Topic for poor old dial-up users only
Thread poster: Sheila Wilson

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Dec 1, 2008

Hello all,

Most of you will probably laugh at my request, but those of us left in the wilderness with pitiful 56k dial-up connections are having more and more problems. Every time a site is updated it gets 'heavier'. Everyone's putting more and more photos, videos etc on their sites and my connection time is running to minutes for some things now.

Having said that, I have to congratulate ProZ for the very fast turnaround time of most of the screens - it's one of the fastest sites that I make regular use of. However, when I click on someone's name to see their profile I often have to wait a full minute or even two. This is because of the link to Google Earth for their location, which takes ages and ages. Although it's nice to have, it's not worth waiting two minutes for!

I don't know what percentage of us are left with these slow connections - if there are very few then it wouldn't make economic sense to do anything about it, but if there are enough of us, I would really like to be able to deselect this link.

So, two questions:-

One for site users and members - are you in the same boat?

One for site staff - would this be totally unthinkable even if there are some others like me, or could it be done for a song?

PS You'll see from the map on my profile that I live in the South of France, not halfway up the Andes or somewhere else truly remote. Nevertheless, it's a rural area and my village of less than 200 inhabitants has very patchy mobile phone and terrestrial TV reception too - and you can guess which patch I'm in!


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 15:01
English to Hungarian
+ ...
- Dec 1, 2008

Sheila Wilson wrote:


I don't know what percentage of us are left with these slow connections


Very small. Among professional translators who live in a developed country, it's probably under 5%. I would not be shocked to find out that it is under 1%. On one site I use, the percentage is around 1%.

Can you not get broadband? Mobile phone, DSL, cable, something...

Maybe proz will make the site more dialup-friendly, but the rest of the Internet will never look back.


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Ken Cox  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
German to English
+ ...
disable automatic image loading Dec 1, 2008

This is easy to do with Firefox (look under Tools / Options / Content). You may also be able to do this with IE.

Most of the images on the Proz site (and many other sites) are not essential or at least not necessary for an initial understanding of the content, and you can selectively load images that you do want to see by right-clicking and selecting 'Show image'.

[Edited at 2008-12-01 21:01 GMT]


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the comments Dec 1, 2008

@ FarkasAndras

My mobile phone can't even send or receive text messages when I'm at home, let alone this sort of thing. DSL is impossible for some technical reason about distance from a France Telecom central point. I could devote one of my TV satellite dishes to the internet, but that only serves for uploading - I'd still be using the phone line for receiving data and it's horrifically expensive anyway. The only hope I can see (apart from moving, and the house is on the market partly for that very reason) is the local authority - they are laying fibre-optic cables in a lot of areas. Unfortunately, we're at a bit of a dead-end so we'll be the last to get cabled.

@ Ken

Yes, I know about the Firefox option. But have you tried it? This screen, for example, is absolutely littered with the 4-squares symbol that replaces the image. I do occasisonally use it but it's not a nice option.


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:01
English to Czech
+ ...
Adblock and CPROXY Dec 1, 2008

I recommend Adblock, which is a plug-in for Firefox. You can use it to block any slow loading objects, such as Google maps, profile images or Flash (and ads, of course).

Another invaluable tool for slow connection is CPROXY. I used it several years ago when I was connected via a mobile phone. It uses data compression and allows you to download more in the same time. It's great for browsing and downloading e-mail with uncompressed attachments.


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:01
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
SFR? Dec 1, 2008

SFR (www.sfr.fr) offers very affordable mobile internet solutions. Unless your area is poorly covered, this could solve your problem. It is probably worth a phone call.
Attila


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
More useful comments - thanks Dec 2, 2008

@ Hynek

Thanks - I'll look into those tools. I thought Adblock just blocked ads, but then I would, wouldn't I?

@ Attila

I'm way ahead of you there, pardner! During the summer I spend a lot of time in a caravan in a particularly beautiful area where there's no fast internet connection, but there is acceptable SFR cover. So, yes, I use a 3G key (if that's the English term for a "clé 3G" in French). However, at home it barely connects, then disconnects a few minutes later.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 15:01
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Satellite Dec 2, 2008

Hi Sheila,

To start with, I think Farkas greatly underestimates the percentage of people with slow connections.
I live only 30 km. south of Barcelona and only 3 km. from a town which hosted several of the Olympic events in 1992, and I still had to wait until 2003 (over 9 years) just to have an ordinary phone line installed.

I don’t know if you’ve looked into the satellite connection option properly, but I used one for about 3 years.

“I could devote one of my TV satellite dishes to the internet, but that only serves for uploading - I'd still be using the phone line for receiving data and it's horrifically expensive anyway”

This is the opposite of the system I had – you download via the satellite and upload via the phone line. In fact, it’s the only system that makes sense.

I use another method now, but the ISP operator for the satellite connection (Ya.com/Jazztel) charged only 40€ a month – still expensive when anyone with a decent phone line in Spain can get flat rate ADSL with national landline phone calls thrown in for just 20€, but not “horrific” by any means.

I suggest you look into the satellite option again.

Cheers,
Andy


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your help Andy Dec 2, 2008

Well, it's cheering to know my comminications-challenged village is not unique.

About the satellite link, you're no doubt right and I reversed the directions. I'm afraid that for an ex-programmer (from the days of Cobol batch systems), I'm hopelessly illiterate in all technology issues. I must say that getting the screen-full of info from the satellite and only using the phone line to register the "OK" key-press or similar is probably worth looking into again. Perhaps the prices have come down a bit.


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Lakshmi Iyer  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 15:01
Italian to English
+ ...
Me too, until recently Dec 2, 2008


One for site users and members - are you in the same boat?


I was in the same boat until recently: a dial-up connection with a theoretical speed of 56K, which was actually a lot slower. The local authority seems to be in no hurry to do anything about those of us who live too far from the exchange, so I had no choice but to invest in a satellite connection. It's pricey: I spent €600 to buy and get everything installed, and now pay €40 euros a month.

I can't say I'm totally satisfied, because the download speed rarely gets up to the promised 1024 Kb/s: it's usually 800 Kb/s or so on average on weekdays and tends to drop on weekends, and complaining hasn't helped.

Still, at least I can now watch videos, download music and surf relatively comfortably. I have to say the one huge advantage with the supplier I use is that the equipment they provide frees up my phone line: I don't even need it to upload files.

Here's a link I found with info on the various suppliers:

http://www.indexel.net/1_6_5070__3_/15/90/1/Internet_par_satellite___l_offre_se_developpe.htm

Hope this helps.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:01
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Satellite that doesn't tie up the phone sounds good Dec 2, 2008

@ Lakshmi,

Glad to know you were recently in the same boat - maybe there are some left out there even now!

The satellite link that I investigated and turned down (can't remember who was providing the service) didn't free up the phone - the one you mention sounds a whole lot more useful, so I'll investigate again.

One problem is that providers are doing LESS for us now, when we need MORE as we really don't represent a worthwhile proposition. I was with Club-internet for 8 years and they were at least sympathetic, but now they've been taken over, Neuf/SFR are treating me like dirt and not being at all helpful.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 15:01
English to Hungarian
+ ...
- Dec 2, 2008

Andy Watkinson wrote:

Hi Sheila,

To start with, I think Farkas greatly underestimates the percentage of people with slow connections.


I really don't think so.
I got curious and checked out some stats.
A report by Pew (http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Broadband_2008.pdf) says the ratio is 55:10 in the whole US population (55% of all adults has broadband, 10% has dialup and 35% has no connection at home). Broadband penetration is obviously much higher than that at companies; so I'm sure all in-house translators use broadband at the office. And those of us who work from home will obviously be MUCH more likely to get broadband than the general population, simply because it is a tool of the trade. It pays for itself pretty quickly, so only the only dialup users left are a couple of luddites and those few unlucky souls who can't get broadband...
I'm sure proz could check out the stats for this site if they wanted to.


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Andy Watkinson
Spain
Local time: 15:01
Member
Catalan to English
+ ...
Thanks Dec 3, 2008

FarkasAndras wrote:
Very small. Among professional translators who live in a developed country, it's probably under 5%. I would not be shocked to find out that it is under 1%. On one site I use, the percentage is around 1%.


Thanks Farkas,

You originally said that it's probably under 5% and would hardly be surprised were it below 1%.

Now, according to your own figures, even in the US, 10% of people have dialup connections. I very much doubt they are "luddites" as you say.

In Europe, broadband services are far from being universal. Spain is the eighth economy in the world and there are 6.5 million homes without anything but a 56K connection.

Now, if we all lived in S.Korea it would be a different matter

Andy


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