Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Stuck on Dialup

I am working away from home; it's not an IT project.

I am using someone else's PC; it's not running Linux.

I have no local mail client; but I do have webmail.

However, I don't have broadband. I am on dial-up using an old-fashioned modem. It's so 2003...

Large chunks of the world are like this. Old copper; no fibre, no wi-fi, no DSL That means no YouTube, no Vimeo. No 'always-on' social networking. No Google-chat, no IRC. No blogging (almost).

It's not just the speed - a paltry 44.6kbps - it's also the dialling cost. We live on - maybe not the cutting edge - a reliable and fast-ish edge. We suffer no black-outs, brown-outs or strikes; no earthquakes, famines, plagues of locusts, plagues of plagues, war, pestilence or Barry Manilow (nearly). For us, the world remains a shiny paradise of information on-demand, both essential and trivial, our every convenience and luxury sated at the touch of a mouse.

Except, for me, this week. On a dial-up connection, I am, to all intents, cut off from most of the sites I habitually visit at least daily. I am unable to get anything but the most basic layout of webmail clients, no web-video, podcasts, shopping, banking or trivia. It's a throwback to a time of long-page loads, no flash, no plug-ins.

By rights I should be getting withdrawal symptoms.

I'm not.  RC

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