Many many years ago I managed to persuade my boss to let me work from home.
This was in the days before the Interweb had ever been heard of, so it was unheard of for a computer programmer to work anywhere except at his terminal. I can’t remember what excuse I cooked up but they fell for it, and for quite a while, life was good – no commuting, no irritating office banter about sport, and best of all – no fucking boss breathing down my neck.
I had to have a special terminal, which I plugged into the mains and into the phone line. It had a clunky keyboard and a screen about four inches wide. If I typed a sentence, I had to wait about a minute for the characters to appear on the screen. It was cutting edge technology. It was fucking mighty. In those glory days, if you made a phone call, that was all you were charged for – the cost of making a phone call. So if you wanted to stay on the phone all day, it didn’t cost any extra. Brilliant. A day’s work cost just a few pence.
Years later, some eejit invented the Interweb, so this meant going on-line again. By now the bastards had started billing phone calls by the minute, so connecting to the Interweb was quite pricey. However, I did have a top of the range modem, so at least my connection was fast. Fifty six kilobits!!! Wow!!!!
Then some other twat invented something called Broadband.
I rang my phone company and asked about getting that. After the hysterical laughter subsided, they told me to forget the idea. They suggested I ring back in the middle of the next century.
I persevered though, over the years, and eventually a crowd stuck masts and weird gizmos all over the house. I had broadband.
I had some initial teething problems, but they only lasted about two years. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. At one stage they came out to remove everything because they suddenly decided that broadband wasn’t available in my area. Some neighbours fell for that one, but I didn’t. I persevered. Eventually things settled down and broadband became just another part of life.
Last night, for the first time in I don’t know how many years, it went flaky. I don’t know exactly what happened, but suddenly I found myself in a time warp and back in the glory days of dial-up speeds. I also discovered that the Interweb doesn’t really work very well at those speeds any more.
It’s back at it’s normal speed today.
I lie. In fact, it is faster than ever. And I mean just that. I am getting speeds way above what I am meant to be getting. I’m not complaining.
It’s strange how one becomes accustomed to something so quickly.
What once was a miracle is now commonplace.