Also consider them bloated, ungainly, unwieldy and arrogant – but they DO hold the monopoly on telecommunications in Australia and, like all such monsters in must, difficult to entirely avoid. I don't relate well to people like that – nor they to me.
Have to say, though, that the modem is a dinky little gadjet. About the size of a USB flash drive. Just plug it in, click “connect” and hey presto – instant online.
Cost $149.00 from the Post Office – and the rather attractive young(ish) lady at the Post Office tells me they're selling like hotcakes. Doesn't auger well for the bloke trying to sell his “NetPath” WiFi system in the vicinity, but “that's business” I guess.
The unit came with $10.00 installed credit, but that soon disappeared in the “set-up” process. Fortunately the Post Office was also offering a “special” deal. Buy $20.00 pre-paid credit, and get additional $20.00 free.
While the $20 is for roughly 150Mb “up” as well as “down” loads – and expires 30 days after initialisation - I do have some control over it, though have used up the first $30, and am now on next $20. John, one of the blokes in a nearby van made the mistake of signing up to a 2 year contract at $40/month on another provider's “wireless-net” service – and hasn't been able to connect for the past three weeks. Is spitting chips (but whaddya expect – he is a Pom .. whinge about everything .. heh heh - nah, we get along very well .. conversations based on mutual bickering .. heh).
So, while the “convenience” of internet connection from wherever the laptop is located (NextG coverage IS extensive) – the costs involved will limit any frequent multiple posts or extensive browsing.
Not only that, my motor vehicle is sort of struggling. Had intended to take a trip into Pirie last week, but had to make a phone call first (the phonebox is 2K away at the Post Office). Had just turned out of the Van Park gateway when I hear “PHHT!” Sounded like the release from a high pressure hose. ?? think I.
Quick glance in rear view mirror – no wet stuff on road. Steering felt OK so no front tyre flat, wagon still on even keel. Must have come from nearby house, continued on for 100 yards but decided to stop, open bonnet. ERK!
Fan belt had come adrift from pulley wheels and cut a deep gouge in power steering fluid reservoir. Um, think I. Took some pics and walked the 1K to nearest garage (one with “mechanics” - the “nearest” is a sort of roadhouse just selling stuff). Arranged to drive it in an hour later at 3pm. Drove it there, but mechanic is volunteer firefighter and off dealing with a small local blaze somewhere. Left car there and walked back to van park.
Picked it up next day, cost $140, which is an entire fortnight's discretionary budget. So, while am still alive and more or less functioning, budgetary considerations keep activities down to a very slow rumble.
(have also been told that the motor vehicle transmission (gearbox) is very sick and on the way out. Dunno what will do if that packs it in – have threatened to become a “permanent resident” .. which might upset a few of the locals .. heh.)