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Posted by Andrew Bartels on November 1, 2012
Like many others in the New York region, I am writing this in a cold, mostly power-less house, without landline telephone or Internet connections. Thanks to the foresight and generosity of a neighbor with a generator, we have an extension cord that is powering the refrigerator and one light, plus charging of various iPhones, iPads, and PCs. With a gas range for cooking and intact house, we are basically engaged in high-class camping, with both the pleasures and discomforts that entails.
Right now, my only electronic connection to the outside world is through my iPhone, which did provide email through the storm, though cell voice service went missing for 36 hours after Sandy hit. I am writing this on my laptop, which doesn’t have Internet access, because I refuse to write an article like this on the keypad of an iPhone. (Yes, I know, I should have bought the iPad with 3G, but do I really need to spend $600 just for that?) Once I get this written, I will head to the nearby Starbucks and use their Wi-Fi to post this blog.
What this experience has reinforced for me are four lessons:
As for what the impact this disaster will have on tech markets – well, the short answer is not much. Any cutbacks in near-term tech buying due to the storm will be more than offset by purchases to replace equipment lost in flooded homes and data centers. What it may do is cause firms to rethink where they have their servers and data centers – below ground in potentially flooded basements now does not look so smart – and perhaps strengthen concerns about relying too much on the cloud. Mostly, it will serve as a cautionary tale, along the lines of the lessons I outlined above.
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