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Nothing Is Definitely Worse Than a Trickle

 ·  ☕ 3 min read

I just got over having no internet at my apartment for over a week. I was gone a portion of the week, but it was still very inconvenient. Working remotely doesn’t help as to get paid I need to have an internet connection (but not necessarily a fast connection).

Working Around It

While I could have use cellular data to carry me through, I had already used a significant portion of my data cap on various travels this summer. I ended up just going onto campus and working from my laptop in a computer lab.

While on campus (with its wonderful gigabit symmetrical internet), I downloaded some videos from my YouTube Watch Later playlist so I could have some videos to watch at home. I tried to do as much pre-downloading of content I could so I would have it accessible at home.

Missing the Trickle

So I had everything downloaded and I was fine, right? Wrong.

I do more with my life than just watching YouTube. I play games, I browse social media, and (most frustratingly in this situation) I code. It is impossible to stay up-to-date on PRs and Issues without being able to connect to the internet. While I could have looked at the GutHub website on my phone, I have a lot of nice tooling around Issues/PRs that is on my desktop.

I also wanted to open some PRs on some FOSS projects I want to improve. I couldn’t do a git clone, I couldn’t download the devcontainers needed for the new project and language, I couldn’t easily research how to do what I wanted in the documentation on StackOverflow. This stopped me dead in my tracks and forced me to either make a trip back to campus to get internet or use the limited cellular data I had left to clone the entire repo and pull all the require container layers.

What If

How could it have been if I had at least a small amount of internet? I would still utilize the high-speed connection at campus to download some content to watch, but I would have still been able to pull up the YT page for the video to see comments and the description and to comment and like myself. While it would have taken a while, I could have left the repo and containers to download while I was watching something or making dinner or overnight. I could have refreshed my Issues/PRs and get any updates on their status and checks. I could have seen that a new video was released by my favorite channel and either queue the video to download or go somewhere with internet to quickly download it.

Overall, I am very grateful for the internet I have. This just makes me appreciate the internet all the more with its redundancy and high availability and goes to prove that the last mile is really the most vulnerable segment of any network or connection.