Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Living Behind the Times

I've talked before about my growing education about the world of technology, but boy have I figured out just how far behind the times I am living this past week. Some of you may have thought that this was made extinct long, long ago, but trust me, here in rural America "Dial-up internet" is still alive and well. Why? you might ask. Well, it's rural America (therefore, not so many people) & we're told that there just aren't enough consumers for the phone company to bother with laying new lines in order for us to receive DSL services. (It is quite humorous to go into a "Best Buy"/"Circuit City" type of store & have an employee try to convince you that you can indeed get it from the phone company-they tend not to buy your arguments until they check the computer for themselves and read "Service is Unavailable") We do have the option of wireless/satellite internet, but with the high installation costs, it can be difficult for many people to afford. Blame it on ignorance, but I've never really been bothered by or noticed just how sloooow my internet really is. Oh sure, maybe right after that one brief glorious year in college when I had DSL, but since then not so much until this week that is.
What brought all of this up? I read an article in our Electric Cooperative magazine about the availability of Broadband in rural areas (& with my new found understanding of technology terminology :) I understood exactly what they were saying!) They talked about how a good dial up connection gets about 50ish kb/sec (mine usually averages around 40) & broadband gets between 200&300 kb/sec (that's a huge difference!) They even mentioned that some places in the world get 4 mb/sec & South Korea has the capablity of 20 mb/s. That's a lot of information in a short amount of time! Now that I am digital scrapbooking it's great to be able to download free items, but not when your computer is only downloading about 4-5 kb/sec and some of the kits can be 30-50 mb (that's a LONG time to let your computer sit connected to the phone line!) So, what's the solution-I don't know, but what I have chosen to do is start using the school's internet after I'm done with my summer school kids each day to download things I want (or upload pictures) onto my memory stick. It works for now, since the kiddos & most of the teachers are out and about so the system is not bogged down with alot of users, but summer school will be over soon & I don't intend on using my $4/gallon gas just to drive into town to use the internet. So...here's to dreaming of the day that I have a better internet connection of my own & catching up with the rest of the world 200 kb/sec at a time! :)

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