I must say I was completely under-whelmed and wondered why anyone would want to pay a small fortune for “Internet Access”.

Roughly twenty year later, our “Internet Access” has been cut off and I am lost and I mean truly lost. Our Internet connection went down at about 20.00 last Sunday (yes I can tell it that accurately - which shows just how addicted I am) and we still have no connection, one week later. I am frantic. We have been begging and borrowing computer and WiFi connections for the last week (a BIG thank you to all who have helped so far) and I reflect on how my attitude has changed over the last twenty years. My first port of call when I want to know something is to “Google” it, not look at the brochure we picked up last week that lies on a pile in the living room - that is too far to walk and not to go to the multitude of books we have on our shelves – that takes too long or even pop into the local library – that takes even longer, no, I get all my information these days from the Internet and being cut off has been a sobering lesson on how dependant I am to this technology.

It is rather reminiscent of the time I lost my watch and ended up looking at my empty wrist every ten seconds, getting more and more wound up with each look at the empty place where that hallowed thing had been. It took a while, but now I don’t mind that I have no watch. But there again, that was thirty years ago, so I have got used to it. I do wonder how long will it take me to stop re-setting the “Box” every time I walk past, in the vain hope that it might stop flashing “PPP” and give me the time, thus showing we are back “On-line”.

 photo internet2.gif

So apologies to all of you out there, from here in cold turkey land (and not the yummy stuff you have in the days following Christmas) - I won’t be answering my mail as quickly as normal, let’s hope the slow wheels of France Telecom will get me back to normal soon or maybe like my watch, I may just get used to not having the Internet anymore.

EDIT: As of late last night we are ON-LINE again - life is really wonderful isn't it !

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