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On a Slow Network to China

August 24th, 2004

I have just successfully logged on to the Internet here in Shanghai. Ken’s personal DSL has been switched off for the vacation season, and I got a scare that maybe blogging would be difficult, as you cannot put USB Flash or a CD-ROM into the computers at the Internet cafe–so I’d have to come to a hot, smoky room full of people playing video games, and uploading photos would be impossible.

But fortunately, the people here are incredibly nice–and they allowed me to hook up my Mac (a platform apparently rare in China) directly to their network, with a tech guy typing in the IP addresses and everything. Got on the network no problem–and now I can upload a blog entry typed offline earlier in the day, as well as upload photos and check on my email accounts using Eudora, again for offline consideration if I want.

The lady in charge, a Ms. Ke (pronounced “Kuh”) just came over, and in her best English, welcomed me to the cafe and expressed a hope that I’d come every night–a definite possibility, especially if the Starbucks WiFi does not work out (and the closest Starbucks that has WiFi is an hour by train and bus each way, so…).

Still, the network here is slow. Ken tells me that any DSL around here can be relatively glacial (definitely much less than a megabit), and this cafe spreads the connection between a few dozen people. Just getting my email took ten minutes (though that was padded out by more than a hundred spam). That means that photo uploads from here may be pretty slow, so for the time being I can only append a precious few each time. I’ll post more when I get back to Tokyo.

Ken and I in Qingpu Village today.

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