Bank Shot

Some of my most popular columns have been about my continuing struggle for good Internet service from my home in rural Sonoma County, California. From bad dial-up to bad DSL (IDSL—don’t get it) to Starband satellite Internet to my current set-up, where I use a 10.5 kilometer wireless link to borrow DSL service from a guy down the valley who I found by looking through a telescope, readers have followed, sympathized, and sometimes even copied my efforts. For the moment, I am satisfied with my Internet connection. With Starband as an alternate, my wireless DSL connection is solid and reliable. It does violate the service agreement with SBC Pacific Bell Internet, but as long as I am not stupid enough to print the name of my down-valley partner, I don’t think the phone company will do anything to stop me, nor do they probably care. So I should be happy, right? Wrong. Frustrated engineer that I am, I want still greater speeds. And as of this morning, I have them—two megabits-per-second straight to chez Cringely. But remember, your mileage may vary.
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