2007-12-03

Internet penetration

Up until recently the Internet connection of my parents consisted of a dodgy, no-name modem that on a good day was able to negotiate a 40-something kilobit connection to what I can only imagine must be a rack of museum pieces at Telenor. The way I learned that my parents had discovered the Internet was when my mother sent me an email after having found my homepage. With a picture of me on it. Taken after what can only be described as a hair-related misadventure.

I basically got a takedown-notice from my mother saying that I had better take down that horrible picture of me with bleached hair. The Internet age had arrived at my parents' place.

At 40 kilobit, life is pretty miserable these days. For instance, reading newspapers just isn't a viable option as it takes minutes to render the front page of most Norwegian online newspapers, and you can forget about wasting an entire sunday afternoon browsing YouTube videos of all the silly things cats do.

Sending my parents photos in email would result in the Internet equivalent of trying to drain swimming pool full of syrup -- in cold weather. Fetching email through POP over a 40 kilobit link if someone has mailed you a picture is glacially slow. If I needed to send my mother some pictures I'd rather send her a DVD or just print them out.

A few weeks ago all this changed. My parents made the leap into the wonderful world of broadband access.

All I need to do now is to figure out how to get my father excited about using the Internet and how to wean my mother of all the inefficient tools she has been using up until now. I am toying with some plans of setting up a Linux box there, or buying my father an Apple Mini.

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