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back to article Extreme teleworking: A Reg hack reports from the internet's frontier

"You lucky, lucky bastard," was how a fellow Reg hack responded to my announcement back in 2004 that I was upping sticks and establishing a Vulture Central outpost in rural Spain, far from the rain-lashed shores of Blighty. In September of that year, I was sardined in cattle class on a London-bound train packed with misery- …

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Nice

Lucky swine. You could probably do the same story in any number of small hamlets in deep dark Wales where my father-in-law lives. Except without the sunny summers.

Still, "Copper Cable of Uncertainty" - I'm using that phrase forever more!

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Re: Nice

I'm holding out for the '+5 Copper Cable of Uncertainty'.

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WBAGNFARB

"Cable Of Uncertainty" would be a good name for a rock band

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Coat

Re: WBAGNFARB

But, surely, TINC

Doubly so for WiMaX

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Happy

Sounds like the Spanish version of the 4 Yorkshiremen

Luxury!

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Ireland

Our overlords think Mobile or Satellite = Broadband. (They are not, Nor will LTE be BB. Esp. in the 5MHz channels they licensed)

In the Cities the Cable company gives 100Mbps.

Phone lines has dropped from from 82% to 50% due to 3rd world quality and highest in World Line Rental

So your nearly Broadband is better than 1/3rd of Irish population has.

We do have Donkeys and Horses. Sometimes even on the Motorway, which has signs forbidding Horse Buggies, yet there are no Amish.

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Lucky lucky bastard

Almost my perfect dream, although I would possibly not have chosen the extreme outer limits of Spain .. but the rural life, working from home, peace and quiet, awesome countryside ....

Enjoy it.

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<smug mode>

I live in rural Yorkshire with a view over the moors and work from my laptop, or less frequently my desk in the cold basement of the house. In summer it's lovely because I can sit outside and work in the sunshine and in winter it's even better because I can stay under the duvet while the other half gets up and braves the rain/sleet/snow to get to work.

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What's the traffic sign for "The internet stops here" ?

Iberbanda? Eeee, thee's don't know thee's born!

Casa Pete 2 is 8km from the nearest Iberbanda coverage. However for only a few more Euros per month, we get an HSPDA connection at a "screaming" 3.6MBit/s - at least that's what it dice on the lata - though to be fair the speed is usually pretty good. The only proviso being that you hold your mobile phone in exactly the right orientation, while standing on the roof.

As soon as the aforementioned signage gets moved closed to our place, sticks will be upped and another telecommuter will be on the plane to rural Spain.

I suspect that Spain and a lot of other countries could make some serious improvements to their current accounts by attracting more knowledge workers from the rich, rainy north of europe to the poor, sunny (though we suffer the same extremes of weather, that Lester describes: it's not always sunny in inland Spain, and when it is, it's bloody hot) south. However that would need a fair bit of improvement to the connectivity. Though doing that work would provide a fair few jobs, too.

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Re: What's the traffic sign for "The internet stops here" ?

"though we suffer the same extremes of weather, that Lester describes: it's not always sunny in inland Spain, and when it is, it's bloody hot"

Quite. Don't quite understand the idea of moving south and then living at 1,100 metres. Too damn cold up there.

Over here in Portugal however.....15 km inland from Albufeira (so I can go to the concrete and baked beans if I want to but we're the only English speakers in the 100 person village so still proper Portugal) ad the last time it snowed here was, erm, more than 5 years ago when we moved here.

Do you a nice 2 bed restored place around here for €150k.....

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Joke

SPB chief, in traditional local headdress, patiently awaits the arrival of WiMAX

But enough about Katarina, why the hell are you pretending to be a planter?

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Happy

Mirrors

my experience in rural Maine, dialup only for the first 7 years and then cable arrived. As I'm typing this the wood stove in the basement is going full blast and the pellet stove on the first floor has just kicked in. Temps in summertime 85-95F (old school, 29-35C new school) and anything down to -35F (-37C) in the winter. Whilst I'm not teleworking I'm at work within 10 minutes, my commute in the UK was close to 2 hours.

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Lasers

Ah - is this the reason for those high power lasers? Are you planning to modulate their beams with your internet traffic and get a decent connection that way? That would be _real_ broadband!

There's always a risk you might fry a Telefonica operative in the process though...

And if I might just add, You lucky, lucky bastard Lester

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The cold cottage

I'm thinking thermal rendering, double glazing (tastefully done of course) and loft insulation. I'm also thinking thermal underwear, easily ordered on e-bay.

If you get round to it, please post the pictures for us (but not of the thermal underwear; no, no).

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Re: The cold cottage

I think the place is a bit past insulation and some new windows. It'll have to be rebuilt at some point, just as soon as I've sorted the garage and garden out...

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Re: The cold cottage

Also, switching from cold beer to hot Glühwein (or Whisk[e]y, depending on your preferences) for the duration of the winter season should help!

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It is nice to see that you have overcome some of your problems. I've been here in the Pyrenees (French) for 20 years and 5 years ago we got ADSL in the village. Before that happened France Telecom re cabled the village when they were doing the Perpignan to Andorra fibre link. We had hoped they would bring fibre to the village as well but no luck so I'm still on the end of 6.5 km of copper but at least we don't get the drop outs when the wind blows or it rains as it did on dialup.

If your house is anything like mine the half metre thick walls should be an advantage both in keeping the inside cool in summer and warm in winter. The biggest problem I found was keeping the cold gales out in winter, that necessitated some work on the windows and doors but now I only need heating on for a max of two months a year. I do have a fire that allows for pushing warm air round the place through ducting though.

I do envy you though with your garden - I don't have one being almost at the top of the village which flows up the side if the hill.

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Anonymous Coward

Been there wearing the tee for 10 years now. We have two lines into our house in a rural country abroad for redundancy, mobile phone tarrif's with 3g, uk number redirection, strong token vpn's etc, for heating we laid underfloor heating and fitted a big automatic wood furnace with funky inverted fire and auto log feed capability and big water tanks, and then the stone heat intertia works great FOR you as the house takes days to cool down but you can still buy your logs from the local farmers to help the community. A poxy wood burner in one little room might seem like utopia, but it isn't.

I get up, set a fire off, or resurrect the remains of last night's in mid winter when we burn continually, do some conf calls + work, then cut and throw more logs in mid day (at 60Kw/hr output it runs 4 hours without attention), then back into the meelee. It's a great contrast and helps focus me for the afternoon and probably a lot better for me physically than nipping a gym for 30 mins on my way home. I'm also happy to work out of hours to get things done despite the usual prof day rates, since I'm here anyway and no horrid commute to deal with its nothing to walk in the office and just tweak some processes or check a cron job is working properly.

And the worlds a small place, in two hours I can be landing at various airports in the UK clutching my suit bag and snagging a hire car if circumstances dictate.

Plus we have enough space to do what we like, one of the outbuildings houses what in effect is a mini dc with two 47U racks full of kit to experiment with, a backup genny + ups etc. Another outbuilding has the office in it separate from the house with kvm over ip to the lab etc. Most of my co-workers don't even realize I'm a homeworker hence the posting anon.

I think the arrangement suits me, and my end clients. The only downside is you have to be incredibly disciplined to working without oversight, and your boss has to have faith in your commitment to that. Apart from you Lester, since your a journo :)

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Go

I hear Antarctica is getting better Internet and mobile coverage. Seeing as you enjoy the snow so much... Just saying.

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Cool as a bag of cool things

I admire your bravery and your determination to overcome the joy of prehistoric buildings, altitude and technology. And I especially like reading about it :)

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Anonymous Coward

Lucky Guy!

I live a few miles north of Watford and get a maximum 430kb/s broadband over BT copper.

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