Life advice from the experts.
We look upon the Internet with the same jaundiced eye with which a sailor regards the ocean.
We love it and hate it in equal measure.
We devine in its marvellous attributes something that engenders both fear and respect. It can offer extremes of malice and kindness, be motherly and vindictive and seductive by turns. It is a wild, untamed enchantress recalling the fevered descriptions of Salome in Joris-Karl Husman’s novel À rebours.
The internet is a repository of information – a natural home, of course, to a place like Shlunk. But that comes at a terrible price.
You must be ever vigilant to its capricious whims – and never ever have any faith in it whatsover.
Well, hang on. The technical explanation is, of course, a multi-faceted and annoyingly imprecise. There are a whole bunch of reasons for the internet to be slow.
We should point out that the solutions we will offer are DIY applications.
In most cases – they will be of absolutely no help.
This is because there is a much larger problem at work quite out of your control. It may be that you live in the middle of a black spot without proper internet access (certain parts of the Nullarbor Plain, for example, or the study in my flat) or there is a covert alien invasion underway.
We will not discuss these problems (much), so as to prevent you further mental discomfort.
(Oh fear not, our child who covets the bulbous, and slightly sore, teat of Shlunk. Okay, so maybe we’ve had to apply the metaphorical talc to the slight chaffing we’ve incurred from our endeavors but the milk of knowledge has not run dry – or been diluted with some other substance, such as a low-fat or powdered alternatives.)
• Firstly, you may just have a shit internet provider. Of course we can’t point fingers, for fear of libel. Most of the major players have a beady eye upon those at the vanguard of internet use. Shlunk, therefore, has to be careful what it says.
All we can divulge is that, if your internet provider is providing your internet with any claims to your confidence, then you are being conned and duped and the merry laughter they are enjoying is so uncontrollable that the champagne they are quaffing is coming out of their nose.
If you have an internet provider who says without exception that their internet service is unreliable, their service inept, and can only be relied upon to bill you with any consistency – then at least you have the consolation of honesty, so while you may have shit internet service, it doesn’t stink too bad.
• You are downloading too many things. In fact there may be a certain aggressiveness to the way you are downloading things. You are making too many claims on the internet’s time and you are testing its patience in the way someone may test that of a large alsation with a squeaky toy. The internet requires patience and coaxing. It needs to be stroked and canjolled into action.
It will not respond to angry thumping of the return key – whether you use a finger or your fist. Nor will it respond encouragingly to being screamed at.
Shut everything bar the one thing you need to do. If you’re internet banking – like transferring vast amounts of money to your internet service provider – try to resist the urge to make random Google searches on a whim. Even if every part of your being is suddenly screaming out to know who the drummer from Mike + And the Mechanics was.
Make sure a download is not happening covertly in the background. Your computer will often try to download stuff from the manufacturer. Not only will slow down your internet – you will get annoyed further when you get told things like “Your computer needs to shutdown to properly install these updates”. These updates will, of course, be of absolutely no use because they will have been designed by programmers for whom reality is a mythical land and the Big Bang Theory is a devastating social-realist drama.
Try to relax. Assume an attitude of extreme insouciance. If you have to pretend like it doesn’t matter then so be it.
Which leads us – well, not particularly neatly, but with a certain sense of obliging decorum – neatly to:
• The reason your internet is slowing down is most probably because you are doing something fundamentally important. We’re talking about something that you’re actually trying to achieve. Let’s say, quite unbiographically, it’s ten to five in the afternoon. You have a job application to do, cut-off time for a thesis, you know your dealer is going away to Byron that afternoon so you need to Skype him immediately … we don’t know the exact situation. We don’t care.
Whatever you do don’t blame yourself for this situation. You are the victim of two phenomena:
• DNA encoding in the human species which has dictated five minutes before deadline is the most productive moment in anyone’s life.
• The Contrary Hysteresis Imperative (CHI) – which will be well-known to most readers of Shlunk. (Although this is actually the first time we’ve mentioned it in these pages, we assume the theory will be well-known to the planet’s intelligentsia, of whom our devotees naturally form the core group.)
For those that are more casual readers, The Contrary Hysteresis Imperative refers to a fundamental Universal law which ensures that nothing quite goes according to plan, including the Contrary Hysteresis Imperative itself. Discovered in 1962 by Dr Karl Nathan-Turner, who formulated a theoretical algorithm based on the law as a result of a protracted and disastrous Summer holiday in Greece, it’s as influential on the grand scheme of things as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
Scientists and mathematicians have sinced used it to extrapolate the origins of the Big Bang and the reason why it always rains when you leave the house without an umbrella.
Anyway, what you have to do is cheat fate, which – as we’ve implied before – is playing that perverse sunnuvva-bitch at its own game.
If you are in dire straits and you’re internet is rolling with slightly less momentum than the 8:50am from Stanmore, let’s say you’re actually trying to use the last vestiges of your will-to-to find a new internet provider … get a grip. Keep it cool. Lean back and adopt a generally laissez fair attitude. Ignore the pounding, thumping muscle in your chest. Make a cup of tea while you wait. Preferably Camomile. Dip into some Balzac.
Whilst doing that, you’re essentially blind-siding the forces of the Universe. At the very last minute you strike. And hit the button. Caught unawares, the sluice gates of the internet will open – the sites you wish to visit will appear crisply and assuredly, the emails you send will disappear with majesty and grace of Shatner beaming down to the surface of Janus VI.
• You have virus infecting your machine. This stuff will be leeching off your internet bandwidth. Unfortunately, the internet, as with other organisms that represent a collective flourishing of great natural beauty, such as the Amazon or the Great Barrier Reef or the contents of my garage, perversely also offers sanctuary for disreputable parasitic types. This stuff preys on god-fearing folk like yourself – who, like a frightened and confused lamb, wander unknowingly into the dodgier parts of the internet. There is very little you can do about it. These things happen.
Prevention of viruses to your laptop or PC, however, is an answer so brain-meltingly obvious it probably hasn’t occured to you:
It’s as simple as that. If you have an overwhelming urge to crack one off – pop over to your folk’s place under some pretence and shut the door to the study. You can then relax and put the seminal luge team through its paces, with the complete confidence your laptop lies safely out of harm’s way.
Work computers are also good for that – because the security systems they have in place have to be powerful enough to prevent government agencies from discovering the mass tax evasion at play or the misappropriation of funding for the installation of a disco ball in the canteen. If you are ever really compelled to click the YES button in response to the question: “congratulations you are the 1000,000 visitor to this site – would you like to claim this prize?” make sure you do so in the cheerful bosom of work. Ditto if the question is “This site contains adult-material – are you 18 or over?”
And apologies if that sounds slightly obvious – but we at Shlunk are not afraid common good sense. You can trust that we’ll tell it like it is.