Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Abyss, Part 2

The Internet is super-slow here.  I mean, slower than any connection I have ever experienced.  It doesn't matter if I'm on the wi-fi at my apartment or on my Vietnamese phone that supposedly has 3G.  It's slow.  And it keeps disconnecting frequently.  But I hear that in Laos, it is about 10 times slower than Vietnam.  Oh, joy.  I'll probably be going to Laos in about a month.  And it is not one of the countries I get free data in, though Thailand and Cambodia are, I think.  I really miss the super-fast connections I had in South Korea, which is supposed to be the nation with the fastest Internet in the world.  But it's hard to complain much when I'm only paying about five bucks a month here in Vietnam for cell service.

The backup from my phone's SD card to Dropbox that I started on November 4 (and described in this post from November 8) finally finished sometime last night.  Today is the 24th, so it took 20 days of being almost constantly connected to the Internet via my apartment's wi-fi to back up my phone's files, which were mostly pictures and videos. Part of it is Dropbox's crappy and slow interface; I found posts from people online who indicated that they were not getting much faster speeds than I did at the fastest speeds that I got.  Later I also found posts online indicating that backing up is faster through Dropbox's web interface than through their app.  I could have tried that, and I might next time, but I had already started it through the app so I continued it because there was no easy way to tell which of the 12,000 files had and had not uploaded.

I did restart my computer a few times when it would not connect, and of course, there was constant disconnections and slowdowns.  And I don't think I even backed up all of the files I have on the card, but the pics and videos are good enough for now. I'm not going to take another week or more to back up the rest right now.  I had to keep the card out of my phone the whole time, stuffed into a card adapter and plugged into my laptop's SD card slot, so after a while I had to buy a new 128 GB SD card for my phone so it would be functional.  I had to do it through the laptop, because it wouldn't back up at all through my phone...Dropbox would not even acknowledge the directory where my pics and videos are on my card.

I have no space at all in my phone's internal memory, which is becoming a problem, because every once in a while when I am trying to read emails, I'll get a message that says, "Not enough space in memory."  The problem is that some stuff will just not load onto the card...mostly apps and some data for apps.  And there is probably some garbage that builds up too.  So every few days, I'll have to clear cache and wipe out as much trash as I can just so I can continue.  The last few times I did it, I even had to remove some apps because clearing cache is not enough any more.  I don't know why my internal data is filling up more and more because I'm not adding anything to it; I try to put everything on the SD card.  But I guess there are some processes that can only be done in internal memory.

The last few days of the backup were also horrible and really slow.  There was one day in mid-backup where 1000 files uploaded, and it gave me some hope.  But that was an anomaly; I never got any fast days after that.  And in the last week, it stuck for a couple days on 31 files left to go, then stuck again for another couple days at 15 files left to go.  Aaaauuugghhh.  But yesterday, it was at 15 and not moving, and when I woke up it had finished.  Success.  I hope.

When I got the new SD card, I went to the laptop accessories street here in Hanoi, and stopped at a place that had SD cards.  I asked the guy behind the counter if he had a 128 GB card, and he didn't have one on hand, but he took off on his motorbike to get one, telling me "five minutes."  I waited around the shop; it was probably about twenty minutes before he returned, but it was a high quality, Sandisk SD card.  I popped it into my phone immediately to make sure it worked and it did.  So now at least I have a backup card.  But I don't know what I am going to do about the internal memory being full.  I would have a difficult time upgrading from abroad with T-Mobile, and I can buy an unlocked phone here, but then I won't get some features like wi-fi calling, which I need.  And I'm not going to change carriers from T-Mobile, because it is the only one that offers me free data and texts in most of the countries on Earth.  Unfortunately, Vietnam is not one of them, which is why I had to get a Vietnamese phone and SIM card.

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