Sunday, June 12, 2011

Waiting to Download

One of the classes I’m taking right now is about geographic information systems. It’s necessary to download a trial version of ArcGIS software for this class. The file size is 3.75 Gb.

That’s GIGA bytes.

Even though my internet is theoretically supposed to have a 3.6 Mbps pipeline, after a few minutes of downloading at about 500Kbps, the speed dropped to around 70Kbps. That means 11 hours or so of downloading. All day long. I understand why the theory and practice don't coincide, but good grief!

Positive note: It wasn’t too long ago that it took all day to download 10 megabytes, only to have the server reset when you had 9.9 Mb downloaded.

As the evening approaches, so do thunderstorms. Severe ones. Luckily, Firefox has a download manager applet that allows you to pause a download, then resume whenever you like, even if you shut down the system in between sessions. You don’t have to start over. So when the storms got close, I paused the download, and turned off/disconnected the computer equipment. About 30 minutes later, the power went off. It didn’t come back on until after midnight.

Enter the Fur-People, a.k.a. Four-Footed Tyrants

As kids get older, they are out of the house doing their own thing a lot of the time. It should be a time of peace and non-interruption. Alas, it is not to be. I have two cats and a labra-beagle. They seem to think it is their bounden duty to take up the slack where my children have left off. They shower me with love, affection, and demands for attention when the kids aren’t around. I’ll never be lonely. Sigh.

They also live by routine. Rigid routine.

Which is why the ginger tabby was tapping me, the gray shorthair was saying “Ahem”, and the dog was shaking her collar and flapping her ears at 5:45 this morning to remind me that it was nearly breakfast time. They have no concept of the sanctity of weekend mornings.

But it worked out this morning. I fed the pets and started up the computer to finish downloading the software at high speed. So we are all happy campers. Tummies are full and the download is complete. Getting the software to recognize the authorization code the ArcGIS people sent me is another matter. One battle at a time.

That is not to say that once the feeding is done they leave me alone. They come get me at 8:30am because I really should be up by then, don't you think? My daughter gets until noon. Then she too is commanded to rise.

I thought I was in charge. I'm supposed to be. What happened?

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