Friday, April 25, 2008

When Internet Time is Expensive

Usually, internet time in South America is quite cheap. In Puerto Natales, Chile, I paid US$1 for a full hour. Other places have cost more, but generally not more than $5.00/hour.

Then I board a ship and the rates go sky high. I was on the Nordnorge to Antarctica and the rate there was 60 kronas per hour. That works out to about $12 per hour. Since we had many days at sea, I was very tempted to shell out the money for an internet time package which were available in 30 minute (40 kronas), 1 hour (60 kronas) and 6 hour (240 kronas) increments.

However, before I purchased the internet time, I checked the computers in the internet cafe. Every one of them had Word on them and it was accessible to the user without having to sign in. So I bought the one hour package and it lasted me the entire 14 days on board ship. How?

I would use Word to type my outgoing mail. I had my diary with me and took my time (assuming no one was waiting, of course) to compose a document with the events of the past couple of days. When done I'd:

1) Log into my onboard internet account
2) Log into my email
3) Hit Compose
4) Bring Word back up and copy the document
5) Back to my email where I would paste the document into my email
6) Hit Send

Done with an absolutely minimal number of minutes used!

That left me time to scan my incoming mail. If there were any I wanted to reply to in a lengthy manner, I copied it, opened a new Word document, pasted it, then exited out of the internet. Now, off line, I would answer the email and when ready, I'd repeat the above routine.

If anyone has other suggestions about efficiently using internet time I'd love to hear about them. I will include them in another post.


Ariana said...

I liked your post, very ingenious :-)What i do is take my laptop with me anywhere i go and most of the times i can connect for free. Most of the internet cafes, bars etc. don't secure their networks.

ShellsOnTheFloor said...

I'm right with you, Oana, but with one crucial difference. In case the odd hotel/cafe does encrypt the internet, I use aircrack-ng to get in anyway. And if it isn't encrypted, but redirects you to one of those annoying login pages, I spoof the mac address of someone who's already logged in.