Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Schoolteachers were on strike today along with most other French public sector workers. I didn't have any classes so I didn't have to decide whether or not to down tools. This meant, however, that when the postman rang the doorbell this morning and thrust an intriguing cardboard box into my hands, three pairs of curious eyes sized it up. Yes, the kids were spending the day at home. It turned out to be the Freebox I had ordered last week. Four eyes wandered away to get up to other mischief. Mine perused the instructions.
You try configuring a Freebox (I'm sorry, I have no idea what the equivalent is in English, someone please help me) while two unsupervised under-fives run wild finding new and exciting things to do in/to the house, whilst beating each other up at five-minute intervals.
Anyway, it works. My PowerBook now has an internet connection. My phonecalls within France are completely free and I have a load of free TV channels many in languages I do not recognise. The number of English-speaking channels has been multiplied by five or six depending on whether you count God TV or Bloomberg, but hey I also get BBC World (hoorah) and SKY News (shudder). Unfortunately we also seem to get a whole swathe of sports channels. I wonder if I could hide them somehow.
That was the good news. The bad news is that using the Freebox means that I can no longer use the modem connection on my other computer. The telephone doesn't actually work yet, apparently that takes up to 72 hours. And when it does we'll have two different lines which seems a bit confusing. Also, the images on the TV are what can only be described as staccato. Or jerky if you prefer. Oh yes, and I'm getting incoming mail but I can't send any. I have no idea why.
So, all in all, I think we can say that this constitutes another resounding success in our series of home improvement projects. Oh, and just wait until next week when I get the Wifi card.