Goodbye DSL

September 27, 2005

SpeedPacBell, you have screwed us for the last time. Our connection was really flaky — sometimes there, sometimes not. So we have made the switch to cable and and I am digging the speed… according to the Internet speedometer, we are 2.5 times faster than before! Boo-yah!

The switchover took a few steps. The Airport was in the office by a phone line, but it makes sense to move it to the center of the house, where our cable comes in anyway. But the iMac in the office was wired straight in, so the first step was to get an Airport card for it and make it wireless. I was told that iMac G4s did not support the Airport Express card, so I bought a discontinued Airport card on eBay — only to find that our model was slightly newer and does support Airport Express. So unless you need an older Airport card, I’ll be making my first eBay sale.

Then I ordered our new connection. Renting a cable modem for $40/year did not make any sense — instead, it was back to eBay, where I bought one for $20 including shipping.

I certainly don’t need to pay a technician to hook up the stuff, so I opted for self-install. But then Comcast wanted to send me a self-install kit. I thought, “This is Mac OS X — it should just work without installing anything.” The technician on the phone agreed and told me to call them once the modem was hooked up.

The modem came yesterday. Upon hooking it up, any attempts to access the Internet took me to a setup page where you download the setup software. I didn’t want to install anything! But I wanted to get the connection up, so I dutifully downloaded the software. The first thing it asked was, where is Internet Explorer? Huh? Who uses that POS anymore? So I pointed it at Safari instead, but it didn’t take it. Just as well, as I remembered the technician saying I should call them once I got the modem. A short phone call and we were rolling with no problems, and no installing anything weird that might jerk with my system.

Next: VOIP.

Jon Reid

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As an American missionary kid who grew up in Japan, I'm a child of two cultures, while not fully belonging to either. This gives me a sightly different view of the world.

5 responses to Goodbye DSL

  1. Its about time you change from slug speed to rabbit speed.

  2. Awesome.
    K: David, what’s POS?
    D: Point of sale?
    K (trying to make that fit the context): ?
    D: Uh, piece of…
    K: That’s it! Fits the context perfectly. It was referring to IE.

  3. Very cool. We love our cable modem and laugh at the ads that say DSL is better because you don’t ‘share bandwidth.’ My response is always far faster even than my LAN at work. Even though it is on the expensive side, we did find a side-benefit (if you can call it that). We signed up to switch at one of those booths at the Fair a couple of years ago. It came as a package with digital cable. We got fed up with cable and cancelled it, choosing to keep only the cable modem. Turns out that the cable still comes into the house for the cable modem, so we still get the TV channels, just not in ‘digital.’ For free, go figure.

  4. Hey, bud, we have Vonage. I know there’s some slightly less expensive VOIP available, but just wanted to say we’ve been happy with it here in Charlotte!

  5. i hear good things about vonage, but Skype is amazing..there’s something cool about a free call to Croatia or Ukraine, not to mention the quality is light years ahead of the old copper wire connected to a speaker and mic, yea, that think called a phone!