I still remember that sweet, sweet sound of dial-up internet. It brings back a lot of nostalgia for me. I still remember mum yelling at my 3 siblings and I after she had discovered we’d gone on the internet without her permission, by picking up the phone and hearing that awful ‘internet noise’. Or when someone would forget to disconnect, and we’d all freak out, praying that mum wouldn’t find out. Of course, she always got the evidence through the phone bill.
My greatest memory of dial-up internet though, would definitely have to be the voice mails my grandfather would leave on our answering machine.
“Tell those f***ing kids to get off the f***ing internet! I want to have a f***ing conversation with my f***ing daughter!”
Most of the time, we weren’t even home when he left the messages, he just assumed that we were on the internet all the time.
While dial-up may be nostalgic for me, I must admit that it was really bloody annoying compared to broadband today! I remember when my family first got broadband internet. My mother was so excited to be able to play games on the internet AND talk on the phone at the same time. My grandfather could no longer blame us kids for getting the answering machine, we could stay online as long as we wanted. Life was good.
Imagine how excited my family was when we finally got a wireless modem! Well, not my whole family. My two eldest siblings had grown up and moved out, so it was just mum, my sister and I. My eldest sister and older brother were very annoyed that we got a wireless modem after they had moved out, and we’d also been bought our first laptop computers to utilise this! You know how they say that parents change and bend the rules for the younger siblings? Like being able to stay out later, have a TV in their rooms? Well, that was certainly true in my family. I’m just lucky enough to be the youngest of four; and in the case of wireless internet, technology was on my side! One of the many perks of being the youngest!
I had gone from having to fight for any time on the one shared desktop computer for what little time of our dial-up internet allowance was left (a disadvantage of being the littlest), to having my own laptop with access to wireless internet.
But now, all four of us have moved out into the big, wide world, and it is just mum sitting at home still using a desktop computer, albeit one a bit more updated than Windows 95, still using a(n updated) wireless modem. Whenever any of us kids return home for a visit however, it definitely feels like we’re back at home when our iPhones, iPads and computers automatically connect.
Home is where your wifi connects automatically.
— Real Talk! (@RealTalkFriend) April 27, 2014
I am from the small country town of Dunedoo in Central West NSW, a town of around 800 residents. When we enquired into changing from dial-up to broadband in the first place all of those years ago, we were told not to expect it, but I guess we got lucky. Now, with the rollout of the Nation Broadband Network (NBN) happening all over the country, I wonder how long it will take for Dunedoo to be able to benefit.
My mum still calls me with questions about the computer and the internet, but I thought it was about time I gave her a call with a few questions of my own.
The NBN isn’t really a big deal in Dunedoo, because most people don’t expect to be seeing it rolled out there any time soon. However my mum does have a couple of things she expects to occur when it finally does.
Internet in Dunedoo isn’t the fastest as is, as you would imagine. There are good days, and there are bad days. One of the things my mother does use the internet for is streaming shows she missed watching on TV. Her and I differ in the fact that I usually go online as a first point of call to watch TV (with the right ad blocker, you don’t even have to sit through the ads online) whereas she would rather the experience of sitting and watching as it happens. But, if by chance she misses watching her show, I have taught her how to catch up online. The internet in Dunedoo is not the best for this, and this would be one benefit of the NBN in Dunedoo for my mother.
That’s pretty much it for mum, the NBN and Dunedoo. That’s all she says she’ll use it for, and she doesn’t expect much else to change around the house either. While, it would definitely be a different story if there were more people in the household, all my mother uses the internet for is Facebook and watching shows. This could be a generational thing, because I know that whenever I or other young members of my family return home the internet gets very close to it’s cap.
Facebook works for my mum, her shows load most of the time, even if she has to wait for it to load a little bit, which she doesn’t mind at all.
I now live five and a half hours away and I still think I’d like the NBN to reach there faster than she does.
But I suppose, you only use what you need, and that’s what mum’s doing now, quite happily.