Ten years ago today, we got broadband in our house. It was a big deal at the time … finally, we had a fast connection to the Internet. Understand, by that point we had already been online for more than 15 years, ever since we first hooked up a 300-baud modem to our VIC-20 in the early 80s. But speed? That was something you enjoyed when you happened to be at a computer on campus. I can’t remember any longer what speed our last standard modem was … 9600? 56k?
Now, of course, I take broadband for granted. I contemplate paying even more money to Comcast for their super-fast speeds (I’ve held out so far). Honestly, I wouldn’t say broadband was a life-changing event in our computing lives … that category is reserved for 1) our first computer, which introduced us to the world of home computing; 2) our first modem soon after that, which introduced us to online computing; 3) our first home wireless network, which introduced us to all-over-the-house computing; and 4) our first Treo, which introduced us to phone/internet computing. Perhaps it is the fact that broadband wasn’t life-changing that I take it for granted. One day it just was there, and I’ve forgotten everything that came before that time.
How far have we come? Check this commercial out, from 1982: