Why Does my computer
by Vic Lutsky Found at http://www.web-hostess.com/
Originally appeared in Panorama
months topic was to be 'surfing the net' but we'll come back to that next month. Instead I
want to talk about value.
When thinking about value, many people think first of cost. These are two entirely
different things. Where cost is defined solely in dollars and cents, value can include
such intangibles as time, labor, quality, flavor, uniqueness, etc.
So why are we talking about value today? The answer is simple, because, somebody has to!
I overheard two technicians from another ISP talking at an expo last week. They were
discussing how many support calls had come in on the preceding evening which was a very
It got me to thinking. The average cost for a residential internet account from most
providers in NEPA, is less than $20.00 per month, or about 65 cents/day! Hardly worth
breaking into hours, but we're talking pennies, here! For 65 cents/day, your ISP brings
the world into your living room or office, enables you to communicate around the globe in
seconds or shop Park Avenue, in your pajamas! You can research a term paper, see photos of
Mars and listen to a radio station a thousand miles away!
Sure, it can be busy and of course, the weather can create occasional problems, but all in
all, that 65 cents can take you pretty far, indeed! A darn good value.
In order to determine value, you need something to compare with. So, let's think about the
many ways in which you might spend that same $20.00 and whether they offer as good a
While out of town, recently, I ordered a large pizza with a couple of toppings for about
$15.00. It took almost an hour and 30 minutes to make the half mile voyage from the
restaurant to the motel and the cheese all slid to one side of the box, which I didn't
realize until after the delivery guy had left. Total cost, with tip - $17.00. Total value,
hmmm. That's debatable.
Another fast food story, involves a trip through the drive through at the local burger
joint, where for $14.00, I got the pleasure of driving through twice, after traveling half
way home, only to find that my large fries were nowhere in sight!
There are lots of non-food items, whose true value vs. cost can be discussed until our
bellies ache with laughter or our heads ache from the mere thought. Gasoline, cigarettes,
movie tickets or better yet popcorn at the same movie!
Let's go back to those two techs. It only takes a little line noise to play havoc with
your connection. Ah! you didn't know about line noise! You thought every time you got
disconnected, it was your internet provider. Goodness no! In reality, few disconnections
are at the provider level, unless equipment or software is being worked on. Other than
that, your provider's equipment is generally stable.
More often, the problem is that wire up there swinging in the wind, that connects you to
your provider and your provider to the backbone. Don't forget, all sorts of things can
impact your connection via that wire, like a damaged line inside or outside the home,
extra connections or extensions, sleet, snow, rain, dampness, auto accidents, wind,
construction crews, microwaves, radio waves, ham & cb radio, right down to bird
doo-doo on the wires! OK, OK, maybe not bird doo-doo on the wires, but pretty much
anything else, for sure.
So, take it easy on your techs. They're there to help you, no matter what ISP you have.
And if it's a stormy nite, wish them a safe trip home:)
Next month, we'll talk about surfing the net. If, in the mean time you really need to know
more, join us at our free monthly seminars at Staples in Hazleton or register for our
Novice Level Adult Internet Classes, which are taught by board certified instructors at
our downtown Hazleton location.
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