February 05, 2011

What do you do when your Internet or Power Disappears?

I was thinking what I could do if my internet service died - then it did! Everyone thinks that when the power goes out, Internet service is not usable because the high-speed modems require power. But if you still have phone service and a battery-powered laptop with a modem, you can connect to a "dialup" internet service. We just forget! I have kept a dialup account just for emergencies, but forgot to test it when I bought a laptop. You need to know how to dialup and get connected (and pay) if you need service in an emergency.

And maybe you have a mobile phone with text messaging - it seems I can tweet via text message. Logon to twitter.com and select the account "drop-down" arrow (top/right) and select Preferences. But only one account can use a mobile phone number, so I have to choose (I manage 3 twitter accounts). You probably don't.

I can also post to my blog by email but I can't afford a "data package" on my cell phone so I just have a pay-as-you-go account. With that, if I want to use Internet on my phone, I can choose to pay about $2/day (as long as it's 'low' usage). Then I can email, tweet, surf for the entire day. Haven't tried it yet though so no idea if it works.

To help people in Egypt, Google and Twitter cludged together a system to allow people to phone a number and leave a voicemail which was transmitted into twitter somehow. I don't know of anything similar I can use here in Canada.

If you know any other methods to keep connected when everything fails, let me know.