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(Gizmodo)   Nine obsolete gadgets you can still buy brand new for some reason   (gizmodo.com) divider line 133
    More: Amusing, fax machines, Half-Life 2, modems, VCR, sandy bridge, criminal conspiracy, newegg, error correction  
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14493 clicks; posted to Geek » on 09 Jul 2012 at 10:52 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-10 12:47:39 AM  
iPhone?

/really took this long?
 
2012-07-10 12:48:11 AM  
CTRL+F "serial"

I see my work here is done, now, maybe you folks can help me with one of my problems.

// Can't find a decent alarm clock/clock radio/etc that is classy looking (IE, has to look nice on my dark rosewood night tables). Everything I've seen is either

1) A POS

gadgets.boingboing.net

2) Has some gawdy ipod dock (IE, dust collector) in it,

www.batamhousing.com

3) Is some POS corporate prize type thing (EX, GIS for 'rosewood alarm clock' to see the saddest alarm clocks ever.).

www.friendlyfurniture.com

4) Is crazy overpriced (I'm not spending $500 on an alarm clock)

www.mobilewhack.com

5) Is actually damn cool, but turns out is a concept that never made it to production.

www.woohome.com
wristfashion.com
 
2012-07-10 01:03:28 AM  

Longtime Lurker: That gigantic fax machine is ubiquitous in the hospitals I work at. Hell, even at the VA, where every hospital in the entire farking country has access to the same exact medical records via the interwebs, I still am required to fax copies of those same records between hospitals regularly.


Heck, my office (the "network services building" for a regional healthcare system), has 4 fax machines within walking distance of my desk, 2 in the room where I work and 2 just outside for the full suite to use. These aren't just faxes but network printers/copiers and even have the ability to *gasp* scan to email. I personally don't need to fax that much for my job (a couple of years ago, it was a different story, if someone needed a security badge updated we had to have a fax sent in every time). I've never seen a corporate office without at least one fax machine (maybe not the humongous ones, but not something tiny either).
 
2012-07-10 01:03:51 AM  

somemoron: dywed88: Dot matrix printers are also used extensively when making carbon copies. Where I worked we used them for all our bills of lading and such that had 5 copies. Gotta love the screeching of those things. Until that, I honestly didn't know they even still made them, and couldn't believe the price, but with next to no demand it isn't that surprising if you think about it.

I'm guessing they are Oki-Data 9 Pin (print head) machines? They might be re-badged with a different name now, but those things are everywhere, unchanged since the last design revision in... oh... 15-20 years? I wonder if they dumped the Centronics connector for USB, that'd be nice.


Yep. They shoehorned in a USB to centronics adapter and left the rest of the electronics alone
 
2012-07-10 01:08:04 AM  
Just trolling myself, but you can still buy these obsolete devices today:

www.audioenz.co.nz

2.bp.blogspot.com

img1.findthebest.com
 
2012-07-10 01:09:35 AM  
I worked in a GM manufacturing plant. Several million square feet of machinery of all different types from all different vendors. I think I can safely say that every single one of them had some form of RS-232 serial port that you talked to the PLC through. Tell me again how it is obsolete.
 
2012-07-10 01:18:47 AM  

vwarb: Just a few days ago I was looking for a manual (not electric like the one in the article) typewriter, but couldn't seem to find a reputable dealer who had one at a reasonable price. The cheapest non-electric one I could find was in the 200 dollar range. Does any one have any suggestions on this? Am I going to need to venture into the big scary world of physical stores?


You're going to need to venture into the big scary world of Craigslist. Or eBay. Or the big scary world of thrift stores. That's where the unrestored but still working typewriters live. Or if you look a bit you'll find a typewriter store where they'll sell you an old working manual for reasonably short money. What you've been looking at are restored typewriters. You're paying for the man's time, not the typewriter.

You should have said something a week ago. I picked up a second-style Hermes 3000 at Goodwill for six bucks that looked and worked new, but sold it last week on eBay.
 
2012-07-10 01:19:10 AM  
"If you can figure out why Amazon is still selling VCRs in 2012, you get a prize."

Well, I know the answer and it's not what others have suggested/stated.

it's not amazon that's selling it you idiot, it's a third party store.
 
2012-07-10 01:21:36 AM  

Karac: And as far as faxes, I had opportunity to use one just today. Bought a new car and the insurance company had to fax the new proof-of-insurance to the dealer. A 10 digit number is probably easier to use and not screw up to send a few pieces of paper that'll get printed out anyway than to write up a pdf, save it, and email it to the right address that you'll never use again or want to remember.


Places still use faxes because it is "more secure". I need send/receive a fax 2-3 times a year and it's a pain in the ass. I don't have a landline and I'm not in the mood to pay $10-$15/mo for efax or rapid fax to use it twice a year.
 
2012-07-10 01:22:32 AM  
Hey, lots of people still heat their burritoes on wood-burning stoves.
 
2012-07-10 01:23:03 AM  

Ambitwistor: And a TI graphing calculator.


Came here to say this.

...

Okay. Goodbye.
 
2012-07-10 01:30:48 AM  

RexTalionis: My commentary:

1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers.

2. A six-year-old Celeron processor
--> Probably because the guy still hasn't sold them from when they were still new.

3. A $200 VCR Hahahahahah
--> Hey, VCRs are rare to find nowadays. You know how many VHS tapes I have?

4. A 10 pack of Zip disks
--> Some businesses still use them.

5. A serial cable
--> There's some legacy things that still use use serial cables. For instance, old school printers or old-school card readers.

6. A typewriter that costs more than a cheap laptop
--> Businesses use these all the time, especially law offices or courts.

7. A gigantic fax machine
--> Ditto with business use.

8. A VCR casette rewinder
--> If your VCR costs $200, wouldn't you want to spend a few bucks on something you can use instead of wearing out your VCR's motor?

9. The worst CD player
--> Not everybody's a Rockefeller like you. Actually, I have a friend who uses one of these still. Can't afford an MP3 player.


Number 5, in particular for Point of Sale machines, is very relevant today. Verifone Ruby, and several others, can still use Epson Serial (and Parallel) receipt printers. I also use them once in a while working with routers and switches.

Number 7, as a side note, in a medium office is a godsend yet. Yeah, you could buy super combo printer unit, but the old style faxes still have their place in cheapness over time. Not only that, but buying a bigger one, it may last longer than you think.
 
2012-07-10 01:31:37 AM  
 
2012-07-10 01:38:10 AM  

Kraftwerk Orange: Just trolling myself, but you can still buy these obsolete devices today:

[www.audioenz.co.nz image 500x235]

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 600x450]

[img1.findthebest.com image 459x345]


The Rolex was pretty much always obsolete (at least during my lifetime) - it's an EXPENSIVE watch. It keeps good time, but it's a farking status symbol and nothing more. My grandfather had one, my father had one. I stopped wearing my Timex around 1999. The Timex kept time just as well as my father's Rolex and it held data. It didn't look as cool (well, that's subjective) and didn't have the same "fark-you-I-have-a-Rolex" factor, but it worked just as well.

The only cool thing about the Rolex as I recall is that it was self-winding. Just the day to day movement of your arm was enough to power it. The last time I saw my Timex it still had the original battery in it and still had the correct time although that was a few years ago. I'm sure I still have it somewhere, but I have no idea where.

Today, everyone carries a mobile phone. We have to keep it charged, but it always has the time* because it gets it from cell towers.

* -which reminds me - have you seen this? George Carlin talks about time.
 
2012-07-10 01:45:16 AM  
I know I've mentioned this on Fark in the past, but it bears repeating.

I have to fill out about 80 four-part forms to re-hire my 'temporary' employees from year to year. No way am I handwriting that shiat, and a traditional typewriter produces too many typos. So I got a 90's Word Processor with a screen, that saves on an included 3.5" floppy, and drag it out every year. It's well worth every penny I paid for it.
 
2012-07-10 01:50:35 AM  

DarthBart:

Places still use faxes because it is "more secure".


That's the reason the IRS will only transmit documents by fax or snail mail. I still use my fax to send and receive documents at least 2 or 3 times a week.

/CPA
 
2012-07-10 01:59:17 AM  
I was expecting to find actual gadgets that the stores are just trying to sell, like the laser keyboard from about 12 or 13 years ago that flopped, or that farking cuecat thing that scanned special barcodes and put spyware on your computer.

Btw, a VCR is not a gadget. A huge fax machine is not a gadget. Cables are not a gadget.
 
2012-07-10 02:26:59 AM  
Yeah, most offices use technology from the '80s. But it farkING WORKS, and the licensing fees aren't retarded.

//I have one of those massive fax machine/copier things in the office. It's a beast. Hundreds of copies and faxes a day for three years solid.
 
2012-07-10 02:54:31 AM  

FrAnKiE!!!!: [www.takistmr.com image 250x188]

/hot


Hey, I made one of those a couple of years ago - had to reprogram a Cisco DSL modem.
 
2012-07-10 03:21:47 AM  
10.
marlinee.com
 
2012-07-10 03:26:52 AM  

Happy Hours: The only cool thing about the Rolex as I recall is that it was self-winding. Just the day to day movement of your arm was enough to power it.


There are a number of watches that do that these days at a fraction of the cost of a Rolex. Some of them even look cooler:

www.watchismo.com
 
2012-07-10 03:30:06 AM  
Working in a heritage library we have a lot of old media and we need to keep equipment in good repair for playback. There'd still be a market in libraries, archives and museums for a lot of this stuff.
 
2012-07-10 03:43:18 AM  

RexTalionis: My commentary:

1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers.


CSB

We live in the Antelope Valley, about 80 miles NE of Los Angeles.

My sisters-in-law live in What Cheer, Iowa, population 500.

They get faster DSL than we do.
 
2012-07-10 03:57:22 AM  
Add me to the list who still finds a VCR to be a very useful thing to have. Many of us have VHS collections built up over the years. There are still quite a few films and TV series that have been released commercially on video but not yet DVD.

Plus, videocassettes aren't difficult to find and are invariably quite cheap. I've yet to find a charity shop without a few shelves, usually 50p for one or three for a pound. There's usually at least one person at any given car boot sale with several tapes on offer, again for very little.

Then there are those times that you find a load of them. I had a lecturer at uni who recorded nearly everything from Film 4 for years. After he passed away the faculty left his (massive) collection on a table in the canteen for anyone interested to choose from for free. I took one for remembrance as he was a truly supportive and caring man and those of us on his course were deeply upset at his death, for others it was a good way to receive some excellent and hard to find movies.
 
2012-07-10 05:17:00 AM  
Teufelaffe: There are a number of watches that do that these days at a fraction of the cost of a Rolex. Some of them even look cooler:

I went for this one instead, because it reminds me of a pocket watch.

ec2.images-amazon.com

// but my favorite is one of my Citizen EcoDrives, synchs to radio time signals, runs on a rechargeable battery (that gets charged via solar), goes into low power mode if it's in the dark for an extended period of time, basically it's my worry free watch (that I use to set all of the other watches/clocks in my house).
 
2012-07-10 05:22:02 AM  

RexTalionis: 1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers.


Additionally, as a person whose cable internet went down today (due to a faulty modem AGAIN) and is posting this by proxying through his jailbroken iPhone, I'm really getting a kick out of these replies. Also, I wish I could dig my damn external V.90 modem out of whatever box its hiding in so we could add it as a backup to the pfsense box we use as our router. Seriously, this happens often enough that having dialup as a backup, while less than ideal, would save a lot of gnashing of teeth in this house when nobody can connect to the internet but me.

/I do offer to share my phone proxy settings
//They'd rather complain
 
2012-07-10 05:25:02 AM  

skinink: There's a small PC shop near me that still has old tech they are selling at the original retail price. They don't mark down anything. They are selling copies of Office XP at full price. And they really overcharge on current technology. I'm almost tempted to see if I can open my own shop because I can't understand how they can continue to sell that overpriced stuff especially since there's a Best Buy and a Target within five miles of the place.


They probably have a business model similar to this amazing used book store that was around when I was in high school. It was owned and operated by one guy, and you could always find amazing books there, at good prices. Great, except that the guy was this scuzzy old junkie, who would often sit behind the counter taking big swigs of bourbon from the bottle, and was always drunk or high. He'd be awesomely rude to customers and scare off all but the customers who found him amusing. Like, some middle class woman would come in with some books to sell and he'd look at them and say "fark this shiat, this one is shiat, I wouldn't give this one away for free, but this one is good. I'll take it.". He had great taste in books.

Anyway, he preferred not to have many customers because the real money was in the heroin sales and sometimes illegal porn production he did in the back.
 
2012-07-10 05:48:54 AM  

Gordon Bennett: Add me to the list who still finds a VCR to be a very useful thing to have. Many of us have VHS collections built up over the years. There are still quite a few films and TV series that have been released commercially on video but not yet DVD.

Plus, videocassettes aren't difficult to find and are invariably quite cheap. I've yet to find a charity shop without a few shelves, usually 50p for one or three for a pound. There's usually at least one person at any given car boot sale with several tapes on offer, again for very little.

Then there are those times that you find a load of them. I had a lecturer at uni who recorded nearly everything from Film 4 for years. After he passed away the faculty left his (massive) collection on a table in the canteen for anyone interested to choose from for free. I took one for remembrance as he was a truly supportive and caring man and those of us on his course were deeply upset at his death, for others it was a good way to receive some excellent and hard to find movies.


That actually reminds me of one of my more recent purchases: a Betamax VCR. You wouldn't know it, but Beta was actually the superior format in terms of video quality, which kept it around and in use for a long time after it was popularly referred to as "dead", albeit by videophiles, amateur filmmakers, and other non-mainstream consumers. My mom is a former professor, and had several of her lectures taped back in the day. A handful of them were recorded onto Betamax for the reasons above, and she's not been able to get them converted to digital formats. $1 at the local university surplus sale may have fixed that. Now I just need to go down to the local thrift store - which has tons of Betamax tapes but, oddly, no players - and pick up something to test the VCR with.

End threadjack/CSB

Also worth noting is that a lot of people STILL use VHS-based formats for home movies, recording TV shows, so on and so forth. Why? The damn things are cheap and plentiful. I can't count the number of VHS-C, and even Hi8 camcorders I've spotted at thrift stores for something under $10. If you just want a record of something on the cheap you could do worse.
 
2012-07-10 05:51:09 AM  

yukichigai: Additionally, as a person whose cable internet went down today (due to a faulty modem AGAIN) and is posting this by proxying through his jailbroken iPhone, I'm really getting a kick out of these replies. Also, I wish I could dig my damn external V.90 modem out of whatever box its hiding in so we could add it as a backup to the pfsense box we use as our router. Seriously, this happens often enough that having dialup as a backup, while less than ideal, would save a lot of gnashing of teeth in this house when nobody can connect to the internet but me.

/I do offer to share my phone proxy settings
//They'd rather complain


Oh yes, random update: my one roomie just asked me to configure her computer to use the proxy. So I take that last part back. Fair's fair and all.
 
2012-07-10 06:07:26 AM  
It must be nice working at Gizmodo where you get a nice new Mac every year to write your articles on and a new company phone every six months. Some of us have to live in the real world and deal with legacy systems.

If something works, will work for some time and replacing it will cost more money then it won't get replaced.

How to fax
1. go to fax machine 2. Place documents on fax 3. type in number 4. hit go.

How to scan
1. go to multi-function printer/copier 2. select scan to me 3. check settings are correct 4. put documents on scanner shiat go 6. go to email client 7. forward scan to email address

When you have people who are functionally computer illiterate the fax machine is a lot more useful.


Kraftwerk Orange: Just trolling myself, but you can still buy these obsolete devices today:

[www.audioenz.co.nz image 500x235]

[2.bp.blogspot.com image 600x450]

[img1.findthebest.com image 459x345]


I was going to say bikes arn't obsolete, then i noticed it was a Harley.

/Royal Endfields
//Made in India
///From British machine tools bought in the 60's
////Still as reliable and technologically advanced as Harleys
 
2012-07-10 06:14:29 AM  
Oh you're a network engineer? Lost internet access at your remote site? Dial in to the modem that you have there for just such an occasion and figure out what's going on... over your serial cable that is attached to the modem. That's a two-fer.
 
2012-07-10 07:00:47 AM  
My company buys hundreds of modems a year. We create medical monitoring devices for people who would normally need a home health care nurse. Many of these people are old and/or live in remote locations. We have a secondary method that uses data over cell networks, but sometimes even that is not an option. We need the modems!
 
2012-07-10 07:13:39 AM  
Old technology has its place. We recently had a networking/security consultant firm move into a defunct bank location here. Inside the vault room they made a museum of sorts that pays homage to old technology. :p
 
2012-07-10 07:22:28 AM  
I don't get the hate for serial. It's a mature, simple, and reliable communication method.

Having low-latency interrupts to the CPU is nice for high-precision things like timekeeping (I have a timekeeping GPS unit connected over serial to a computer running NTP here. It's accurate to within +/- 5 microseconds.). USB has (relatively) higher latency, so this isn't really useful for timekeeping at that level.

Much of the equipment in my lab has serial connections -- it's great for simple things (like automatic valve controllers that just need simple commands like "OPEN VALVE 5" and "CLOSE VALVE 8") and for more complicated things like a small optical spectrometer that outputs relatively low-speed data.

A few things are connected over USB-to-serial adapters for ease of connections (it has 10 cables connect to a USB hub, which in turn plugs into one USB port on the control computer). Each adapter shows up as a separately-addressable serial port while only requiring one port on the back of the computer.

Sure, USB and ethernet are considerably faster, but serial has much lower overhead, is easier to wire, and is a much simpler protocol. Being able to securely connect the cables with thumbscrews makes the connection considerably more reliable than friction-fit USB cables or the little plastic clip for ethernet.
 
2012-07-10 07:28:10 AM  
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-10 07:30:47 AM  
I recently came across a couple old external USB Zip drives while cleaning out some old stuff.

I tossed them. I'm never foing to use them, and I couldn't imagine them selling for anything on eBay.
 
2012-07-10 07:32:36 AM  
www.appleiphone.net
 
2012-07-10 08:06:34 AM  
I'm surprised these didn't make it on the list:

morsex.com

www.mtechnologies.com

Straight keys have been around for over 150 years, and Vibroplex "bugs" have been around for about 100, and both are still being manufactured.
 
2012-07-10 08:12:19 AM  
Best Buy still sells 10Mbps wired Ethernet hubs new in sealed box.

Not 10Gbps... 10Mbps.

Not switches... hubs.

And they cost like $40.
 
2012-07-10 08:20:18 AM  

RexTalionis: My commentary:

1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers.

2. A six-year-old Celeron processor
--> Probably because the guy still hasn't sold them from when they were still new.

3. A $200 VCR Hahahahahah
--> Hey, VCRs are rare to find nowadays. You know how many VHS tapes I have?

4. A 10 pack of Zip disks
--> Some businesses still use them.

5. A serial cable
--> There's some legacy things that still use use serial cables. For instance, old school printers or old-school card readers.

6. A typewriter that costs more than a cheap laptop
--> Businesses use these all the time, especially law offices or courts.

7. A gigantic fax machine
--> Ditto with business use.

8. A VCR casette rewinder
--> If your VCR costs $200, wouldn't you want to spend a few bucks on something you can use instead of wearing out your VCR's motor?

9. The worst CD player
--> Not everybody's a Rockefeller like you. Actually, I have a friend who uses one of these still. Can't afford an MP3 player.


tell your friend
http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-1-8GB-MicroSD-TF-Mini-Clip-MP3-Player-Cut e -Gift-42R-/320911050702?pt=Other_MP3_Player_Accessories&hash=item4ab7c a07ce#ht_2900wt_752

+

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2GB-2-GB-MicroSD-Micro-SD-Memory-Card-for - Smartphone-or-Digital-Camera-/271010510627?pt=PDA_Accessories&hash=ite m3f197c3723#ht_719wt_885


It isn't pretty, but it works
 
2012-07-10 08:43:50 AM  

dittybopper: I'm surprised these didn't make it on the list:

[morsex.com image 576x384]

[www.mtechnologies.com image 350x245]

Straight keys have been around for over 150 years, and Vibroplex "bugs" have been around for about 100, and both are still being manufactured.


What exactly is the top image used for? My dad has a box of them in his garage, and I've never known their purpose.
 
2012-07-10 08:58:01 AM  

wallywam1: beantowndog: I plugged a zip drive into my old mac ii se using a serial cable and it worked fine, and had triple the space of the hard drive. Didn't have a modem though.

You sure that wasn't SCSI?


Might have been, it's been almost 20 years.
 
2012-07-10 08:59:57 AM  
If you don't know why you would need a serial cable in this day and age, congratulations, you're one of the people who keeps me employed in what I personally think is a relatively easy job supported almost exclusively by the fact that the vast majority of people simply don't want to understand even the most basic computing concepts.

poot_rootbeer: Not switches... hubs.


Actually, this isn't as hair-brained as you may think. A hub is particularly useful if you want to troubleshoot a network segment with a protocol analyzer but don't want to or can't change the port mirroring on the switch connecting the segment. Put the hub between the host and the port having problems and watch the traffic, then just sit back and watch the traffic. You don't have to change the switch's configuration and you only very briefly interrupt the one segment that's having an issue.

They're also useful if you have some screwball building setup and just need a simple, brainless repeater to connect some remote host back to an access switch. I've used them in scenarios where I have to run the length of a building and then a conduit doubles back on the floor below and the length of cable is just too long, but there aren't enough machines in the area to justify buying and installing an access switch for that part of the building.

Also, the 10Mbps limit isn't as silly as it seems at first glance either. It provides the ability to connect more hubs together than 100Mbps hubs do.

So, yes, hubs are, surprisingly, still useful, just in relatively limited scenarios where you need simple connectivity on the cheap for some reason.
 
2012-07-10 09:02:39 AM  

skinink: "1. A dialup modem
--> Not everybody has broadband. People in rural areas are really only served by dialup providers."
I thought that as well. I wonder if I'll see the day when most people in the U.S. has access to hi-speed internet at a reasonable price.


Most people in the U.S. have access to high-speed Internet at a reasonable price -- over 80% of all Americans have Internet speeds in excess of 2 Mbps.

Maybe you meant "all people in the U.S."?
 
2012-07-10 09:13:55 AM  

Happy Hours: Yeah, I'm actually in the market for a VCR. Both of mine mysteriously stopped working and I've still got a bunch of tapes.

I was in the process of converting them to disc a few years back when I had to move and completely lost track of where I was.

I'm trying to organize discs right now - ran across "Porn Compilation 1" the other day. Hey, don't knock it - chicks in the '90s were hot!


I give it a 50/50 chance you originally wrote "came across", then thought again when you proof-read you post.
 
2012-07-10 09:38:54 AM  

lordargent: Can't find a decent alarm clock/clock radio/etc that is classy looking


There's the Bose Wave music system. The only two problems with it are you have to use the remote to control it but the remote is a mass of shiatty membrane buttons layed out in a monochrome grid. And it costs $500 but is only worth about $50.
 
2012-07-10 09:43:35 AM  
I run CNC machines and there are a lot out there where the only way to imput data is a serial port,paper tape or shelling out ten grand for a new controler if the company still makes a compatible one. Repairble machines tend to outlive electronics so keeping the electronic components around can be profitable.
 
2012-07-10 09:56:11 AM  

vwarb: Just a few days ago I was looking for a manual (not electric like the one in the article) typewriter, but couldn't seem to find a reputable dealer who had one at a reasonable price. The cheapest non-electric one I could find was in the 200 dollar range. Does any one have any suggestions on this? Am I going to need to venture into the big scary world of physical stores?


Try Goodwill. Of the 50 or so in my collection, probably 40 came from there, almost all under $10. They also have shopgoodwill.com. If you're in western wa, let me know, I'm culling right now.
 
2012-07-10 09:56:27 AM  

meanmutton: Most people in the U.S. have access to high-speed Internet at a reasonable price -- over 80% of all Americans have Internet speeds in excess of 2 Mbps.

Maybe you meant "all people in the U.S."?


Maybe I'm reading your link wrong, but it reads like a report from one of those test your internet connection speed websites. If I read it correctly, then only 80% of active connections are higher than 2 Mbps. This wouldn't include people that otherwise don't have any internet access.

Not too long ago I was living out in the country, 2 miles outside of the city limits. 1 farking block away from me was serviced by both Charter and AT&T for a couple of the businesses but the whole community out there was too far away and this was in a dense neighborhood on the outskirts of town that could rival any customer base within a large portion of the town. My only options? Satellite or Wireless Internet both of which were capped at 512Kbs and had costs of $40 a month for service plus $100-200 for installation fees because it required mountings, a receiver/dish, someone to come out and do a site survey to make sure service was possible, etc. Fark that! I moved in town and now I can get 30Mbs down/4 Mbs up. All for $20ish a month.

I remember an article from 2009 that only said 25% of households had a broadband connection. Link I haven't seen anything recently to give me an update on that though.
 
2012-07-10 10:08:04 AM  

Tenatra: I remember an article from 2009 that only said 25% of households had a broadband connection. Link I haven't seen anything recently to give me an update on that though.


It's about 65% according to the FCC. Which is pretty bad for a first world country.

The problem is that when you hear people talk about it you have to be careful to distinguish between "adoption rate" and "access rate". Most people in the country have access to some form of broadband, but only about 65% are actually on it.

The distinction is mostly intentionally muddled by dishonest industry executives who don't want anybody mucking about with their quaint little monopolies. When you hear someone from Comcast or Verizon talking about it, they usually mean "90% of people COULD use it if they wanted and had the money and it was reasonably priced" even if that's not what they actually say. It's funny how that gulf suddenly grows when you start pointing out our generally poor speeds and high prices which both scares away consumers unwilling to pay a lot for a little and bumps some people out of the running entirely because they simply cannot afford a $50/mo bill just for a crappy 2Mbps connection.

So, yea, broadband in the U.S. is pretty bad by first world standards.
 
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