Tinternet (was “Have to Start Somewhere”)

Originally posted on Spontaneous Verbal Diarrhoea, August 2006

It’s funny to think that I’ve been online for about 15 years now. I’ve gone from cruising around at a leisurely pace of 28.8kbps to suddenly rocketing toward infinity and beyond at bugger knows how many meg per second. And yet so easily we take it for granted.

Back around the time Megaman X4 was being released, someone sent me a 10Mg preview video, and I remember having to get up early in the morning to beat the slew of people trying to download their e-mail as they arrived at work, making sure it was still cheap-rate local phone calls, and watching the progress bar in Pegasus Mail crawl onward while the kettle prepared to inflict a blast of hot water on the third tea-bag that morning.

Of course, when finally the video did arrive, I had to spend the whole morning searching through magazine CDs to install the right version of Quicktime (heaven forbid I would have to download it). And all of this to catch a short limpse of a game that I wouldn’t purchase anyway because I possessed neither a playstation or whatever other console it was that was soon to receive the realse.

And look at us now. We load up YouTube in a matter of seconds, type in whatever we are looking for, and then veg out as we stream without pause or hesitation a complete episode of The Office, or the latest music video by Children of Bodom. Imagine doing that on a POS 14.4k modem!

Then, of course, there’s online gaming. Back in the day a group of use used to get together at a mate’s house and buy pirated CDs off him, because he was the only person in a 10 mile radius who had a dual ISDN line and had bought the latest 2x CD burner for a whole month’s wages. And the fun we used to ave which such games as Warcraft I, playing over a cross-over serial cable connecting two computers in the same room and having only a slight amount of lag. I didn’t even imagine back then that I’d be able to fire-up my Nintendo DS, and battle it out against 3 random geezers from Japan in a Starfox Arwing from anywhere in the house.

How times have changed… Yet for whatever reason, I can still get enjoyment out of sitting in front of the TV and booting up Megaman 2 on the Nintendo. Now that’s gameplay for you, and no mistake. Shame I haven’t found a way to emulate my old Einstein computer, or I’d have another go at Southern Belle. Maybe this time I’d remember avoid choking the train passengers to death.

Now can anyone explain to me why I have this sudden urge to go out and hit some whippersnapper over the head with my cane?

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