Saturday, April 01, 2006

Phone me @ midnight, for free internet... yes absolutely free!

I have for some time been looking for the right place to set up my long term cartoon project, an on-line cartoon bar on the net itself. Regular folks can attend via suitable web portals but must assume a comic book character style avatar on entry. It was to be called Club Zero.

After a long search for the right ISP to host this I stumbled on a very interesting phenomena, but lets start where the story begins, Whilst traveling in the southern pacific last year I came across a beautiful uncharted set of tiny islands at lat -6.160990°long 179.991670°
clubzero's new home
It was a beautiful spot, i spent the better part of a day there. I also accidentally left behind an old satellite phone still hooked up to a radio transmitter and solar powered recharger. It was most likely behind a rock or somewhere not so obvious and didn't miss them until a few weeks later (too late to return)
Amazing it still answers the phone and lets me control the radio. The only good signals I can get are on american samoa, about 3° south and 10° to the west. Luckily there are an a couple of unsecured WiFi node, called afdj1 & afdj1 there and I can get internet access. All pretty amazing but only the start of the story...

Back to the hunt for an ISP, I was drawn to the many affordable domian registrations options available through Tovalu, which also happend to have the domain so was born... Now if I manage to time my call to my satetlite phone perfectly, just afters it's local midnight, and connect to the hotspot in american samoa which takes under 2 seconds, then connect to my website in Touvalu another 2 seconds, I have two entries on the interent to establish my session but the start is in yesterday and the response to it is in tomorrow (with respect to the inital request). You see the signal is travelling back and forth across the date line, once by radio and back by the net. All works well except on the internets central bandwidth billing site. The one day time difference causes the session to be dumped as an error, and while i can stay connected without much difficulty, it is is prefectly free for the rest of that session. So come and say hello at the club some time soon and i might even share my access number and the afdj codes.

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