Back in the Land of the Living
I won't describe how sick I've been. Miserable. Let's hope it's the last cold for a while now that I'm back in the U.S. away from the Eurovirii that bite my ass every 2 or 3 months.
I didn't have "real" access to the internet from home until last night when I called SBC and realized that they actually hadn't recorded an order for my telephone. Doh! So I re-ordered and will be getting what may turn out to be a sweet wireless DSL modem/hub in the mail early next week. In the meantime I signed up for a 45 day "trial" of Earthlink so I have some way of getting on the net from home.
I was connecting via GPRS but for some reason any https sites would die. We needed to some online banking stuff pretty urgently, so it was either a family outing to Starbucks to use their $6 per hour/$10 per day HotSpot, or getting a dial up account somewhere. The dial up speed isn't that bad actually... I mean, it works better than GPRS at least. But it's been *soo* long since I had a dial up account, that I swear I've forgotten about about modem access. It was like going back into the past. First I was pleasantly surprised that my computer had a modem integrated into it, and that Windows XP has all the drivers and dial-up stuff working as well without hassle. All I needed was a username and password and I was good to go. The last time I actually dialed into anywhere, it seemed to be more effort than that.
Obviously the speed isn't blazing... but it's a good lesson for those of us on high-speed connections to see what most people browse the web like. My parents, for instance, can't get broadband at their house - they're out in the sticks. Thus they're stuck on dial up and now I'm feeling a bit of their pain. Also, believe it or not, I think Internet Explorer may work better at slow speeds than Mozilla/Firebird. I was trying to pay a bill on BofA.com this morning and Moz kept timing out on me, but when I switched to IE it worked fine. Very interesting. All the moz guys have DSL or better no doubt.
I did have a moment of decision yesterday about my broadband provider. There's lots of options now, actually. SBC/PacBell will still be in charge of the pipe if you choose DSL, but you can choose from a variety of ISPs and Comcast has its cable modem option as well, which seems to have blazing download speeds. I'm an old dog, though, and I've played the DSL game before so I decided to go that route. Not sure why - I should've tried cable just to see the difference.
Anyways, nice to have my mind back. My aggregator works over a modem too which is really great so I can catch up a bit on what's been happening. A lot. Too much to write about, but I'll post some thoughts on some of the more interesting things.