I remember back in the day when setting up a computer network was . . . well honestly, if was pretty difficult. Most networks used coaxial cables (we’re talking “the dawn of ethernet” timeframe), and rather than all the computers connecting through hubs or switches they ran in a big circle or along a straight line.

This meant that if one computer in the network went down, the whole thing went down. Literally.

The joke in those days was “imagine if IBM ran the phone network . . . every time a new phone was installed, everyone who already had one would need to reboot”.

As over 24 hours have passed since Skype, for all practical purposes, stopped working, I’m reminded of the old days. And I feel like IBM Skype is running the phone network.

Under the category of “you get what you pay for”, I can almost accept that since most of my communications over Skype are free, I don’t really have a whole lot to complain about. And honestly, even the paid connections at (basically) $.02 per minute anywhere in the world are so inexpensive that I have to ask myself what right I have to complain if I compare to the cost of the same calls run over my “real” phone company.

Or Not.

Skype is owned by Ebay. The company has a multi-billion dollar valuation;  some days the stock market values it higher than the few traditional phone companies that are still with us. YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE THEY HAVE AT LEAST A COUPLE OF PEOPLE ON STAFF WATCHING THINGS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WHOLE NETWORK DOESN’T IMPLODE.

And yet, here we all sit, waiting for the service to come back to life, and adding insult to injury Skype keeps changing their story regarding what’s gone wrong. I’ll tell you what’s gone wrong: we’ve all forgotten about value and preparedness.

I don’t know whether that saddens me more relative to big corporations, or people.

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