One of my many projects to try and tackle while unemployed is as much self-removal from the grid as is easily cheap and feasible.
Sadly, attempts to get myself off of wired internet failed miserably, as trying to sign up for use of Longmont’s citywide wireless program ended ignominiously. I was able to get connected, and the service has even achieved functional speed, about 1/6th of my cable connection, but still 5x or more than what it once was. Unfortunately, the service was still a bit inconsistent, and the way the system works, it would only be possible to have 3 computers logged on from my in-house connection at any time, which is a bit irritating, given that I have a desktop and a laptop, and my roommate has a PC also, so there’s 3 connections. Any friends come over, and voila! insufficient number of connections. Blech.
But, the good news is that I went out and got myself a digital antenna, installed it in the attic, and suddenly I have crystal-clear access to about 14 local stations. Very oddly, I don’t get channel 9, Denver’s NBC, even though the analog reception (it’s a combo digital/analog antenna) is almost perfect. I continue to look into this, but it appears, according to antennaweb.com, that 9 will be changing the strength of its broadcast sometime between now and February, when the analog broadcast will go away altogether, and I should be okay at that point.
It looks like I’m probably stuck with Comcast internet for the moment (I can get DSL from Qwest, but without a home phone line, the price is actually worse than Comcast’s), and the fact that, if I ever upgrade from my old CRT televisions to something HD, I can actually get good reception for free, makes the effort feel pretty worthwhile…