a blog by wallace winfrey

So, I finally get DSL at my place in the mountains…


and it absolutely sucks. I mean, it’s freaking slow, with amazingly high latencies. I was typing in a shell, and Missy was pulling up a web page on her laptop, and all of a sudden, I could no longer get a response from the shell. It was like being back on 28.8k dial-up.
Supposedly, my connection is rated at “Up to 1.5 Mbit!” I think Qwest is leaning a bit too heavily on the phrase “Up to!”, because my connection speeds since the thing has been installed are barely a tenth of what’s supposed to be it’s maximum. In fact, here’s what I normally get:

I’m trying to do their online chat thing to see if there’s anything they can do about it, but I’ve been in the chat room for 30 minutes now, with the following message repeated ad nauseum:
“We are experiencing higher than usual service times. Please wait and an analyst will be with you shortly.”
I guess their definition of “shortly” is right up there with “up to 1.5 Mbit/sec!”
Fortunately, I still have my CanyonCable account, which is way faster:

Unfortunately, it seems to be a bit on the unreliable side, although it goes for very long bouts of no problems whatsoever, followed by a week or two of it-doesn’t-fucking-work-at-all-oh-god-why-doesn’t-this-thing-fucking-work.
OK, so I started writing this while I was in an online chat with Qwest, and after some fiddling, I’ve now got the following performance from my DSL line:

It’s still a far cry from 1.5Mbit/sec, but at least it’s no longer in the same league as my old ISDN line. Still though, as someone who lusted after an ISDN line in 1994 as being the penultimate home internet connection, it pains me that, 13 years later, I’m still not surfing at insane speeds. Just another cost of living in the mountains. I’m pretty sure the peace and quiet and views and air quality are still worth it.

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