When the pipe simply isn't big enough…

I have had an Internet account for quite some years. In fact, my first online access was pre-Internet as such accessing Bulletin Boards and the like with first of all a 300 baud (bits per second) modem, then I upgraded to a 1200/75 ‘Prestel’ Modem, which was slower on the upstream because you could only type at 75 baud absolute max, then through (oh, I can’t remember) 33k, 56k, 128k ISDN, 256k Broadband, 512k, and now 1.5Mb Broadband. Lots of modems, and lots of service providers.

I remember the excitement of downloading a 16k gif image (and not having the software to view it), and now a Word document containing a faculty application takes 31Mb!!!

With three children, a lovely wife training to be a primary school teacher and myself, 1.5Mb doesn’t go very far, in fact the tubes are pretty seriously clogged.


We live at some distance from the exchange, so although I could theoretically get up to 8Mb, 1.5Mb is the best I can get. I have also recently had flaky service from Pipex, with dropped connections and lots of retries. 🙁

This is why, somewhat reluctantly, I have thrown my lot in with a different technology, and will give 20Mb Cable a throw. Virgin Media get such a bad press, but both my Churchwardens have cable access and reasonable success with them. 20Mb is the maximum throughput, so we will have to see what it actually delivers: I will keep you posted after the 2nd when the man comes to put a fat pipe into our house.

The main disadvantage is the loss of my static IP address. This means that it will no longer be as easy or cost effective to keep my development web server visible to the outside world, and the inevitable loss of websites such as www.agnusdei.org.uk my bucket of videos for download. You will all just have to find other ways of getting hold of them or make do with YouTube. However, it will reduce my paranoia that has affected me since the webserver got infected by a hacker’s rootkit, and I was forced to reinstall. I will still have it for my development, but on the local network only. It was very slow for the outside world anyway. I could use a dynamic mapper like DynDNS, but it costs…

After Feb 2nd, agnusdei and my other playpen stuff will no longer be available. Download what you can now…