Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Hello low-speed internet

My last and final gripe with having moved back to the suburbs: the slow slow internets.

I always suspected that the kind of broadband we were getting out in the suburbs was slow, but I never really knew how bad it was until I moved into the city. On a good day in the suburbs, if you wanted to watch a YouTube clip that was 1 minute long, you would have to load the page, then pause the clip at the beginning, and return to it 4 minutes later so that you can get smooth playback from start to finish.

That was the general formula: multiply the video length by 4 to get the average loading time. We didn't even bother with high-quality or high-def clips, for streaming anyway; we always downloaded those with some multiple-connection download manager.

Anyway, when I made it to the city, one of the first things I had organized was the broadband (I actually had it set up before I got a fridge in... priorities, I know) and once the computer was set up, did a YouTube test. The difference? I could stream low-quality YouTube video!

Little things like this finally became watchable

I could load videos left and right, download podcasts, and have a torrent running in the background, all at the same time. I had finally caught up to technology as at 3 years ago, and it was great.

So what self-respecting IT guy would be caught with a slow internet connection? Unfortunately for me, that's kind of out of my hands, and no amount of shouting from the citizens of this country at the national telco has done any good to get it sorted.

And although it's not my problem, the slow internet thing got me thinking about other kinds of IT guy myths which I've been doing wrong. I mean, I don't have a digital camera, I don't have a smart phone (my cellphone doesn't even do + code dialing...), I'm not an early adopter (I only got the Xbox360 a couple of months ago) and I don't have a USB flash drive.
I was probably the last of my group to get onto Facebook (a year of peer pressure finally got the better of me), I don't have any shirts which make references to internet fads, and I got a Twitter account only 2 months before Oprah did.

I think I'm just too cautious in my ways. While that doesn't explain the lack of digital camera, I often take the 'wait and see' approach to things such that by the time I've waited and seen, the thing in question has already hit the mainstream. Now that I'm looking for an apartment to buy in the city I just left, I think a cautious approach is a good thing to have. Who knows, maybe a cautious approach could've averted the subprime lending collapse.

A few questions could've saved a lot of people a lot of trouble

So, I've taken my time, I've thought a lot, thought of everything I got and apart from blatantly ripping Cat Steven lyrics I've learned enough about what it is I am looking for in my own apartment. Amongst those things: high speed internet and a high-pressure shower. Everything else, as my favourite quote says, is negotiable ;)