Started as a post on a tethered iTelephone


You know what’s interesting? Tethered internet. Here’s a long story to read if you have nothing better to do.

Well, with an introduction like that!

For those interested, our house this morning just had the phone line connected, which means we can finally have ADSL provisioned. At least, given the state of Aussie telcos and ISPs we can never be too sure, but there you have it. So there are just nine more things to sort out before the end of the week. Easy!

Anyway during this time I’ve been using the tethered internet connection on my brand new, shiny iTelephone 4 which, ironically, I haven’t been able to change the signal reception on no matter how I hold it. I plug it into the Mac, enable Tethering on the phone, and let her rip. Well, not literally, I had to sign up to another contract with Optus to get it so I don’t want to cause it any damage.

The house reception issue

While certainly better than the reception we had at our family’s friend’s house in Normanhurst (the poor chaps), mobile phone reception at our new house here is also patchy at best. I’m a computer science student not an engineer, but I find it fascinating that a few centimetres of plasterboard can have such a dramatic effect on mobile performance, in some cases even making the difference between getting 2G and 3G reception. And it gets stranger, our kitchen area is an absolute dead zone, but the loungeroom which is separated from it without any walls at all gets several bars of 3G.

It’s unfair to compare the gargantuan task of blanketing a country the size of Australia with decent phone reception with Singapore’s compact, high density size and population, but the difference is amazing. I get 3G reception in lifts and emergency stairwells in Singapore, back here in Australia I can be walking in broad daylight and have a dropped call. Wait, I don’t walk in broad daylight, the sun is evil, but you get my point.

Mmmm, pointy

Have you ever wondered why pencils are needed to be so sharp? I mean, the first thing you think of when you see a fragile, thin substance such as paper is lets put something really sharp up against it! Unless when people say "sharp" they’re referring to intelligence, in which case I’m nervous that intelligent pencils could jump out and stab me. I mean, they’re sharp!

Our first television at home was a Grundig, but we replaced it with a Sharp when the dial failed on it. I often wondered what it must be like to live in a country where to export your products you would need to name your companies in a foreign language. I wonder if businesses in the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, oh heck the English speaking world, would be so successful internationally if they had to all be named in Africaans. The Dutch and South Africans would have all the huge conglomerates then, and we’d be bailing them out instead.

Consuming sounds like comestible. Wait, no it doesn’t

While we’re on the subject of malfunctioning robots (just keep taking pictures!) have you ever wondered why the sky is blue? I know it has to do with refraction of light, but that explains how it is blue. I’m not sure where I read that, but its been consuming my thoughts for weeks.

Thoughts that burrow into your head and refuse to budge like that are the closest thing we can come to Inception without using a team of architects, designers, pharmacists and a trippy thought connection machine that would make any Vulcan shake his or her head. Have you ever noticed how few female Vulcans there were on any Star Trek? And T’Pel doesn’t count. Well okay she probably can count, otherwise she wouldn’t be terribly smart.

I wonder if she was sharp.

That Sharp television we had was a strange beast. At times the picture would jump to the side and start jiggling around with flashes of primary colour and snow. No wait that wasn’t that Sharp TV, that was my first computer monitor. The only high tech solution was to give it a small but firm smack on the side a few times. It would lurch, then correct itself.

Isn’t it interesting how acronyms mean different things in different places? That computer monitor was an SPC brand from Taiwan, which in Singapore is also the acronym for an oil company, and in Australia they tin peaches.

Millions of peaches. Peaches for me. Millions of peaches.

Its so quiet here at night


UPDATE: I thought I hit the Publish button last night, but I hit Draft instead. I have since corrected this obviously terrible mistake, though probably the difference was minor to the overall value of this site.

Author bio and support


Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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