<![if !vml]><![endif]>Down-Time. The term came
to be feared by computer people. So much that the computer people changed
Down-Time to Up-Time. Up-Time is much better, much more
positive, happy sounding. That's the first spin.
the amount of time your internet connection, website or email is
working, and it's measured in percentages. That's the second
internet, website and eMail Up-Time sounds pretty good. Merengue, a
popular Birth Control that's on TV all the time, says it's 99%
effective. So 99% must be good.
means you will be without internet, website or eMail for 15 minutes a day
on average. We are not very tolerant when it comes to our internet, or our
website, and especially not our eMail. My eMail lands every 60 seconds,
like jets at O'Hare, and we don't want our 15 jets circling now, do
If you only used the computer
for work, and only worked eight hours a day, you'd have a one in three
chance of having some of that 15 minutes in your day. But computer use
doesn't end at 5 o'clock. Your computer is probably running more like 16
hours a day. A two out of three chance. For the sake of argument
let's say that 15 minutes falls evenly across the day, with you having 5
minutes in the work day, and 5 minutes in your play day. Ten minutes of
It's not real likely you'll have exactly 15 minutes, not
like you could count on 100% Up-Time just because your 15 minutes was done
for the day. It's more likely you'll go days or weeks with no problems
at all. But remember, that 1% is out there waiting for you. It wouldn't be
99% Up-Time without 1% Down-Time.
What if you went trouble free for a whole month and then all
the 15 minute outages happened on one day? That's 7 1/2 hours. But
don't worry, we promised 99% Up-Time, and anything less than 7 1/2 hours a
month is still 99% Up-Time, so you're OK. That's the third spin.
With that much monthly Down-Time maybe a magazine
subscription is in order. It'll give you something to do while you
wait. Doc Borman (not his real name) always had good magazines
for while you wait. There was a fair share of pregnant women in there
waiting too. I do not kow if they used Merengue, but 99% is not looking too
good right now.
99.6% is way better. Less than 5 minutes a day, 3 1/2
minutes which end up in your day, totaling under 2 1/2 hours a month. Point
5, point 6, is about what you can expect without
paying premiums. 99.9% Up-Time guarantees are available. That gets you
down to 2 minutes a day, one hour a month. One hour a month is better
than 7 1/2.
We are not tolerant when it comes to our internet.
People will pay the premium for a 99.9% Up-Time guarantee,
maybe ten times the price of a 99.6% Up-Time guarantee. Seems like a
lot to pay for that extra 3 minutes a day. But it is guaranteed,
and that's the fourth spin.
Our cable company is good about guarantees. If cable
goes out for a day, they credit you a day. All three
dollar's worth. What else would they do? Pay you for pain and
suffering? The internet companies do. If you're down for a day, a 7
1/2 hour day, they'll give you a whole month free. That should more than
make up for any lost revenue. I have no idea what Merengue does if you get
pregnant. Maybe they pay for your kid's braces, or cell phone, or college,
I don't know.
Paying several times the 99.6% price, just to have
a .3% better chance of getting a month's free service, wouldn't
make sense to most people. There is no guarantee of 99.9% Up-Time,
just the promise of something when it fails. Paying even twice the cost of
99.6% for an extra point 3 percent chance of getting one of 12 months
free isn't a good deal. Even a free year would only get you back to even.
99.0%, good enough for Birth Control, not good
enough for internet, but that's your call, and that's Cocktail