This is topic AOL Dial-up in forum The Joy of Tech at The Geek Culture Forums.
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Posted by romad (Member # 36425) on May 13, 2015, 10:02:
I still have the basic $6.99 dial-up account; it is my back-up for when my WISP goes down. I've been a member of AOL for over 26 years starting when it was "AppleLink-Personal Edition" (AL-PE); I wouldn't be surprised if I was the last Charter Member still on AOL. I use my AOL email address as my permanent email.
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on May 13, 2015, 16:49:
Posted by The Famous Druid (Member # 1769) on May 14, 2015, 07:19:
Played that for the druidlings, they had no idea what it was.
Then I tried to describe the first time I used a modem, a 110 baud acoustic coupler with broken originate tone generator (so I had to whistle into the handset to start things going). They looked at me like I was describing a stegasaurus hunt and wandered off to play minecraft on their 14 megabit link to the cousins in Sydney.
Fsck I feel old.
With the exception of flying cars and moonbases, I'm living in the Sci-Fi future.
Posted by Snaggy (Member # 123) on May 14, 2015, 11:46:
must have been a similar feeling for the telegraph operators when the phones came through.
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on May 14, 2015, 20:27:
*sigh* I hadn't played the .ogg file until tonight (Oh /.ers, remember "But does it play Ogg files?"), and was simply going to commend Snaggy for the fine choice of links. I hadn't given any thought to what a dinosaur that might make me.
Not for nothing, but if you use some fax machines (yes, fax machines), you can still hear those dreadful sounds today.
Even if the end result was kind of worth it, I really hated dialup. (At least after having gotten to use a T1 line.) It's kind of funny to think of it now - getting a cable modem years ago was a game changer...and now I have a Jetpack for work that I probably consider a comparable game changer, and it's a few times faster than the former under the right conditions. (It was really pitiful a few months ago - I was staying in a hotel and was offered complimentary wifi [in lieu of the $10/day thing I declined] - it was around 1.5 Mbps. My Jetpack clocked in around 23 Mbps and didn't require going through a captive portal.) My gizmo wound up on ars a few months ago, and while I think commenters dissed it a bit at the time - largely because it's probably price and/or the plans might suck...I am thoroughly smitten with it. I'd never pay for one myself, but if I'm given one for free with an unlimited plan, I'm one happy geek. (Albeit, one chained to an on-call rotation.) Damn that thing is fast, and the battery just doesn't quit. (The battery is so substantial that you can charge other devices off it until the power drops to 25%.)
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on May 15, 2015, 06:36:
D-Man, I wish that those testers would just once try these things in the Huron National Forest, and then tell us how well they perform.
Remember Altell they had good coverage here, then Verizon bought them out. I truly long for Altell. There was a Mom & Pop operation that sprang up last year but they faded out.
Population Density really counts in Cellular service.
Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on June 03, 2015, 04:21:
Population density really counts in cellular service. I've been pondering my future move to the ranch. It's a wonderful place, a wonderful life (except for the occasional tornado, wildfire, or lightning strike), but there is only dialup. Cellular is 6 miles away, and on a good day we can make it work... sort of. But broadband or anything resembling the cellular to which we're accustomed is all just a pipe-dream out there. If you try to explain to the sparse residents who live in the surrounding miles of nothingness why they might benefit from broadband, they look at you like you're describing a staircase to Mars. AT&T doesn't run DSL or fiber optic, or even cell towers out there, because nobody asks. Nobody believes they could possibly ever need such things. Most of those people still have dial telephones. I mean, literally, rotary dials. Some are still on party lines. It's still the 1930s in those parts. They have never seen cable TV. They still get 3 channels of broadcast TV, I suppose, but probably had to get some kind of converter to make it work.
That's my destination, and I don't have to let them define me, but getting online is going to be a challenge. Dialup I will not do again. If necessary, I'll drive into town with a laptop to do my downloads and stuff. Except... they don't have Starbucks, and the local stores do not have wi-fi. The grocery stores have local names.
You may see places like this when you travel on the backroads of the USA and Canada. I've seen many of them. But you may not realize what it's actually like to live in such a place. I'm talking about towns of populations of maybe 300, most of whom are scattered to the four-winds on little dirt or gravel roads. They just have mailing addresses there.
Well, sorry; didn't mean to unload on you. But when one can't make his neighbors understand the need to prod the telecoms into action, it sometimes is necessary to take it farther afield, and hope that collectively the people of this civilized side of the world might attempt to make this civilization a little more available to all. We're only in the early stages of internet and broadband. We've just graduated from the telegraph and the town switchboard, and we've moved to a semi-networked service, in which most people can call most other people. But we have not brought the rural folks — the people who raise the food — fully into the network. If you see any grand plans to include everyone, support them.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on June 03, 2015, 06:48:
Shooshie, That is the same as the Huron Nat. Forest. If I could convince the local Cable opperator to sell me a connection at his closest approach to our house I would put a high power WiFi router there and get a signal 3/4 mile away. This would require a Yagi antenna at both ends. One on his pole, one on my antenna tower. We do get Sat. TV with the usual problems, Rain Fade, Large Storm Fade, and Snow sticking to the dish. During the winter I put a plastic garbage bag over the dish, it does reduce the sticking especially during windy weather.
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on June 03, 2015, 23:05:
I wonder if some kind of collective of mesh networking would work? Get people on the periphery involved and find someway for it to be equitable and profitable for all concerned.
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on June 04, 2015, 06:28:
D-Man, Yes it could, however, finding people that would be interested, is frusterating. There are two cable companies within a mile however cost to string a connection to our farm for FIOS would be too high. The locals do not understand data speeds and some think anything faster than Dial-up is just not needed. Being a SkyWarn Volenteer I need up to the minute NWS Radar Plots, The Weather Channel just does not cut it.
The portable WiFi cellular dongles are great for out in the field but at home when doing net control I need three fast connections for directing traffic.
Part of the freqs. set aside for WiFi include some channels for amateur radio, however I could not use those for general Internet use, only for public service.
Posted by Shooshie (Member # 2205) on June 05, 2015, 11:30:
I've considered a number of approaches, including something like you described, MoMan. The nearest town with broadband is about 14 miles away. Even if they used 9 signal repeaters between town and my ranch, I'm not sure where they'd get the power for them. When you add up the cost of the repeaters alone, not to mention a solar station for each one, it starts looking more and more like that stairway to Mars in feasibility and likelihood.
I think the most likely outcome will be some kind of directed antenna on the communications relay tower 6 miles away, and another on a 100 ft. pole at my location. I would expect that to go down periodically and require 6 weeks to get it back up and running. Six weeks, because getting anyone out there to do a job that requires more than taking an order at McDonalds is unbelievably hard to do. And I have no idea how much that would cost.
Posted by dragonman97 (Member # 780) on June 05, 2015, 22:32:
If you're having broadband problems, I feel bad for you, son. I've got 99 problems, but lacking wifi ain't one.
Seriously - where I work these days, we have almost 100% wireless penetration -- even the restrooms have wifi. [Besides the common expectation for wireless these days, we have a legitimate need for wireless to work everywhere across our organization.]
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on June 06, 2015, 06:20:
Yesterday I saw a flyier for these people.
Ten years ago their prices were way too expensive and they would only rent you the reciever.
Posted by TechTorpedo (Member # 50409) on June 15, 2015, 17:45:
Don't you have unlimited 4G in your area?
Posted by TheMoMan (Member # 1659) on June 15, 2015, 19:44:
TT First off welcome to our hidout on the Internet.
No matter how much one company advertizes their coverage, it ain't every where. I/we live just South of the Huron National Forest. In the lands habitated by the Sagoning Tribe of the Chippawa Indians.
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