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Do you have an emergency plan?
Thread poster: Percy Balemans

Percy Balemans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
May 14, 2008

Yesterday around noon my internet connection suddenly stopped working. I wasn't really worried, because in the 7 years that I've been using ADSL, I've only experienced one failure, which was solved within an hour. This time, however, it was more serious, it was even on the news: apparently, it was a major failure affecting tens of thousands of people in the country. Including myself.

At first it wasn't a real problem. I didn't necessarily need internet access for the project I was working on and I could still check my work e-mail via my mobile phone. But when I still didn't have internet access this morning and heard that they expected to need another two days to solve it, I was getting a little bit nervous: I still needed to finish another project before the end of the week for which I had to log on to the client's system via the internet.

Fortunately, I had thought about this before, about what I would do if I would suddenly be cut off from the internet. I have a laptop so I can work anywhere where they have wireless internet access and I had asked my brother, who lives nearby, to give me access to his wireless network, just in case. My emergency plan worked: he wasn't affected by the failure, so I simply moved over there and was able to finish all the work I had planned to do. I even had a plan B (a friend's office not too far from where I live), but didn't need it.

By the time I got home, my internet connection had been restored (I was lucky; the failure hasn't been solved completely yet and right now there are still thousands of people who don't have internet access).

Hence my question: do you have an emergency plan in case you lose your internet connection? Which, according to Murphy's Law, will of course always happen when you need it most...


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Ivana de Sousa Santos  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 13:52
French to Portuguese
+ ...
Laptop and wireless connection May 14, 2008

My internet provider has been having lots of problems for more than 1 year now. I've made several complaints and I thought about giving up, but my outlook e-mail address (ending with their company name) is my main e-mail fr receiving jobs so I ended by buying a laptop and a wireless connection.

I haven't really needed it since then, but now I can travel and work anywhere.


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Hector Aires
Local time: 09:52
Member
English to Spanish
The worst Argentinaean trouble is the loss of power... May 14, 2008

due to the economy growth...and when we were not growing it was the same.
Then, I bought a 6 kVA Honda genset for the most important loads like computers, lights, alarms and my office conditioner.
I mounted some 400/500 gensets during my past engineering life. I was really ashamed not having a little one for me.

Cheers.
El Étor


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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 09:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Six-pack May 14, 2008

My 'emergency plan' takes the form of a six-pack in the fridge. This is usually sufficient to get me through an Internet outage - and if not then my plan B can be found in the liquour store around the corner.

OK - joking aside ...

Where I live, 700 km south of Santiago in the sleepy foothills of the Andes, when the web fails it's more often than not because the entire telecoms network covering my home town is 'off the air'. No Internet, no phones, no cell-phones, no radio, no TV ... There's a fair chance we have no electricity either (it's usually an electric power cut that causes our very frequent telecoms failures).

Let me tell you: it's b****y wonderful!

So, what about the work, meantime? No panic - that'll get done at double the usual speed when the systems are working again, my mind and enthusiasm refreshed by an imposed pause. .... Well, after the hang-over has cleared, that is...

MediaMatrix


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
take a force majeure perspective May 14, 2008

We cannot be planning for EVERY eventuality!

In 7 years to have a particular problem ...?

I have backup systems in place and can handle short-term down-time. More than that it's just simply not worth worrying about, as it enters the realm of force majeure.

As for real day-to-day problems, life is getting very tough here in Catalonia: the last year has seen major power shortages, major public transport crises, a major water shortage, huge increases in food prices, huge increases in petrol prices, a threatened 20% increase in electricity, a very problematic property market .... and on a personal level I have very severe legal and flooding problems with a neighbour and a very sore arm (and have discovered I'd get about 25%-30% of my earnings in sick pay) ...

Some of the above real - and not imaginary - problems above aren't unique to Catalonia, and of course my own problems are my own, but I'm just beginning to feel, that given how things are, well, if i can just think about today and get through it, with my arm more or less OK, that's enough, surely?

Of course I'll take reasonable measures, but I simply can't/won't take account of a huge amount of circumstances beyond my control.



[Edited at 2008-05-14 22:32]


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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:52
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Plan B for power and internet May 14, 2008

After the first power cut we bought a little generator, problem solved. Naturally, that was the first and last major power cut.

Internet: I have a laptop and there are free internet centres (which only open in the afternoon though) - have had to use the one in the village once for two days, but it works. It's not such a big issue that I need an Internet Everywhere service as a backup.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
powercuts: how frequent? May 14, 2008

anjoboira wrote:

After the first power cut we bought a little generator, problem solved. Naturally, that was the first and last major power cut.



You mean there was more than one power cut?

If it's a regular issue, it seems to make sense to provide for it (but in 7 years?)


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 15:52
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Different providers May 15, 2008

Your second connection should have another service provider than the first. If one agency's servers are effected it does not help if your spare connection uses the same provider. They must be different companies.
I haven't thought about it before, but my solution would be to go to my daughter's appartement, where she has ADSL via phone-line, why I use cable, which is a different provider altogether.

If your provider offers poor service, drop it and open a new email account, but inform all customers about the change of course.

Regards
Heinrich


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:52
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Yes and no May 15, 2008

Percy Balemans wrote:
Hence my question: do you have an emergency plan in case you lose your internet connection? Which, according to Murphy's Law, will of course always happen when you need it most...


I have two ISPs (one for dialup and one for ADSL), but both depend on the phone line. I also have a mobile connection with a cellphone company, but the last time I tried it I found that my modem had broken and I haven't bought a new one yet (very expensive).

I also have a genny (we need them in the New South Africa, you see), and I've used it a few times.

What I don't have, is a complete incremental backup system for my data. I do have backups, but they are the non-fancy kind and if my computer goes, it'll take me at least three to four hours before I'm back in business with minimal data loss.


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Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:52
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
Datacard (PCMCIA Card) May 15, 2008

Well, I have been using a datacard for quite some time now. Of course, I don't use it normally but only when I'm travelling or when my normal internet connection is not working. Of course, I have a laptop so even if my mobile ISP is not working, I can always go somewhere where there is wireless internet access.

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Birthe Omark  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 14:52
Member (2006)
French to Danish
+ ...
Mobile connection May 15, 2008

I have purchased and subscribed to a mobile connection, which works allright in most of my country (3G turbo), and will also work in England, Sweden within the subscription charge. I can therefore work on the move .. in trains fx.

There are of course the odd patch with now cover, but the system seems to get better all the time.

However, the main purpose for buying the device was to be able to work abroad as well. Unfortunately the price for 1 MB in other countries is excrutiatingly expensive (about 10-13 euros per MB).

If I may extend the thead, I'd like to know if anybody knows of the possibility of purching short-term access (by the week or the month) in France for example, using the mobile connection ?

But certainly and as a paradox : the freedom of working anywhere has enough been restricted thanks to the technical development.

Best regards
Birthe


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Clare Barnes  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 14:52
Swedish to English
+ ...
No... May 15, 2008

...18 months ago we had a major snowfall that knocked out the electricity for more than two days. No internet, no mobile phones (the power cut was so widespread there were no wokring masts in range), no heating and finally no water either. At times like that you realise there are more important things than work - I did one small and very urgent translation over a landline phone and then we concentrated on heating and eating.

I tend to agree with Lia - you can't - and probably shouldn't - plan for everything that could go wrong

On the other hand, in a less serious scenario, my mobile phone can be a back-up modem and my laptop also has wireless... if I need more than that, work is not going to be at the top of my list of priorities.

Clare


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 14:52
English to German
+ ...
I use mobile phone connection EDGE Networks May 15, 2008

Added to the wireless connection and laptop - they give me about 236 kbps and are not bad but the mobile battery gets used up very fast, so I keep a spare charged set ready. I find this is a very good alternative. Brandis

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Margreet Logmans  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 14:52
English to Dutch
+ ...
Force majeure May 15, 2008

I think Force Majeure translates as 'act of God', at least in insurance terms.

Sofar, I've only been cut off from the Internet or power for a longer period of time twice.
My emergency plan: Put an auto-reply on my e-mail via webmail on my cell phone, call or fax the clients whose projects I'm working on to tell them there will be a delay. They'll have to accept this is a case of 'Force Majeure'.

I just need to put some more effort in keeping my data and records on paper up to date. I don't have fax and phone numbers or e-mail addresses for all my recently acquired clients in my books yet.


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Maciek Drobka  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 14:52
Member (2006)
English to Polish
+ ...
When an emergency plan turns into a core business component... May 15, 2008

I moved into a new house two weeks ago, and mobile phone-based internet access is ALL I have.

If the mobile network goes down, I am done.

Plus, I must be 'enjoying' some sort of edge coverage as my internet access keeps going on and off. Luckily, the 'on' portion seems to have the upper hand, but you should see me sometimes, waving my mobile around the room trying to get a bit of coverage to send an email. And I am wired to my desktop PC, too.

I wish my problem was landline internet access that goes down once in a few years...

M


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