A world without wi-fi? For years, I kept an Earthlink dail-up account in order to connect to the Internet from hotel rooms. Then, post wi-fi and ethernet connections in hotels, about two years passed and I realized I’d never used it. I don’t even know if my computer has a modem anymore and, I’ve discovered, I wouldn’t know what to do with it, if it does. When I first started writing this post, it was last Thursday or Friday (I’ve forgotten) and I was in a wonderful little villiage in a remote part of Scotland — the beautiful Isle of Skye where every direction one turns appears more staggering than the previous. However, the whole ubiquitious wi-fi thing hasn’t hit Skye yet. Perhaps they are the wiser for it as it is definitely a holiday place — a desitnation one travels to for one purpose: getting away. I was in the little village of Portree, which is big as Isle of Skye villages go. Portree was the place my Inn keeper suggested I head for to find Internet access when he appeared dumbfounded that I’d even ask for such. I drove slowly around the few blocks of town and Macstumbler pinged some wi-fi signals, but they proved weak or restricted. So, I decided to go straight to a coffeeshop at town centre. The waitress suggested I try a store called Island Outdoors or the library. The library, of course, was my choice and, sure enough, there are six or so Dell work stations with free Internet access. I filled out a guest form and signed on. However, the computer informed me the library was closing in 8 minutes, and the Internet access was cutting off in three. So I tried Island Outdoors. A block away, I was ready to spend roughly $4 for 30 minutes of Internet access when the clerk says, “Sorry, we close in 3 minutes.” Where else should I try? I ask. The library, he says.* Hey, who needs it anyway?
(Fast forward five days.) I have been offline for longer than I can recall in the past several years. By the fourth day, I didn’t even take advantage of the keeper of another Inn’s offer to use his access to check e-mail. It’s Sunday, I thought to myself, Why bother? I am now in Edinburgh — a very, very modern wi-fi’d spot — and preparing to fly home. I just logged on to the Interent and discovered a clogged RSS newsreader. I decided to pretend the last week hasn’t happened and start all over on Thursday. It’s hard, but I’m even going to skip expressing my opinions over typically ridiculous actions of Apple lawyers during my web holiday. I’d prefer, rather, to share a few photos I’ve posted on Flickr: Dropping my daughter off at the University of St. Andrews and some photos from the Scotish Highlands and Isle of Skye.
*For future wi-fi seekers who may google upon this page in search of connectivity, I later learned I should have swung by the Bosville Hotel and Merchant Bar.