I am sure anyone my age, 57, would recognize the sound of a blazing 300 baud modem connecting. It is a distinctive sound that isn’t easily forgotten. It is hard for me to remember exactly how I dealt with my dial up modem. When did I check my email? Now I just check it anytime I want. At work we could get online to send files and check emails, but back then emails were something in addition to our snail mail and faxes. Oh yes, faxes were the big thing and to be quite honest I still consider my fax machine to be very important to my business.
So on a recent Sunday night my internet was moving a bit slow. My routine is to unplug the modem from Time Warner Cable and unplug my netgear router. I typically plug the modem in first and let all the light come on then plug in the router. This always seems to make my computer run faster. Trouble is when I put the plug the modem back up, I got zilch! No lights whatsoever, which I knew was a very bad sign. So knowing I couldn’t get on the internet, I would just get back to AutoCAD and get some drawing done. I had forgotten how much the internet has become an integral part of my life, as I was working on my project I needed to determine what sizes were available for walk-in-coolers and without thinking I immediately switched to my browser to google “walk in cooler”, only to be quickly reminded that I had no access. We use to rely on Sweets Catalogs for such information, but I can not tell you how long it has been since I have had a set of Sweet’s in my office. I have been a Google users for a long time and it occurred to me just how dependent I had become. No gmail, no Google calendar, no Google voice, no Google keep, no Google chrome, and no Google drive pretty much has me grinding to a halt. I do use Libre Office sometime for letter writing, but I am leaning more towards Google drive (which use to be known as Google Docs).
Obviously the nicest thing about using all these internet services is that I have access at multiple computers, as long as I have the internet. Since we can buy hot spots or use your phone from your cellular provider, if you have to have internet you can pretty much have it anytime you want,as long as you are willing to pay for it.
I am still waiting on fast file transfers. I use dropbox, but it takes time to the files to sync. You could use remote access software such as teamviewer or logmein. I believe these have free versions, but one of the limits of free is no file transfers. To get around this just use the software to remotely send a file from the computer you are accessing to dropbox and then you can use your local computer to download it where you are. Again, this takes time.
So it occurred to me that the internet really makes my life better and easier, but when you have all your eggs in one basket it is never a good thing. I do have a 128 GB jump drive I carry on my key chain. At least once a week I sync my drawing files from my work hard drive to my jump drive, so I always have my CAD files with me. I also use carbonite for cloud backup and run a local backup program that backs up my files to a 1 TB USB external hard drive. I have CAD on a laptop at home, so I can draw from there if I needed. Let me warn you, if you have an older Laptop, as I use an IBM T60, if you plug in a 128 GB jump drive it feels like it sits there for days accessing the files. I came to the conclusion that the laptop is too slow and the drive is too big just to try to draw on one project. What you need to do is to take a smaller jump drive and just put the drawing files you want to work on in it, otherwise you might go watch a movie while computer tries to read all the files on your 128 GB hard drive.
So yes there are workarounds if you don’t have access to the internet, but you must plan ahead. We are expecting some freezing rain in Central Carolina today, so I will prepare to work from home this afternoon. I do make backup plans, but boy it sure is nice to be online 24/7!