So I’m a network nut. however few people would go as far as I just did: borrow my littlest brother’s laptop, dial in to my standby dialup account and run a few traceroutes to see what’s shakin’. Pretty retro-cool, actually. If I turned images down I could definitely live with dialup, cost-proportionally, better than a disgustingly high-latency satellite connection.

Yep, I said satellite. Was at church earlier tonight and had to do some work over their Wildblue connection (cell signals are bad there, and landline internet is, well, dialup). They have WildBlue from the folks at CTESC. 512 kbps down, 128 kbps up, $50 per month, 7 GB down per month, 2.3 GB up per month and a truckload of latency. How much? Try 1500-2500 milliseconds to, my ping target of choice around these parts. If you really want to get geeky, the first eight hops or so are all private IPs (good; I don’t want satellite internet hogging public IP space for tons of router hops) and the connection appears to be Qwest-only from there (Laredo, supposedly) out to the internet. Big bowl of yuck if you ask me…too bad the one-way sat systems aren’t as popular and have even lower download caps.

So back to dialup. After calling my dialup ISP to retrieve my password (I never use the account…okay, almost never…so I had totally forgotten it was a temporary thing for use when other people needed an account to download something), I grabbed their four-megabyte connection wizard/accelerator installer and set it up. Now 4 MB isn’t too bad over cable or DSL, but over a 512k wireless connection it takes a minute or three, especially when another computer is downloading Internet Explorer 8 in the background.

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