Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Crowd-Sourcing My IntarWebz Planning Problem

Wow ... the move to Gainesville, Florida is coming up rather quickly (10 days)! We haven't secured permanent lodging yet, and very well may not until after we're down there, but we have been looking and right now the place we're looking at is a cabin in the woods.

No, not that cabin in the woods. At least I hope not. But a cabin. In the woods.

That means no cable.

According to the landlord, the place is already set up with satellite dishes for both DirecTV and DISH Network -- presumably it would just be "plug in a box, pay and get with it." My guess, given the place's proximity to two small towns (about 5 miles and about 10 miles respectively) and one reasonable-sized city (25 miles to Gainesville), is that AT&T U-Verse and/or some other DSL-type Internet service will also be available; and that the place is well-covered by cell networks, making 3G or 4G a possibility.

So: Taking likely price and likely performance into account, which option makes the most sense for a family of four that probably uses a crap ton of bandwidth?

I say "probably" because although I've never run up against the limits with our current cable ISP, three of us four spend most of our waking hours doing something online. Work (for me, and a little bit for Tamara). Homework (for the kids -- documentaries on Netflix, Khan Academy videos, etc. are part of our homeschool routine). Gaming (Xbox Live for Daniel, hosting an SRB2 multiplayer hangamajigger for Liam). Movies and shows (Netflix, Hulu, Crackle). General horsing around (Youtube, Failblog, etc.).

I guess it's possible that we don't use as much bandwidth as I think. I've banned most use of HD video at any rate. But I'd be surprised if our use of streaming regular-definition video added up to less than 10 hours a day for the household.

Anyway, recommendations appreciated. One recommendation not needed, as it is already in the plan, is "kick the kids' asses off of their machines and make them go outside more."

Which brings us back to the alligator issue. The cabin is near more than one lake. The one it's closest to -- about 100 meters -- is supposedly dry most of the time, but aerial photography indicates to me that it's more like ... well, marshy or swampy ... than dry per se.

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