http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/stories/story/0,10738,2901424,00.html How I (finally) escaped from dial-up hell David Coursey, Executive Editor, AnchorDesk Wednesday, December 11, 2002 My big move is complete, and I'm about to leave the world of the modem-challenged for the happier climes of the DSL-enabled. For those who missed my earlier tale of woe, I've moved from the San Francisco Bay Area out to a commuter community in what used to be called the Central Valley but is now more commonly referred to as someplace a normal person can afford a nice house.
MY SUBDIVISION IS SO NEW (about 18 months old) that neither DSL nor cable modems had arrived when I did. That put me on dial-up for the time being, while I pondered faster ways to get connected. In my previous column, I mentioned that I was connecting at only 28.8kbps on dial-up. Actually, it was more like 26.4kbps. Some of you wondered why my 56K modem was so slow.
According to Karl at my ISP, Tracy Internet, when the phone company doesn't have enough copper to go around, it uses something called "pair gain" to multiplex two lines onto a single copper pair--pair gain, get it? That's fine for voice but makes modem traffic slow enough--26.4kbps--that downloading my spam takes so long I'm almost willing to do without my e-mail altogether.
Used to be that, when I asked AnchorDesk readers how you were getting online, the majority of you said dial-up. Looks like things have changed for many of you. According to the survey in my previous column, 56 percent of you say you're now using some flavor of broadband. But what about the rest of you? What are you waiting for?
BUT ENOUGH ABOUT YOU, let's talk about me some more. Doing the AnchorDesk radio program (you do listen to my radio show, don't you?) requires an ISDN line. ISDN is available most of the places regular dial tone can be found, unlike DSL, which is available only within a few miles (as the wire runs, not the crow flies) from your telco's central office