So I paid a surprise visit to Ghana last week. Although the main purpose of my trip really was for family and so on. I made a few observations about myself.
The first being that, I absolutely need technology to live. Transiting through Amsterdam, I realised that my phone was not set up to roam. This was not acceptable to myself, hence I had to call up orange by finding their number on-line over Schipol’s wireless hotspot facility.
Calling them ended up with my phone (Blackberry 8120) being set up to work in locations != UK. So I was set up. Now on getting to Ghana, I found a few networks, a few could not handle the data required my blackberry to function properly, so I had to fall back to a GSM network which served the interim purpose - (Call the people who mattered to tell them I had arrived). I spent the whole evening fidgeting with the blackberry to get some data transferred.
Unknown to me was the roaming charges I was raking in. I won’t even get into that. Suffice to say I’m still paying for it now. It took two days to find a decent internet connection that did not die every 2 minutes, with acceptable speed. I now realise how lucky I am to have all this bandwidth, and not have to worry about downloading say an Ubuntu image. I’m told it takes days to get the images on an average connection in Ghana. I will have to investigate that further though.
I must say that there have been drastic improvements in access to an internet connection. More people have connections at home that happen to be faster than some offices/businesses I went to. Having said that, I was struggling with that virtue, of which I have very little.
It is official, I am addicted to a connected and networked world where access to information is taken for granted because it’s almost as instant as walking to a computer and clicking away. Even a good laptop equipped with a wireless adapter and two operating systems felt useless on that terrain. Alas I will leave you with an email a good friend of mine sent me a while back. I see the relevance very clearly here…
YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2009 when...
1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses .
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.
AND NOW YOU ARE LAUGHING at yourself.