Monday, October 15, 2012

Internet intermittent

I'm fondly remembering the days of dial-up.

In 1996, my first foray into the Internet was via America Online. We got a disk with the new computer, plugged our phone into the tower, logged in, endured 30 seconds of an annoying connecting sound, and voila, we were online with a reminder that "You've got mail!"

It all seems so quaint now. We just take instant Internet for granted. Within a couple years after moving into our new house in 2003, we had DSL installed. Double-click on the Netscape shortcut (damn, Netscape sounds so quaint too -- I must have switched to Firefox very soon after) and I was on the web much sooner. And it worked better as well. It had to work better with the arrival of YouTube and websites that ravenously gobbled data. Songs would that would take 20 minutes to download from Napster (the nostalgia continues!) took only two on iTunes. DSL was wonderful.

Eight years later, our Internet is slow again. I thought maybe it was just my older computer, but this week, our Internet slowed waaaaay down, to the point it wasn't working. Though it came back hours later, the phone company tech who came out said the line coming into the house was just slow.

As a result, we are upgrading to a speed eight times faster and switching from the old turtle-esque phone line to the fiber optic line. We got the new phone/Internet package for less than what we were paying before and got a new modem free. The faster Internet starts Tuesday. I can't wait.

In the meantime, I'm fondly recalling when no one watched video online because it was too slow. I remember when it would take 20 minutes to download one song off Napster. I'm remembering to dulcet tone of the dial-up. And I remember how awesome that 1996 computer seemed in comparison with my old Atari 400.


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