I was rummaging through some old papers recently and I came across an interesting sheaf of papers.
It was a list of instructions from back in 1998.
It welcomed me to Club Internet, and gave me access information for my brand new Interweb account, including instructions on how to connect my modem to Windows 95 and how to dial up. It also included details of my very first email address. It even gave some hits on how to use this newfangled Interwebby thing.
Things have changed a little since then.
I have long since stopped paying them and they have long since ceased to exist as a company, though strangely enough that email still works. I even get the odd bit of spam into it.
I had my fights many years ago to get something that was just a tad faster than 56kb. They said I was in a remote location and I was damned lucky to even have dial up. Then along came a company that stuck wireless masts all over the place and I finally got hooked up at a speed that was reasonable. I had 3Mb up and down and it worked pretty well.
I ditched that company in August and went with my phone company. They have a crap reputation, but there again so does every company if you read reports on line. My download jumped up from 3 to 10 and my upload jumped down from 3 to 0.5. Fuck! I do my share of uploading and this wasn’t funny, but I had conflagrated my bridges so I had to stick with it.
A few weeks ago I rang the company and asked about an upgrade as they had stuck a fibre cabinet on the road which nicely means I can’t see now if there is traffic coming when I’m driving out of the lane. The woman there said the cabinet wasn’t live yet and suggested I phone the following week.
I phoned again the following week and the same Bright Young Thing said that yes – I could upgrade without any cost and she made an appointment for the bloke to instal the new system. ‘He’ll be there at 9am in the 8th November’ says she.
That evening I got an email confirming my upgrade appointment for 9am on the 8th November.
Yesterday I got a phone cal from them just to remind me a bloke would be calling at 9am on the 8th November.
This morning I was pottering about when my mobile rang. It was 9am and today is the 8th. It was the bloke wanting to know where my house was. Once I had recovered from my fainting fit I gave him the directions. I think this is the first time in living memory when someone made an appointment and actually kept it almost to the minute.
He was a cheerful chap. Ex-Greek army apparently, though I discovered that because he told me and not because he was wearing a white skirt and had pom-poms on his slippers. He pottered around, pulling wires and using all sorts of metres and gizmos. He installed a new wireless thingumajig [just when I had the old one nicely tweaked].
He’s gone now.
I ran a test.
A little bit better than 3?
And a little bit better than dial up.
I didn’t half have to wait for it though.
Sure what’s 18 years between friends?