• The pain of not having high speed

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    #2632045

    Earlier today my Power Company temporarily shut of power in order to change out a telephone pole. While it was not cold, we made do by making breakfas
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    Susan Bradley Patch Lady/Prudent patcher

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    • #2632050

      Our service is slow here in the outback at various intervals. Almost as frustrating as dial up at times. If I can’t get moving there’s the shut down button and POOF, gone in 60 seconds or less.

      MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, and SOS at times.

    • #2632051

      Our smartphones have a hotspot feature, where you can link a computer to the phone’s Internet (data) connection. Not really sure how fast it is–it’s been a while–but we’ve used it a few times in a pinch.

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      • #2632151

        This is a very unscientific  sample of one. I used a hotspot on 4G in my son’s new house, before he got his broadband connected.  (I did not do a speedtest on it – sorry). It worked, but slowly. When I connected the broadband (Speedtest at 66Mbps), the difference was chalk and cheese. So the hotspot is very much an option to use only if you have to.

        Chris
        Win 10 Pro x64 Group A

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    • #2632052

      Love the graphic that accompanies the blog. Growing up before computers and almost before TV, my best friend and I made something like that. We lived next door to one another, less than a stone’s apart, and our ground- floor bedroom windows faced one another. Since we were not allowed to use the telephone (not for kids and only for serious occasions), we resorted to a pulley system to which was attached a small box with a note inside and by which we could arrange for a tap on the other’s bedroom window to signal that a message had arrived!

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    • #2632086

      The biggest thing you can do is use an adblocker. The amount of bandwidth, RAM, and CPU cycles that saves is substantial. I once did a test where I loaded a set list of tabs (20 or so sites that represented a wide variety of content, including AskWoody of course!) on Firefox with and without the adblocker, and the one with the adblocker used about half the RAM of the one with ads enabled. The bandwidth savings would likely be about that as well, as all of that RAM-hogging junk had to be downloaded over the internet first.

      We had a severe storm out here a bit over a year ago, and we were without electricity for several days after a microburst felled over a mile of power lines. Using a gas generator and my prepaid cellular account, we stayed sane for the 3 or 4 days until they got things back up.

      The flash when the lines went down was incredible, I hear. I was looking the other direction at the time, but apparently it was a bright green flash that lit up the night sky amid the hurricane force winds, near constant CG lightning, and torrential rain.

       

      Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
      XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
      Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

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    • #2632092

      Actually, having a portable 240V gas/propane generator wired into the main panel (have an electrician friend!) obviates all of the above.  We have frequent power outages and all I do is roll out the generator, switch off the main, switch on the generator and, VOILA, back in business with full bandwidth — whole house is powered as normal.

    • #2632122

      I live in central Florida, and  power outages are somewhat frequent in the rainy season, but relatively short lived; fifteen minutes to three or four hours.  I just wait.  If a hurricane happens through and the power is off for days, I crank my generator, turn off the main into the house from the power line and turn on the breaker tied into my generator.  I can cook on my gas grill.

      If the ISP is running on emergency power, I’m connected.  If their end is down, no connection.  My cellular signal strength weakens due to the power outage, so Hot-Spotting is not an option.  But I’ve lived more of my life without the internet than I have lived with it, so I can cope without issue.  I haven’t forgotten how to read.

      One of the contract jobs I had before I eventually retired required a daily report to the department head of the company to whom I was contracted.  I would park under a shade tree, plug my DC/AC inverter into the power port on my truck, plug my AIO into the inverter, and Hot-Spot my cellphone to connect my laptop.  Then I’d scan my hand-written report as a pdf file, attach that to an email to the department head, and when that email was successfully transmitted, disconnect everything and I was pretty much through for the day.

      Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
      We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

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    • #2632135

      After the last outage of over 10 hours in May, my husband and I decided to get a whole house generator. We had an earlier 23 hour power outage. (We would have loved it in 2011 when we were without power for more than 8 1/2 days in Oct and Nov. We live in PA.) I couldn’t even charge my devices. We’d spend a few hours at a fast food restaurants, getting warm and using the free wifi. I’d plug my laptop into the cigarette lighter as we drove to get a bit of charge into the device. That’s when I started stock piling portable battery packs.) During May, I used my phone as a hotspot on my chromebook. At least we were able to stream the news live using the tv station’s news app. I didn’t notice any lag on the chromebook.

      While waiting for the installation of the generator, the opposite side of the street lost power for 3 weeks in a row in August. The last was the worst when they had no power for 47 hours! The house across the street has a whole house generator. We heard it running for 2 days. The house behind us has a whole house generator. We asked questions and got an idea of what to get. So far, we haven’t had any power outages. Isn’t that always the way it works?

      Use your chromebook instead of a Windows computer and hook up the phone as a hotspot.

      Got coffee?

    • #2632111

      As software and web developers, we have a crucial responsibility: building websites that are not just visually appealing but also functionally robust across a wide range of devices. In today’s digital landscape, it’s imperative that our websites are optimized for diverse devices, especially considering varying speeds and specifications. This includes ensuring that our websites are fast, responsive, and reliable, even on slower devices.

      However, it’s evident that this standard is not universally met within the industry. This could be attributed to a lack of awareness regarding best practices or perhaps a shortfall in the dedication to rigorously optimize for multiple devices. Whatever the reasons may be, it’s essential to recognize the impact of these shortcomings. Websites that are not adequately optimized can lead to poor user experiences, which in turn can affect the website’s effectiveness and the business’s bottom line.

      Let’s use this platform to share insights and strategies for overcoming these challenges. How can we, as a community, ensure that every developer has the tools and knowledge to create websites that perform well across all devices? What are some best practices you’ve implemented in your projects? Discussion and knowledge sharing are key to elevating the standard of web development for everyone.

      • #2632159

        Let’s use this platform to share insights and strategies for overcoming these challenges. How can we, as a community, ensure that every developer has the tools and knowledge to create websites that perform well across all devices? What are some best practices you’ve implemented in your projects? Discussion and knowledge sharing are key to elevating the standard of web development for everyone.

        A great place to answer those questions would be a new topic in the following location here on AskWoody:

        https://www.askwoody.com/forums/forum/developers-developers-developers/web-design-and-development/

      • #2632789

        Far too often, developers work under the assumption that everybody else is working under the same conditions and assumptions that the developers are.  That includes things like fast Internet, reasonably new computers with plenty of memory and CPU capacity, and far more.  In a separate discussion, there’s interactions about limits of doing 2FA through cell phones.  It’s hard to do that if you don’t have your cell phone in hand (and there are legitimate reasons not to), but if the developer lives that way, then it’s easy to assume that that’s the case for everyone.  Even something as simple as choice of browser…. there are plenty of sites (and growing) that are pretty much written for Google Chrome, and where the developers may not even bother to test against other browsers.  They live in Chrome, and if things work in Chrome for them, then it works.

        Available bandwidth is a good example.  Not everybody works in an urban area where there’s a surfeit available and on demand.  We saw this issue during COVID, especially with schools that tried to do an immediate pivot to putting everything online, and there were numerous families that simply didn’t have that kind of capacity, whether computers at home to work from, or even adequate bandwidth (including families whose only Internet connectivity was from personal cell phones that may not have had more than token data provision, and per-message charges for SMS). And there are plenty of rural areas that barely have Internet coverage at all (or yes, limited to dial-up connections).

        I also see this effect for handling software updates, especially system updates.  Apple is the worst, because they’re no longer pushing incremental updates.  Even with an x.x.1 security update (and the December one was critical), the only way to get it was in downloading the entire file for 14.2.1 (more than 12 GB).  And with the botched January Patch Tuesday update, one of the effects of a failed update is that Windows Update keeps downloading the update from Microsoft, and following a failed install, will try again, by downloading another copy of the same failed update.

        This is also one of my annoyances with LibreOffice,  in that there are no incremental updates.  Libre may be great for cost-constricted users, but its value is offset by the relative pain of keeping it updated — in excess of 300 MB for downloads.

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    • #2632160

      Our, “… tricks for dealing with the bandwidth mandates that vendors seem to be building into web sites these days?” are simple.  Avoidance and redundancy!

      Following a ten-day power outage during October 2012 we hardened our systems by:

      • Installing backup generators at all of our locations. Each generator automatically engages once a power outage is detected and is large enough to support well pumps, heating systems, refrigerators, microwaves, IT equipment, and basic lighting.
      • Having CyberPower battery backup power systems feeding all of our desktop computers, monitors, modems, and routers in order to bridge the gap between the time the power distribution system goes down and the generators kick in.
      • Having two internet service providers wherever possible.

      As a result, since 2012 we have not experienced a power blackout or loss of internet service.

      • #2632172

        Avoidance and redundancy!

        Great phrase.  Although I’m a home user, I have all these fundamental elements in place including two ISPs.  Not on the same scale, but in function.  Some of my neighbors think I’m an out-of-control geek. I just smile and say POM comes with a price.

        Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
        Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
        Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

      • #2632187

        Having CyberPower battery backup power systems feeding all of our desktop computers, monitors, modems, and routers in order to bridge the gap between the time the power distribution system goes down and the generators kick in.

        I have one each for my NAS and my daily driver desktop, and my modem is protected by one of them, my monitor by the other.  As I mentioned earlier, here in central Florida during the rainy season power outages can be frequent.  Some of them can be bumps, just enough to cause a reboot.  The room lights just flicker but the PC goes down without a UPS.

        With the CyberPower UPS’s, everything is just fine.  I have mine programmed to shut the system down after 5 minutes to conserve battery power, because if I’ve got a good thunderstorm going, there may be a half dozen of those power bumps.  If it turns into one of the extended outages, I’ll let the UPS shut everything down and just wait.

        Always create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates; you may need to start over!
        We were all once "Average Users". We all have our own reasons for doing the things that we do with our systems, we don't need anyone's approval, and we don't all have to do the same things.

        • #2632217

          I’m also in central Florida and have the essentials covered by Cyberpower.  I addition,  couple of years ago I got two Lith-Ion batteries that will run the refrigerator for 30 hours and charge cell phones, etc.  My old gas generator will charge the batts if the outage drags on.

          Custom desktop Asus TUF X299 Mark 1 16GB RAM i7-7820X
          Four 27" 1080p screens 2 over 2.
          Laptop Clevo/Sager i7-9750H - 17.3" Full HD 1080p 144Hz, 16GB RAM Win 10 Pro 22H2

    • #2632169

      I RV and often use my iPhone as a hot spot. I WiFi connect with my laptop and run a HDMI to a large screen TV. Even with only one – two bars LTE I can stream TV, movies, etc. without any buffering. Never measured the speed, but it is enough to not need buffering and in many different locations.

      HTH, Dana:))

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    • #2632170

      Poor you. My phone connection is faster than my landline lol.

      North of England. Full Fibre isn’t available here yet, only to the cabinet, and the distance to the cabinet leaves me with 12mbs download & 0.6mbs upload..
      It’s fun when the upload maxes out saving a 2mb file and the whole connection freezes.

    • #2632550

      I agree with others who suggest adblockers as the number one tool. I use NoScript and uBlock Origin on all our computers. Even when our ISP is performing at rated speed, these tools insure a speedier and saner experience online. I recently set up a Win 11 laptop for my Sister and it was an unpleasant shock to see what some web pages looked like before I installed an adblocker for her. 😖

      Win10 Pro x64 22H2, Win10 Home 22H2, Linux Mint + a cat with 'tortitude'.

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    • #2632580

      To get the most from a slow Internet connection, as far as your Web browser allows:
      – disable automatic playing of videos and animations;
      – disable automatic download of pictures and graphics;
      – disable automatic playing of sounds.

      If you can approach a text-only base for communications, you can operate pretty well at old modem-like speeds.

      I wish Web sites would offer a prominent “text-only” checkbox at the top of every home page.

      Also: don’t assume my monitor is widescreen or shows more than 25 lines at once. Stop the infinite scrolling!

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