Thursday, 16 April 2009


I'm throttled. Having hit my data cap for the month I've spent the last two days at dialup speed, leading me to question my very existence.

I spent many years on dialup— even longer than necessary— from 1998 to early 2007. I recall the days of flexing my fingers, of staring with disbelief at the monitor, of pounding my desk, and finally of slapping the side of my CRT. How could this be taking so long? It was information at a snail's pace.
I felt as though someone, somewhere, was playing passive-aggressive games with my data. Where did the malice lie? Was the site preserving its bandwidth? Was the fiber-optic cable running under the Pacific Ocean being gnawed on by a crab? Did my ISP despise me? Who was holding up the process? What modulated red tape must my data demodulate before it was released from international quarantine?
Then came the sneaking performance anxiety. My computer was too slow. My phone line was too noisy. My browser was less than optimal. My system had a bad attitude: you're giving up on the download? Be patient! You're timing out on the page load? Why did you wait ten minutes then? It seemed I was wrestling each connection to hard-won success, and running the gauntlet of mysterious technical protocol. I pleaded with the gods of internet voodoo to load 100% of "Alyssa_MilanoDVDcap3.jpg". Grant me this favour. It is only 44kb.

And now I am again at 56k speed, but this time there is no foreign spectre, no malicious goblin preventing me from realising my full bandwidth potential. It is only me. For I have sinned and downloaded the entire fifth series of The Office, and films, and games, and FLV files of mixed pedigree, and consorted with flatmates who did so. I must bear my burden of load times with wailing in sackcloth and ashes. With heavy heart I realise that the blame , as the Dane said, is not in our stars, but in our selves.

No comments: