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How to Survive Without Internet At Home and Still Be Awesome

How to Live Without Internet At Home

I started 2013 with extremely low information diet. I was aiming to have my yearly fasting and praying but I went through the trouble of spending minimal time on the internet instead — for two weeks. To be honest it was more painful than fasting food.

What happened seems like a divine intervention. My DSL connection was completely down as well as our fixed-line telephone, and for over a week the only thing my internet service provider could tell me is that the problem was already reported and assigned to their technical group for the immediate action and troubleshooting (even though there is almost no technical support at all). For a problem to last that long, they should have prepared  a more sensible reply on what was happening. Ultimately, it was fixed… after 2 weeks.

Looking back, it seems like a blessing in disguise because now I can genuinely tell you how to survive without internet at home while keeping your sanity intact,  and still be awesome.

1. Enjoy the great outdoors

How about getting some sunlight every day until your internet is back? Stroll to the nearest park, get some snacks at your favorite food cart, go bar hopping at night or island hopping, discover local attractions,  travel to a far away place, try mountain climbing, cycling, running, swimming, snorkeling and more.

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2. Spend time with your family and friends

Single and ready to mingle? Time to do some real action instead of stalking your love interest in Facebook or just stay indoors with your parents for some cheesy mommy or daddy bonding.

Catch up with your friends by hanging out with them in person not through Google+ hang-out. It is so much better than instant message or SMS.

Married? How about dating your spouse and treating them at their favorite restaurant. If you are a parent, play with your children. Nothing is more awesome than spending quality time with your kids.

3. Learn something new

This is the best time killer when you want to pursue greatness on something. Perhaps YouTube could offer the best learning resources for guitar tutorial, cooking instructions, and other disciplines but you still have to spend a lot of time doing real work to master them. Now is that time so don\’t waste it.

4. Entertain yourself using other media

Having a cable TV subscription might be getting unpopular to younger generations but if you happen to have one with your mom then perhaps you could endure staying at home without internet simply by watching HBO series such as Game of Thrones or anything interesting to watch.

There are many alternatives for entertainment – don\’t forget FM radio, magazines, e-books and even good old print books.

5. Explore your hobbies

Have that DSLR collecting dust? Go out and practice your photography skills instead of relying heavily on Instagram filters to make great pictures.

Can\’t update your blog because you don\’t have access to the internet? You can still write your drafts on your favorite word processor or get busy thinking of interesting topics to write about once your internet access is back.

How about using your talent in Draw Something to draw something cool on real canvass this time around?

6. Go shopping

This is specially for the girls. I know my wife loves shopping. If you do, then I am sure you can easily exchange internet access to shopping experience. I enjoy window shopping gadgets but reviewing them online and reading how fan-boys troll each other is more fun.

7. Plan or execute a DIY Project

It takes time to plan a project and if you failed to plan, you plan to fail. Personal project could take  different forms for different purposes. Examples are: redecorating your living room, building a tree house and installing a home theater system — just to name a few.

Don\’t expect your next project to be successful if you didn\’t put much effort on planning and making sure you have all the right tools.

8. Get yourself busy at work

Convert your restless energy at home to productive force at work. You might impress your boss and get recognition, or simply get a few minutes to browse your favorite website when no one else is looking.

Also, spend this time escalating your internet problems to social media channels of your ISP.

Hopefully you are not working from home because if that is the case then this is not applicable for you. I work from home from time to time so you could imagine how difficult it was for me without internet access.

9. Use offline apps

I\’m glad that there are so-called offline apps. I strongly believe that for an app to be truly useful it has to offer some degree of usability when not connected to the internet even if it is meant to connect online. I\’m glad that free apps like Pocket and Pulse can cache online content for offline consumption later.

Plenty of games fall under this category but I hate that some games needs to connect to the internet before you could play them.

10. Use your mobile data plan

I strictly don\’t count mobile data plan as internet at home because not everyone has mobile data plans and not every place has good 4G connection. However if you do have a data plan it is probably limited even it was deemed \”unlimited\”. Telcos cap your bandwidth because they can. Also, having a data plan and keeping it on is like a double-edged sword. My phone\’s battery could not last a day when I use HSPA+ continuously. I could only imagine that LTE phones could easily drain battery faster.

11. Find an open or free WiFi

Here\’s the last tip but it\’s a cheat! If you know how to crack your neighbor\’s WiFi password then you have no problem surviving without internet at home — after all, you could use your neighbor\’s internet. Just kidding. Besides, it is illegal in some places. Your last resort is to ask nicely for WiFi password for temporary access if you really can\’t live without internet.

Other method involves wardriving — the act of looking for open WiFi in a vehicle. I have tried wardriving before and it is a dangerous practice if you don\’t know what you are doing. I suggest you just drop by to the nearest coffee shop to get complementary free WiFi access.

Hopefully when you follow these tips you can still be productive while your internet connection is still not available. I know that prevention is better than cure so I am now thinking of a better continuity plan to minimize my internet downtime.

Now it\’s your turn. What will you do if you have no internet access for 1 week or more? Do you think you could survive this ordeal?

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The Best of MV Tech Blog: 2012 Edition

If you have WordPress Jetpack plugin installed you should have your 2012 Annual Report by now. Below is the summary.

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WordPress only reports the top 5 in the annual report so I used Google Analytics as well to get the top 10.

My top referring sites in 2012 are mostly social networks  – Twitter, Stumbleupon, Facebook, Youtube and  XDA Forums.

Also, according to WordPress some of my most popular posts were written before 2012 so my writing has staying power. Sounds awesome! Now, here\’s the list:

10. Windows 8 Consumer Preview VirtualBox Installation Step-by-Step: It seems that many people interested to test Windows 8 in virtual machine. VirtualBox is free so it\’s not surprising it is popular.

9. iGoogle Alternatives – Find a New Start Page Before Google Shutdowns iGoogle in 2013: After all, many people still use a start page. I\’m not sure if it was a good move for Google.

8. BlueStacks on Windows 8 to Run 400,000 Android Apps: BlueStacks is getting better and better and if they continue to make more Android apps run with 100% compatibility on Windows 8 it might become the best way to run Android on x86 machines.

7. Google Black Navigation Bar: Remove, Disable or Change It: People are still not stopping to make Google black navigation bar a facelift. Maybe Google should consider giving more options to people like how Microsoft gives more option to customize Windows start menu and Apple, OS X dock.

6. Windows 8 Release Preview VirtualBox Installation and Error Troubleshooting: This is a surprise because I have three Windows related blog posts in top 10.

5. 8 Blogging Lessons from Game of Thrones (Part 1): Game of Thrones is one of my favorite show this year and it will return on March 31, 2013 as  hinted in HBO teaser.

4. Browser Wars Illustrated: From #7, up to #4. I never thought browser wars is that popular.

3. Free Facebook Mobile Access (Philippines Promo): While the promo is not available anymore, some people are still looking for free Facebook access using their mobile phones. With the increasing availability of LTE phone I could see that it will stay on my top posts for quite a while.

2. Kindle Comparison Chart – Kindle Fire vs. Others: Same as last year, still in #2. I really think I should write more about gadgets.

1. How to Wisely Use DFA Passport Appointment System: Still my #1 post. I hope it still serves as a helpful guideline for many Filipinos who are confused on how to get the new Philippine e-passport.

I wrote a total of 83 posts this year and this is my most active year in blogging yet after my long hiatus in 2008.

I know I can do more next year so I am excited to start 2013 already. In just a few hours, it\’s already 2013. Happy New Year !

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