|Living with Dinosaurs and Dialup|
As a webmaster, how do you deal with it?
There really was a dinosaur walking across my backyard yesterday and it was even pink! Seriously, as a webmaster, that has no suitable choice other than dialup, what do you do to combat the issues that come along with it?
It takes me about 2 hours most of the time to upload a group of photos. I dread it because doing anything else online makes it take even longer. One step that I have taken, it to reduce the size of images before upload. Time consuming, yes, but quicker.
I test anything and everything on my computer before it goes online. I do find that sometimes this causes me to procrastinate and delay rolling out anything new.
The one good thing is that all of my pages load extremely fast! But I also wonder if I am doing my visitors a disservice because I cannot give them videos, ect.
Please tell me what you have done to help you cope.
I'm interested in this topic, not because I have dial-up, but, because my graphics designer is moving to the middle of nowhere and will need to use dial-up for internet access.
One idea might be to compress work before uploading to the server, and decompress it after it's uploaded. That way you keep the quality, but save on upload times.
Though, that is dependent on the type of access you have on your web server.
Even satellite isn't an option where you are located?
Maybe you can subcontract the problem part of the work.
I did check into satellite, about 90 bucks a month, plus the upfront cost of equipment. If my sites were making a ton of money, might be worth the investment, but not at this time.
But there was always the issues of down time too. We had satellite TV for a long time. The service went down way too much for my happiness.
Sounds like you're doing out of necessity what others do out of desire - make fast downloading web pages. As for are you doing your visitors a disservice by not offering videos and such, without knowing what your site is about, I cannot say. However, I ask if you are doing yourself a disservice by using dialup. Assuming high-speed is available in your area, how much time are you wasting loading pictures. I have an e-commerce customer with literally thousands of images on the site. I would spend hours loading changes - long enough to eat and watch a movie. As soon as high-speed was available in my area, I jumped on it and what took hours only takes minutes now. Something to think about.
As for how to cope - rent some good movies.
I'm half a mile from being able to get DSL. Begging the phone company for the last five years has not helped. I've got an accelerator for browsing but that doesn't help much for up and downloads.
I've just been looking into file compression but it seems my images are already in compressed file format. Just to be clear, zipping won't speed uploads for images?
Yes, jpgs and gifs are already compressed, but it's possible depending on how much you are uploading, if you compress them all into one archive, you could save a little bit of space, and being one file, you won't lose all the time your upload takes switching from file to file while it uploads.
But then, you'd also need to uncompress on the server ... so ... it really depends, it was a thought.
And I'm guessing images aren't the only thing you're uploading all the time? Just a large portion?
I can't imagine going back to dialup...I find high speed to slow!
Actually...you're simplest solution...do you know someone who's got highspeed that's half a mile away?
Buy a USB memory stick. Put your stuff on there, and if it has U3 technology it can have your FTP program on it as well, and go there to upload your large changes.
It's probably faster to drive the two minutes, upload, and drive back than to sit there waiting for hours.
Actually, the kids just moved into town and as soon as they are hooked up, I will hook them up with a wireless router and take my laptop. It will have it's drawbacks, little kids, time of day, that kind of thing.
We've been talking about moving for about a year and whenever I look at a house, the first thing I want to know is if I can get DSL. :>)
What else might factor in with the speed of uploads? What about time of day? My usual connection says 44kbps but I know that the transfer rate isn't that high. If I'm connected at 44, is the transfer speed variable at that connection?
Does the amount of traffic on the site itself have any effect on the transfer? From the visitors view, do I slow things down for them if I am uploading large files?
Welcome to the club.
Been on dialup forever.
Has not seemed to be a hindrance whatsoever.
Except for big downloads, then I ask someone to do it and burn it to a cd.
The only people who complain are those that want me to hop on the net to do something while on the phone. Great excuse to put them off till later :)
Seriously, I use all lightweight remote access apps to do server management.
You can have videos on your site :)
Just embed youtube or similar.
To get them there find an internet cafe with broadband or a friendly neighbour and pop them up into youtube first.
Same with your pics, find a place with broadband and shoot them up off a memory stick
You can embed smaller versions of your pics into your site direct from flickr and give thema link to see the full size one.
|jpgs and gifs are already compressed |
However, there are many ways to compress them
For digital camera or scanned photos, the 'default' JPEG compression setting on most devices is 'not-compressed-much-at-all' and (depending upon the subject/contrast) the file sizes (bytes and pixel dimensions) are often much larger than is needed for viewing on screen
I strongly recommend IrfanView [irfanview.net]
|IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista. |
It is trying to be simple for beginners and powerful for professionals
In my opinion it is the best friend of anyone wanting to send images to or from a dial-up connection
The application itself is only 1.1 MB to download and it has a batch-conversion/rename feature that allows you to copy any/all images in any specific folder and reproduce them (ie NOT alter the originals) in a wide variety of formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF etc etc etc)
You can also choose whether or not to specify:
* pixel width and/or height
* Color Depth (16.7 million, 256, 16)
* etc, etc...
So... depending upon the composition of your images, you may well be able to (easily and quickly) make a significant difference to the size of your image files
If wherever you live has a cell phone access you might be able to get a wireless modem which is much faster than dial-up in most cases.
Also, "fixed wireless" internet providers often cover areas at the fringes of DSL and cable. I switched from satellite to fixed wireless when it became available in my area, and now get the same bandwidth but at half the cost and with 20 percent of the latency... It's also cheaper than cellular-phone-based internet service, and not nearly so software-invasive of your system.
The cell-phone modems require large (and seemingly-to-me) very unreliable and machine-bogging software drivers, whereas fixed wireless just uses your Ethernet port or router (if you have one) as usual.
Then there's "bootleg" DSL: If you are literally just outside the DSL coverage area, get a friend inside the area to get an extra phone line, put DSL on it, set up a wireless access point with a directional antenna pointed at your house, and install another access point on your end connected to your machine or network. You pay the DSL bill, and you've got your own private "fixed wireless to DSL" network -- and all within legal/ethical boundaries... :)
If the above mentioned suggestions, especially bl-dsl, don't work, try to get ISDN from your phone company. With ISDN you have a fixed connection rate of 64 kBit/s (up+download)and most often you get two lines that you can combine to 128 kBit/s.
What about your local cable company? Any chance to get internet access via them?
If there is DSL access 1/2 mile away and you happen to have friends there with free line of sight between their house and yours, you may want to try to setup a wireless DSL router there. 1/2 mile is too far for normal antennas at the low power often used by wireless devices, but there are directional antennas (parabolic and others) which can easily transfer digital data over that distance, even at low powers.
I have used this type of data communication in some applications with great success.
Directional outdoor antennas for sending digital data are not allowed in all places though, so first check which local regulations apply.