Saturday, October 01, 2005


From the SF Chronicle comes a brief evolution of the internet:

In the beginning, there was dial-up, and it was good -- until the thrill wore off and people noticed that loading some pages or downloading a song could take days. It's cheap, but the only people who use dial-up today are those who can't afford something faster or don't know better.

Dial-up begat DSL, and it was better. For little more than the cost of an extra phone line, it is fast and fairly reliable. Depending on your perspective, the price-vs.-speed ratio either strikes a nice balance or is unsatisfactory on both counts.

Next came the cable modem, which allowed users to download music, video and pictures at blazing speeds. The monthly bill, about $50, maybe more, once the special introductory rate expires, offsets the rush.

Now, there's citywide Wi-Fi, which, if all goes according to plan, will allow you to e-mail your aunt in Omaha from anywhere in San Francisco. You can't beat the price City Hall is seeking -- free -- but there are questions about speed and reliability, especially because of the hills.



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