Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I'm high speed ... and wireless!

Sometimes I'm an early adopter (like having a DVD-recorder when everyone else was recording their favorite tv shows on VHS tape), but other times I have a hard time giving up my old ways. For the 10 years that I worked at Hampshire, I had free dial-up internet via their PPP server. It was painfully slow (28.8 most of the time), but you get what you pay for and I was content. So, last summer when I had to find a new ISP, I went with RCN since it was the cheapest at $11.95/month if you prepaid for a year. At first I was pretty pleased with the 53.2 connection, but the service got worse and worse as time went by. Either I'd have trouble connecting, or I'd connect at a really slow speed, or my connection would be dropped. Their tech support was entirely useless in all regards -- anytime I called them, they told me the problem was my phone line. Needless to say, this crummy connection wasn't good for uploading photos to Flickr or downloading music.

My prepaid year just ended and so did my patience with RCN. Last Friday, Comcast came to the house to install high-speed internet, and I installed the wireless router and adapter. The process wasn't without its hassles, however. First, try getting someone at Comcast to give you complete and/or accurate information. It's not going to happen. Second, I found out when the tech guy arrived at my house that I'd have to lug all the parts of my desktop computer to the basement where the modem is mounted in order for him to do the installation. We set up the computer in the dim and the dank, on top of my foot locker. He commented that the basements in my complex are usually finished (mine isn't). Excuuuuuuuse me! That would involve money, and as you may have guessed, I'm incredibly cheap. Why should I pay a couple thousand bucks to finish a basement that's really just a storage room for Spooner's stuff? (BTW, Spooner, the Comcast guy had his eyes on your aqua beauty parlor chair and asked if I'd sell it!)

Aggravation aside, I'm now happy as a clam and zipping along at lightening speeds. The first thing I did was upload a photo to Flickr. Next, I bought a couple mp3s from Musicmatch. Uploads and downloads that used to take a half hour or more now happen in 1-2 minutes. Diggie-do!

Oh, yeah. Here's something to ponder: If the internet was invented by Al Gore and/or the Defense Department (on company time), wouldn't that mean that it's owned by The People? I think the government should therefore provide The People with universal, free internet access. Ditto health care.

1 comment:

  1. Since I migrated my blog to Blogger beta, I'm having some trouble with my feed (I never got this new article in my Bloglines). Leave me a comment and let me know if your blogroll showed this article in your feeds. Thanks!