Life On The 48th Floor

Water boils faster up here. It\’s true!


started at 1200/2400 bps. That meant 1200 bps fax and 2400 data. It was the late 80's. It was a dinky little metal-cased box; the brand was Atrie (ZOMG, Google it! They're still around!) and it supported MNP4 (whatever that means). No Internet, no MMOs, no torrents; just bulletin boards. There was the Elite by Peter whats-his-face, and Lothlorien by Mark something-or-other. Everyone was simply elated to be able to continue chatting after we all went home.US Robotics 14.4

After getting hopelessly addicted, that got upgraded to 14,400 bps. The US Robotics Sportster (first generation). It was cutting edge, no, bleeding edge. It was the King of modems. It outperformed every other tooting and whistling box out there. It was also $800. That's another ponderous bit. I have no idea how I funded that. It must have been very early 90's. Still no Internet but downloads from BBS's were getting popular. What it was I downloaded then isn't clear. There were no MP3's, no episodes of TV series, no movies to be downloaded.USR Courier 28.8

The 28,800 USR Courier was ushered in with Pacific Internet. This was the mid-90's. Setting up an ISP in Singapore meant putting up a 1.5 mil deposit with somebody. (As far as I know, that rule still applies. So much for becoming a reseller.) SingNet came first (of course they did, they always do) but PI gave us choice in user names. This was the era of Real-Audio, usenet and Anime. It became possible to put 100 songs onto a single music CD but that's another story. Usenet became a major preoccupation for me. There was money to be made off Magic the Gathering.

In the early PI days, it was reasonably costly to get connected. There were 3 or 4 plans, all of which were hideously expensive. That's for someone who was online almost 24/7. I was elated when the $100-all-you-can-eat unlimited access plan came into being. Only phone charges were unbounded then.

Around this time also came Diablo. But that's another story.

Magix ATM came next in the late 90's. (Yea, consumer ATM connection rules!) It was expensive as hell ($180 a month?), required new hardware, new software. I had a unique IP address! Downloads came in fast and hard. 4 concurrent download streams of 250+kbps. Napster, Audiogalaxy, DC++ all lived on my computer at one time and they did their jobs happily there. Magix also came with certain perks, like Dawson's Creek season 1 on demand.

Around this time MaxOnline became available, and it being the significantly cheaper option made me give it a spin. (A spin here meant an 18 month contract, if memory serves). As it turns out, this (DSL) was mostly comparable to ATM. OK so I had to deal with slow start but download and gaming quality was not compromised. After figuring that d2jsp botting wasn't compromised also, I terminated Magix.

Over the last couple of years, the MaxOnline plan got upgraded through 3mbps to 6.5mbps.

Which leads to the point of this post. Starhub's coming this Friday to upgrade my line to 30mbps.


7 June 2006 - Posted by | Musings

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