Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Beware of the Cloud - the last mile is fragile

Here I sit in the dark. Hydro Ontario says 1,700 of us are effected. It's my first brownout. 59 volts at the outlet.

Other than a few brownish lights, I shut off the breakers for the furnace, water pump, fridge, freezer, tv, satellite.

I tried phoning hydro but the cordless phones are dead. Used the cell, Had major static, had to talk to a person. The automated machine does voice and dtmf. it could not take my phone number.

Internet is down. House is up on a hill, from my upstairs, multi-windowed office I can see nothing. Dark. Nothing. Radio is on. CBC Stereo 1, stuart mclean vinyl café coming from picton ontario. Radio is a good one, goes 23 hours on a charge.

Battery backup for server and network has shutdown. Laptops haave been shutdown to save battery for the morning should we be down still.

Last time was the ice storm. We had no power for 11 days. Between then and now was the eastern north america grid shutdown one summer.

We have a wood stove. I need to buy a bigger generator or get the industrial one I got from salvage working.

I am posting this using a Windows Mobile Plam Treo Pro and a Celio RedFly. Using IE and blogger directly and it works okay. I like the autosave. Using EVDO and it's okay. I am connected.

I have a cool radio show playing to keep me company. Facebook works. Slow but works. Email is totally alive and well. Push email to the Treo from the corporate exchange server, personal email from google gmail.

How would you survive for the next 11 days with no hydro ? No internet unless it's provided by a provider with generators.

Do you work from home ? Can you work still ?

Back to basic's. Food, heat, water. What's your plan for survival.

I'm thinking through my plan as I sit up high in my lookout wondering if I'll see the lights come back on in my little part of the world.

The cloud will be there when I get back to it.