Monday, May 11, 2009

This post has no idea how it got here

I stopped being technologically relevant quite a few years ago. Technology is a tricky thing. You can only keep up to it till a certain point of time. I remember back in the "day" when I all of us who had invitation-only GMail accounts thought we were the über-geek. We used to laugh at all those with just 5 MB (or was it 2 MB?) Hotmail and Yahoo accounts. "You're not using Gmail yet? Really? I don't know how you survive with measly 2 MB of email space. Okay, if you want it that much, I'll send you an invite". For the record, I barely invited less than a dozen people. Why? Because, well, I'm cheap like that.

Anyways, there is a fine line to going from being the only one in your training class to know the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems to one day tuning into a gadget-oriented TV show and going "They can do THAT now? Ama-fucking-zing!". One really does not know when that line is passed. Hell, I went from espousing the benefits of peer-to-peer networks to discovering BiTTorrent just late last year. Yes, I know. Shameful. However, thankfully, I have over compensated for that.

Of course, that doesn't imply that I've turned totally helpless. I'm Indian. Most of us are probably born with an embedded chip in our memory. I've seen little kids who haven't yet said their first words but have coded their own iPhone application.  Go, figure.

So my almost dead inner geek woke up this morning when I read about this:

   [AP Photo]

Screw WiFi and say halo to my little friend. That's right, bitches. It's called MiFi. The Novatel MiFi 2200. (Sounds less like a wireless device and more like a WMD!)

A wireless hotspot in your pocket.

*Obligatory they-can-do-that-now shrug and head shaking*

As you all know, I am kind of obsessed with the internet. And not just check-email-every-half-hour obsessed. No siree Bob. I need to carry it around with me wherever I go, lest the world starts to end and I miss reading about it. If some natural or unnatural event is going to kill me, I would like to either write a post about it beforehand or at least send a tweet. And if I do have some time, update the status on my facebook. Something like "______ is dying of a really strange disease usually only seen in M Night Shyamalan movies".

Currently, my mobile internet requirements are being serviced by my handy GPRS enabled phone. Now GPRS is good and all, but it's only two notches above a late-90's style dial up 56k connection if you're trying to use it on your computer. Although sometimes, it's a lifesaver. Last year, when i had gone to almost-remote hilly town, the only thing connecting me to the virtual world was my trusty GPRS.  Granted, sometimes it was so slow that you would have to combine web surfing with other activities like reading a book/watching a sitcom/shooting at the local population.

The sad news is that the MiFi device can only work on 3G networks, so it will take a couple of years before being launched in India. We are just getting started on 3G networks. And right now MTNL is the only company offering it. No offense, but I pity the fool who uses MTNL. It's like wearing a jockstrap two sizes smaller than your actual size. We still get an MTNL bill sometimes even YEARS after getting that connection disconnected.

Not that the private operators are better. Recently, my mobile service provider has converted my unlimited data plan to a limited data plan. And the broadband providers are going to follow suit. Now they are going to put caps on unlimited broadband plans. So, pretty soon, when you sign up for a plan which promises unlimited, uninterrupted internet, you are in fact signing up for a, rarely fast, limited-usage account. It's like using two condoms and still ending up pregnant.

I don't use a WiFi at home. That's because basically, I really can't figure it out. And since I'm cheap, I don't want someone else piggybacking on my internet. OMFG, that makes me sound like one of those people who wanted to tea-bag Obama.

However, I'm still looking forward to the launch of this card.

Why? For the simple reason that then I can watch You Tube videos while sitting on the can!

Oh, joy!