When I was a youngster my dad used to say that “Kids today don’t know how good they have it.” I suspect he wasn’t the first one to say that, and I wouldn’t be surprised if George Washington’s father didn’t say something similar way back then. But I do have to say that a lot of people who grew up with smartphones and Wi-Fi really don’t know what it was like even 15 years ago as technology was developing.
There was a time when RVers depended on huge satellite internet dishes mounted on the roof of their rigs to get online. If one had the money, for several thousand dollars you could get an automatic dish mounted on the roof of your RV that deployed and locked onto the satellite at the push of a button. Well, it did if you were lucky. I saw people pull into a campground, hook up the utilities, and be happily cruising the Internet within 15 or 20 minutes. I also saw times when those dishes would just rotate around and around, seeking an elusive satellite they could not find for some reason.
If you didn’t have the bucks to buy a powered rooftop dish, you could buy a tripod-mounted dish that you put on the ground. Most of the people who had those became quite adept at finding the satellites and could often do so just as quickly as the guy in the next rig with the automatic dish.
We had a hybrid, a tripod unit that we mounted to a special folding mast on top of our MCI bus conversion. In transit, the LNB arm was removed and stored inside the bus. When we were stopped, I would boost Terry up through the emergency escape hatch in the roof over our bed. She was so good at aiming the dish that we were usually online as fast as somebody with an automatic dish could deploy theirs.
Occasionally this led to some interesting discussions with our campground neighbors. Somebody once saw the mast, which was basically a hollow pipe, folded down and asked me what that was all about. I told him it was a 40-millimeter cannon that we used to discourage tailgaters. He got a good laugh out of that and wanted to know where he could buy one, and another for the front end of his rig.
Once we were at Elkhart Campground in Indiana and I started to boost Terry through the roof, but she had me stop because she had forgotten the written coordinates she needed to aim the dish and needed to retrieve them. I started to boost her up again and she had me stop a second time because she needed the wrench she used to tighten the LNB on with. Finally we were ready again, and it was one, two, three, and up through the hatch.
Terry was up on the roof setting the dish up when the man in the RV parked next to us came outside and said, “I’m so glad to see you!” Assuming it was one of our readers, Terry said she was glad to see him, too. The man told her, “I was sitting there having my coffee and I saw this head coming up through the roof of your bus and I told my wife to look at it, and when she did it was gone. Then it came back again! She said that whatever the heck was going on over there was none of our business!”
I’m glad we cleared that up for him. Sometimes inquiring minds do want to know
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. We have an awesome prize this week, an autographed copy of Learn Google Photos 2021 by Chris Guld from the Geeks on Tour. The book is loaded with easy to understand instructions on how to assemble your lifetime of photo and video memories in one place, and then how to use the program’s powerful tools to edit, organize, and share them, all for free. Chris is a Platinum Level Product Expert for Google Photos and she and her husband Jim have taught classes on computer technology from coast to coast for years. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with U.S. addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.
Thought For The Day – Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut and still think they are sexy.