As I mentioned in a previous post (Thank You WeBoost), our cell signal where we are currently parked in South Carolina is erratic. Over the last week, despite WeBoost, it has become very irritating internet. We will have two bars of 4G one minute, and then the next minute it is one bar of 1X and everything is shut down. Although we can get several bars of 3G regularly, it is not fast enough to stream any video, and most of the television we prefer to watch is streamed.
It takes 10 minutes to upload one picture for my blog, although my tech adviser always reminds me that I can reduce the size of the picture files without hurting quality on the blog. 3G is plenty fast enough for e-mails and for most of my blog stuff. But sometimes when we are surfing the web it takes forever for something to load. I asked Tom yesterday how we ever did anything on the internet when it was always this slow!
The really irritating internet problem right now is doing our FISSA training. Any government employee or volunteer has to get certified on the Federal Information System Security Awareness annually. We did it in Death Valley and the internet in the office there was so stinky that it took me six days to complete it (it is supposed to take three hours). Yesterday I headed down to headquarters to do my FISSA renewal. I’ve been told the computers down there have pretty good internet and are reliable. HA!
Things started out well enough. I got logged in, and headed into the six-module class. I got through the first three modules in a little over an hour. Woohoo! Then, in the middle of Module Four, the computer locked up. Rats. I exited the program, waited fifteen minutes for it to reload, finished reading the information for Module Four, loaded the test, answered the first question, and the computer locked up again. Exiting the program in the middle of a test means an automatic fail on the test. I laid hands on the computer, prayed over it, waited, and nothing. Finally I closed the program and launched it again, which took another 15 minutes of download time.
You can take the tests as many times as you need to to get a pass, so I loaded in the test for Module Four. This time the answers came up on top of the questions. So it was kind of a crap shoot to read the answers and pick the best one. Fortunately the test for Module Four only has two questions. Unfortunately I missed one (couldn’t read the answers!) so I got another fail. I took the test again and passed it the third time.
On to Module Five. I breezed through that and didn’t have any problems with the test. Big sigh of relief. I had a half hour left before headquarters would close, but that should have been plenty of time for Module Six. Halfway through reading the information the computer locked up again. I relaunched the program, but after 15 minutes it wasn’t loading. So I shut it down and decided to finish this morning.
Meanwhile, Tom had been doing his FISSA renewal here in the RV on our computer. At 4:15 (the exact moment I got kicked out of Module 6) his program stopped working. Was it the irritating internet or a problem at the Department of Interior FISSA site? The rest of the night, however, we couldn’t get a decent internet signal in the RV. Tom was especially frustrated because he had some other internet business and he was not able to do it.
As soon as I finish this post I will head down the hill to Headquarters and try to finish my FISSA. Only half a module and one test to go – so close! I am praying the irritating internet will cooperate. Failing that, I must remember that “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:4). At least I have the character part down.