Sunday, August 15, 2004

Wireless Internet Update

I've written in the past about how great it has been to have the Coffee Plantation so close to home, since I've been using their wireless access to get my daily internet connection time. I've honed my skill at getting through my daily romp across the internet: download a days worth of e-mail, check a particular group of web sites that are on my daily list -- the Key West Citizen, Drudge Report, My and the three family sites in which I'm registered, several blogs that I follow closely, and a couple of comprehensive news sites. When time permits, I'll read the news headlines and pursue some of the articles. In that regard, I've found that the "Open in Tabs" ability of the Mac OS X-only Safari Browser is a real time saver, because I can create a single-window that includes related information, save that window, and read everything in it at home later on. The same with e-mail. The only thing I miss is the ability to write a quick e-mail reply to something, or to dash off an e-mail when the thought strikes me. That is a rather complex process in the current mode, since I have to use an internet e-mail program rather than Outlook Express for Mac, which is still my preferred e-mail program.

We've begun getting invitations from Comcast to sign up for cable internet service here at home, so I'm guessing that it's now active here in the Village. I'll be checking tomorrow, and on-line, all-the-time service may be right on the horizon. I'll still go to the Plantation, but it will be for the social interaction, not the technology fix.

The day is not far off when wireless access at a greater distance than the current 100 meters or so limit will be available widely. I'm curious to see whether that new technology will put downward pressure on the price of broadband access. Its called WiMax. Watch for it. Start here. Or here.I happen to think that Key West would be a marvelous place for a company involved in WiMax to test such a system. The population isn't very large, but the island is pretty small and there's both cable and DSL service here to compete against. I for one would sign up in a heartbeat, to be able to connect 24/7 from anywhere in town and, I hope, to save something off the $40+ per month that I'm going to be paying for cable internet.

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