The Realities of Connecting via GPRS

When you have 20MB to spend and you're using your 3650... it seems like plenty. I mean, Wireless IRC rarely climbs above 100k per session (unless you're using it for hours and hours) and since the integrated email leaves a lot to be desired, it's not like you're checking email every five minutes.

Connecting via a PC, however, is a completely different story. Every time I've connected in the past day or so, I've used *at least* 1MB of data. Usually a bit more. I'm not even doing much - check email, check my comments and referrers on my weblog, maybe start up Trillian and chat on IRC. *Poof* 1MB gone. In case you're not great on numbers, that's 5% of my total every time I connect.

At first I was a little download happy and turned on my aggregator. Big mistake. the connection is relatively fast and within just a few minutes I had sucked down over 3MB. YIKES! Now I'm being very careful and watching each kb as it passes through my system. That's not only annoying, but somewhat stressful as well. Remember, as soon as I go over my 20MB credit, I start paying 25� per MB!

Connecting over the phone is amazing, however. I wish I had some sort of unlimited data account because it's so quick and easy. It's *so* much faster than connecting via a modem. There's no 30-45 second pause. On my computer I click on the Bluetooth icon -> Dial Up Networking -> 3650 and up pops a Dial Up Networking dialog and I click connect. Within 4 seconds, I'm online. That's insanely fast. The cool thing about Bluetooth is that the phone can be our my room recharging and I can be in the living room and it'll connect without problems! Life without wires rules.

I need to look around to see if I can find the settings. One of the other benefits of connecting via GPRS is that I'm not on a clock when connected. But I've discovered that unless I've got an app like IRC up that is using the connection constantly, it'll drop out on me after a short period of inactivity. That's annoying - especially for quick blog posts - by the time I'm ready to post, my connection's died.

Can you believe I got nailed with the Blaster virus over GPRS?!?! I couldn't believe it. I thought at first I did something wrong when setting up the dial up networking and fucked my RPC service or something, but 4 seconds describing the problem on IRC and I was clued into the fact that I had the virus. After running the cleaner it looks like I never actually got the whole thing, thankfully. My parents did though... bleh. That virus is vicious.

Anyways, good and bad about GPRS. You guys with unlimited connections in the U.S. are styling.


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