Tips and Tricks on surviving Bandwidth Hell
I use an Orange 3G connection here in Gaborone Botswana, paying $20/month on a prepaid basis (no contract) for 800GB with no voice airtime included. It is not the greatest connection and often has the connectivity problem revolving circle symbol on the android phone next to the signal strength bars. I tend to go through about 1.6GB/month, so it can cost me $40/month unless there are special offers…
I use data on the smartphone itself � a ZTE Blade San Francisco with Android 2.1 � but mainly on the PC � a Lenovo i5 Z580 � tethered to the Phone using EasyTether.
Some surprising discoveries:
1. Yahoo mail works on the PC but gmail does not � so I switched from gmail as my prime mail with yahoo forwarding into gmail to the reverse of that. If gmail are serious about operating in the Third World they should check this out and rectify.
2. Facebook and facebook mobile and also facebook zero (www.facebook.com http://m.facebook.com and http://0.facebook.com ) all work nicely. Note that I set my browser to work usually without displaying images
3. I prefer chrome browser over Opera which is slower and over Internet Explorer which is slower again. Have not tried Firefox recently. The tortuous procedure for switching from images off to images on and vice-versa on every browser is a complete pain in the backside � it should be a single keystroke – browser designers for the Third Wold take note!
4. Despite trying everything, cannot get twitter to work on the PC at all (except by going to cybercafe and plugging PC into their LAN) � this is a big blow, since I like twitter � a great way to practice politics and waste a lot of time agreeing with others of the same disposition as yourself without ever achieving anything… Twitter people if you are serious about the Third World then investigate and fix…
5. WordPress only works on the smartphone � I compose on the pc, save as txt file and copy over to the phone to upload to wordpress
6. Filezilla works great on the PC for uploading
7. Free Download Manager works great on the PC for downloading
8. Pidgin instant messenger works fine on the PC when using gmail/ googletalk ID but will not
work with Yahoo ID � yahoo investigate?….
9. Skype video I would never try. Skype keyboard chat/instant messenger I dont use because recent Skype versions seem to cause general PC problems
11. Http://m.wikipedia.org � which is meant to be a free service inside Botswana on the Orange network � doesnt work at all on the PC and takes forever to load on the smartphone � NOT impressed! – Orange and/or wikipedia must up their game!… Incidentally, a techie at Orange told me that m.wikipedia.org is hardly used in Botswana… – I am not surprised…
12. Surprisingly, http://schools-wikipedia.org works nicely on the PC without images, and rather well on the smartphone…. This is a very useful subset of wikipedia….
13. In general, it is amazing how few sites, especially newspapers, do simple work on their webpages to make them mobile-friendly � sometimes they do not even need a special mobile subset of their website � only to add one line in the header code.
Alex Weir, Gaborone, Botswana, Friday 16 August 2013
+26772982005 (GMT+2 hours)