Cable Modem

I sometimes get a bit overeager when it comes to high-tech toys, even if they are justifiable ones. A recent example is the At Home cable modem service. I’m finally getting it installed on Friday. I’ve wanted cable modem or DSL service since the first time I surfed via a T-1 line. There is just no going back once you’ve experienced that kind of thing. Plus, I spend so much time online that it’s going to be a major contributor to increased efficiency and a better bottom line.

But mostly it’s just plain fun.

It literally was not available on my block until this week. I’ve been calling the friendly folks of “At Home” for months, asking when it would be available. First it was “late 1997”, then “early 1998”, then “mid July”. I called August 1st and was told it “it will be available in late July, sir… er, well… hmmm. Let me check on this again. Please hold…”

I’ve called these people so many times that they don’t even have to look me up on their maps. As soon as they answer the phone I just ask for an update on node IR-46. I know their network as well as they do. Only I don’t need a map. Sad, huh? I really don’t feel like a guy who has nothing better to do. Hmm. You know, I wonder what I’m going to do with all this bandwidth. It’ll be great for multimedia, but the time I really needed it was about 2 years ago, when Netscape and Microsoft were coming out with new versions of their respective browsers every other week. I bet they’ll wire my neighborhood just to get me off their backs.

“… sir? Yes, it’ll definitely be available soon. Sorry, that’s all the information I have available.”

At Home uses the coax for bidirectional transfer of information, whereas some lousy cable modem schemes actually use a traditional modem for outgoing data. Talk about cheesy. That kind of setup would seriously interfere with the many legitimate, tax-deductible, profit-generating, Third World-saving tasks I plan on using my cable modem for. Heady stuff like network games of Doom II, spamming those who continue to bombard me with humor e-mail or obscenely sized attachments (please don’t read anything into that, people), or downloading the sum of all human knowledge and history to see if it’ll fit on my hard drive.

In the absence of the new toy, however, I’ve been getting my butt out of this seat and into another kind of seat. What kind, you ask? Let’s just say it cruises at about 120 knots two miles above the ground.

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