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[kde-linux] OT: DSL, etc (Was Non-functional KDE 4.6 in openSUSE 11.4)

FrankK posted on Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:40:35 -0800 as excerpted:

> Right now I'm in Northern Wisconsin where DSL only reaches the five
> wire-miles from the switch. Switches are too expensive for the rural
> population density here.

FWIW, I've had DSL twice, before the cable internet I have now.  The 
first was telco DSL, USWest (which still serves Phoenix as Century-Link 
or some such, after being Qwest for some years, and which you may be 
familiar with from Oregon as well), back when they first came out with 
it.  That was the old CAP-based DSL, with Netspeed modems, before Cisco 
bought them out.

Then I moved less than a mile and while telco DSL was /supposed/ to be 
available at the new location as well... let's just say that I gained a 
new understanding of the nickname "USWorst", (later, "QWorst"), after 
screwups with the /voice/ line, let alone the DSL.

So I ended up with Speakeasy DSL, a three-company variant with Speakeasy 
(then a highly rated DSL ISP based in Seattle, but the highly rated 
unfortunately didn't last, and they were eventually bought out by Best 
Buy, aka Worst Buy, tho after I left) as the ISP, Covad as the DSLP, and 
of course US/Qwest as the physical link provider.

During that period my connection was backhauled from Phoenix, to 
Speakeasy's HQ back in Seattle, so your tail of long-distance key-holing 
to the Northwest rings some bells. =:^\  It was also during that period, 
right about the turn of the century, that I ultimately switched to Linux, 
helped in part by the incredible group of folks on the speakeasy 
newsgroup.  (Two comments on that.  The group really was incredible; the 
ISP offered shell accounts and was very Unix/Linux friendly, so attracted 
many *ix users, upto and including one guy who had commit rights on one 
of the BSDs, which I didn't know enough about at the time to keep 
straight which one it was.  It's really too bad the ISP got big and 
corporatized and lost its good service and rep, as it really WAS 
excellent, back then.  Second, when I switched to Linux late in 2001, 
choosing that upgrade instead of eXPrivacy, I tried the various desktops 
and chose KDE, then kde 2.x.  So I've been with KDE basically a decade, 
now.  Gotta return to topic at least a /bit/. =:^)

But based on my Qworst experience and the fact that the speakeasy 
experience was really going downhill and many of the good people had left 
by the time I did, when Cox finally got cable internet service to this 
area, I jumped to it within a few months.  (I was basically in the middle 
of my transition to Linux when Cox arrived, with my hands full there, so 
I waited about eight months until I was comfortable on Linux before 
tackling the ISP and connectivity switch.)

Meanwhile, being a DSL early adopter and spending some time on the 
comp.dcom.xdsl newsgroup as well, I actually know a reasonable bit about 
DSL, and that five-mile-limit is familiar indeed.  With changes in 
technology, a lot of telcos rolled out remote mini-COs the size of a 
small shed or even a phone booth (how much longer will the phone booth 
allusion be effective, now that they're almost all gone?), which can 
often house "mini-dslams" and thus get DSL to people who are otherwise 
too far from the main CO, but at least in the early days of DSL those 
were a definite mixed-blessing, both because many of the early ones were 
DSL incompatible (analog backhauls to the main CO, the same thing that 
nixed 56kbps dialup for many), and because unlike the big COs, the remote-
COs simply didn't have room for third-party equipment, so it was telco DSL 
or nothing, and if the telco acted like mine did when I moved, well...

So, um, yeah, I know a bit about both DSL and cable internet, and that 
post about checking the alternatives, because many dialup users simply 
haven't, is far from my first... I've been making similar posts for a 
decade or so... =:^]  And unfortunately, your mention of the 5-mile-limit 
is something I'm reasonably familiar with myself, tho fortunately, not 
thru personal experience as much as thru my time on the various DSL 
newsgroups, etc.  (FWIW, I could fill a whole series of posts discussing 
stuff like ISDL, 140kbps "DSL" over ISDN, wire-guage effect on measured 
wire-miles, analog vs digital remote-COs, dry-loop vs piggybacked, CAP vs 
DMT, ADSL vs SDSL vs ?DSL, the DSL bane of load coils, and various other 
DSL-related technical discussion, too, but...)

> Having written that, my address now requires some explanation. My home
> is about ten miles from the Pacific in northwest Oregon. Since that is
> my registered kde-linux address, I'm having to use my Oregon ISPs
> webmail to post on this list.

Oregonian! =:^)  My roots are in the northwest too, as is most of my 
"upstream" family, uncles and aunts, cousins, my grandparents until they 
died, etc.  FWIW I moved to Phoenix from Roseburg, OR, and still think 
about it when I go to the home improvement stores and see Roseburg 
Lumber...  I have family in Eugene area, lived in Newburg for a time 
(short time, but twice), was born in Tri-Cities WA area, and lived in NE 
Washington above Spokane for a couple years too.

> You guys can probably picture what it's like to deal with two "keyholes"
> in series - the local dial-up line and a webmail ISP 2K miles away!

Of course I mentioned Speakeasy and the DSL backhaul to Seattle I had for 
a time, tho it's a bit different since that was at layer-3 ATM, under the 
IP level.

> Last spring DSL did come to my Oregon home, but I'm on the end of the
> line. All I get there is 256K bits/second, but that's a near infinity
> speed factor over dial-up.

I know the feeling.  FWIW, my speakeasy time was at 608kbps, but as I 
said, many people had to live with IDSL/ISDL, DSL over ISDN, 140 kbps as 
the bonded total of the two 64-kbps data channels and the 16-kbps control 
channel.  But even that's a huge step up from, if one is lucky, 48 kbps 
dialup, actually more due to the always-on dedicated connection bit as 
much as the 2-3X upgrade in speed.

> The snail-mail DVDs have been working well for me. Usually any updates I
> do from Wisconsin are "overnighters". I have two boxes here to update,
> so I make use of the "keep packages" option.
> My 12.1 DVD should be here in a few days. I'll report back on how the
> kde 4.7 display works out. Frank K

I really hope it works for you.  They've certainly improved the situation 
in 4.7 compared to 4.6 and previous, but that's not the same as saying 
they've got everything worked out, by far.  But it's certainly a better 
chance at graphics "just working" in 4.7 than in previous versions, due 
to the new effects-off-by-default default, so there's quite a good chance 
that it will, particularly since you already know that Linux and X in 
general works on the boxes, just not kde, at present.

And while DVDs thru snail-mail may feel like IP-over-avian-carrier, it 
works, and if that's what it takes for the bandwidth required and 
receiving location, can't argue with works!

(IP-over-avian-carrier: See RFCs 1149, 2549 and 6214, along with 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers , where I just looked 
up the RFC numbers.)

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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