Tips for Looking Cool While on Dial-up in 2009

It takes a special sort of someone to still be on dial-up in 2009. Someone who charts their own course... Sets their own pace... Bravely eschews the fads and, um...

...Just doesn't get much time off work to have something better installed.

Okay, yes: I'm talking about me. I admit it-- I am still on dial-up here at home. (Hangs head, shuffles feet.)

On the plus side, see, my house is over 100 years old. So, with computer access technology that's slightly newer than Atari Pong, I'd say it evens out.

I mean, even on dial-up, the Victorians would totally have loved the computer. They'd be... oh... reading Charles Dickens e-books... And ordering rolls of busy floral wallpaper.

And, hey, if their online order took a half hour to process?

No big! Remember, these people spent two days driving twenty miles down the road. They could spend a day churning butter. A half hour? T'is to laugh!

Still, being on dial-up in a high-speed connectivity world sometimes requires special tactics...

Coping mechanisms designed to help you look up-to-speed, when in fact, you're being passed on the internet highway by energetically Web-surfing turtles.

So for you-- you five other people out there on the Internets on dial-up, making with the Googles-- I give you my Top Tips for Feeling Good About Your Dial-up Connection and Still Looking Cool in 2009:

  • Think of your dial-up as a great opportunity for multi-tasking. For instance, click on a page to load. Now go make a seven course meal for 20 people. Come back. Re-connect because it stalled out in the middle due to inactivity. Set the table, greet your guests, serve three of the courses, then check in again. With dial-up , it's not that you're taking longer to do one thing-- it's that you're getting to do MORE things at once. Share that point with the ungrateful naysayers at your party. (Give those guests the dinner rolls that fell on the floor and got lightly licked by the dog.)
  • Did you really want to see those 24 MB photo files of your aunt's cats in drag? Of course you didn't. With a high speed connection, you'd have to endure every last blurry, furry, incomprehensible shot. But with dial-up? All you have to do is make an educated guess of what's probably in the pictures. Be vague. "Mr. Fluffy is so funny, isn't he? LOL." The Aunt is happy... You don't have to spend time wondering if that's a tail or part of a new feather boa... And all is right with the world.
  • Remember all that time you'd otherwise be just wasting on YouTube. Yep, with dial-up, temptation to check out the original 80s video of "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell, or that Bugs Bunny cartoon where Daffy Duck has his beak blown off twelve times, or the latest Angry Kid claymation-- well, it's virtually whisked away. Angry Kid would be Angry Senior Citizen by the time you'd get things buffered on dial-up. And you know this. So perhaps you decide to go outside and actually- gasp!-- meet people. Dial-up might just make you a real Casanova, if you work it right. Make sure you use the socialization defense when friends want you to see this new cool video. Remember-- you are too busy living life for such silliness!
  • Save the money that you would otherwise spend on Internet shopping. If it takes you an hour to order it, you're less likely to buy it, right? And did you really need that ionic hamster wheel, anyway? Or that portable swiss cheese de-holer? Or that Ethnically-Diverse Barbie with special United Nations Ombudsman Action? No! We're in tough economic times, people! It is fiscally wise to remain far, far away from that coveted bulk collection of hand-tinted turkey buzzard etchings. All these high speed people will be in the poor house surrounded by their QVC diamonettes, while you, Dial-Up Diva are counting your dough! Consider yourself savvy.
  • Think of the great exercise you're getting with all the running back and forth to the computer. You're on-the-go, you're working off calories. You clock ten miles a day just running from floor to floor, checking to see if the page has finally loaded. So you, you can enjoy that ice cream sundae with hot fudge those fatty-fats on high speed shouldn't have. You're slim and in the game.

I hope you, five other remaining people on dial-up who got here via the Googles, that you've found these points above a helpful way of reinforcing your decision to remain on dial-up. And remember, dial-up still lets you do a lot of worthwhile things on the Internet, all you have to do is remain


Rock the ratings at:


Anonymous said...

Totally hilarious! I am on fiber-optic cable and I could not deal with going back to dial-up -- heck, I can barely tolerate a DSL connection.

I finally got to submit one of your stories to Stumble before someone else did! Hooray!

Harry Yack said...



Unknown said...

Rooster- I really, really need to look into getting a cable connection. But so far-- NADA. Thanks muchly for the Stumble, too!!

Hindleyite- Yes indeedy, such is life. :)

Anonymous said...

Great tips! I have no patience, even with my mega-high speed cable connection. If Google hasn't finished its search before I even THINK what I want to find, I get all cross with it.

Unknown said...

Tiggy- I like to think it's forced my patience into an almost Zen-like Web-surfing approach.

Ommmm! Ommmmm!

Anonymous said...

I haven't cleaned anything on my computer since I got it last year and now it may as well be dial up. I can't view videos at all. I often leave comments on people's blogs saying I saw the video and how cute/funny/disgusting/creepy it was. I usually just say some variation of what others have said before me.
I don't know how those victorians did it but hopefully your spare time and zen like attitude will not be used to paper your house in floral designs.

ReformingGeek said...

Great job fooling everyone that you're a speedster! So that's how you meet people. I always wondered what the secret was.

Da Old Man said...

How do you live without The Google?

My high speed has been acting up lately, and it's driving me crazy (short trip)

I hope I never have to go back to dial up.

extends hand and offers to assist Jenn into 21st Century

Unknown said...

Jen- I find I actually avoid even commenting on video posts when I'm using dial-up. And I could make the video myself in the amount of time it would take to load! :)

Reforming- Heh, well, perhaps you shouldn't rely on my advice in that direction. :) The last date I went on, I think was pre-9/11 :)

Unknown said...

Da Old Man- And here's another thing to scare you-- I also don't have a cell phone. :)

I know, it's a wonder anyone even lets me LIVE on planet Earth.

Matt said...

I hope you're lying. Some of my worst nightmares begin with that whistling/tooting/beeping of the dialup modem connecting.

Horror movies in the future will use this sound.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Now I understand your minimalist approach here. ;) Because you sympathize with the people for whom it takes forever for something to download. Actually, I can relate somewhat -- when I go to my parents. Personally, I usually stay away from the computer while there. I applaud you for patience, persistence and good sense of humor, all of which you have to have with dial-up.

Unknown said...

Matt- Ah, so possibly in one of those Japanese horror flicks or "The Grudge" or somethin'. And no, I am serious. (Well, as serious as I ever get, anyway.)

Unfinished- Actually, I just really like the minimal look for blogs-- usually it's just too hard to see where the content is. But yes, maybe it has something subconsciously to do with my Dial-up Zen. :)

Meg said...

I. Am. So. Very. Sorry.

Melanie said...

No cell phone? No high speed internet? Jenn, you should put yourself on display somewhere and charge young people admission to see you! Why you're more rare than a two headed dog!

Unknown said...

Meg- I have no one but me to blame. :) I can shoulder the responsibility.

Melanie- Maybe I can put a horn on my head the way they did that goat in Barnum and Bailey circus! That might add to the attraction. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, my good Lord! How do you live?!!? I had to quote a desktop for a client today and after he looked at it, he emailed it back and asked me to include a modem in it. A modem??? I wept for him.

I think we need to start a fundraiser for you. I'll throw in the first month's bill.

Unknown said...

Kathy- Heh, it's more of a me taking time off and planning to switch it (and having installation dudes come) rather than cost. I just don't get much time off except to save for the holidays.

MYM said...

omg - LOL!

I didn't know dial up still existed!

Anonymous said...

hehe dialup is the internet version of the eight-track.

Anonymous said...

Dial Up? Still? Oh, that is just dreadful.

Unknown said...

Drowsey- Oh yes-- it's still hanging in there! Kinda like one of those actors that's been around a long time but then you suddenly hear about them in the news. And you find yourself shocked asking, "Didn't he DIE last year? I thought he DIED."

Chris- Indeed it is!-- and let me see... I think I have the Beatles White Album here in my 8-track collection... :)

WillThink4Wine- Well, it could be worse. I could really HAVE that 8-track player. (no, no, I don't...)

Anonymous said...

The house I live in, is one of the oldest Australian buildings. (About 200 years old.) It was build with bare hands by British convicts. Now... My connection speed? 24 Mbps. The convicts would be totally impressed. :p

But, I totally appreciate your tips... Unfortunately, I would have needed them sooner. When we got here, the connection was "broadband" with a download limit of 300 kb a month. Yes. 300kb a month. (In 2008.)

Unknown said...

Jen I said this the other day., I too am on dial up. Where I live I cannot get DSL, satelite cost $400 to get it started and $100 a month. So I have gotten very good at playing Spider Solitaire. I can clean my house and fix a snack while surfing a web page. Ack! I love it. NOT!

Unknown said...

Sebastyne- Wow- Mine is at least at 54Mbpm -- I can't imagine what kind of time things take you-- but yes, it's got to be rip-roaring from your previous system!

EttaRose- I am proud to have you in the Dial-up Club. You are clearly a keen multi-tasker!!

echidna girl said...

Ethnically-Diverse Barbie with special United Nations Ombudsman Action -

Best thing I've read today!

Unknown said...

Echina Girl- :) Readers like you make it entirely worthwhile to slip stuff like that in there. :) Thanks for the smile!

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Ethnically-Diverse Barbie with special United Nations Ombudsman Action

Seriously? Where can I get this. I DO need one. Hello!

Also, just went from dial-up a whole month ago and had I read this first I would have kept it. I need to get the pounds off. Sure, we got a Wii, but my toddler wants to play with it and yells "No! Op!" when I want to so losing weight isn't going to happen that way.

Everything you said here ... so true. Dial-up is a nightmare, but paying for high speed? Might be worse....we'll see with our first bill this month.

Anonymous said...












Karen said...

I remember in the dark ages (when I was in college) and I had a dial up connection so smoking hot I could watch each letter materialize as a page loaded. Of course I was working on a computer one step up from a TRS80, which used cassett tapes to load programs. Good times, good times. And one of the reasons it wasn't as good a time as I have now, is because I can spell 'disk' but 'cassett' is beyond my reach. As a college graduate. Twice. Somebody owes my parents and the government some moneys for my seriously lacking edumacation. 'Cause it's NOT because I'm a slacker. NO IT IS NOT.

Anonymous said...

YOU ARE SO LUCKY THAT YOUR READERS DON'T HAVE DIAL-UP. We'd NEVER wait for all these comments to load so that we could leave one of our own.

Unknown said...

Jonny's Mommy- Ah, so you're a newbie to the world of high-speed! Did it about burn off your eyebrows with the fastness once you got it going? Here's hoping the BILL doesn't do that.

Nooter- Ah, but you might have had a great future in writing those old Burma Shave roadside ads! :)

Every shaver

Now can snore

Six more minutes

Than before



Karen- Who says I'm NOT working on a cassette using a TRS-80? :) Wow, look at that green log-in screen!

Dana- That's because my readers are all "COOL" and "HIGH-TECH" and "WITH IT" and SO "with it" they wouldn't even use the PHRASE "with it" like I just did. It is just one of the reasons I love you guys! You all put up with me even though I'm totally lame. :)

JD at I Do Things said...

Oh, too funny! "Charles Dickens e-books." HA!

Maybe I'll start lying and telling people I'm on dial-up so I'll have an excuse for not looking at every glittery puppy and crazy cat.

JD at I Do Things

Adullamite said...

It doesn't matter about the dial up speed, it's the writing that counts, and that is good!

Unknown said...

JD- I promise I won't tell anyone otherwise! Your secret is safe here at Cabbages!

Adullamite- Well, I do thank you! The writing is the funnest part to do. :)

Chat Blanc said...

zomgosh! I'm weeping a little bit for you. Okay, that's it, I'm getting you high speed internet for Christmas 09!! :)

Unknown said...

Chat Blanc- I was not anticipating this outpouring of sympathy...

You are nice people, however, I think you folks should channel the weeping for, like, those ASPCA commercials where Sarah MacLachlan tries to make us cry over puppies, and stuff. :)

Anonymous said...

Friend moved to country near Nauvoo,
IL, and was getting about 14KB on his
dial-up line. He said he learned to
check his e-mail and iron a shirt
while it loaded. Bring up a web page
and have dinner while it loaded.
You're right 'bout multi-tasking.
But getting DSL here made it a lot
more fun. Anon, Don

SW said...

Haha, awesome post. My mon is probably officially The Last Person In Sweden Still On A Dial-up Connection. It's so frustrating when I'm over there, but, yeah, I totally follow your guidelines. And use the HTML version of Gmail. And make a lot of sandwiches while waiting for a site to load.

Unknown said...

Don- 14KB- oh, wow, I'm feeling like a serious Speed Demon on my 54KB, suddenly-- your poor friend! I bet his shirts look really good, though.

Svante- I'm glad the tips will be useful when you're visiting your mother! I know what you mean about the Gmail-- I wait... and wait... and NEW messages have arrived in the time it takes to load... :)

Anonymous said...

I'm still on dialup. Does that make me one of "the five" ? :) I can still achieve youtubage - just have to manually download the videos and wait (mumble, mumble, here kitty, kitty) until it's done.

Thanks for the amusing entry :)

/DocJeff - yes, THAT one!

Unknown said...

DocJeff- I am PROUD to include you in one of "the five"-- welcome!

I will keep in mind the video downloading technique for future. Mostly I just wait for it to load as it stutters like Ken in "A Fish Called Wanda"...

Sorta ruins the whole video ambiance, dontchaknow :) Thanks for visiting and for the comment!!

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the five! We live in a rural area and our phone company doesn't offer high speed. At present start up costs have prevented us from going satellite. So dial-up it is! Not to upset though, I use high speed at my brother-in-law's house and sometimes I think my dial up is actually faster. I am grateful that I can access the internet whether dial up or high speed. Loved the post. So true and funny!

Unknown said...

Lissie- Welcome to the Five! Woo-hoo!! Sounds like you've got some crazy super-powered dial-up going on there. Impressive!

Anonymous said...

Dial-up is absolutely horrible. I've been using a 26.4 Kbps dial-up connection for the last 10 years and been trying to get a high-speed connection for the last 4 years. I just can't get anything better than stinkin' dial-up and it makes me cry myself to sleep at night.

A high-speed internet connection just doesn't exist to me. It might as well be imaginary in my neck of the woods. Both of my older brothers have super fast cable connections where they live. Whenever I visit them, it's as if I just stepped into some kind of high-speed realm of Narnia or something.

When compared to dial-up, a true high-speed internet connection is like stepping into a whole new world where anything is possible.

Unknown said...

Shean- Oh, I do feel for you. The Narnia comparison made me laugh... because it's true, really. The difference between my home and work connections is astounding. I hear ya. May you find the high-speed of your dreams someday soon!

Anonymous said...


I love your humor its great!

So, are you still DIALING IN hehe ?

Lol I mean its been over 10 months since this was wrote

I am almost tempted to go back to dialup :( Our CABLE ISP here sucks bigtime and its either them or dialup. They've about gotten on my last nerve.

-- Christopher