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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Remember The Days Of 56k Modems?

    Ahhh...the 56k modem. Remember how we all thought that was the best and fastest way to get on the internet?

    When I first went online with my big bad Windows 98 (HA!) computer with 64 MB of RAM and only a 2 GB hard drive, I tried using those worthless "free" dial-up internet providers that were everywhere in the Roaring '90s when it seemed like you could pay ALL the bills AND provide free internet with banner ads. Unfortunately, they had a habit of cutting you off after an hour...then 30 minutes....then 15 minutes. Finally, I yelled uncle and signed up for actual internet service. (GOOD LUCK trying to call me then!)

    I think 56k still has it's place for non-computer junkie people who only use the internet to surf for something specific or use e-mail and nothing else. Or for the REALLY poor. It should always be there and really cheap if worse comes to worse.

    I learned how to tweak a 56k modem to run at it's peak. But it was still prone to cut-offs......

    I on the other hand am a power and speed FREAK, expecting nothing less than the FASTEST possible connection. I was a dedicated "netizen" and I wasn't changing for anyone.

    I used 56k until from 1998 to early 2001 when I moved up to broadband. I paid about $100 bucks a month for it then - a LOT less now (about $30 now), but when I first set it up and connected, I though I was in heaven.

    The only problem today is websites are a lot more complex and don't work too well with dial-up. An average home page in 1999 had only 50-200kb of data. Today, it's 1-3 MB or more. So load up times take a lot longer on 56k now. It took 15 minutes to download a 3 MB file in 2000 with dial-up. Today, it takes less than a nanosecond with broadband.

    Those were the daze......

1 comment:

  1. Don't laugh - I still have a dial-up account as backup. Why on earth would someone need that? Welp, our cable internet service is great - when it works - which is about 56 out of every 60 minutes. (Anyone who has Comcast may know what I'm talking about.) So when I need something done and I need to know it's done I switch to the - again, don't laugh - more reliable dial up service. There is nothing more &%%#!&#@*! exasperating than having your cable internet service go tits up in the middle of something important - like making credit card payments.

    I could stay connected via dial-up for days (not that I do or want to any more) without it barfing or dropping the connection - not something I can say about our high speed cable service.


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