Support for Windows 98 was officially laid to rest today and coincided with UK computer manufacturer Elonex being sold off last week. I say coincided, because my current home desktop system was bought in the last century (Dec 1999), an Elonex 'Webrider' boasting a 500MHz Pentium III and running Windows 98.
This computer is now a dual-boot system (2000/XP) and has never, touch wood, had a hardware problem, despite being continually upgraded with extra memory, an external Maxtor – sorry - Seagate 40GB hard disk, and a Sony ‘all formats’ DVD burner. This says a lot about the build quality, even though technophiles may think that it probably belongs on 'Antiques Roadshow' and an IT equivalent of Going for a Song furniture-meister Arthur Negus, might have giggled at the 3Com US Robotics 56Kbit/s modem it originally came with, and renamed it the 'Web-nipintothekitchenforacoffeewhilethefiledownloads-er', rather than 'Webrider'.
Changing to 512Kbit/s broadband several years ago with one of the splendid Alcatel ‘tadpole’ USB modems meant it did eventually become a ‘Webrider’. A more recent ISP change to Be, recently acquired by mobile operator O2, meant another epithet change, this time to ‘Webscreamer’, as since I’m only 0.8km off the nearest exchange, as the crow flies, their 24Mbit/s ADSL2+ service is giving a top download speed of around 16Mbit/s.
A fuller report on Be’s ADSL2+ service will be published later, but people choosing this service and having a house next to the exchange, as well as decent wiring, should be able to get close to 24Mbit/s. Another plus is that the upload speed for those thinking about running a personal webserver is 1.3Mbit/s. If we ever do decide to move out of sunny Tottenham, then tagging onto the estate agents punt for customers that one of the fastest broadband connections in the UK is possible from the property, would be just one of the many positives.
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