Monday 19 January 2015

The Moving Series Episode 3: Sally Cooper looks at buying IT: Internet and Phone

Internet: Phone: Post This was the order in which the need for change was addressed. It is, of course, a “reverse order” for historians as 
  • Sir Rowland Hill came up with the radical idea of charges for post being paid by the sender (not the recipient) in the first half of the 19th century [1837] and 
  •  Alexander Graham Bell was the first to obtain a patent for an "apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically" in the second half of the 19th century [1876]and 
  • It's a mere twenty-five years (so second half of the 20th century) since Sir Tim Berners-Lee wrote the code that gave us the World Wide Web. What, I wonder, will be appearing before “internet” in any similar order when a business moves office fifty years from now (so 2065)?  

Thoughts on the Internet split in a number of different ways. For me, Domain Name(s) and email address(es) and ISP(s) were in need of review for each of past (“how did I get here?”) / present (“what’s in place at today’s date?”) / future (“what’s round the next corner?”). Domain Names, I’m reminded of conferences in the 1990s which addressed the question: “Are Domain Names IT [Information Technology] or IP [Intellectual Property]?”. The fact the question was asked at all links in part to it being very easy for “the techies” to register Names. Looking back, I see that I didn’t register SALLYCOOPER.COM until 2000 (and I registered SALLYCOOPER.UK in June 2014). Before 2000, I used an email address provided by an ISP based in Warrington– much as, these days, people use hotmail or gmail or btinternet etc. Since 2000, the email address has been (still is)

Working from home (already regarded as “the old life”) meant there could be four people wanting to use the Internet at the same time (with two of them wanting to use the Internet for “business” rather than “leisure”). From the early 1990s there were two phone lines and, at the time when decisions were needed, one line doubled as fax number and Internet provided by the ISP based in Warrington and the other line was phone and Internet provided by BT. Both the ISP based in Warrington and BT supplied wifi.

The New Office
Note wall depth
Call me old-fashioned, but I like to do “serious work” at a desk. Whilst I own the regular items of kit (laptop / tablet / smart phone) that make it possible to work just about anywhere, the office has a door that can be closed to be sure of confidentiality. The words “just about anywhere” crept into the last sentence and probably went unnoticed by many. Cumbria isn’t a county where it’s possible to “work anywhere”. Also, the office is in a typical Lakeland building – solid construction and thick walls.

So we’re presently in transition. The Domain Name and email address are retained with change-of-address duly notified. Both phone lines have gone. Contracts with the ISP based in Warrington and with BT are at an end. The principal link to the Internet is now by Ethernet cable which building-owners provide and which links to a (newly-purchased) Dell computer (desktop).

There will soon be “home wifi” (BT land line again – not my decision this time) and other access to the Internet is presently through smart phone (a recently-purchased Vodafone), an ASUS tablet and a (recently-purchased) Dell laptop. Why Dell? Customer loyalty. The Dell website is easy to use. Goods ordered arrive quickly and it’s not difficult to get what’s delivered up-and-running. Why ASUS? Customer loyalty again. I still have one of the first (very small) laptops ASUS produced for use by children in schools. I can admit now that I recall “ordering for a child” in order to get hold of it. I still use it to access the Internet but it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles (viz: all the apps) of the ASUS tablet. Why Vodafone?

“Communications – Phone and Post” will follow!

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