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Re-installing my life: the perils of keeping everything online

For more than a year, I have been moving my data online as part of an experiment to make the network my computer. With the telecoms disruption caused by a recent earthquake in Taiwan, my world crashed.

As I write this, the Globelines Broadband connection I have at home is still horrendously slow. It is a 7.8 mbps line to nowhere. I was giddy upon seeing for the first time the notification that my connection to Globelines is 7.8 mbps (it used to say 2 mbps). Now, the notice feels like a taunt.

It takes about as much time to load pages with Globelines Broadband right now as it would take a Sinulog contingent to finish a dance. To say the connection is as slow as molasses would be to overstate the viscosity of the substance.

It was a good thing that I use Gmail for mobile application in my phone, a Sony Ericsson k750i using a Smart pre-paid subscription. I can open my GMail messages faster on my phone than I could using Globelines in my home PC. Half of the time, I couldn’t even get past the Gmail login screen when I use the Globelines connection.

With the service disruption, I could no longer access my tasks lists and calendar items–all saved online. I could not access Google Calendar and my activeCollab installation.

I keep all my tasks in my activeCollab installation and without Internet access at home, I felt lost. I could still access these data at the office but I do a lot of work at home and for several days I gave up on trying to connect I cut my surfing hours and chose to spend the time watching documentaries on the Gnostics, Knights Templars, early Christians and other esoteric topics on religion. The holidays seem to bring out all these documentaries on the various aspects of what we now know as Christianity.

When it’s really important, I use the PLDT WeRoam account assigned to my wife but the signal is weak at home and I frequently get disconnected and half of the time, I don’t get optimal speed.

With the Internet connection woes, I decided to re-install applications I ditched earlier in favor of online solutions. I also tried new applications for notes keeping and tasks management. I will be writing about these pieces of software in the coming days. At least the service disruption has spurred me into trying out pieces of software I would have ignored in my bullheadedness to keep everything online.

By Max Limpag

Max is a journalist and blogger based in Cebu City, Philippines. He is co-founder of the journalism start-up InnoPub Media.