Technology and Weather

Promises Unfulfilled

Technology without a doubt is a wonderful thing. I can think of a quick short list of improvements between my grandparents generation and mine.  Farm tractors, combines, faster sleeker cars, jet airplanes, space shuttles, weather satellites, laser surgery, remote controlled “anythings” and list goes on and on.

Television has taken an interesting turn that my grandparents would never have suspected.  Television by a black cable or from a telephone company on the telephone line! Television used to be by antenna and analog.  Analog, that’s another term for very broad signal, it didn’t make much difference which way your antenna was pointed, “you got the picture.” Finally, it was decided that Digital, gave you a better, clearer, sharper picture than analog, which became the new FCC required standard. (technically, it does not have as broad a signal, i.e. it takes up less air-wave space)

I live on a dead end road.  Sometimes a person accidentally winds up on a dead end road in life.  But, you have to turn left and purposefully drive down my dead end road.  A purpose that utility companies have yet to find.  The telephone company found us once, in 1963 and laid new copper-wire line which moved us from a party line to a private telephone line.

There’s been a lot of hoopla from utilities asking and getting Federal and State “favors/breaks/benefits” so that internet service can be “given” to those “out-in-country”.  Comcast, our local black-cable TV company has yet to find our quarter of county.  AT&T, its spinoffs and later-repurchased subs, don’t see us as a “growth-potential” area, so they only arrive to splice 40 year old copper wire, when it’s broken, within five days of your placing the service call.

So, whether I am home on my dead end road, or on vacation in the Minnesota north woods, I must rely on digital antenna TV. (satellite TV  would be available in both places IF I logged off all surrounding timber, which I don’t think is legal in a National Forest!)

Internet service is the next technological discussion; since I mentioned Comcast and AT&T, you must be quite aware that neither of those can/will provide service to my home, which they can not find, nor while on vacation.  I rely upon a Verizon aircard, which works fairly well at home and OK in the forest.  I don’t believe I foresee 4G on my horizon, I truly don’t know WHICH G I’m on?  At home I probably reach DSL equivalent speed.  On vacation I’m happy if I reach half that.

Weather—now anyone who has ever had satellite TV knows, when you get a storm cloud between the satellite and your dish, you lose reception-a situation the black-line-cable companies embellish.  But, weather also affects digital-antenna TV, and it doesn’t really make much sense. Sure, a storm puts your picture into freeze mode, or blue-screen mode, but so does HOT HUMID days, and sometime, clear blue not hot humid days.  Some times wind, blowing tree branches back and forth block the signal.  The digital TV signal must be “SPOT ON” with all conditions perfect.  The problem is the “perfect” conditions are not defined.

We had four of the hottest day’s I can remember here on vacation, coupled with humidity in the upper 90’s, our Verizon aircard capabilities, dropped to slow.  SLOW!!, I noted that dial-up at 24k would have been two and half times faster!!

I now realize that weather; heat, humidity, rain, sun, wind, moon(?) have unknown affects on technology.  During these hot days, I could “punch-up” my Web Provider, go make morning coffee, eat breakfast, wash up the dishes and return before it had “timed-out”!

My son visited a couple of weeks and ago and commented on how slow my connections were.  He should have been here when they really slowed down!!

Maybe with all this advertising about technology, I-phoning, movie downloading, I just expect too much.  I expect that I should be able to get what techno-geek-companies say they can provide.

There seems to be a new push afoot as stated by the National Association of Broadcasters that the FCC wants to take-a-way local TV broadcast frequencies (in favor of over-the-air broadband?)  So, point 1: the FCC must BELIEVE IT when utilities say they provide their services across the country, yep, skipping right over my house to somewhere else; point 2: the FCC must be looking at the “little” picture, because the “big” picture STILL is faced with weather interference for broadband internet on the same frequencies that affect television reception!

I bet if the FCC and Comcast lived on MY dead end road, things would change!

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About tgriggs17

Retired, CPA, enjoy freshwater fishing, being with my grandchildren, friends and family
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