Surfing The Information Dirtroad

It has been nearly twenty years since the Internet made it's way into our homes and phrases such as the 'Information highway' and 'surfing the net' have become household expressions. It is, however, time that I voice my opinion on behalf of that silent minority who, because we live in the country, are forced to surf the information dirt road.

Twenty years ago, when the word Internet sounded like a tennis term, I moved away from the city to enjoy the peace and tranquility of country life. I had no idea what technology had in store for me, but after lengthy discussions with the cable company (whose office is less than a kilometer from my house) it was clear there would be no cable stretched along my road (it was a cost thing).

All seemed unobjectionable as information flew through the telephone lines surging into my Commodore 64 and its massive 20 megabyte hard drive when suddenly, faster connection speeds were becoming available everywhere except on my dirt road.

Then one day, without any warning, it happened. A satellite was launched and after a few calls a dish soon appeared on my roof. At last I was part of the 'in' crowd. Only $70 a month and I was downloading text, websites and yes, even photographs... all at supersonic speed.

Somehow, technology moved ahead yet again and my speed became too slow. I could easily upgrade to the $145 package, which would increase my speed, but, hey, enough is enough. Fortunately our public library had wireless and I discretely hid behind trees on Sunday mornings, doing my work. The stress, however, was too much for me and I bit the bullet and signed up for the upgraded package. I was quite amazed at the new speed flowing into my PC (I had upgraded my Commodore to the IBM world).