Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

How has high-speed internet access changed your online habits?

By bsdave in Culture
Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 05:33:29 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

Whilst I have no hope of getting Cable/ADSL Internet access myself. I was wondering, How has having higher-speed Internet access changed the way you use the internet? Do you sit around downloading DivX pr0n all day? Do you idle on IRC 24/7? Do you download movie trailers in your sleep?

Do you think that high-speed Internet is worth the money involved? Is your plan 'unlimited'? Have you got a network attached to it? Have you been 'busted' for running an X server so you can use GIMP at work?

And to those of us who haven't yet got access to "The Richer Mans Internet", would you get it even if it was in your area?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


I like broadband because of..
o Streaming content 1%
o Faster web browsing 8%
o Permanant access 61%
o Downloading large files quicker 28%

Votes: 106
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by bsdave

Display: Sort:
How has high-speed internet access changed your online habits? | 36 comments (30 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Answers (3.42 / 7) (#5)
by Kaa on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:10:39 PM EST

How has having higher-speed Internet access changed the way you use the internet?

It's always there. It's easier for me to check the weather forecast on the 'net as compared to going to a TV and switching to the Weather Channel. It's simpler to plug a name into Yahoo than pick Yellow Pages and thumb through them. It' faster to go to movielink and see which movies are playing in my area than calling the theaters.

It's not the major stuff that changes (although downloads certainly go much faster) when you switch to broadband. It's the convenience of all the little things.

Do you think that high-speed Internet is worth the money involved?


Is your plan 'unlimited'?


Have you got a network attached to it?

Yes. (Pss-s, don't tell my provider ;-) )

Have you been 'busted' for running an X server so you can use GIMP at work?

Nope. I use Photoshop at home <grins, ducks, and runs for cover>

Kaa's Law: In any sufficiently large group of people most are idiots.

yep (2.66 / 3) (#7)
by rebelcool on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:35:32 PM EST

and it allows me to run servers. yeehaw.

And my filthy porn viewing has reached an all time high. ooh yeeaah.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

Browser habits...... (3.80 / 5) (#8)
by daystar on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:36:25 PM EST

In the Long Dark Night of the Modem, I used to always have four browser windows up at a time, loading simultaneously. Sure, it made them ALL slower, but once they were loaded, I had something to read while getting the next link. Now that information shows up faster than I can read, I have multiple windows open, but they're just for segmenting my interests (one for technical stuff, one for random things to read throughout the day, one for fun).

None of that is relevant NOW, of course, since I'm on the thirty-third day of dsl outage. My girlfriend's fixing to leave me for a better connected guy....

There is no God, and I am his prophet.

Absolutely (3.66 / 3) (#9)
by ar0n on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:38:39 PM EST

I used to have a ISDN connection, but last year we got (unlimited access) cable here. I now have a NetBSD firewall routing data for my home network which also acts as a caching-only nameserver (which is a great speed improvement!) . I can now ssh from work into my firewall and from there connect to my box at home and check my mail, get some files I forgot to bring to work or just get some mp3s I'd like to play at work.

I definitely believe high-speed internet it worth the money, but only if you're a "power user" -- by which I mean you're online more than 6 hours a day. Otherwise, what you pay just outweighs what you use.

One thing that makes a cable connection especially worth-while is the ability to install/upgrade your OS via the Net (various unices such as Linux or *BSD).

In my (humble) opinion, if you've got the money for it, do it. When I did, the Internet became a true network to me; it no longer was something I'd connect to an hour a day, but something I'm a part of (if that sounds melodramatic, I'm sorry). It also puts your mind at ease qua phonebill

Err.. (4.00 / 2) (#11)
by ar0n on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:45:49 PM EST

It also puts your mind at ease qua phonebill.
... with which I mean: In alot of European countries (such as the Netherlands) you pay for local calls. Most POPs are local, but you still pay a calling fee.

[ Parent ]
Broadband... (3.00 / 4) (#12)
by Electric Angst on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:50:30 PM EST

A fast connection means always knowing that slow load times aren't your fault.

That aside, I've been on 10meg ethernet (at home) and 100meg ethernet (at work) for two and a half years now. One of the big differences is the fact that I no longer really wait patiently for content. If I want a CD with my favorite songs on it, I load Napster, download twelve to eighteen songs, burn the CD, and have it in my CD player an hour and a half later. I have Eudora (at home) and Kmail (at work) set to check to do new mail checks every minute. I hit 'reload' on long (1meg+) discussion threads often to check for new comments often several times a minute.

I have noticed that the restrictions my home Ethernet provider has put on servers has actually cut down on my serving. I find that I'm not typically running Napster when I'm not downloading what I want (though I'm not cruel enough to cut off those who start while I'm downloading). I don't do FTP, telnet, IRC-based file servior content. If I want a CD with my favorite songs on it, I load Napster, download twelve to eighteen songs, burn the CD, and have it in my CD player an hour and a half later. I have Eudora (at home) and Kmail (at work) set to check to do new mail checks every minute. I hit 'reload' on long (1meg+) discussion threads often to check for new comments often several times a minute.

I have noticed that the restrictions my home Ethernet provider has put on servers has actually cut down on my serving. I find that I'm not typically running Napster when I'm not downloading what I want (though I'm not cruel enough to ng (it's been so long I forgot the name of it), or HTTP from my own machines, though I'm prefectly capable.

With boradband, I generally tend to grab a lot more content and serve less. Which is odd, now that I think about it...

As far as price, work is obviously free, though it has it's restrictions. At home I pay $25 a month for the 10meg ethernet, which is built in to my apartment complex and run through a local (as in locally-run) telco. It's unlimited, and a pretty sweet deal.

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
What was I smoking!!! (5.00 / 1) (#13)
by Electric Angst on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:55:11 PM EST

I'm sorry for the above comment. It made sense when I typed it, but due to some rather sloppy editing on my part (and the tendency for Konquer to cut-and-paste as it damn well pleases) it's unintelligible. I'll try posting something better later...

(The worst part of this, I previewed that comment three times before I posted it...)

"Hell, at least [Mailbox Pipebombing suspect Lucas Helder's] argument makes sense, which is more than I can say for the vast majority of people." - trhurler
[ Parent ]
The department of redundant redundancy department. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by jabber on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:17:16 PM EST

Do you ever find that you're repeating yourself? That you say the same thing over and over again? That you're redundantly repetitive? That you're saying what you've just said? That THWAAP!

I read the comment, and it made perfect sense to me. Only after looking at it for a moment did I notice that it was malformed. Serves me right for scanning rather than reading, and drinking this much coffee...

[TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
[ Parent ]

Answers/poll (4.00 / 3) (#14)
by westgeof on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:56:13 PM EST

Well, I've been on broadband for not quite a year now, and it's safe to say that I could never go back. The poll basically says it all, which kinda made it hard to answer.
I could care less about streaming video, I don't use it myself, but I can see how it's nice. If I could, I'd chose all of the rest though. It's just so much better being able to download large files quickly, while reading a web page that load faster than I can read, all at any time I want. Connecting to the internet for me simply means booting up my computer, which I generally only do about once a week and takes a whopping minute or so. If I woke up in the middle of the night unable to sleep, I can just hop on my computer and basically have access to just about anything that interest me.
Of course, my favorite use isn't even in the poll, but then it's hardly a 'professional' use of the computer: online gaming. Although I don't have much time for it, I try to get in a few hours a week to let off stress and just enjoy myself for a bit, and nothing is more annoying than trying to place a game with a connection that's just too slow. If you've ever tried both, you'll know what I mean, especially with the higher and higher demands that modern games require. (Isn't it amazing that gaming really seems to be at the forfront of just about every computer related technology? Everything from networking to physics, with graphical modeling and artificial intelligence. I love it :-)

As a child, I wanted to know everything. Now I miss my ignorance
Broadband killed my social life (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by labattadm on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 01:58:44 PM EST

For a good part of the last two years my social life has declined due to my broadband connections. I've spent more time gaming. I've hit a lot more high bandwidth sites. I'm always connected to IRC. If I didn't hate unix i'd probably setup a firewall or something. The number of things that became open to me as a result of broadband started to suck up a lot of my time. Maybe you won't spend the 1st week w/ broadband holed up in your room with your computer like I did.

Please don't start with the "you don't have a life" verbage. "A life" is what you call it.

to have loved and lost... (4.25 / 4) (#16)
by cetan on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 02:42:51 PM EST

An equally important question:

"What has happened to you since you had high-speed access and then moved away from it?"

I never realized how much I enjoyed high-speed access until I lost it. A move (of a measily 2 miles) put me out of my cable modem area, but into DSL. However, due to a series of screw-ups by Covad, DSL is not an option, not for a while at least.

I really miss high-speed access. ifilm.com, mondomedia.com, and a number of other such sites are pretty much useless to me now that I'm back on dialup. Live465 was my source for music when I had a cable modem, but now it's basicly a closed door (128k over dialup anyone?)

It may be frustrating to not get access at all, but I'd say it's even more frustrating to have it and then lose it.

===== cetan www.cetan.com =====
I feel your pain (5.00 / 2) (#19)
by Biff Cool on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 02:55:09 PM EST

I had a cable modem then moved out of range.  It basically ruined the internet for me.  I've toyed around with the idea of putting my modem back in, but 56K seems like a dull knife across my wrist now.

My ass. It's code, with pictures of fish attached. Get over it. --trhurler

[ Parent ]
Even for a short time... (5.00 / 2) (#27)
by flieghund on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 10:32:42 PM EST

I went back home to my parents place for the holidays. The broadband providers (cable and DSL) are slowly encircling the house, but the closest (cable) was still about two blocks (and two months) away. So the only alternative left to me was my mother's dial-up access.

Now, this was listed as "56k", which everyone knows is limited to 53k, but (supposedly due to line degredation) we were only connecting at 33k (as reported by WinDUN).

Coming from here in LA, where I routinely get 1800-2100 kbps (!), 33k was torture.

Despite the rediculously slow connection speed, my mother routinely downloads music from Napster. I asked how this was possible; she said it was no big deal, despite the fact that it took 15-30 minutes for each song. Me, I'm used to downloading the occasional (honest-to-god free) MP3 with my cable modem in 15-30 seconds.

Now, this is coming from a guy who survived on a 28.8 modem until January 1999, when I finally got a 56k. (I used a 14.4 modem between 1995 and 1997.) I've only had my cable modem for five months, but I would give up cable TV and a third meal each day before I let go of my cable modem!

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Ditto (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by byoon on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 12:29:57 AM EST

Two months ago I moved from a place three blocks from Alltel's main router to a new place about 9 blocks away. Much to my surprise after about two weeks of testing Alltel reported that there were too many lines on the pole and I couldn't have my DSL in my new place unless I paid them $500 to fix it. If it hadn't have been for my fiancee I probably would have stayed in the old dumpier, noiser apartment. I should have cable within a month but the last two have been torture.

I used to treat Napster like a radio and go download any song whenever I wanted to hear it. It really shocks me when I see those people on Napster with their 28.8 connections. I've downloaded four songs since I moved. And some sites I don't even go to anymore. Waiting for K5 to load is nothing compared to Salon, which I used to hit a couple of times a day. Now it's weekly at best.
"I'm a going to break you down into the little cubes." -Picasso
[ Parent ]
mmmmmm... Always on broadband. (4.00 / 3) (#17)
by starlitz on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 02:48:24 PM EST

Always on broadband means I never think about the fact that the computer is connected to the internet. I just sit down and use the network as if it were the computer (the whole "the network is the computer" thing is quite accurate).

The other thing it has done is make me much more impatient. I used to wait for minutes for a page to load. Now if most of the page isn't loaded in under 30 seconds, I just hit the back button.

Broadband makes me online more (4.00 / 3) (#18)
by theboz on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 02:51:19 PM EST

For the following reasons:

  • Napster/mp3's. I can download stuff, and make my own music CD out of it if I like. The whole process takes about 30 minutes should I choose to get music that are on high speed connections as well. However, before you say that I am a thief, I normally buy CD's if I like the music. Also, mp3's sound bad compared to CD's so that is another reason.
  • Games. I don't play a lot, mainly diablo (the first one, I haven't bought the 2nd yet) and a few other online games. It is much more fun if you play it on something faster than a modem.
  • Websites load faster. Much much faster depending on the server. Kuro5hin loads almost instantly, my email comes in instantly, etc. You do get to realize how sucky some sites connections are though. Slashdot for example, only works about 2/3 of the time at home and at work (both high speed, one for an ISP, the other is DSL.)
  • Media loads faster. I can go somewhere like www.movie-list.com and view trailers until my heart is content. I must have watched about 20 trailers there last night. Of course, if you're into porn I think you can do that as quickly but I haven't really looked at any non-theboz-participatory porn for a while.
  • Constant connection. I have a static IP along with my broadband and it allows me to try stuff out easier and set up different services I can access from work such as shoutcast. If you go with an ISP like telocity.com you can get a static IP and they don't mind you setting up a domain and server with that IP.
    • I could probably think of more, but I am a bit inebriated (I forgot the word in English, in Spanish it's ebrio) right now and unable to think too clearly.


Just don't notice anymore... (3.75 / 4) (#21)
by Mantrid on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:23:05 PM EST

I'm a long time broadband user (couple of years all told). With broadband, the Internet is becoming more and more transparent. I look up TV listings (well not so much since our cable went digital), movies listings, manuals of various sorts, weather, pricing and product browsing, and news. I don't have to think about waiting for the dial up connection first. I want my email, I open up the email program. When buying new hardware, I don't even bother loading in the drivers that come with the equipment; it's straight out ot the net to get the latest versions. I will occasionally fire up a game to play online.

I don't typically do video streaming or huge final downloads, but if i want to watch a game preview or something, it's no biggie. I don't buy the versions of computer magazines that come with demos anymore...if I want a demo that bad I can download it.

The net is more a part of my day to day life, when it's not there I'm very annoyed. If a Cable TV channel goes out it's no big deal; the instant my net connection doesn't work I put in the maintenance call.

Most of the time I don't consciously think of using the Internet...except when I'm forced to used dial up at someone's house or need to seen a dial up user a decent sized file. That's when I realize just how handy high speed Internet has become.

broadband and computer proliferation (4.60 / 5) (#22)
by reel_life on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 03:54:29 PM EST

Before we had ADSL, we had one computer and a dial-up connection. If you needed to get ahold of us, you needed ICQ or you could page us (when the batteries weren't dead). Nobody had as much computer time as they wanted.

Now, we have three computers constantly on the network and on the net. Two whole sitting aside that aren't even networked. Probably a couple more lying around in spare parts. One of those two whole computers will likely become a gateway of some sort because we only have support 4 IPs (that is what the phone company says anyhow---some other users say six, though). We don't REALLY need anymore than three on the net (three people in household), but I think it sound like an educational project AND then I can truely prove we are addicted to the internet.

We download from napster like everyone and their brother. I have a habit of constantly hitting reload here on discussions that I am interested in. But mostly, I appreciate being able to download the newest Star Trek episodes from newsgroups. You see, we are the ONE area in the country that does seem to air Voyager.

I can't say that I really had much of a social life before we got ADSL. NOTE:Kids will kill your social life.

I HAVE noticed that I rarely watch television anymore. Quite often, it is on for background noise (well, to drown out the CPU fans, anyhow). I WILL, however, reluctantly seperate myself from the keyboard when Junkyard Wars or Battlebots is on.

I don't even watch the news on tv, anymore... streaming video.

Madness takes its toll on everyone. Please have exact change.

Get it... (4.00 / 3) (#23)
by skim123 on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 04:09:23 PM EST

I have DSL. The speed is nice, I like that a lot and that, alone, justifies the extra $20/month. I don't really download large files too often, but, with DSL, if I want to hear a song, instant gratification on Napster - no more annoying 20 minutes waits. Also, faster Web surfing is nice.

The best thing about DSL, though, is the always-on connection. Being able to look up Web info while on the phone and just not tying up the phone are worth the extra money. Now, waiting the 6 weeks to get DSL setup wasn't too pleasant... hell, there's the demand, you think they could streamline that process some... oh well.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum

My experiences (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by Acolyte57 on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 07:18:06 PM EST

I've had cable at several places now. My 'rents got cable as the first commercial client of one of the first cable ISPs in the Netherlands back years ago. When I moved out to college, I got a lame cable modem at the worst ISP in the whole Netherlands (they are actively being sued by their clients, I guess that says enough). At my new college, I have a university cable line, which is... well... heaven would be a thought that comes to mind :)

All in all, I find that my habits have changed from the days of dialup and ISDN. I used to make a point about doing everything at speed. I knew the shortcut keys for every function I regularly used in my browser. I did all my mail offline. I didn't download anything, instead buying magazines with CDs to get game demos and such.

Ever since I got cable.... well, mp3 r0x0rs my world ;)
Now I just do everything that I find necessary over the 'net, taking all the time I want. Life is easy, life is great.

"Do you sit around downloading DivX pr0n all day?"

Not pr0n. But movies, yeah. Lots.

"Do you idle on IRC 24/7?"

Uhm, yeah. Lots :)

"Do you download movie trailers in your sleep?"

Trailers? Hell, I download movies ;). But the trailers I download whenever I'm on, I don't see the use of waiting for when I'm sleeping when it takes no more than a few minutes to get one.

"Do you think that high-speed Internet is worth the money involved?"

Definitely. But at the moment I am on a university cable line, so it's not like I'm paying much :) (in fact, it's 42 guilders (easy conversion, say $20) a month for the modem, regardless of the people connected to it. 5 of us splitting the costs and we all pay $4 a month for a great line :)

"Is your plan 'unlimited'?"

60KB/s downstream cap, 8KB/s upstream cap, no transfer limit. It does get a bit crowded with all five of us on at the same time, but we work around it by planning big downloads for middle of the night or middle of the day, etc.

"Have you got a network attached to it?"

No, since the university allows for more people to run on a single cable modem and in fact offer hubs of several sizes and seperate IPs for all students behind a modem. There's no need to make an actual network anymore. Just hook up everyone to the hub and voila...

"Have you been 'busted' for running an X server so you can use GIMP at work?"

uh, no :)
I have been busted for running a HTTP, FTP and a variety of other servers at the bad ISP I mentioned though. Not that it mattered much; with the 5KB/s upstream it provided it wasn't really doing much more than sitting there anyway.

It hasn't (4.33 / 3) (#25)
by kaitian on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 07:59:37 PM EST

I had high speed internet access when I lived in a dorm on campus. The only changes in my usage habits was that I would download larger things (like iso images) that I wouldn't have downloaded normally. I also played more Quake, but not by much. Now that I'm back to and old modem connection. I don't play games online anymore. I can't readjust to having such a bad ping time. It didn't bother me before, but it does now. I'm planning on getting a USWest ADSL connection as soon as I can, but it's not available in my area just yet (coverage ends a few blocks from my house)

Broadband didn't change my online habits much. It just allowed my to do the things I do on my modom faster.

Is it worth it? Yes. (4.33 / 3) (#26)
by gromm on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 09:12:16 PM EST

Do you think that high-speed Internet is worth the money involved? Is your plan 'unlimited'?

Yes, and Yes.

I lived in a city of about 80,000 people last year, when I first got broadband in the form of ADSL. Before I got it, my internet bill looked like this:

56K Internet access per month: $40 for 100 hours. (no kidding)
Total time used: 140 hours (average)
Overtime @ $1.00/hr: $40
Total bill: $80+tax.

My internet bill after ADSL:

2.0Mbps down & 400Kbps up: $35
Total bill: $35+tax

(it's worth noting that Canadians get more bandwidth than Americans ;)
Anyway... the service I got at 56K was horrible. It took a minute just to download any webpage you could think of. It was unreliable. It was prone to busy signals (thus the high-priced internet access... anything less and you'd be lucky to get on at all.) during peak times. It was also ironic that the exact same ISP's that sold both ADSL and diallup would charge MORE for diallup than they would for ADSL.
Now that I've moved from that city to my new and improved larger one, I've noticed that cheap (or free) unlimited diallup access is commonplace, but broadband is still definitely worth $40 a month. (especially cable, that was delivered to me in 1 week, as opposed to the 6 weeks it took me to get ADSL, and even that was after I threatened to take my money somewhere else. I've heard people have waited much longer than that.)
But is the broadband itself worth it? Yeah... my internet access waits for me, not the other way around. :) I also don't get as pissy when I'm playing Starcraft, since I have no trouble at all finding a lag-free game. And I haven't had any trouble from the provider saying "No, you can't run that quake server!" (or the FTP server which was using about 3 gig a day. ;) Not that it would really matter, as I can firewall any port sniffing they do anway.
Deus ex frigerifero

i spend less time on the internet... (3.66 / 3) (#28)
by eMBee on Wed Jan 24, 2001 at 10:41:47 PM EST

... because of broadband.
mostly, because it's easier to interrupt an activity to do something else, because i can just walk away, don't have to shutdown the modem to save precious online minutes, only to dial up again later.

the speed is actually much less of an issue. i just did less surfing on 33k, and restricted myself to the ssh-session to the server at work, from where i did all the other stuff that required higher bandwith. (being busy in the ssh window it didn't matter how long it took for the browser to load a page)

but without the abundance of a 24/7 connection it was hard to do other things while online, because i always worried about wasting the money for the phone.

having no internet at all is worst though. i ended up spending all day in the office, until close to midnight, that really ruined my time and built up some bad habits.
that said, i should leave now, because i am still in the office while i could be doing other stuff...

greetings, eMBee.
Gnu is Not Unix / Linux Is Not UniX

God I LOVE Broadband (3.66 / 3) (#30)
by Circumference on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 03:43:27 AM EST

Once you have a taste of the broadband fruit you can't or don't want to go back. I have cable modem service that on a good day is 2000k down and 500k up and it allows me 4 IP numbers. With this amount of bandwidth I am able run a web server, ftp server, e-mail server and a Shoutcast server. Try that with dial-up!

If I had no access to broadband I would probably spend a lot less time on-line and have a real life. LOL. But lets face it, real life isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Bandwidth good! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by Rand Race on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 02:48:51 PM EST

After going 'round and 'round with Hellsouth I finally got the DSL hooked up last month. I don't see how I lived without it.

"Do you sit around downloading DivX pr0n all day?"

No, not all day. Actually I started getting laid steady-like around the time I got my DSL (didn't know that was a bonus eh? She just loves me for my bandwidth ;) so my pr0n viewing has decreased dramatically. Downloading movies is a breeze though.

"Do you idle on IRC 24/7?"


"Do you download movie trailers in your sleep?"

No, I speak Enochian in my sleep. I download movie trailers in real time.

"Do you think that high-speed Internet is worth the money involved?"

Oh yea! I was paying $20/Month for unlimited service as was my landlord. Now he's on my network and while I pay the $40/month for the line he covers my part of the cable bill so I'm coming out even.

"Is your plan 'unlimited'?"


"Have you got a network attached to it?"

Yes. My main box, my landlord's box, an older PowerBook by the couch for instant TV listings, and whatever else I have lying around and running (a Mac IIci running OpenBSD at the moment).

"Have you been 'busted' for running an X server so you can use GIMP at work?"

No particular need to and no one here but me would know anyhow. I do FTP myself a fair amount of things I snag while at work though.

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson

Broadband Rocks. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
by Pope Slack on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 03:05:03 PM EST

Do you think that high-speed Internet is worth the money involved? Is your plan 'unlimited'? Have you got a network attached to it? Have you been 'busted' for running an X server so you can use GIMP at work?

Absolutely. There is /no way/ I could go back to a modem.
The BEST part about it is that it's like being on a LAN - no waiting to dialin, busy signals, or dropped connections.
DSL is only like $30 more than dialup, and worth every penny in saved time and reliability.
They'll get my DSL line when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. :)

Yes, I do. From 4 to 6 nodes depending on if I have my laptops connected.
Planning on doing a wireless net as soon as I have time to set it up.

Nope, I've run everything from HTTP to SSH to IRC (private, of course) servers, with nary a complaint from USQwest.
The IPs are dynamic tho, and sometimes change VERY quickly, so your server may become unreachable at random times.
I've also downloaded in the range of a gig/month with no problem.

FYI, my DSL service is through Qwest (formerly USWest), and I've had it for ~2 years or so.


High-Speed Net Access & How it's Changed My Habits (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by Maggyver on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 04:14:26 PM EST

Having DSL has saved me a tremendous amount of time. As a freelance computer consultant, sometimes my ability to obtain reference information can make or break the gig. Ditto being able to look something up, send a test email, etc. when I'm on the phone with a client. On a personal note, I'm an information junkie, so just being able to consume large quantities of opinion, rhetoric, discussion, streaming video & audio in a short amount of time means I can satisfy my addiction.

I have cable, but it seems I kinda got the shaft.. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
by Jay on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 08:27:39 PM EST

Now I'll be the first to admit cable is great. However, from what I have read, it could be a lot better. I use @home (through the local cable company, Charter) which limits your upload to 16k/sec (and don't get your panties in a knot if I said kilobytes, because you know what I meant.) That makes it practically impossible to serve anything to anybody.

Download speeds are great compared to a dial-up any day, but they're still not anything to brag about to other cable users. The most I'm able to get is about 250k/sec if I'm lucky. But that's only from a few select websites. Maybe the @home backbone sucks. I don't know. *shrugs*

I shut down my computer every night so I can sleep without the whirling of fans so I don't idle 24/7 on IRC. Hell, I don't do IRC at all.

I have a Linux server set up on an old Pentium 75 acting as a firewall/IP masquerading machine for my parents' computer. Bastards charge you $6.00 for just one extra IP address.

It costs approximately $42 each month with the cable modem rental included. Just as cheap as a dial-up with a second phone line, so I shouldn't complain, I guess.

Got SDSL, but was always used to high-speed (4.50 / 2) (#35)
by mami on Thu Jan 25, 2001 at 10:09:34 PM EST

My first internet connection, 1995, was on the usual 14.4 modem running a Linux server (someone helped me to install it, I never was ready to dig into it more than I absolutely needed it to, save the thing from going down). It had an automatic reboot and redial script, when the telephone line dropped and was on 24H/7D (pretty stable - really). A real guru worked on the server telnetting in from the far away. I learned in 1998 what he was going through doing this, when I telnetted for the first time from Europe on an ISDN line into U.S. server - I mean you can count to five each time you hit a key til it arrives on the server, awful).

But I was involved in a crazy project which involved huge files and it was clear, I couldn't serve the site without a higher speed. The project came to a stillstand. End 1996, early 1997 I encountered burstable T1 in the office of my then employer. I was so itching to get this speed that I started to rent my own little office in the same building, just to try out the old project.

Because my day-time job had nothing to do with my project, I really only worked on it nights only, so at that time, I couldn't really judge my ownbehavioural changes due to fast access, because it still was in an office, not in my private quarters. But for the first time, I encountered the immense distraction fast and easy always-on access causes, just by getting sucked in reading some newsgroups and getting caught in the arguments. Awful. I swore to myself in that time, that I stop reading usenet newsgroups for ever.

Then in 1998 I shut down, moved to Europe and was on an ISDN line, of course I still read some groups.

Finally I moved back to US and couldn't resist to get SDSL with static IPs to play around with my old project again and finally start to learn programming.

Boy, since I have the router in my bedroom and three machines running (learning how set up the lan and firewall, mail and dsn server and all that stuff), I had to face the real behavioural changes which those servers caused in my daily life.

First, I went nuts with the fans' noise. So, I moved these servers around in the little apartment like an idiot, in the hope to place them somewhere, where the fans wouldn't bother me at night. I couldn't find a spot. Second, I caved in to my slightly addictive reading patterns of (among others) this site, slashdot, rootprompt and jump around the sites collecting good articles like other people would baseball cards.

Well, I never was much interested in movies or music over the internet (guess that's age and gender and being overexposed to broadcasting news services' noise (loud TV, printers etc) in my main job.

Being quite selfconscious about possible compulsive reading patterns, I put myself in a treatment, meaning I shut down all my servers, donated one away, cut down my TV connection to the lowest package (without CNN) and realized that I could quite well live without it. Then of course, I wanted to play with my project and intend to take online classes at a European Universtity, so I needed my servers back online again. Now, I happily slammed a hole in my wall to my walk-in closet and jailed my servers in there. Just my router, kvm switch, netgear printserver and monitor sits in my bedroom, and I don't hear a whisper of fans. I am a happy camper.

But, don't ask me how much time I waste with reading non-work/project/study related material. WAY TOO MUCH. I am ready to get myself in my second treatment against compulsive reading now. I force myself getting away from home and start reading books and writing programs in a library, where I have no access to a connected computer and no access to newspapers and magazines. I flee from information overload, clearly.

May be because of my age and taste, I never got sucked into IRC chatting, music or porn (ugly like hell - yuck ). So, in that regard, no problem for me. with or without speed.

LAN and own mail/web/dns/ftp server, of course, that's the main reason I got it in the first place to have a system to learn it on to set up. If it were not for that reason, I had gotten ASDL without static IPs at lower costs.

Costs are still too high for a poor person, but hey I am a compulsive article reader... so I pay my dues for my little obsession. :-)

Anyway, I hope running secure servers (including mail servers) will become an household item for anyone like having your own car or heating furnace in your house. And yes, my system is upgradable and I never got busted for running my own network and X/web/mail/dns server, I would refuse to pay for a connection which wouldn't allow me to do so.

Not really, things are just augmented now. (none / 0) (#36)
by burton on Fri Feb 02, 2001 at 11:35:03 AM EST

Starting March I guess 2 years ago I got a second phone line for my unlimited dialup access... that allowed me to idle 24/7 instead of 8/7 or so on IRC. Since I've gotten broadband my habits really haven't changed much; if I'm at home I'm on the net doing something, that hasn't changed and probably won't change for a while.

Pretty much all its changed is my efficiency, obviously :) I download music mainly, tons of it, and that dialup line from that spring till college in September racked me up a good thousand or so files. At college, well, lets just say the snowball turned into an avalanche.

School was great, and will be great when I'm back in the dorms in March (long story); term long IP lease and it performed at several Mbps each direction. Its a great feeling to know that you are bandwidth hindered by the site you are connecting to and not your own connection the majority of the time.

Network, oh hell yes, what else would I do with my time and spare boxen? :) Name it I've probably ran the service, set up the os, and may still run it, /etc. And if I didn't have broadband, it would probably still be on anyway :)

I'm a pretty b/w generous individual (generally) and right now until I'm back at school my aDSL plan that's 620/90, which was enabled in my area just in time for my move home, is making me feel a bit disgruntled. The 8KB/s upload cap sometimes interferes with the downstream when I have somebody sucking it all up at once; I have mrtg logs of traffic for both up/down being governed right at the upload cap when something b/w intensive is going out, such as netmeeting or ftp.

This tends to happen when the traffic for both is to/from the same IP, as is obviously the case with netmeeting. Sometimes a random ftp downloader will kill my own transfer, and sometimes after a quick modem reboot the situation will resolve itself. Its my understanding that the more heavily trafficed the upstream is the harder the sync is pressed to offer downstream, however I'd like to know more of the how/when/why concerning this. Anybody have more insight? Aw well, its a temp fix and I'm glad its a static IP and not PPPoE ;).

As far as accessing stuff remotely, I pretty much have enabled the bare minimum to get me by when I'm jonesin for stuff from home; I'm such a security nut for some reason that I even screw over myself :)

- throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities... -
How has high-speed internet access changed your online habits? | 36 comments (30 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!