Monday 7 November 2011

Life without internet

I've been quiet for the last week and a half and part of it is that my internet access stopped unexpectedly.

I'd been having intermittent line faults so I canceled my ISP (British Telecom) and arranged a new one (Tesco). I was told they could cancel my old ISP for me when they set up the new one and that sounded fine.

It wasn't!

Learn from my mistake, never ever let anyone have permission to cancel your broadband. Get both up and running then cancel.

Instead I had to run a gamut of vague excuses, improbable promises and outright lies while I wait for a router to arrive through the post. Apparently the mail now is slower than it was in the 1st century BC. I think they deliver by sending out pack-snails which are preceded by a man waving a red flag. Ho hum.

What I'm writing about, as well as to explain my absence, is the rather fascinating psychological process I've undergone. At first I was quite angry and bullishly made phone call after phone call. I moved on from Anger to Desperation and tried to get my old BT router set up to carry my new provider (it appears to have been sabotaged by BT in case traitors like me attempt to do that though). Then I moved on to Calm. One doesn't really need the internet. There are other things to do. I've read a lot, phoned a number of friends who I was semi out of touch with and watched more TV in 10 days than I'd previously seen in a year.

I found games to be astonishingly thin on the ground. I thought I had tons of games: there's my MMOs, my Steam games, my old Win 95 and 98 games that need patching to run on modern machines - all completely useless without internet access. I played Warcraft 3 (and a big Ha! to people who claim the Warcraft series has always been frivolous, it's a sombre tale of obssession and betrayal told with utter sincerity). I played Diablo 2 although it took a little adjusting to not being online, especially not having banks of dummy characters for item storage. (Although I believe there are patches for that kind of thing - if one is online). And I played Minesweeper. A lot of Minesweeper, took me ages to clear the biggest map, my naval skills are sadly rusty.

All in all it's been quite a nice break, it's let me re-assess my leisure time rather than predictably running through the same motions over and over.

I do begrudge the missing Eve skill training time though.