Monday, 13 July 2009

Life in a "notspot"

I remember a radio DJ in early 90's predicting that in "the future" people wouldn't buy CDs and videos anymore but instead would click a button and whatever they wanted to watch or listen to would come down a wire there and then for immediate use. I remember this because the DJ in question didn't seem to me to be a particularly technical person, and therefore didn't have any understanding as to the complexities in enabling such technology. In short, he didn't know what he was talking about, so it was easy for me to dismiss what he was saying.

I guess today, we can all chuckle at my blinkered view that this magical "on-demand" future could never be a reality. Well chuckle away folks because for me this vision of the future still hasn't arrived. I live in a heavily populated part of England, not out in the remote wilds of the Highlands, and yet I struggle to get enough bandwidth to stream movies without interuption. I live in what the BBC recently described as a broadband "notspot". Great.

"So what?" you may ask. Well, what it means is that I don't actually watch much machinima. Certainly not anything like the way I'd like to. I rely on browsing the various forums trying to figure out which are the hot movies worth downloading, then I can watch a few selected movies. It's very frustrating. I'm quite new to this malarkey, and I'm desparate to learn story telling and camera technique from those more accomplished than myself. But, at the moment, casual browsing through movies isn't a worthwhile activity. Here's hoping the powers that be are doing something to improve the broadband situation where I live. And how broad does broadband need to be "broad". I think our lot are stretching the definition a bit.

On the upside, there's one thing I have learned; don't scoff at other's ideas of what the future holds. BTW, I'm on the waiting list for a flying car.

Any future predictions from the past you'd care to share?


  1. Back in about 1993, I wrote a piece for a Seattle newspaper about life in 2018, and predicted that my kids would enjoy playing online games in teams against kids from other countries. I was wrong, mostly because my kids will be grown up by then, but also because they started doing it in 2000. Now, of course, it's commonplace.

  2. Do you even have a satellite TV service you can subscribe to? They usually have a DSL service you can use that's at broadband speeds, and almost reliable as land-line (sometimes actually moreso)?

  3. Satellite TV yes, but the broadband is delivered via the same telephone cables as now - so there would be no improvement. The other option of course is cable, but my area isn't cabled. (It's amazing really, I live in a big, modern, suburb). Maybe they just ran out of cable! :P