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Stopping The 56K Hate 381

A just-barely-Anonymous Coward writes: "Every day, hundreds of people are discriminated against by their Internet connection, banned from video/audio downloads, video/audio streaming, gaming, webcasts, and many other everyday Internet activities. The damage starts small -- hurt feelings, a little anger -- but soon it all escalates into pure rage that often leads up into the cutting of the aggressors' broadband line. The broadband users of the internet are the ones that torment the little people. All too often they forget their true origins; where they came from back in the good old days before there were even 56k modems. This website is dedicated to stopping the hate of 56k modems. Show your support by joining the ranks." No accounting for taste, but I laughed from this end of a 53K connection to my ISP.
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Stopping The 56K Hate

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  • I stopped hating 56k when I stopped using it.

    Out of sight, out of mind.
    • 56K isnt even bad, when I left NJ, I could get either ISDN (total rip off, love mah bell), a T-1 or frac to the house (I love mah bell, they can run a t-1 (which is a circuit that has been around for 30 years) in 90 days (much, much less if you pay much much more, and give you 1.5 up down flawlessly), pray for DSL or cable to come around, they never did, and now probably never will, OR use my two trusty couriers to aggregate bandwidth and 26400 x 2. (Note, this kind of dialup account no longer exists anymore, RIP netcom =( ].

      Anyways, 56K in that town was like 10 ft from the CO or less. Forget 56K at 10,000 ft.

      I'm very upset that web pages are inline image laden, its very hard to navigate the web with all this super bandwidth sucking stuff lying around. sure its optional, but as unix admins know that in a pinch without X its VERY hard to use links/lynx and get anywhere usefule without the images! ITS terrible!

      This is probably why usenet is still very popular around the world.

      AFAIK, only 5% of the people in this country have broadband.

      And in case you havn't noticed all "internet" companies having a hard time, thank you AT&T, Verizon, GTE, (Insert Bell here). They love it when the internet does bad because it threatens to deprecate thier sources of income! If 768/768 SDSL was $100 a month - and it was available everywhere, everyone everywhere would have it, and no one would use the phone (things like dialpad would replace it.) Remember, these idiots at PacBell charge me $30 a month just to have a phone number. Give me a break. I'm all for paying for bandwidth - but the DSL you may never get was destroyed by the Bells to protect their territory...

      I'm hoping that "lite" versions of sites pop up so that when my broadband goes dark I can enjoy the net just the same.


      Two more cents =)
  • by jdigital ( 84195 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:16AM (#2201643) Homepage
    Wonderful, hard to read GIF banners added to thousands of sites around the world will surely help the needs of those of us who often surf through lynx to cut through most of the crap that people decide is 'better said' with an image.

    • Learn how I fixed the problems when adding the "56K PRIDE" button to Pin Eight []:

      hard to read

      When I downloaded the button, I pumped up the gamma in GIMP by 2.0. This made it much easier to read.

      GIF banners

      A GIF would look silly next to my "burn all .gifs" button, so I converted it to PNG.

      those of us who often surf through lynx

      Users of Links, w3m, and Lynx will see the alt text "56K PRIDE" along with alt text for every other textual image on my site.

  • Stopping the hate (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ozbon ( 99708 )
    It seems like a good point - broadband people can get used to high-speed access etc., and it's a good thing in general to have broadband, but it's also socially divisive - in the UK it's high-cost for high-bandwidth.......
    • ... if you can even get a broadband connection.

      NTL in their infinite wisdom decided to miss my house from their flood-cable of the local 'hood, and BT aren't anywhere near installing ASDL in my towns exchange.

      In saying that, I don't actually find my surfing poor because of Dial Up. Either I'm old enough to think of 56K as "luxury", or the sites I use don't show many banner adds ;-)
    • For years and years there have been people with fast and with (relatively) slow Internet connections. Such as those working on universities having (on their job or campus) "broadband" since 10 years or more. Call it socially divisive if you like, but the same goes for cars, houses, expensive clubs, scientific journals (not everyone can read them) etc.

      10 years ago those poor home-users on 28k8 or slower could not download whole directories full of pr0n that was to be found on ftp servers in those days, but those with a fast connection (mostly at work/university) could.

      I do agree however that it is a shame to lock out people without reason by using large images, sounds etc. unnecessarily.
  • by Rendus ( 2430 ) <rendus AT cox DOT net> on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:19AM (#2201646)
    But not nearly as amusing as watching their counter skyrocket :) They're up to 277 or so hits since this was posted.
    • Now up to 964 and the USA is still asleep ... for the first time we will really be able to see how many people constitutes a /.ing!
    • Ok Boys !

      Now, we just have hit an almost virgin website, around 277 hits when we started.

      Lets get this blond newcomer become the HIT from today, with more than 400 000 hits this night 12.00am !!!

      Slashdot will keep this young site from youth, and propel him to the Summit of ADVERTISEMENT payment scheme, with over 400KHits/day !!!

      The first one who blows the counter wins an Electronic Puff 8)

  • by radja ( 58949 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:19AM (#2201647) Homepage
    and once again.. it's porn. Certain porn-sites use a 'plugin' that basically makes your modem call a commercial dialin point owned by the porn-server. This makes for easy billing.

    • > and once again.. it's porn. Certain porn-sites use a 'plugin' that basically makes your modem call a commercial dialin point owned by the porn-server. This makes for easy billing.

      ... and this is often done without warning the user, and after switching the modem to ATM0L0.
      And most people spell this F R A U D.

    • This makes for easy billing

      Though surely at about $10/min? I would never trust anything from a porn site which attempts to execute on my local machine ... way too dodgy!

      And if you live in the UK, it's probably phoning a premium-rate line in Guyana or somewhere. We have rules on this stuff, but they are ineffective.
    • It's not only porn :-)
      There was a dutch website which showed you how to get from place A to place B with public transport (busses, trains and metros fyi).
      One day they announced that their site would be only available through a dial-up line a one guilder per call. Never used it anymore, mostly because... I had a cable-modem.

      Edwin, back on 56Kbps right now.
    • I'd think that a modem would be a good defense against the "multiple spawning windows of death" effect that some pr0n pages supposedly have (I wouldn't know, I only surf respectable smut sites). After all, if you have a slow connection, shouldn't you be able to close each window faster than it can download the script to open a new one? Heh. Of course, the dirt pics would also take longer to load, might "kill the mood"...
  • It's okay.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    All of us cable/dsl people will be back to 56k after all of our providers tank.
  • Apart from the fact that the graphical banners seem a bit unnecessary (wouldn't a text link be more in-keeping with the message?), I reckon there's a good point here. Unnecessary flash (small 'f') is often annoying and slows web speeds horribly. Just give me plain text sites any day! (Well, except when I am surfing at work. Flashy stuff is OK then.)
    • Well, except when I am surfing at work. Flashy stuff is OK then.
      No it's not - that's the second best way to attract the boss' attention (best is waving around something shiny and expensive looking)! I want more entertaining sites with gray backgrounds and meaningless tables of figures or technical diagrams that look like I'm working from the other end of the office.
    • Apart from the fact that the graphical banners seem a bit unnecessary (wouldn't a text link be more in-keeping with the message?)

      When I put one of the buttons on my own site, I used a graphical link with alt text. Such links show up as a text link on text browsers.

  • Large Files? (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'm a condescending broadband cable internet user. For transfers of even 100 megabytes can take hours on a modem. My dialup backup auto-kicks me after six hours of usage. I see very good reasons for 56Kbps users to be banned from file servers that serve such large files.

    1) Chances are, your download will fail.

    2) If there is a max user limit, you'll clog up the server for other people who would get the download done much faster.

    Now, even with these good reasons, 56K people are gonna feel discriminated against. I would be. So there's no way to please everyone, so I guess I don't really see the point of this little movement.. Also, most people with 56K probably don't want to keep it, and would rather have broadband.
    • 1) Resume

      2) Fuck other people. They can use their bandwidth to hammer with 30 second retrys.

      I never felt discriminated against. If your connection moves data slower it's going to take longer. The server doesn't mind waiting, and if I did I would get a faster connection. What's the problem?

      Up to 1224 hits now.
    • So your point is that on trunk roads and motorways low performance cars should leave at the first exit to let through the faster ones?

      This is a frankly disgraceful point of view! The Internet was not developed as a plaything for the technically rich, but as a medium available to anyone who could access, at a speed their hardware could cope with. Read the other posts: not everyone has either the financial means or the physical access to a broadband connection, and banning them from the net is not an option.
      • Yes, I understand this, and totally agree. What I was trying to get across was that the internet is moving to a more "high bandwidth" atmosphere. Look at Internet2 for example. I understand that for now there are both "low" and "high" bandwidths. But I was kinda speaking from the server's point of view. Which would you rather have (If you wanted the most people to have your file). More people, or Less? That was the point I was trying to make, not one of "everyone needs cable or dsl or higher". I apologize if I've offended you.
        • I apologize if I've offended you

          Not offended, just riled at this time on a dull Glasgow Tuesday morning ;-)

          I still have to disagree with you: the Internet is not necessarily moving towards a high bandwith atmosphere, but a mixed bandwidth atmosphere where the Quality of Service and the priority of traffic can be better managed (in IPv6).

          Maybe then if you deploy a server you can ensure everyone downloading from it gets the same speed (28.8K to piss of everyone except Lynx users!)
      • There's no room for a horse-pulled buggy in the fast lane of the interstate. Dial-up connections are not suited to downloads of over ten megabytes or so. Banning slow connections from downloading huge files is not banning them from the internet, it's a fairly minor concession to reality: like banning someone with a 1 minute ping from a twitch game.
    • > I'm a condescending broadband cable internet user. For transfers of even 100 megabytes can take hours on a modem. My dialup backup auto-kicks me after six hours of usage.

      Use ftp's reget command then. Http 1.1 also has a way of resuming downloads.

    • Re:Large Files? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MavEtJu ( 241979 )
      If there is a max user limit, you'll clog up the server for other people who would get the download done much faster.

      A 10Mbps-linked server can at fullspeed feed 10 1Mbps clients. Or 200 50kbps clients. I would prefer to be one of the 200 people who can actually download something than being one of the 190 people who have to wait until they can finally login.

      Mirroring is the solution, banning isn't.
    • It's usually the broadband users clogging up servers with half a dozen downloads at once.

      Most 56k people are happy to download one single large file and let it go over night.
    • ...of old BBS days. Back 7 years ago when 28.8 was a luxury, there were a lot of BBS users who were shelling out the $150 for that luxury so their download of shareware DOOM could take 18 minutes rather than 3 hours.

      The problem that came up with sysops was that too many people who still had the 2400 modems were taking too long online, hogging the precious nodes from other users. One BBS here in town decided to ban all 2400 baud users. After a flood of complaints (about 300 posts that day from 30 users) from users who had 2400 modems, he thought twice and kept them on, but limited them to 30 minutes online, rather than the traditional 60. Course, the ironic thing was that about 3/4ths of the users had only 2400 baud modems.

      But it actually worked. After the initial complaints of, "I don't have the time to download DOOM," and "I can't play LORD, TradeWars, Ursurper, and BRE all in the same day anymore. My planet in TW was conquered because I couldn't defend it that day," things actually worked out. The 2400 users stopped erroneous downloads and playing all the games at once. They just realized that they couldn't do it with the modem they had.

      Of course, the problem on the internet is that there isn't some sysop watching over traffic, but it's instead being shoved down our throats. I agree, there should be a way to stop anyone without anything less than ISDN to download files larger than 25 or 30MB. It's also insane that RealAudio and Quiktime offer streaming for "56K modems" when it requires at least an ISDN line to take that much data in at once. I can't stream with those programs, and I assume that most everyone else can't either with a 56K line.
      Industry is the main cause of blame, but users should share some of it too. After finding out that their line is too slow, most should realize that they shouldn't continue to try.
  • gif banners (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clare-ents ( 153285 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:26AM (#2201659) Homepage
    Feel sorry for the modem user - put more images on your page.

    I get the feeling that the targetted point has been missed by a wide margin.
  • In many of the cases mentioned, the problem lies in the fact that the people on 56K modems are slowing everyone else down. This isn't the case with say Q3Arena, but in games that require fast syncrhonization like Starcraft, the game goes at the speed of the slowest client. (and while sometimes this may be a cable user, most often it is not) While the modem user might *really* want to play, she/he shouldn't, because it is causing everyone else in the game grief.

    Of course, it would be nice if game authors made their networking code a little cleaner. :)
  • You forget, it's not a right to have high bandwidth, it's a privelege. And, just like most other priveleges, you've got to pay for it.

    I don't expect folks who own a Honda scooter to feel discriminated against because they can't ride their wind-up toy on the highway, I expect them to keep out of my way, and on the side roads until they can buy something to get them where they're going faster. (Full disclosure: I had one of them there scooters, cheap and fun! But, Lordy! SLOW!) But I don't expect scooters riders to shout about The Man keeping them down because there are folks going faster.

    If you've got a 56K modem, turn off the graphics until you find something you want to view, and save playing Flash games until you're at work. But don't try to make the rest of us feel bad because you don't have bandwidth. Ante up, then you can bootleg MP3's with the big boys!


      Main Entry: 1 privilege
      Pronunciation: 'priv-lij, 'pri-v&-
      Function: noun
      Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin privilegium law for or against a private person, from privus private + leg-, lex law
      Date: 12th century
      : a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor : PREROGATIVE; especially : such a right or immunity attached specifically to a position or an office

      Damn. Where are the BLINK tags when you need them?

  • I was in an even worse spot. being so far from the switching station (35,000 M) I was told I was lucky to get the pathetic speed I was getting (26.6) I snatched the first broadband that became available (cable). I feel for 56K people and stilldespise high bandwith webpages that don't have "lite" versions. Have some pity for those who aren't in reach of faster connections!!
  • I don't get it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mustang Matt ( 133426 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:34AM (#2201675)
    Theoretically part of "stopping the hate" of 56k modems would be to make websites cleaner with less "junk" graphics... yet they want people to add a banner to their site? Am I missing something?
  • From the website:
    > Select the banner you like best and upload it to your website...
    > Please no porn/hate/other terrible thing- sites. You won't be accepted.

    Even modem-users want to access porn/hate/other terrible thing- sites!
  • by case_igl ( 103589 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:35AM (#2201680) Homepage
    Everyone loves to complain about the lack of high speed access in their area, but most people don't actually do anything about it.

    Sure, they put their phone number in the little box on the telco's DSL web page...It says "Not available" and then they leave it at that.

    You've GOT to be persistant to get service going in your area. I called every few weeks to the phone company and cable company for a year. Have your friends call, use payphones, etc. These companies are in business just like any other. If there is no "demand" for the service they will put it somewhere that they THINK there is demand.

    I know some people are hopelessly stuck with modems because they live way out there. I'm five miles outside of a small town. There's a dairy farm next door...It's pretty rural here, but I've been on a DSL connection now (the first person activated in my area, imagine that!) for a few months.

    After ordering the service, the technician who came for the install told me that the local switch had been "DSL ready" for nine months but they never activated the equipment. I think calling often and having friends and neighbors doing the same got them to actually do something.

    It's a shame that you have to chase after something you want to BUY so badly, but it's amazing how clueless the companies are. I ordered my service, they did a line test, I received my modem...Then they told me my line didn't qualify because I was too far away (I can SEE the local switch out my window). Turns out the guy on the phone was reading the wrong screen...

    Be persistant and don't believe anything they tell you, hehe...
    1ee7 LPB

    • by digidave ( 259925 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @09:13AM (#2201898)
      This is an actual conversation that took place between my father-in-law and the telco.

      FIL: I'd like to order DSL
      TEL: Ok, what's your ZIP code?
      FIL: xxxxx
      TEL: Sorry, DSL isn't available in your area yet.
      FIL: Yes it is.
      TEL: No, I'm sorry. The way DSL works is we have to install the equipment at your local telephone switch.
      FIL: I know, and it's installed.
      TEL: No it isn't. I think I'd know before you.
      FIL: I'm the one who installed it 6 months ago.
      TEL: Oh...... hang on while I get my manager.

      Sure enough, it was available. The telco just hadn't updated their database.
      • This is VERY funny! :) I bet Database's not being updated is the primary reason that DSL is not available in more places. According to all of the sites I have been to for DSL, I am too far away from the switch. For all I know, I may be in range of DSL. They only DSL in my area now though is Ameritech and as far as I know they are PPPoE and I WILL not use that stuff. Roadrunner works well enough for me and I don't need or want or have the time to run my own mail and web servers. I run enough of those at work!
        • Chanc_Gorkon wrote:

          I bet Database's not being updated is the primary reason that DSL is not available in more places.

          I don't know about the primary reason, but certainly a big one. My rule has always been (and it's worked for 4 attempted DSL installs, 2 successful):

          1. Get an as-the-crow-flies distance estimate. Don't just trust what or dslreports tells you -- check the address of the CO they give you on a map, then check with the telco to make sure it's the right CO. Draw a line from where you are to where it is and figure the distance. Then drive there and check your odometer (cabling tends to follow streets so the cable distance is probably at least as long as the shortest driving distance). If you come up with more than about 20,000 feet, you're hosed (except see below). Otherwise, keep going.
          2. Call the DSL provider in question. If they say they don't provide to your area, make them tell you why not. A lot of places will not provide to apartment complexes because they don't realize that the lines generally all go to a phone closet with everything nicely labeled (for varying values of "nicely"). If they say your line didn't test clean, make them tell you when it was tested. If it was more than a few months ago, make them test it again.
          3. If they start the order process, keep after them. If they say they'll be there at 4:00, call them at 4:15 if nobody shows up. Don't waste your time thinking the guy might have gotten stuck in traffic -- they will have phone contact with their installers, make them use it.
          4. If they stop the order process halfway through, make them tell you why. Is there something wrong with your lines specifically? Is it an equipment issue? Don't let them call your operating system "unsupported" -- make it clear that you expect a physical install and a usable signal even if they refuse to support your specific connection to it.
          5. If all else fails you can usually get IDSL. The bastard child of the DSL family, it's slow and it requires a phone line all to itself, but if your switch supports it you can get it no matter how far from the switch you are (just like an ISDN line). It's not out-of-band signaling like the others are so it's not subject to filtering out. The only thing is multiplexing might degrade it (just like it does a voice signal).
          6. If you've made reasonable efforts, waited for installers who never come, paid in advance for service you still haven't gotten, and the response you get is basically "screw you, Bell was our daddy", take it to your Public Utility Commission. Most (all?) states have one and their raison d'etre is to redress poor customer service and abuses by regulated monopoly utilities. Here in Virginia that job is handled by the State Corporation Commission (other places it's usually its own agency) and they have the power, they know it and they do not hesitate to use it. I've had a vice-president of a regional telco call me personally to apologize and had Verizon ask me what day and time is most convenient for their installer to serve me. It's a last resort, but here at least, one that gets fast results.
          7. Most of all, be informed. Know how the technology works and why it should work for you.

          Sometimes you just can't get DSL (or cable as the case may be, and most of the above suggestions apply there too), but more often the telco or cableco is just going with the easy install over anything that even whiffs of being complicated. Be persistent. Be a pain in the ass if they feed you lines. Don't be afraid to use the consumer agencies whose whole purpose is to make the telco give you the service you're paying for. Recognize when they really can't do it, but make them prove it.

    • "There's a dairy farm next door...It's pretty rural here, but I've been on a DSL connection now (the first person activated in my area, imagine that!) for a few months."

      ...and when yet another DSL provider files for bankruptcy, I'm sure the unemployed techs will be happy to hear it's because they weren't able to sell DSL to any of the hundreds of cows at the dairy farm.

      In other news, I'm considering trying to get 500,000 signatures on a petition to get Loki to port the Qbasic classic, "This is a silly game Erasmus Darwin wrote at 3am. It sucks." over to Linux. The joke'll be on them when they only sell 1 copy. Suckers.

    • It's been my unfortunate experience, when representing friends and clients, that broadband providers know pretty much zippo about their equipment. Their own installs baffle them, which I think is just wonky.

      I think it comes from most broadbanders being former telco and catv providers, who sort of know their basic telephone and cable TV wiring (although, the more hands on experience I have with company installed lines, the less I believe that). The upshot is that while they know the First Rule of Incompetent Tech Support: Never Admit Ignorance, they do not understand their own equipment.

      Example conversation:

      "Hi, I've got a machine here that works fine in a local network, but I try to replace the old computer on your link with it and it doesn't get pings back. Narrowed the problem down to some flaky management of ARP caching on your router."

      "You have a router? That's not allowed."

      "No, you have a router, and it needs the ARP cache cleared for my IP."

      "We don't have ARP."

      "Do you know what ARP is?"

      "Yes. We don't have it."

      Now, it's just possible that they're using some bizarre hardware layer networking, that doesn't use the address resolution protocol, but I doubt it. Fixed the problem with their network from the client end. Viva la Linux. Viva el Tux.

    • So I checked out Pacific Bell's website.

      "DSL Not available in your area" it said.

      I called them and it was available, and at a higher speed than I'd gotten from Rhythms (384k versus 144k iDSL from Rhythms).

      So "don't give up until you at least call" is sound advice in the real world.

      Hope that helps.

  • by Richard Bannister ( 464181 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @04:36AM (#2201683) Homepage
    One of the other posts so far in this topic has commented that bandwidth is a privilege, not a right.

    That may be - but it is a privilege only available to a select few. In Ireland, where I live, broadband access is commercially available only in very small areas of Dublin - we're talking a few thousand people, tops.

    Many people would be prepared to pay for bandwidth if they could get it - but the fact is, they can't. There is no alternative to modem (or ISDN) dialup for the majority of people here. Worse, local calls are not free - so an hour at 56K costs the equivalent of US $1.00. It adds up.

    How much is Cable/DSL in the states? US $50/month? For that, your average Irish modem user may have been lucky enough to get about 300MB of traffic through.

    Fortunately it looks like this may change soon - thank god - but for now, we're stuck with V.90.
  • Who needs *broadband* internet access anyway? Go to university and get yourself an ethernet drop. 100Mbps ethernet is much better than a puny 128kbps-uplink-capped connection from a company on the brink of bankruptcy.

    (While the term has been wildly abused, "broadband" refers to a method of encoding data onto a physical medium; ethernet uses "baseband" encoding, while cable modems use "broadband" encoding. The difference is largely one of simplicity of encoding vs resistance to noise.)
    • Go to university for high-speed access? (And while we're on education, can we have some decent grammar...) Um, what happens when you graduate, get a job, and get out into the real world? That 100Mbps connection doesn't follow you wherever you go...

      And who needs broadband, you ask? I do. I build web sites for a living, so it's kind of important that I have a high speed connection for work.

      Also, my cable modem's uploads are capped at 256kbps, not 128kbps, and my downloads have exceeded 2Mbps...

      Anyway, when I was in school we didn't have 100Mbps, we had 10Mbps. And upload speeds (which happened to be full speed) didn't really matter anyway because our campus network admins blocked incoming connections for security purposes. (i.e., no personal FTP/WWW/game/etc. servers) What good is a fast upload if you have nothing to send and nowhere to send it?

  • because your so-called super-broadband might behave no better than a 56K modem line.

    You may test your line by clicking here [].

    (I understand some of you might have sentimental thought against MS* and swear not clicking on any of their site for eternality. I appreciate if you can provide me with an alternatives bandwidth testing site. Thanks. ^_^)
  • broadband users just point your browser at a site that has been slashdotted that is how fast us 56ker's go all the time.
  • "Lynx compatible." They were the sign of a compassionate page author who really cared if anyone, anywhere, with nothing much better than a 2400-baud modem (whatever happened to "baud"? Perfectly good unit of measure) could see their page. This was back before Flash, Java, etc. ruined the WWW. While they're pretty neat, they really hurt the accessibility of people in developing areas, and they also created a race to see who could abuse them the most. Nowadays you can't even get the ESPN [] homepage without a Java-enabled browser because they've added those stupid little scrolling things with the headlines on them.

    Frontpages using Flash are the online version of an SUV. Someone somewhere might really need it to get their message across but for most people it's just a titanic waste, IMVHO.

  • Seriously though. When you build things, you dont build them for the lowest common denominator. Newspapers are not written for people with a grade 2 reading level, there writen so that adults can understand it.

    The web will suck on a 56k modem. It dosent matter if the page is text only, it will still be slow, and thus suck.

    Graphics can be good, graphics can be bad. Too much graphics can even saturate a high speed connection. But resonable levels of graphics saturate a 56k line.

    Are there modem users who cant get a high speed connection because of cost, or its simply not aviable? Sure. Do I feal bad for them? A bit, sure - I think internet connectivity is important and am in fact on the Board of a Community Net that provides free dialup connectivity - but that dosent mean that desiginers should sacrafice for them. Or people with real connections should either.

    • When you build things, you dont build them for the lowest common denominator.

      I'm sorry, but sometimes you do, or at least you should!

      Take a look at these two UK sites:
      John Charcol Finances [] and
      Intelligent Finance []

      Note how the IF site is clean and slick, while you have to wait for the entire Charcol page to load before you use it. Even when you are on a broadband connection the "snappiness" of the site matters.

      The main web design problems in the world are caused by people trying to make the most of those flashy graphic design courses they were sent on, and less on delivering the appropriate level of functionality for the site. I just don't trust a web site which bloats out on every link & load.
      • They both do something I hate, and that is code their page to a fixed pixel width/height. As if everyone in the world uses 800x600. On my 1600x1200 display, it takes up about 25% of my screen. Oh and then there are those that use fixed pixel sizes instead of the more prefered 'em' font measurement. Use ems and I can control the font size to my liking.

        Both of those sites suck.
  • Check out his site stats link at the bottom of the page, when I looked the last five users were all refered by slashdot :-)
    • This is a fantastic link! It also means we can see what the mix of MS vs Linux is within the readership, and how many of those Linux users actually use Netscape ;-)
      • Well, as of about 10:00 AM EST, here's the breakdown (the top five spots, anyway), with about 18000 hits showing:

        By OS:

        Windows 2000: 34.39%
        Windows 98: 19.76%
        Windows NT: 16.14%
        Linux: 15.62%
        Unknown: 5.36%

        And one poor soul using Windows 3.1 ;)

        By browser:

        Explorer 5.0: 62.86%
        Netscape 4.0: 18.04%
        Explorer 2.0: 6.45%
        Netscape 3.0: 4.06%
        Konqueror: 2.76%

        Along with two users of Lynx and one of Mosaic...
  • make it simple (Score:2, Informative)

    by victwenty ( 451152 )
    junkbuster is great way to speed up a 56k when it comes to browsing. take out all the adds and html will actually load a lot faster. combine with squid and sharing a 56k isn't even *that* painful if it's all you've got.

    ..and you can live without downloading much media.

  • I work in a firm that builds websites. A normal part of the website construction is the business consulting part, where you look into the business rules for you site, and determine the user group you wish to address with the site. The next part is to determine the technology used by the user group. If a majority of the user group uses 56K (or less) the site will be designed for that... otherwise not. It's that simple.

    This is not discrimination. It's common sense. If our clients fail to reach their customers they will be out of business. But at the same time we will use the best technology that will provide the best result (graphics, audio, video etc...)
  • whatever (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Read between the lines, you know what he's really bitching about is how all the warez and divx ftps and fservers have a minimum cps that's higher than some puny dial up can meet. This guys just mad cuase he can't get any warez.
  • People who optimize for lines faster than 56K are just plain lazy. Do you think people would have bothered creating heavier and heavier forms of compression for media if it weren't for the slowness of our connections? As the speed bar gets raised, people lose sight of the challenge of packing a crapload of content into a quickly downloaded page.

    This happens in everything. Look at computer game designers who fancy up essentially 2-D games with resource hogging 3-D graphics. Look at the apathy with which consumers approach fuel economy of vehicles in the US because gas is so abundant and cheap.

    The goal must be to think big in a small box if we are going to challenge ourselves.
  • That's right, not only is this a class warfare issue, but it's a racism one as well. Sheesh.
  • We had racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, OS discrimination :), and now this.

    Before you know it, we'll be discriminated against by the kernel version that we are using.

  • Some people can't even get higher than 26400 due to bad phone infrastructure, fiber connections, distance, etc. That's almost half of a 56k speed (actually 53k is max). :(

  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Tuesday August 21, 2001 @06:06AM (#2201845)
    Check these links!

    OS being used [] and
    Browser being used []

    9 poor saps are surfing at 640x480 [].

    IE5 on Windows 2000 easily the most popular OS amongst current readership (probably UK readers in their offices).

    It seems some people are using IE2.0 (don't believe it), and Konqueror is beating Opera.
    I'm most impressed by the fact 2 people just read the page using Amigas .... go boys go!!
    • Why should we believe that these are real Slashdot stats? I'ld love to see 'm, but any one can just post a link to some made up numbers.
      • I get it, you use the wave of users to the 56k site, coming from Slashdot. Very smart. :)

        There are some problems with those statistics though. I think they switched IE 2.0 and 4.0. Furthermore, where is IE 6? It's available as a download and it's in XP. All beta, but a lot of people are using it, I don't think there's more Amiga users reading slashdot than XP users..

        For the rest, interesting stuff, hope the Statistics are mostly Slashdot referers otherwise they could be screwed.
        • From these statistics:

          More than 70% of Slashdot readers uses Windows.

          Not even 20% uses Unix, of which about 16% uses Linux.

          More than 70% of Slashdot readers uses Internet Explorer.

          I'm not drawing final conclusions from this (I use W2K for browsing and multimedia but have a FreeBSD box for the rest, which is invisible in these statistics), but it surely says something about the desktop usage of OS'en and browsers within the Slashdot community.

          I always found Windows 2000 and Internet Explorer the best combination for browsing and 'desktop' stuff. Seems I'm not alone..

          (Don't flame me yet, I do my e-mail/news/programming on unix and my favorite editor is vi.. )
      • Why should we believe that these are real Slashdot stats?

        Because I used the link on the original article [] we are discussing!!

        any one can just post a link to some made up numbers.

        I could use a guy like you for my security work ;-)
      • Look, as much as /. readers hate to admit they use Windows (see the responses to my post here [].) The fact of the matter is that most slashdroids use Windows more than they use *nix, no matter how much they proclaim to hate MSFT.

        And no, not every IE hit can be explained by people being at work, or people using modified User-Agent strings. (btw, Opera in IE emulation mode, is still identifiable as Opera. It only emulates enough of the user-agent string to make most browser detection scripts work).

  • 56K users are venting their plight? Give me a break! :) I remember using a 110 baud (300 baud if you got lucky) modem with my TI-99/4A. It was one of those ones where you had to dial in the phone number on a regular phone, then quickly jam it into a rubber handle for the sound to be heard.

    I recall dialing up to the Sierra BBS in California and watching each individual character write itself onto the screen. Then there was CompuServe, which I never tried but was offered as an add-on to the modem.

    56,000? Don't cry to me, Argentina. The truth is I never left 110. :)

  • perhaps all you 56k'ers can go start your own internet somewhere else, I have cable modem and this world is MINE!!!!hahahahahahahaha
  • Well, we've got one group wanting us to bring everything down to a level of a child so that it is safe for children. Then, we've got another group wanting us to bring everything down to 56k so it is safe for narrowband users. And you've got vision impaired users wanting to rid the net of graphics.

    And I'm sure there are all sorts of other fringe groups wanting to protest this and that because of their own personal problems.

    Anyone remember the South Park Christmas Play were anything offensive was removed? I'm glad the net won't have to give into everyone's demands.

    The AC, unfortunately, has broadband envy. Give him a T1 connection, and you'll see his protest wither away.

    BTW... do you know how hard it was going from a cable modem to a 33.6 dialup a few years ago? The pain was incredible. And I certainly wasn't blaming all the high speed users for it.
  • What really steams me is the people who don't think they can 'afford' broadband, or just plain wont pay the extra few pennies for it. These people deserve our wrath and then some.

    Case in point: my boss. His home account is AOL (surprise). He pays $26.00 a month for this, which he continually has problems with (insert long list of issues as to why the modern world hates dial-up). A cable or DSL account would cost him $40.00. 50 cents a day extra, for the speed, for the convenience, for the hassles of winmodems being taken away (this from a man who paid over $100 a month EXTRA on his car lease just to get a car with leather seating).

    3 years of me trying, and I still get the Friday @ 10pm calls 'it says the line is busy. what do I do?'.

    Oh, did I happen to mention that his PC is plugged into his SECOND phone line, which costs him something like $20.00 a month on top? His reasoning for keeping it is that if anyone has to call him when the main line is busy... and yes, this is a man who will actually exceed his monthly allotment of AOL hours (I think it's 100 or so :)

  • Takes 20-25 secs to find, download and run the shockwave on a highspeed LAN connection to my p3-500mhz laptop. Some pages start new windows others don't - doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason for the distinction. That's the kind of mass market gunk dialup users have to wade through.

    or if you prefer - the times are similar.

    The truth is that all of these brand savvy companies don't give a greasy fuck what your experience is as long as they think it looks great and gets their brand image across.
  • If 56k analog modem users are the ones being discriminated against, then, please explain to me why the fuck is the most-scanned block on the Internet?

    If modem users have it so bad, why does everyone want to hack broadband users?

    I say everyone just STFU and deal with it.

    - A.P.
  • Everyone loves to complain about the lack of high speed access in their area, but most people don't actually do anything about it.

    I live 15 milies away from the capital of the United States and I can't get cable/DSL. Why? Unforunately because of my location zoning requirements require livable areas to have lots no smaller than two acres. Most other land is agricultural. I can't even get cable TV. It's not profitable. Am I anywhere near the Telco? Nope. What does Verizon tell me? No DSL any time soon, buddy. I can't get broadband because I can't do ANYTHING about it. I'd say most of us that gripe about it simply can't get it at all.

    What really steams me is the people who don't think they can 'afford' broadband, or just plain wont pay the extra few pennies for it. These people deserve our wrath and then some

    I'd pay. Believe me, I would pay if it was even possible to get ANYthing here.

    Consumer broadband is here. Your only excuse for not having it is geographical.
  • I use a 33K modem from home because installing cables in my block of flats in Australia requires a mountain of paperwork.

    I remember getting ONE packet EVERY TEN SECONDS (I timed it) downloading Quicktime from the Apple site. The intervals between packets were far too regular to be caused merely by "slow traffic". I eventually gave up. Quicktime sucks anyway.

Trap full -- please empty.