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Bye-Bye Dial-Up

POSTED September 15, 2009 11:57 a.m.

“Welcome home.”

This was just one of the many humorous responses I recently received when notifying those in my “e-mail address book,” that my e-mail address would be changing.

This change in address was no simple task. Locating a free e-mail provider, that was easy — discontinuing our need for dial-up … now that is a whole other story.

In all honesty, our household has been on dial-up for as long as we have been ‘on-line.’ Simply put, I have not known it any other way.

It was not until two years ago, when my husband began occupying our residence full-time, that I realized unloading the dishwasher while getting ‘connected’ was ridiculous. I’m a multi-tasker, so this seemed perfectly acceptable.

As websites have become more sophisticated and our needs have changed I must admit, it’s been a bit frustrating. This especially became apparent when The Oakdale Leader updated its website earlier this year. It was an exciting time for many of us and I was excited to share it with my family. Unfortunately, dial-up could not accommodate the page and so, the computer I use to write much of my work became useless when using it to show off said work.

This sequence of events prompted me to start the search of finding Internet service other than good ol’ Ma Bell. Slowly navigating my way through the web I quickly learned that our address made our options limited.

“Do you offer a bundle package?” I would ask the providers. This, after all, is all the rage among all my ‘city dweller’ friends. Combining all your services into one cost effective package. “Yes, but not in your area,” was the common response.

No cable, no DSL, what about satellite … that had to be the answer. Following a 30-minute conversation using terms I still do not completely understand, it looked as if this would be a go. My enthusiasm bubbled at the office as I outed my dial-up status and proclaimed my excitement in joining the rest of the world on the web.

Long story short, this was another dead end and a waste of a perfectly good Monday. The installer of the dish (larger than the traditional television dish), wanted to mount the 40-pound monstrosity onto the side of our 100-year-old farm house, not the roof. Bad idea.

This led to a call to customer service who shared they had no idea why the appointment was set up because service could not reach us.

We had friends visit recently and my girl friend needed to pay a bill on-line before heading up to Yosemite. I explained the need for patience and she graciously accepted my explanation.

As I completed my story her husband said, “It’s like you live in 1986.”

Bingo. I thought.

As noted by my colleague Dawn M. Henley in her column last week, there were many great things about the 80’s, but somehow I don’t think dial-up Internet makes the list.

Now, granted if we wanted to spend a small fortune (monthly) on service we could have been off dial-up a long time ago. But I am frugal when it comes to certain luxuries and this would be one of them. Now, a well made handbag that will last for years to come … that’s a whole other story.

Thanks to Broadband and WiFi, I am now in the new millennium (which nine years later is not so ‘new’ anymore).

“You should put away your VHS tapes and check out some DVD’s” another of my witty friends offered as I announced our new found liberation from dial-up.

Great advice. I just may have to do that, just as soon as I complete reading all the books I had sent to my Kindle on my way driving into town.

 

Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at thammond@oakdaleleader.com or by calling 847-3021.

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