Friday, March 24, 2006

The pain of dial-up

by Suw on March 24, 2006

I'd forgotten what it was like. No, really. I'd totally forgotten.
You click a link.
You wait.
The browser pane goes white.
You wait.
You wait.
You wait.
The title comes up at the top of the window. The progress bar has hardly moved.
You wait.
Skeletons of graphics appear, outlining where the images will eventually be. If you're lucky, the alt text tells you what's coming.
You wait.
Slowly, slowly, the page fills in.
You wait.
At last, it is done.
My god, the pain. I'll never accuse a 10 second page load of being slow ever again. When it takes 5 – 10 minutes to load a page, now that's slow.
It took me over 45 minutes to order broadband. Partly, this was's dire site design, which has you going round and round and round in circles before you finally reach escape velocity and it spits you out one some random page that may or may not be the one you want. (It took me half an hour to find the page in their customer service section that told me what the phone number for dial-up was, and that was on a proper broadband connection at Stanhope.)
According to all the line checks, we are hooked up to a shitty exchange that couldn't poop its way out of a wet paper bag. Our connection speed is likely to be 512kbps, possibly hitting 1mbps on a good day going downhill with the wind behind it.
Allegedly, our exchange is going to be upgraded in April 2006, but I will believe it when I see it. At that point, we are promised by a number of providers that speeds of 'up to 8mbps' will be available. I'll believe that when I see it too.
How on earth can this be, in this day and age, and in London? I mean, come on. Bustling metropolis. Nine million inhabitants. How can the telecommunications infrastructure be so shite as to put the existence of decent speed broadband in doubt? It's not like I'm living in Nowhereton-cum-Shitesham in rural Dorsetshire. I'm in Zone Two, ffs. Sheesh.
Also, what is it with dial-up these days? When my modem attempts to connect (and my god, I'm glad I still have an old-fashioned modem in my iBook), I have to pick up the phone and dial a number, then when it rings I click 'OK' on the dialogue box and put the phone down again. What a monumental pain in the arse.
If we're lucky, at some point within the next two weeks we shall have our pathetic excuse of a broadband connection up and running. Until then, I eschew all forms of internet communications during non-work hours. You want me? Call me.
Right, I'm off to go read one of those funny flappy things with words in…

{ Comments on this entry are closed }