My Company Has The Crazy

I do like my company. I mean, I like the work, but the crazy has been pretty crazy these days. I cannot do any of the following here, due to policy/technology restrictions:

  • Write to a USB drive, DVD or CD (i.e. no writing to removable media)
  • Access personal email (includes gmail)
  • Access DropBox or any other fileshare type site (includes GoogleDocs)
  • Access any torr-nts (I’m missing the E becuase the word torr-nt can cause your browser to lock up)
  • Access streaming media (sole exception: YouTube)
  • Access IRC (freenode is 100% blocked)
  • Access Skype
  • Access any IM type app (I can get to G+, but the chat is ‘not available.’)
  • Use a proxy to get around any of these restrictions

Now there are reasons for this I understand, but basically they decided to treat us all like criminals instead of finding more reasonable methods to prevent someone from taking company secrets. By the way, I can print up anything and carry it out the door, so this only stops techies from bring code places.

This list is expected to expand to blogs, Facebook and Twitter (all of which are actually permitted right now). This bothers me mostly because I love writing, and I often draft blog posts and work on them through the day. It’s looking like soon-ish that won’t be possible. After a day of funk and cursing, I made a plan and started looking into it.

Option 1 was to trade in my iPad 1.0 for a 2.0 with 3G. That’ll run me about $50 a month and can only be used on my iPad.

Option 2 is Virgin’s MiFi. For $150 outlay, I get a pay-as-I-go MiFi all my own. The lowest plan is $10 for 10 days, of a throttled network. I can up it to $20 for a month, or $50 for unlimited as fast as it goes. I only pay for what I use, I can use it in airports or at my grandmothers, on as many computers as I want.

So I’m putting my ‘I’d normally buy a coffee with this’ money aside for a MiFi.

At the same time, I thought I’d do a social experiment with my friends. I know a lot of you say things like ‘I owe you a coffee’ or a beer (working on it! I liked the one I tasted at Hubbit’s!). Okay, how about you toss in $5 and help me get a MiFi instead? I set it at $200 which is a MiFi + a month or two of access to see how it all works. And this is also a test of PayPal’s new widgety thing, which I’m thinking of using for something elsewhere.

ETA: As of noon I’d hit $130, and had a sale on the device for $65. Add in the $5 gift card someone gave me, and free shipping, it should be here Tuesday!

4 responses

  1. Why not just get a phone with WiFi hotspot functionality?
    Or even better, tethering (doesn’t drain the battery dead then).

    In Norway they give us free sim cards at work including unlimited 3G data which is darned handy. Seems to run fairly quick too. It rarely drops below 1 Mbps.

    1. US Gouges you for that one. I have a phone that, supposedly, can do it. I currently pay $35/month for unlimited data (I’m on an old plan), and I’d have to shift to $50 a month for limited 3G and a hotspot. I flipped the options around a lot, and the idea a no-contract setup was better. Plus Virgin has better coverage where I go. 🙂 My current phone refuses to believe in a 3G network in Mississippi 😉

      Our office phones, amusingly enough, don’t work in our office building.

    2. Oh yeah, I forgot you gays have those stupid setups that prevent you from tethering and hotspotting your Sim cards.

      In NZ you can buy data only sims which provide much better 3G data (faster too from what I can tell) and they claim can’t make phone calls, in fact they told me it wouldn’t work in my phone at all, but that was clearly bollocks as it’s just a regular GSM Sim. So I stuck it in my Android device and it worked just fine. Phone calls were $20/minute, but I just used Skype to call out on anyway so that wasn’t a problem. If you like to use your phone as a regular phone it wouldn’t work, but for someone like me who pretty much never phones anyone, it worked just fine. And 111 (emergency number) would apparently work fine on it too, so it was still useful as an emergency device should I have needed it.

    3. You should see my spreadsheet where I broke down the costs for short and long term….

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