[Arm-netbook] offlineimap syncing off of gmail...

Christopher Havel laserhawk64 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 04:30:01 GMT 2016

Hey Luke -- which is worse, in your opinion, Internet that sucks because of
lawful corporate greediness, or Internet that sucks because of governmental


Here in my little town of Siler City, North Carolina, Murrika The Great
(yeah right) -- population roughly eight thousand according to the 2010
census (would've been probably ~9k but the chicken plant died Oct '09)...
we have basically three choices for Internet. Sort of. There's the phone
co, the cable TV co, and weird $#!* mobile/cell phone stuff, unless you
want to go to the local public library, which generously offers their
computers for one hour per week (three, if you bring your own computer and
leech their WiFi) -- mind you, they monitor and exclude certain content
there, and the chances of any real security being present on those machines
(and, therefore, a lack of a serious virus infestation, as well) is...
unlikely at best. (I'm being /phenomenally/ generously diplomatic here.)

Most of the town's populace is in "Greater Siler City", i.e. out in the
county (for you city dwellers, around here there's actual space between
small towns... the next one away is Pittsboro, and there's /sixteen miles/
of cow-patty countryside in between...) and that includes me. I'm about a
mile and a half past the Wal*Mart that's about a half-mile outside of the
old town limits (they extended 'em for Wally World, go figure).

The cable company, Charter Communications, will only really affordably
service you if you have a fairly short driveway -- if yours is 300ft
(~91.5m) or less, they will pay for the cable installation. If it's at
least an inch more, /you/ pay. We -- Mom and I -- were quoted, some years
ago, a price of us$3,059.95 (yes, three thousand fifty-nine dollars and
ninety-five cents) for that run. Five hundred feet. There's a technological
reason for that -- they use RG-6 coax for the signal, and 300ft is as far
as it can go without an expensive signal-booster in the line. We of course
declined the small fortune in expenditure -- we wouldn't have been able to
pay it even if we were that desperate -- and that was the end of that. Last
I heard, which was early this year, they weren't even servicing the road
I'm on any more at all. So that's option one.

Option two, the phone company (which, in addition to old-fashioned POTS
--plain old telephone service, i.e. landline phone-- offers DSL services)
is well known in these parts for defrauding customers by promising speeds
far, far in excess of what they can actually deliver, and then refusing to
be held responsible. There's option two.

Mom and I have option three. We have a Netgear router, model MBR1515, as
issued to --and locked to-- Verizon Wireless. Inside that router is a
little PCIe Mini Card 4g WWAN card, like you'd find in their (undoubtedly
horribly cheap and nasty, but I'm not fool enough to find out) tablet
offerings. We used to pay ~us$70 a month, but since we have a very very
grandfathered "unlimited" 4g plan -- i.e., we're able to evade their
incredibly strict data caps -- they've knocked our bill up us$20 every
billing cycle. Eventually, they'll probably try and force us to submit, at
which point, they'll be looking at losing a customer -- not that they
actually /care/, mind you.

Unfortunately, Mom and I are in their antenna shadow, so our "4g" service
is more like 2g service. You know those overpriced Dyson vacuum cleaners...
the ones that "never lose suction"...? Neither does Verizon. Our tenuous
tether is the modern equivalent of an acoustic coupler and a payphone with
a noisy line, and the part that rankles me even more than the corporate
apathy machine they have going, is that there's /absolutely no real need
for it/ -- they're basically extorting people because they /can/ -- sure,
they have radio-tower space to rent, and fiber and copper cables to lay,
and all that -- but they're literally choosing to shake down their
customers for the lunch money, because they know they can do it and get
away with it. There is absolutely no financial reason whatsoever that they
/have/ to set a data cap on people -- electrical pulses are by and large
free (the electric company sends us sixty of them every second for about
eleven cents every couple hours or thereabouts, although the rate depends
on the weather a bit), and they can /more/ than handle the infrastructure
costs they have, even with expansion. They're literally just being greedy
#^@%$ for the sake of being greedy #^@%$, and it pisses me off no end.

Oh, by the way, that router? It regularly overheats, even with a rather
gusty 120mm PC fan sitting in front of it... and consistently reboots
itself, spontaneously, at almost exactly 9:30pm every day... it's
maddening. Reboots take about five to ten minutes.


So -- Luke -- what do you say...?
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