Thoughts, information and reflections about technology

The importance of redundancy and fallback plans

I was up to my ears in alligators trying to manage multiple issues.. Things were going well until some moron with a backhoe hit the overhead fios wire. That took out service to my home and 2 neighbors. Verizon is giving a 72 hour window to restore the service.

Unfortunately my home is in a crummy cell service area. I’m lucky to get a 3G signal upstairs. The precludes the effective use of the phone’s mobile hotspot.

Fortunately Starbucks and Burger King are nearby. I’m not crazy about using public wifi but thanks to Homer Simpson and his backhoe, I don’t have much choice.

Here are some observations about the situation

  • Even though my wifi hotspot is extremely limited at my house, having some connectivity is better than no connectivity.
  • Since the Fios is out, my landlines are also out. Fortunately I set my personal and business line to forward all incoming messages to my  email account. That way, as long as someone leaves a message, I will get it.
  • This event occurred at the end of my cell phone voice minutes cycle. My plan has 700 minutes and this month we had barely used 100. If cell usage was an issue, we could fall back to Skype for about .03 a minute instead of over .50/minute for my wireless plan.
  • Starbucks can be cost effective. I spent a little over 2 bucks for a medium coffee and had over 2 hours of internet plus electrical power. As a bonus I met a few people who introduced me to other people who could be potential clients.
  • Burger King was open until 11 pm where Starbucks closed at 930. For the price a three dollar milkshake (And a couple of zillion calories) I got 2 hours of decent work in. However, the Burger King I was in didn’t seem to have any electrical outlets available.
  • CLOUD CLOUD CLOUD – I have been moving a lot of my important documents such as my ever present ToDo list to the cloud. This proved invaluable as I was able to access my critical documents.
  • LET YOUR CLIENTS KNOW – I was able to email my key clients and let them know what was happening because I had their email addresses accessible.

My estimate is that I am working at about 50 percent or less of my usual capacity. However, without having prepared, I would have been in a far worse situation.

Update – it looks like we might have service back tonight. A client/friend offfered to let me work from his business until my service is restored.

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