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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for August 7th, 2015

Blast from the past: the digital highway as imagined circa 1995.

Posted by jpluimers on 2015/08/07

Blast from the past: the digital highway as imagined circa 1995 (thanks Kristian Köhntopp for sharing this a while ago).

Learned a new phrase too (handfeste Datenträger) for something a marching band friend of mine was involved in: before he suddenly passed away at 39 he was a “high bandwidth courier” giving meaning to the phrase by Tanenbaum “Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway” by driving around magnetic tapes and optical media between various locations for about 600+ km a day.

Who could imagine in the age where ISDN at home (@ 64 kibit/s) was fast, that 20 years later you could have fiber (@ 500 Mibit/s) at home both for like EUR 50/month.

Like Steve Streeting posted: having high bandwidth (relative to the time you live in) makes you stop thinking about your internet speed

It allows you to find new usage patterns. Which is good for imagination, work, etc.



I lied a little. EUR 50/month is for the subscription only. Nowadays that means a permanent connection. In the ISDN days having a permanent connection to an ISP would set you down another EUR 50/month for the ISP, and about EUR 600/month of data usage to the telecom provider.

I did that for a couple of years until cable and ADSL became available. Why? Because it was the fastest way to stay informed (gopher, newsgroups, mailing lists, early forums and web-sites) and get the latest software (mainly over FTP).

Imagine this was only years after not even HCC being able to sustain the costs of a Fidonet transatlantic link, and now two decades later. I’ve posted about Fidonet before, and back-then it was the most affordable way to access information from across the world.

Now less than a century after the first transatlantic phone service was established in 1927, world wide communication is almost free (and there is even internet in space).


Swets – where my friend worked for filed for bankruptcy last year. No more high bandwidth couriers…


Posted in BBS, FidoNet, History, Infrastructure | Leave a Comment »

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