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The Internet Gremlin

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The Internet Gremlin

Anyone that knows me is aware that I’m a bit of a football fan (soccer as some of you may call it) but this post is more about an Internet bandwidth gremlin. It has a tint of football about it, but it could just as easy be about anything else, whether it be another sport, or watching movies online.

I’ve been on my extended vacation for a while now and managed to see my team play live from various bars, hotel rooms and hostels. When there’s been difficulty in seeing the game, I then turn to the internet to see if I can find it being streamed live, and this is where the gremlin is hiding.

Streaming is great. Oh lord, it’s improved so much since the dark days of dial up when (let’s be honest here) it didn’t exist. Watching a movie, or catching the game, has changed the world – especially for those of us fortunate to have a T1 connection, a mega fast ADSL2 line, or even cable.

The problem is for those of you that don’t quite have a connection that cuts the mustard compared with the corporate connections or developed areas/cities, and still have to suffer the fate of connection problems.

<Where is he going with this> Well, whilst this blog recognizes the incredible leaps forward that this technology has given us, it finishes with a thought and amusing/annoying story about the gremlin.

When The Gremlin Strikes

Whenever I watch the game, there’s some mysterious virtual creature that watches it with me. It knows when the game is dull and boring, and it knows when it gets exciting and reaches fever pitch. I can guarantee you that there is also a virtual movie gremlin that watches films with you too.

Let me set the scene: My team needed to win an important match, and there’s 2 minutes left on the clock. So, what does the gremlin do? Just as the ball crosses into the dangerous area and our best player pulls back his favourite left foot to score what is one of the most important goals of the year, BAM!!!, the gremlin freezes the action. As I sit forward in my chair and begin to raise my arms in celebration, the sound stops and I have absolutely no idea if we have scored or not. To make matters worse, the gremlin freezes the action for what seems like a lifetime, and if that’s not enough, the bastard decides that when the action comes back, it’s moved forward 30 seconds and it then takes me ages to work out what has happened.

I have met the gremlin on many virtual occasions over the years. I hate him. He’s caused many a heart attack and probably reduced my life expectancy by over 10 years and I’m sure most of you have met him too at one time or another? Maybe, it’s the moment where our hero goes to kiss his woman for the first time, or the “who done it” scene when we find out the twist in the movie. He’s out there, he’s messing with people’s lives on a daily basis, and he’s a bastard.

In signing off, spare a thought for those that are not in developed areas, cities, countries and are still struggling with connection speeds. The Internet bandwidth of today is a different world from that of yesteryear, but it still has some way to go before it well and truly kills the gremlin. Ok, so contention ratio’s and a whole bunch of other factors affect the connection – I know that – but this wouldn’t be half as funny if I talked about that would it?

About Adrian Britton

Sometimes I will talk about things that are interesting, and sometimes I won’t. Sometimes it will be a bit of a laugh, and sometimes it will just be a downright rant about something going on in the world – I’m often accused at moaning a lot, and I consider myself quite good at it !!



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