Woke up with a really sore throat, and there is a spectacular storm hitting our area right now. Crash, rattle, flash, boom, rain, rain, rain.
Hopped online for a few to catch up as I crashed early this evening, and as the thunder and lightning continues, and the broadband cable connection drops in and out it hit me: a few years ago I’d run around the house physically unplugging the computers to keep them as electrically far away from deadly lighting strikes as possible. These days because of laptop batteries and wifi/airport connectivity; my computer is safely disconnected from any physical wiring and pretty safe to use in the house during a storm. I did not even think about it until a particularly loud crash startled the cats.
I still have a healthy respect for storms and the power of lightning, and tornadoes (as the one natural disaster that is both hard to predict and hard to do much of anything about) scare the heck out of me… but I certainly don’t miss the need to disconnect the world anymore. The cost of the wireless access point, cable modem, and home router is trivial ($145 together) when compared to the cost of just a modem in 1990 ($999 for a Courier HST 14,400 baud; or $1400 for a Telebit Trailblazer 19,200 baud).
When friends all went as a group to see “You’ve Got Mail” we laughed about how unrealistic it was to show them connected all the time with no cables; and that has certainly changed.
Many things have dramatically improved.