you can't live without it and expect to do anything even slightly serious with the internet, whether it's on the developement side or on the read-only, let's say, research side.
i cringe at my bill as well, but it's more valuable to me than cable tv is. i don't believe prices will ever really fall too much. this is the protocol for years to come. the forces that be may not be able to control the internet's content, but, but they sure can control the price of getting it.
Been on dial-up for the past 5 years, and people saying you can't do "anything serious" on the Internet have it all wrong. About the only thing you can't do is download 60 MB files unless it's overnight. Dial-up loads pages like ehMac extremely quickly and it only takes a few seconds to load a page on ehMac. I've never had to wait a few minutes to load even the most graphical-based web sites.
If you get dial-up, just make sure you get a reliable provider - once that connects you at 46,900 Bps or better (also depends on your modem - 56k V.90/V.92 or better required).
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"Worth it" is a very personal question. And there's a big difference between wishing something was cheaper, and deciding if the benefit is worth the cost.
For example: Is the cost of your Mac worth it? No? Well, would you be happier with a Dell and the extra cash you saved? If not, then the Mac was worth it to you -- even if you wish it was cheaper.
But if you really want to find out, you can invest $45 on a 1-month experiment. Just unplug your high-speed modem for a month and see if don't mind doing without it. Subscribe to a dial-up service for the month if you think you'd replace your cable modem with that.
At the end of the month, work out the price difference, and ask yourself if it was worth it.
you may want to check into other alternatives if you don't need the extra speed for downloading large files, or require ftp'ing large files to external sites. shaw cable, local telephone providers usually have services that are slightly slower for a reduced price. ie. shaw cable internet $40/month, their reduced speed LiteSpeed package is about $24. worth looking into. adsl and dsl connections are usually cheaper than cable.
With the current frequency of Apple software updates, trust me, you want high-speed.
What's $45 (for me with Rogers VIP,it's $40 or $41)? That's almost as much as the phone bill. I cringe at my Rogers bill too, until I split it up by cable and internet, and tax,... and then split the cable up by what cable services I'm getting. It just all adds up and snowballs.
At the moment we have 3 computers in the household
connected to Bell Hi-Speed and if I had to go back to dial up...
I think I'd be pulling my hair out trying to hook them up and
still get any bandwidth.
It's worth it...Believe me.
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