I am on the road again, somewhere between Edinburgh and London. I have no network connection (wired or wireless), and it looks like my modem is dead (this is the first time I have tried the modem since my laptop was repaired, I should have tested it before I left).
So how am I posting this? Via a GPRS network connection. GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) is a non-voice service that provides connections to Internet services. GPRS is primarily used for Internet access on devices (like cell phones), but some devices allow GPRS connections to be shared. To use GPRS you need a device that supports it (most newer GSM handhelds provide GRPS support), and of course your telco must offer the service. So, my laptop talks to my cell phone via Bluetooth, and the cell phone connects via GPRS to provide network access, making my cell phone essentially a wireless modem as far as the laptop is concerned. The throughout is miserable (over 100K in theory, slower than a dial-up in practice) but it works, and it will improve when next generation services are rolled out.
For now, being in the middle of nowhere and able to easily get online, well, it’s a bit of a thrill. Truly, there is something to be said for standards.