How to Keep from Getting Bored if the Internet Goes Down

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*GASP* What? The Internet could go down? What will we do? How will we survive? Unfortunately, it happens to all of us at some point. Here are some interesting ideas to keep yourself busy during the “Intarweb’s” downtimes.

  • Clean out and categorize your bookmarks. I don’t know about you, but I tend to just click ‘bookmark this page’ and call it good. Yesterday, when I hit the little ‘down arrow’ on Firefox to let the bookmark list scroll down I counted. I didn’t count sites, I counted seconds. 11 seconds worth of scrolling bookmarks is way too many. If you haven’t visited a site in a month it’s not important. Create categories and organize the list of bookmarks after you’ve eliminated all those links you don’t need. Do not create a miscellaneous category. Catch-all categories do exactly that and soon become difficult to use.
  • Uninstall programs you don’t use. Why delete them when you have plenty of space on the drive? Because it makes things like Scandisk and Defrag run faster. It might not make your PC run any smoother, but you’ll feel good knowing you aren’t wasting space.
  • Unplug your PC, take the cover off and clean out the dust. Invest in some canned air. Heat is a PC’s enemy and even in a clean environment, cooling fans suck dust through every opening and it builds up fast. If you have pets, do it once a month. I cleaned out enough dust to build a rabbit hutch to keep all the dust bunnies in.
  • Write your next blog post. If you use a blog client like BlogDesk just write and save. If not, write to a text file and format it after your connection is live. Not being connected may force you to write about something different, like say, five things to do when you have no Internet connection.
  • Run any maintenance programs you don’t have auto-scheduled. Reclaim your drive space and allow your PC to run smoother.
  • And now for number six, the bonus item. This is something I put off for a long time because it’s time consuming and no one really likes to think about what happens to the ones we love should something happen to us. You may need connectivity to accomplish this one, which is why the title isn’t six things to do with a PC when you have no Internet connection, but this one is important.

  • Write down your logins and passwords for all your sites, blogs, email accounts, Adsense, affiliate programs, where you purchased your domain names, etc. All that information is the key to your business. If something should happen to you your spouse or significant other will need that information. When you’re done, put the information in a safety deposit box or keep it in a fire resistant safe at the house and let the people that may need that information know where it is kept.

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42 thoughts on “How to Keep from Getting Bored if the Internet Goes Down”

  1. I like the bonus item, Chris. Actually, that’s not a bad idea. I have accounts everywhere, many at sites I don’t even remember. Though it doesn’t exactly work if my connection’s down, I think something good to do if you’re bored would be to check your browser history (Google history if you have it) and look for any sites that require logins. Put a list of all the sites you have accounts with somewhere, perhaps in Google Notebook or (my favorite) a personal MediaWiki installation. I have a page in my personal wiki just for that purpose. Works great! Now if I could only find the time to search out and find the several dozen accounts I haven’t listed there yet…

  2. Um… When the Interweb goes down at my place (thankfully, not that often), generally I take that as a sign that I might need to get away from the computer for a bit. Y’know… Read a book. Slap a DVD into the player and watch a movie–or maybe head to the multiplex and see one on the big screen. Call a friend and have a nice dinner out… y’know? Nothing wrong with using ‘net downtime for non-net/non-computer related activities

  3. When my internet goes down I usually get off my computer and get things I have been putting off done….. like my school projects or studying for that test next week.

  4. I think your tip about compiling a list of your usernames and passwords is enough to keep you busy for a long time if you have a bunch of usernames and passwords like I do.

    In the past I used roboform but now I am using a program called passpack – a cnet favorite! Its a wonderful program that you can access from any computer, without having to have a USB thumbdrive, like roboform to go, which is a very nice feature. Plus it has 3 different security features to prevent phishing and other potential breaches.


  5. forgot to mention though – to use passpack you must have an active internet connection…but as suggested in your post, you could write them down on paper and then transpose them to your password software when your connection comes back 😛


  6. i actually make good use of a “Miscellaneous” category whenever I am setting up and maintaining a filing system of any kind, computer or otherwise:

    There are often items that don’t easily fall into a category that has been predefined. I put those items into the misc. bin. When the misc. bin gets to a certain predetermined fullness (or sooner) I often find several of the items are clearly related and Voila! I have a new category for the main filing system. This helps me keep the number of categories down, because a huge multiplicity of categories each with one item in it is just as bad as a huge collection of items in the misc. bin.

  7. Great ideas. Stuff I should really do. The inside of my computer is really dirty, and I really need to clean it.
    And I am afraid to tackle my mess of bookmarks. About time I loose that data so I can start collecting them again.
    anyway, great post!
    ~ Condoulo

  8. I deal with no internet every day, for hours on end for reasons, usually i get super bored. I usually do the things listed above, clean computer internals, dusting, and cleaning off software and programs, and usualy alot of maitnence, but you can’t quite do it every day, would be to boring yet again, need a daily top 5 for this 🙂 that would help.

  9. I think that the bonus question is the most interesting because many people dont bother to waste their time writing all of their information down and it will be very useful if you die so your significant other doesnt need to have a hard time finding it out!

  10. Good Article. I wish, however, that i had this info earlier. My net went down and I was without civilization for a whole stinkin week. I almost became Tom Hanks in Castaway. Except instead of a volleyball it would have been my smoothwall server. Is that weird? SMOOTHIEEEEEEEEEE!


  11. I have personally done 1,2, and 5. I also organized my start menu (that would be a good tip along with the bookmarks). I had many programs that ran off the side of the screen (3+ rows of program), ya, i kno, its bad… anyways, i organized them into groups (Music Editing, Video editing, Utilities, etc.) Great way to organize if you have a lot of programs!

    Great Tips, btw!

  12. Well I must say my power has gone out a couple times and I just sit there. Next time I’m going to do everything you suggested. Thanks.

  13. I rarely save links in my bookmarks unless I haven’t had time to really read the information. I’ve created a folder called “Today”. Then when I’m ready to shutdown for the night I put all the tabs that I haven’t really read in that folder with today’s date.

    In the last 4 years my internet has gone down 3 times (except for brief outages due to t-storms – 15 minutes or less). Only 2 of them have been during the day and since I depend on the internet to work, I dial into Juno, so it really isn’t down and my husband has a work dialup. The outages lasted only a couple of hours.

    Thinking about your power failure, once my UPS was ready to shutdown my computer because the voltage to the house had gone over the limit for my UPS and the battery only lasts for half an hour. I had to steal my husband’s which supported a higher voltage, so I could work (our shifts were different that day). The power company help line told us that they didn’t have any other complaints, but we work at home in a neighborhood that barely has computers, let alone UPSs.

  14. without the internet you could do these things with your computer: make a video (web cam or using pics and music u have already) take pictures go thru ur itunes play sims or any other game write a short or long story take it apart and find new ways to improve it make it smaller put it into another computer or kill yourself so there you go MY list of things to do

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