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Time to Make Changes…

November 10th, 2007

… to the look and feel of this Blog.

One of the zillion neat things about using WordPress as your Blog software is the ability to change the theme (look and feel) of the Blog pretty much any time you get the urge.

The last theme, brownish in nature, was OK, but some folks found hard to read. The prior theme that I really liked (the one with the raindrops on green leaves) was excellent, but after 6 months of trying, I could never get the ‘search’ feature to work properly. Searching in a Blog this size is important as there are years of Posts on many different topics. Many people just click one of the Categories that are listed to the right, but that is dependent on the Post author correctly ticking off check marks in all the appropriate categories.

Anyway, while changing a WordPress theme talkes about 10 seconds, adding back the custom coding on this blog will take days and will most assuredly screw up the site until I fix it! So please be patient if you click here and the display is truly fouled up. Trust that I am all over it! Sadly (or happily), I am buried in work and this Blog must come behind my actual income producing labors.

Love it? Hate it? Could give a hoot? Feel free to leave a comment.

ICE Incapable of Satisfying the Internet Needs of Costa Rica

September 14th, 2007

Wow! Whatta surprise, huh? That was one of the headlines in yesterday’s La Nacion. It seems that once again, our friendly local communications monopoly has been caught totally unawares by the now 15 year old Internet revolution. Apparently, someone in the “strategic planning group” felt that the unprecedented growth of the Internet world-wide simply was not going to affect little old Costa Rica. According to this article, some 36 localities are affected to the point where new connections are very limited.

Continue reading »

Satellite Internet Service in Costa Rica

August 25th, 2007

Internet service is available all over Costa Rica. That is not to say it will be good Internet service, but at least you can connect. If you live outside of the central valley, the chances of getting a high speed connection drop considerably, though in fairness, many of the popular tourist destinations now have some high speed capability.

However, if you live in any of the many hundreds of other cities outside the central valley or the tourist spots, your only option is a telephone modem, or perhaps a (quite poorly working) connection using a GSM cell phone. Either way, you are getting not only a very slow connection speed but often unreliable service as well.

Over the past few years, there have been companies promoting satellite Internet service in Costa Rica. On the surface, this seems like a great idea for those needing a decent connection speed but who prefer to live outside the main population areas.

As I have written in The REAL Costa Rica, these installation are totally illegal in Costa Rica.

If this topic is of interest to you, read on…

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Costa Rica Cell Phone Update

November 22nd, 2006

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) – our friendly local state-run telecommunications monopoly has decided to purchase an entirely new GSM cell phone network rather than expand the current network.

Why is this a big deal? Because with this announcement, we know that it will be at least another year… more likely two-three years before cell phone (telephone) numbers can again be purchased. Believe it or not, this is probably good news.

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Now Get The REAL Costa Rica Blog by Email

October 22nd, 2006

I have received several emails from people asking if they could get new posts and updates to The REAL Costa Rica Blog by email. They prefer to receive new Posts by email so as to not have to deal with RSS or visit a ton of blogs to see if anything new has been added.

This turned out to be a pretty simple request thanks to the folks at Feedburner, the company that handles my RSS feeds. Interested? To subscribe, just place your email address in the subsciption form at the top-right. You will immediately receive a verifying email which you must answer. Then you will be all set. The system will send you a copy of any new posts in HTML format at about 6-9 AM CST. No posts? No email.

Prefer a direct link to subscribe? Click Here

No More Cell Phone Lines… AGAIN!

October 20th, 2006

For most of the years I have been in Costa Rica, you could not just run down to your local cell phone store or to ICE and get a new phone line. You could always buy the PHONE but not the line. Nope… You had to wait. You had to place you name on a waiting list… and wait. Sometimes a year or two. Once your name came up on the list, you could buy a LINE (presuming you were a legal resident, a citizen, or owned a corporation), and have it installed on the phone.

Well thanks to your local friends at ICE (why YES!, The very same ones who are fighting the Free Trade Agreement tooth and nail), the good old days are returning!

Continue reading »

Visit the new Real Costa Rica

June 10th, 2006

RCRI am not sure what on earth possessed me to do an entire re-write of The Real Costa Rica, but I did and it is now online for your viewing pleasure or displeasure. The most obvious thing you will notice is the new color scheme and menu system. There are also a lot of new pages, new pictures, about 500 new links… ugh. I still have to install the new search engine though the olde one seems to be working perfectly. Go figure!

Thanks to those who tested the site. Reading the same old pages for errors is booooring, but you really helped!

Anyway… here it is: The REAL Costa Rica

Enjoy!

The REAL Costa Rica (redux)

May 23rd, 2006

Every since I published the Real Costa Rica web site, I have received a zillion emails and comments in the Guestbook. Most are complimentary and a few are from people who have really dug into the RCR and found errors (precious few!), typos (a LOT) and have made suggestions on how to better the web site.

Continue reading »

411? Anyone? Hello?

May 12th, 2006

Costa Rica is getting a new 411 directory assistance system.

According to our friendly local monopy, ICE, you will now only have to say the name of the person or company they are looking for and the computer does the rest. Of course, when the computer cannot understand your request, the call will be transferred to a live operator. Continue reading »

Extra Charge Coming for Cellular Internet Service

January 15th, 2006

Up until now, if you really didn’t care too much about using a GSM phone here in Costa Rica, you could at least feel good that when you phone DID have service, you also had free Internet access so you could check emails and do some browsing. That will soon begin to costa (sorry… I had to!) money.
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