Since the Girlygirl has an office at the house and I'm in charge of such things around my office, I've been on the broadband gravy train for quite a while now. In fact, I can't really remember the last time I used dialup.
Well that's all changed today. One of the joys of my job is that I'm occasionally handed a boat anchor and asked to turn it back into a computer. And it's never just any outmoded piece of crap--no, it's usually some decrepit laptop with just enough RAM to almost run Minesweeper without crashing and enough keys left on it to type about 1/3 of the string of curses I let out under my breath when it's handed to me.
Today's job isn't quite so bad--it's glacially slow, but it does appear to be able to run Win98 and Explorer, it does have all the keys on the keyboard, and I've only been asked to make it work well enough to collect email from the road. Mainly it's loaded up with a lot of crummy startup software it doesn't need, and a bunch of programs we haven't used in yonks. It's in desperate need of some of those Windows updates, though, and one thing it doesn't have is a functioning network card. So that means instead of doing all my updating through my lovely T1 connection, I have to do it via dialup. All 16 megs of updates. At 56K. I almost went mad just waiting for it to determine what updates were needed.
Luckily for me, this has been presented as something of a priority, so until it's done, it has my full attention. Well, it has as much of my attention as it requires, anyway. At the moment this has left me with enough time to eat lunch, peruse the meager offerings on Fark.com today, and write this post. Since I'm theoretically working (I am, after all, running the little legs off that pitiful excuse for a laptop*), I can kid myself that it's OK to spend the download time doing what I
** want to do.
* This thing is head and shoulders above our other "loaner" laptop--a first generation Sony Vaio. Everybody wants to use that one the first time they hit the road--it's really compact and thin, and it's metallic purple (more or less). Funny, though--nobody ever asks for it a second time. It's lamer than a two-legged dog, all the peripherals (useless things like CD drives and modems) are all outboard, and it was a miracle I could resucitate it enough to make it run a recent enough version of Explorer to actually interface with our webmail system. Some asshat had tried to install the latest version of AOL on it, and it just couldn't manage it. Do you have any idea how hard it is to uninstall AOL? Yikes.
**In raw HTML, typing an italic letter I looks really weird. All these I's in a row.