No Internet? No Problem.

No Internet Sad Face

If you’re like me, you spend over 12 hours a day on the Internet. Most of your hobbies require a computer and not having Internet would really be a detriment to your day. You probably wouldn’t even be able to socialize with a lot of your friends if you couldn’t connect to the Internet. Basically, 90% of your life takes place on the Internet and without it you would perish. I’m going to tell you that although it will not be all roses and daisies, you can still manage to get a couple of things done without it.

The reason I’m writing this article is because I’ve been having a lot of Internet outages recently, and for long periods of time too. There’s really nothing I can do about it, so I’ve been finding ways to keep myself busy until it comes back. I’m going to tell you how I’m doing that, and to prepare you in the awful case of an Internet outage.

I’m going to talk about the media you should have. Having a steady amount of readily available media on your computer is key to your sanity. Firstly, Make sure you always have a couple of hours worth of podcasts on your computer. If you like to read, then having a couple of e-books or e-manifestos will really pay off when you have nothing else to read. Also, for you development folks out there, this can be a good time to get a lot of work done without any distractions. As a matter of fact, because you don’t have many distractions, it turns out that not having Internet is perfect for getting ideas for blog articles. Have you been slacking on your reps lately? You can take this time to catch up with your studying. And as a last resort, make sure you have a couple of games downloaded on your computer.

Okay, let’s talk about podcasts. Where to get them, how many to have to be safe, and why they’re the most important. There are plenty of places to get your podcasts, but I usually get mine from iTunes. If you’re studying a language, iTunes is a must just for the fact that you can download the podcasts. If you’re not studying a language, then search your interests. I can guarantee that you will find a couple of interesting ones to listen to. So how many should you have to be safe in the case of an Internet outage? I would recommend about 5 – 6 hours worth of podcasts. Most podcasts are 20 – 60 minutes so it won’t take you that long to get that amount. Now if you’re learning a language, I would recommend another 5 – 6 hours for each language. For example, I have 6 hours worth of podcasts in English, 6 in Japanese, and another 6 in Spanish. Make sure you’re constantly updating these as well. You don’t want to be stuck with old content when your Internet cuts off. That would be torture. In my opinion, I believe these will be your most important assets in surviving the No-Internet Apocalypse because you can leave them in the background and do other things. They will keep you entertained but they also won’t keep all of your attention. You can use that to do other things, like read a book.

Reading on the computer

Speaking of books, they’re very important as well. Always have a couple of e-books on your computer about the things you’re interested in. I have a folder on my computer named “Books”. In this section, I compartmentalized it even further to what the books are about. I have sections named, “Web Development”, “Entrepreneurial”, “Japanese, “Music”, “Security”, and “Self-Help”. It’s good to split things up into sections so you won’t get confused when you’re trying to find that specific e-book. There are so many places to get e-books but I’ll list a few places where I find mine. For the more entrepreneurial e-books, I tend to visit websites like ChangeThis.com. Web Development e-books tend to be easier to find, in my opinion. O’reilly sells e-book versions of their books for very cheap. Also, net-tuts does the same. As for the language you’re learning (if any) just save whatever interests you. Take note that it doesn’t necessarily have to be in .pdf format. It can be in any readable format. Self-Help blogs tend to give away e-manifestos for free that consist of their top posts if you sign up for their newsletter. That’s a pretty good deal, so I usually do it.

Developing Actionscript 3

Now let’s talk about development. All developers know that the Internet can distract from doing work. It’s so easy for us to get distracted because our work takes place on computers, and what else resides in computers? That’s right, your browser. You don’t necessarily have to wait for an Internet outage to receive the benefits of not having Internet though. You can download plugin such as LeechBlock. Add the websites that take away most of your time to the list and when you really need to get some work done, just turn it on. It’ll stop you from visiting any time-sucking websites. Actually I did a huge portion of my theme, 75% or so, when I didn’t have Internet. There’s one downside to developing without Internet and that is docs. When you’re programming, or writing markup for websites you forget things sometimes and that’s why you need readily available docs, cheat sheets, and other helpful things. Make sure you always have a couple for when things go bad. I have cheat sheets, docs, and helpful .txt files for when I write HTML, CSS, Vanilla JavaScript, and jQuery. You might want to download a couple of videos to supplement you as well. It’s already frustrating enough when you don’t have Internet, so you don’t want to make it worse on yourself by not getting docs. Do yourself a favor and get them as soon as possible.

When you don’t have Internet, it seems like coming up with ideas is a bit easier. When you’re on the Internet, you’re constantly surrounding yourself with new information, and new things. You’re always reading and you barely get the chance to seriously contemplate, and think about these things. That’s why most of my blog ideas come when I turn off my computer and go to bed. It takes me a while to fall asleep so I’ll think about a couple of ideas and I write them all down so I won’t forget. Now if your Internet goes down for a couple of days or so, you’ll have a lot of time to seriously think about what you’ve been reading lately. That will spark ideas for blog articles. Make sure you write them all down using a program like Evernote.

Studying on the computer

Studying is a very subjective issue. Some people enjoy studying, and other don’t. It can even change around some days. You’ll find yourself enjoying studying, and the next day you don’t want to go anywhere near your SRS. If you’re slacking on your reps, then not having Internet will give you enough time to catch up. When I’m studying my Kanji, I turn off my Internet. The reason for that is because I tend to muck about and check twitter, or my email in between sessions. If I keep it off, it’ll give me enough time to focus for more than a couple of sessions . There’s so much to see, and so much to do on the Internet and that’s why it’s hard to focus on studying. You’ll see that a couple of days without Internet and you’ll start feeling like there’s nothing to do. Don’t worry, these tips will keep you busy until it comes back.

Engineers playing computer games

If you couldn’t already tell, I don’t play games very much. I definitely still think they’re fun, but I’m the type of person who has to feel productive all the time. Playing games doesn’t make me feel productive. Still, when you don’t have any Internet access they can be very useful. They can make time pass by very quickly, and hopefully your Internet will come back before you get too bored. Some of the games that I have on my computer include: Minecraft, Terraria, Nethack, and other small indie titles. I also have a PSP with Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. If you’re looking for a place to find free, and good, indie titles, then you should try TigSource.com and IndieGames.com. Both of those websites are awesome and you’ll be able to find a lot of free games to play in the awful case of an Internet outage.

Well you’re well on your way to surviving in the harsh environment of having no Internet. Most people don’t begin to think about what they’ll do after their Internet goes out, so you’ll definitely be one step ahead of a lot of people. Just remember, that having a steady source of media is the key. Have a lot of it on your computer just in case, and you’ll be able to survive.

P.S. – If this post helped you prepare for the No-Internet Apocalypse, then you should let your friends know as well by liking and retweeting this post.

P.P.S. – If you’re as ready as I am for a possible Internet outage, then follow me on twitter here.

Pictures: I don’t own any of the images used in this post.

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