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Just a comment on the mindset of current internet users. It has been said, in several news articles, that about 30% of those using the internet in the United States are using high speed connections. That means the other 70% of the internet users DON'T have high speed access. I understand it is my fault for living too far from a "viable" population center in that except for Tracfone, I have no cell phone service, no cable service and really can't afford the $100 a month additional charges for my satellite service. This being my fault, I still try to keep on the internet thru the ancient, and apparently foolish method of using "dialup". Even then some of the web pages I visit take forever to download because they are written for those using HSI, High Speed Internet. "Go to this site to enter a contest"... only problem is that the page won't load because of all the high intensity graphics, animations or whatever. "Download your favorite music here...", only it takes over an hour to download one song if you are on dialup. "Download this file to speed up your internet...." and it only takes four hours and ten minutes when your ISP only allows four hours online for connection - and will boot you even if there are only minutes to go. So, I have to dig into my scant resources to come up with the few dollars to order a Linux OS by snail mail instead of being able to download online. I did so with one distro (or whatever the latest "in" phrase is used to describe distributors) and awaiting the disc which, hopefully, will arrive in the next week. I had hoped to download the DamnSmallLinux but it turned out to take four hours and twenty minutes on a four hour server. Wonderful waste of time.
Maybe when the disc finally comes, I can use Linux, but for now I will have to continue to be a servant of Windows to check my mail, with the wonderful popups and endless advertisements, and visit the few sites I enjoy online.
I know some will just ignore this post and move on with their HSI life doing their "tsk, tsk, poor thing" thing, but hopefully there will be a few that will understand my rantings. And I know that there are quite a few who will wonder what kind of user would complain about these matters. If you must know, I bought my first comp in 1982, a VIC 20. I was born in 1943, that makes me 63 at the time of this posting. I live in a tourist town that sets its top salary in the seven to eight dollars an hour range, year round. My Social Security check barely covers the cost of the house payment and utilities, so money is short. I work part time, and my wife works full time. Both of our paychecks just cover the cost of food and entertainment, which consists of an evening out once every two weeks unless there is a problem with one of the cars or the propane tank is getting near empty, or a family member has a birthday coming up or the gift giving holidays are upon us.
"Why would anyone want to use Windows with dialup when there is Linux and Mac available with faster internet?" Some will wonder, but I am also sure that many... a foolish majority of internet users... know only too well the answers.
THX for putting up with the old Wolf's rant,
I'm no longer on dial-up, but I feel your pain. Though I'm not sure getting linux is going to help you out all that much. When I first started using linux over dialup with Debian, I would set cronjobs to download stuff at night. But really, what I found is that without internet access, you're not really utilizing linux very well. Yes a full install will be just fine for typical web browsing and email, but it's a bit like commuting in a Ferrari. All the stop and go traffic just makes your leg tired from using the clutch.
The progress paradox is always going to be there. As internet speed increases, many programmers neglect clean quick code and go for bloated flash and stuff. A similar phenomenon with hardware improvements is one reason why the new Windows Vista is a total pig. Why worry about memory management when *everyone* has so much available...
On dialup, I found that about the best thing you can do is try to go to a text based browser for most of your surfing and use a tricked out firefox for when you need graphics. Install plugins that skip flash, java, and ads (Flashblock, NoScript, Adblock) to try to save yourself. It helps a bunch.
For downloading, try using a download manager with a "resume" feature. Then you can resume your download where you left off. I know it's not really that great, but it's better than starting over every time.
And finally, if you compile a list of programs (Windows programs or linux distros) that you'd like to have, feel free to post those here and many of the good people at these forums have at times volunteered to burn a copy and snail mail it. Obviously if you ask for 30 CD's every day, they might hesitate. But once in a while is nothing too onerous.
I am part of the majority also, I am lucky though as I connect at 42 k baud and my brother who lives about 800 miles away connects at 28 k baud. I have found two neighbors, one at about 1/4 mile and one at about one mile away that have high speed and both have wifi setup. I take my laptop down to either house and download my large files. There is no dsl here, only cable and there is a dead spot where I live so I have no choice except the expensive wireless phone. You are right in that there are a lot of sites that I pass on because of the time to load the page.
when you install linux, try using a text based web browser...
this way you would have no graphics to worry about and of course it would speed the page download...
obviously you wont have the pretty pictures but if the page is that good and you want to look at the pics then you could open a graphical browser to view them...
dialup, hmm, 90% of the australian bush(country area) is covered only by dialup and ones like me that go and use friends broadband service in town, is rare...see, some of us cheat by taking a laptop with us....
Satellite, yeh would be nice if it was cheaper, and now i am out on a farm i shall not return to town just for broadband....
I cant wait when you can get a 34gb microwave service to your home, anywhere in the world, but then i have been known to have weird dreams...
Yeah... it is kinda sad how Internet turn out to be. In many pages, it almost always graphics > than content. Exceptions exist, such as Wikipedia, which is in my opinion, one of the coolest sites ever.
Now... try to look at it positively. If you had HSI like I do, you'd be wasting more time in front of your PC than you need. I personally am tired of computers. If I could, I'd love to change the life I have, with HSI, HDTV, games, to live a simpler life, in the country-side, away from stress, traffic, pollution and muggers. I'd probably have more time with my family, live longer and healthier. I can tell you now that living the way I do, I will never make to 63 like you.
One of the few hobbies I have is to play games (until a while ago, I was also developing games for living). About a week ago, I went to computer/videogame store. It felt like it was time to upgrade my PC. I started looking for a better graphics card and a new processor. Then I saw a PS3 and thought "Maybe I'd go with a PS3. I hate Sony, but I can install Linux on it". Well, I went away from the store to get some fresh air and decide what to do with my hard earned money (no, I am not in very good financial situation either). On the other side of the street I saw a music store. When I was a kid, I liked to play keyboard, but I never really got far with it. I always wanted to play Electric Guitar too, but never did. Instead of spending money in new hardware/console, I went to the music store and got myself a good Fender, amplifier, cable, plectrum, books and everything else I needed to get started. I saved a lot of money and got myself a new hobby. So far, I have not played any games (nor I feel like doing it) and, while I can't play anything yet (and started to doubt I will be able to anytime soon), I am in love with the guitar. I am even considering getting an acoustic too. And it would still be cheaper than an upgrade or a PS3.
So, don't take what you have for granted. Computers, from a personal usage point of view, are highly overrated, in my humble opinion. So my advice is, don't get too focused in what you don't have, be happy for the other (more important) things that you have in your life than a dial-up connection.
My two cents. Best of luck with Linux.
Just curious: Which distribution are you planning to use?
1) The internet be designed to use less bandwidth. (Better formats etc)
2) Cheap easy ways to get high speed internet to small/remote areas
3) You move to an area that has high speed.
Number 3 the easiest to say by any company that sells internet access. Is it me or are companies these days lazy and moving really slowly? We were able to get to the moon in the 60's with technology that didn't even exist... we need that kind of pressure on us now.
Guess I forgot to mention, went to PuppyLinux.org to download the Puppy newest version. On my system it told me it would be a 15 DAY session, so I just came up with the $9 US and ordered it. Will take a look and see if I can find a good resumable "smart" downloader, the places I usually search for those are MajorGeeks and ZD net.
i'm not sure whether judging the "quality" of life by whether or not you are using dialup or "fast internet" is good enough ...
but as far as i'm concerned , the difference between using a dialup and a "fast internet" is whether or not you are fussy about backing up your whatever downloaded materials ...
but ... see ... if you dont give up and be persistent in getting to run a workable linux out of a dialup(not paid linux cdroms) in your kind of situation ... probably what you are running may not be like the usual linux the big city people thought what linux should have been ... ^_^
Yeah, lack of decent high-speed (as in "affordable") is one of the items keeping me on Windows for machines that might otherwise go to Linux. Had ISDN for awhile, but $120 for a flaky service is no good. Had cable for awhile, but $105 a month gets old too. Dialup is only $7.95 a month. No DSL available in the area.
I like my tracfone too :-) Around $9 a month, compared to $45 starting rates for anything else (I only use a few minutes a month, and the base packages from everyone else are gross overkill).
Have had high speed for a few years now, but when I visit the family I have to use dial-up. I run firefox on linux and windows and when on dial-up, I disable features like automatic picture loading in firefox options and that makes it more bearable.
Edit: Agree with previous post and google a download agent. You can also have your computer at regular intervals ping a website and that will keep your connection alive (unless you are dropped for another reason).
should have suggested you get a torrent application...
bittorrent works well on win-xp and most distro's have a torrent available...
at least by using a torrent, it will manage the download for you and it can be stop/started as you please...
here is a site to get bittorrent http://www.bittorrent.com/download?csrc=header
then get the torrent file from the DSL site and download...
I use torrents for most of my distro downloads....
Your Internet Explorer browser should allow you to turn off animations, Flash, etc.. etc.. under the advanced tab, I believe. Anyway, wherever it is located in the settings, you can make Internet Explorer an almost text only browser. After doing so, any page will load fast. Some pages are crappily designed and you won't even be able to see what the link is supposed to be because you have the pictures turned off. I think you can just right click on that link and say "show picture" and you will be able to see what is there.
You might want to see if you can download Firefox (a better browsr) or Opera (another better browser) as they might be more easily setup to run in a more lo-fi mode. Also they are more secure