Saturday, August 6, 2011

What a difference high-speed makes

It is rare that a single new thing can change many, many aspects of one's life. That single new thing for me is high-speed internet. For years and years we have gotten online via Wild Blue Satellite, and while we were always grateful for the step-up from dial-up, it was still frustratingly slow, as well as costing almost $85 a month. The folks down on the main road have had Time Warner Cable for a long while but we weren't candidates for it because we live so far away -almost a quarter of a mile from the main line- and the cost would have been prohibitive. But an added surprise benefit to Margaret and Matt moving in down the road is that now there were poles in place that made it much less costly to string cable up to our house. So we split the cost (2/3 us and 1/3 them) and now both houses have this wonderful thing called high-speed internet. They got cable television as well, but since we already have DISH TV and are very happy with it, we just got the internet part. We have figured that our outlay of money will be paid back in about a year and a half.

In addition, we bought Apple TV so that we can stream movies from Netflix right onto our tv screen. And boy, is that ever a little technological miracle to me. I click on a movie from my Instant queue, and I watch it. Amazing. In addition to the streaming, this little black box also allows us to get internet radio. There are a zillion stations out there offering every imaginable kind of music. And we get podcasts. And the NPR 'Little Desk Concerts.' And Tom hooked up our Bose radio so we get great sound.

And we've gone back to something we tried a few years ago - putting the tv in the kitchen with a couple chairs. Our living room is now for sitting, visiting, and reading. It is a quiet, serene, inviting place to be. When people come over, they don't watch television.

Just Tom and I do that. And in the winter, we will be roasty-toasty with the wood stove beside us. We won't have to turn on the oil heat nearly so much. These chairs may seem to be uncomfortable but they aren't. They are easy to sit in for long periods of time. The reading lamp is there for winter reading, too.

Now, back to the internet advantages. I jotted down a page loading time to illustrate how much faster it is. As much as I love the site Cornflower Books I visited very rarely because it took so long to load.
Before high-speed: 139 seconds
After high-speed: 39 seconds - 100 seconds less!

When I used to write a blog post it would take so long to load pictures that I'd leave the computer and go do something else. Now they load in no time.

We couldn't be more pleased with the whole arrangement. We feel that we are part of the 21st century now!


  1. I know exactly how you feel. For the longest time, years actually, I was on dial-up and when I finally was able to switch, with Time Warner as a matter of fact, I was thrilled and giddy...I still am!

  2. I love the electronic cottage, which we also have - complete with woodstove. I think we could easily move into each other's houses and be quite comfortable. Isn't high speed great? We have had DSL for abuot two years now.

  3. Good for you!
    Cornflower books is wonderful! I'm happy you can easily visit there now.

  4. Modern technology can be wonderful, eh? (Whether internet, t.v. or woodstove.) Sometimes I think one of the secrets of happiness is having just the right amount of it, neither too much nor too little.

  5. welcome to the century!! I must admit I like the sound of wild blue satellite more than time warner cable. But, it is nice to have high speed.

  6. Yay!! I love our high speed too. We just got it about 4 months ago and it's amazing how wonderful it is. We have a Roku box so we can do internet radio, Netflix, Amazon on-demand, all sorts of stuff!!! Enjoy!

  7. Nan, I am so happy for you. It is a modern miracle. Something we take for granted. I can still remember when we got high speed. Whooooo hoooo. Enjoy.

  8. Yea for technology! You'll love Apple TV if you don't already. It's so great and inexpensive considering what it does.
    Also I love the word burning stove...I'm sure it's scorching hot there but during the cold winters, I can just imagine you relaxing in front of it, with a good book and a cuppa something hot. :)

  9. Both your kitchen and your living room look wonderful! I love the brickwork in your kitchen and how you have put some cooking pans on the pillar in the middle.
    I'd probably put loads of cushions and blankets on those wooden chairs :-) And it is nice to imagine how you spend a quiet evening there, "roasty-toasty" next to the stove!

  10. Nan,
    So happy for you with your high speed internet! Love the idea of the TV being seperate from your reading area. You know what makes each area look so wonderful? Your dog is in each room!

  11. High speed cable is great, no tv in the living room is great, but the house looks absolutely wonderful (so does the dog)

  12. I remember how slow our rural dial up was! We got high speed several years ago (satellite) for Rob's work (he works from home several days/week) and what a wonderful thing that was for internet surfing picture/video loving me!


    PS Love your new room setup, nice and cozy for the 2 of you. We did something very similar this past month, tv out of the living room and put in the "den" sitting area of our kitchen...I'll post some pictures soon.

  13. So pleased for you, and impressed by the patience you showed for the years of slow speeds, it must have been very frustrating.
    Good idea to have your cosy viewing in the kitchen. I don't think we have Apple TV over here, it sounds good.

  14. You sound like me when I got DSL from the phone company. I was so very sick of dial-up with its slowness and frequent cut-offs. Now, though, my computer is so old and so full that it has slowed down a lot. I'm saving for a new one. Congratulations.

  15. Jill, I remember trying to start a blog when we had dial-up and I just couldn't do it. I was thrilled when we got the satellite, even though it was slower than cable or dsl, at least I could get around the internet and post a blog! But this cable is amazing, amazing.

    Pat, ah yes, I agree. I think dsl is even faster.

    Me, too, Pamela! I used to go there once in a while but it took such a long time to get around, as well as load. A minor miracle, this. :<)

    J.G., you've said it perfectly.

    hipchick, it is a nicer name. :<) But I do like the 'roadrunner' in the email address that time warner offers.

    Staci, there are several cool little devices which make all this possible!

    Lisa, it really, really is.

    Kittie Flyn, not 'scorching' at all. We can control the heat by how much wood we put in. Plus this drafty old house offers many breezes to counter the heat. :<)

    Thank you, Librarian! The brick is the chimney. I do love it. The chairs are called Adirondack chairs and they are made so that one's lower back is nicely supported. In many ways, they are more comfortable than soft chairs and couches. I can sit for a long time without any back pain.

    Kay and Alex, Sadie is so pleased that you noticed! And thanks for the house compliment. It is a work in progress. We have a lot to do.

    Niki, I'm eager to see your pictures. It is working out just great. I was never one to watch any tv during the day, but somehow having it in the kitchen we've watched quite a bit this summer. If you ever get cable, you'll find it quite a lot faster than the satellite. But still, I was most grateful for that satellite for a long time.

    Carole, I was patient because I didn't know any other way. Tom has high-speed at school, and he found it more frustrating with the satellite than I. I just stopped going to places that took too long to load. I'm happy now, but I was happy before because it was all I knew. Apple TV is a little box that hooks up to your tv. More here:

    Barbara, a new computer will be great!

  16. Understand much you share. When I built my cottage and moved from the city I gave up fast DSL. Use an air card at the moment. I miss having a wood stove. Just cannot bring in wood anymore and have gas logs. Also my tv is up on the loft where grandchildren watch.
    Main area I read and it is quiet.
    Really quiet most of the time except when visitors arrive.

  17. It's a wonderful life you live, Ernestine. What on earth is
    an air card???

  18. Love how your dog follows you around and has gotten into both pictures. The big dogs are just so loveable.

  19. Susan, that's exactly what Sadie did - all 130 pounds of her. :<)

  20. Wait until you get rid of that crank telephone....hehe
    I know how you feel. It's like color tv for the first time.

  21. Hurray for you! It was kind of amazing to me that our house at the edge of the known world had high speed cable available so early in the process and it changed the way we lived (I think for the better). A little sad to be planning for winter already, but that's August in NE for you.

  22. Hey Judi's brother! You know what - when I was a girl, my aunt and uncle had one of those phones. I was fascinated by it.
    Our land line now is a replica of the old black desk phones with touch buttons instead of dialing. It makes the ring I remember from childhood.

    KSV, it really does seem to depend on where you live in terms of the lines. And yes, Tom is getting our woodpile ready daily now. Welcome home! I have to come by and read more about your trip.

  23. I'm seriously jealous! Maybe some day, somewhere.

  24. I'm so happy for you, Nan! And now you can look at the photo albums I send to you from Kodak/Ofoto Gallery. ;)

  25. Sallie, do you do your internet stuff at a wifi cafe?

    Les, I'm not sure you ever sent any since we had satellite because I should have been able to see them fine. The sat. was slower than this, but way faster than dial-up.


I'll answer your comments as soon as I possibly can. Please do come back if you've asked a question.
Also, you may comment on any post, no matter how old, and I will see it.