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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Thursday, April 4 2002

New computer 2: Speed

I was surprised and inclined to be a little jealous when a correspondent in Belsano some months back said she has a high-speed Internet connection through her television cable. Here in "the capital of Silicon Valley," as San Jose's City Hall likes to call it, we had been trying to get a high-speed connection for several years. Our cable provider, such as it is (AT&T), doesn't even offer the Travel Channel with basic cable, much less high-speed Internet, but proudly (and politically correctly) provides channel after channel of programming in languages major portions of its subscribers can't understand.

An AT&T competitor, Sprint, offered wireless high-speed Internet, but made it virtually impossible for any other than real estate owners to qualify for its arcane and inane contract, leaving us out. The most affordable and widespread high-speed Internet service in Silicon Valley has all along been DSL (digital subscriber line) from the phone company (that would be neither AT&T nor Sprint, but Pacific Bell, which is part of SBC, the former Southern Bell). But in order for the DSL to work, it has to be no farther than two miles from its switching hub, and for about 10 years after many other parts of the city had DSL, our little niche did not. (And incidentally, if you have Internet via dial-up 56k modem but are more than two miles from the hub, your modem won't work up to that capacity).

Finally, PacBell deigned to come down to our level and make DSL available in our humble part of town, and as described in yesterday's entry, son Mike and I have been installed. Finally, I've been able to watch the film tour of the Blacklick Valley High School, even hearing the accompanying audio! I can flip among my own web pages without wasting time, and without the annoying disconnections that were common with MSN using regular dial-up modem. The DSL is "always on," at least theoretically. That convenience coupled with the speed is worth the approximately double cost of DSL over regular dial-up Internet to those who can afford it (but the share can be split, along with the "signal" among more than one computer in the house).

But, there's always a catch. I am still subscribing to MSN because my server, on which all the Nanty Glo pages resides, doesn't connect with DSL. And some of the computer applications (software programs) I depend on don't run under Windows XP, so I continue to use them on my old computer, and I use the old computer as a networked "file server." It's a big improvement, but there's still room for betterment.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Male and female

Readers were asked to assign a gender to nouns of their choice and explain their reason. The best submissions:

SWISS ARMY KNIFE: Male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.

KIDNEYS: Female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.

TIRE: Male, because it goes bald and often is over-inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOON: Male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it. . . and, of course, there's the hot air part.

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Thought for the day

The person who truly loves God and Christ, even though he may
perform a thousand good works, considers himself as having done nothing because of his insatiable longing for the Lord. Even if he should tear
down the body with fasts and vigils, he considers himself as though he had never even yet begun to develop virtues. Although various gifts of the Spirit or even revelations and heavenly mysteries may be given to him, he believes that he has acquired nothing because of his immense and insatiable love for the Lord. But daily he perseveres in prayer with a hungering and a thirst in faith and love. He has an insatiable desire for the mysteries of grace and for every virtue. He is wounded with love for the heavenly Bridegroom through grace which he has dwelling within himself.

—St. Macarius
Sent by Christopher Haas

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