Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Disconnected! Not Always By Choice

Even when you think you are in the 21st Century, you can feel like you are still in the Dark Ages. When we left home, we had an understanding from others that finding Internet and cell phone connections in the US and British Virgin Islands was "no problem, mon." In some ways that is true:
  • Yes, your cell phone works ... if you have a world phone that is capable of CMDA and GMS or T or something. Obviously my new Droid 2 does not. And of course, just a few months after purchasing it, they came out with the Droid Global phone! Dennis' Blackberry works most of the time. It just has trouble switching from the US to the British system and back again. For the most part, he is connected with his work world. At least he has a HELP line to call and they keep him in business.
Then there is the other connection: the Internet! Or not! In most marinas, there is access to the Internet once you get their visitor's code. However, the signal is never stellar. It may come on as 54 mbps, but usually functions at less than 3 mbps - often only 1 mbp.
  • That means, Dennis cannot access his firm's Citrix system where all of his files are stored. Being creative, he has found some convoluted and complicated ways to get what he needs - not without a few frustrated signs of disgust!
  • We even bought 200 hours of the local Internet service trying to get our "own" Internet access. It works -sort of! Still no access to Citrix.
  • My whole blog about our week with our friends, Larry and Joan, got lost somewhere in Internet Never Never Land. It was a week's worth of adventures just waiting for a strong enough signal to add the photos. But it all disappeared! So this week we will be retracing many of our tracks with my sister, Vicki and her husband, Larry, so I will try again to take you on a tour of the the BVI! Maybe I will even get photos to upload!
Our friends on SV Smidge, another Hallberg-Rassy, told us about the addition of an antennae and booster to improve the Internet signal. We have not caught up with them yet to get the details. However, we received an email from a cell phone telling us they had "drowned" their computer so they could not get online. I am not sure how they drowned it. I know there have been times when I thought one of the three we have on board was going to be thrown overboard!

In the end, the idea of a virtual office sounds great. The reality is that you are at the mercy of the local service providers. I have chosen not to use my Droid 2 with its 3 G Hot Spot as they tell me it will cost me $20 per day for the data plan here -and they also tell me won't work! Go figure.

I am puzzled because it worked just fine in November and we were whizzing through our work on the Internet. And since it took forever to Verizon to figure our how to make the phone part work in the US VI and it is not capable in the BVI, I figure "why fight it?" See - those after the money are continually making changes to get more of it and add frustration to our lives.

So the answer is: enjoy vacation and don't stress over the office! Actually, one of my tee shirts from Davis Murray says: "The answer is RUM! What is the question?" Have another Painkiller and relax!

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