Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Accessing the Internet

A lot of you have asked me about how I connect to the Internet, access my email, and write this blog! Here goes....

Right now the Indian station, Maitri, does not enjoy the facility of 24×7 internet connectivity. Hence I do not enjoy the facility of browsing internet and access my own email accounts. We exchange emails through shared account. The station has installed desktop computers at many places for people to write their emails with the addresses on outlook express. Every morning, one of us downloads them on a floppy or CD to deliver it to the telecommunication room which once or twice a day connects to the 'Amos' server in Holland to send and receive all the emails. These are then uploaded into various desktops for people to read them. If we wish we also receive printouts too of our emails. Another limitation of this service is that we can not attach a file or photograph with our mails. Many members who either are not computer literate or whose families do not enjoy the computer or internet facility, their letters written in long hand are scanned and sent to NCAOR at Goa which then posts a printout of the same to the family of the member.

One wise thing that I did was to bring my laptop here. I can work on it as much as I want at any time of the day without depending upon the availability of desktop. However I have to submit my emails to the telecom room for dispatch.

I must tell you about a development that is taking place right now at Maitri. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has approved a plan to install an Earth Station at Maitri. The equipment has arrived and so have the technicians and the scientists from ISRO and ECIL to install and make it functional. The work has begun and by March this year it will become functional after up linking it with a satellite. It means that the station will enjoy round the clock internet connectivity and members will be able to browse internet, access their own email accounts and the limitation on the size of the email or attachments will cease to exist. It will be a major help to the scientists who will be able to send their data back to their labs and departments in India on regular basis for further analysis and uploading. The station will also be able to receive direct telecast from India of at least of a few channels. Right now we have no telecast here. TV watching is essentially watching bollywood or Hollywood movies on the DVD. There are regional movies too. The library has a good stock of movies which is replenished every year with new releases.

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