Remember when you got your first computer, how you didn’t want to eat or go to bed at night? It was almost the same sort of infatuation all over again when cable internet first came along. No more waiting, everything there in a flash.
I had never thought of myself as a fast woman until cable internet came along. Once I had a new cable connection for my computer, however, I definitely qualified as speedy. No more dial up, no more being disconnected, just zip, zip, zip! Pages and graphics loading in a whiz.
I was movin’… I was flying… I was lightning!
When cable first became available in my area many years ago, I went over to the friendly local computer store for a free demo – no obligation. They had old 133 MHz computers all wired up to cable. Those worn out nags were running like racehorses with a shot of the new technology. Of course I wanted it, just like they knew I would.
Expense, of course, was the main obstacle – I couldn’t seem to justify the expenditure when I could dial up and connect to the net so much cheaper. But prices soon came down. Sales people were quick to point out how cable with one phone line in your home was cheaper than two phone lines, one for calls and one for the computer. Or how you could connect two computers at about the same price as dial up with home networking. When I got that card in the mail about the free installation and the rebate of $100, it was the final straw.
Everybody was getting wired with the new wide band technologies. Speed demons like cable, DSL, satellites, wireless and ISDN phone lines left me eating dust with my dial up modem. I never seemed to be able to stay connected. Even with a high-speed processor, my computer was dragging its tail with the entire Internet trying to squeeze though a phone line.
In a computer class I took, the lady next to me leaned over to confide, “I’ve got cable and I’m so spoiled.” Boy, was I ever envious. I wanted to be spoiled too. So , I joined the 21st century. My computer also was cruising the fast lane on the information highway. Wonder I didn’t get a speeding ticket. Trouble is the Internet is very addictive, and even more so at high speed.
I did miss the screech of the modem dialing up. I had become sort of used to the repulsive sound and the little ecstatic musical chimes when it finally connected. The “mail truck” announcement, the ugly blue and yellow start page set up so carefully with all my personal preferences and my familiar email address, were all are gone.
My dial-up service provider had been good to me. They held my hand while I learned to walk, and then I ran away and left them. I missed them – but not enough to give up my amorous affair with cable. It’s was sort of like getting a new home and leaving the old one with all the associated memories, or trading in the car that became a clunker for a slick new model, or dumping an old boyfriend for a new lover.
My computer was always connected ready to rumble. It was waiting for me and blowing the horn. Gee whiz, it was a wonder my monitor didn’t melt at warp speed. There was email to check and surfing to do.
Life was demanding for a fast woman.
Copyright 2001 Sheila Moss
Today we take high-speed internet for granted. It hasn’t always been that way. Do you remember dial-up connections?