After trying to remember when I used the Internet for the first time in my previous article on Gopher and the early World Wide Web, and coming to the conclusion that it was in 1994, I’ve then taken the next step and tried to remember when I actually published my first website. So here’s the story.
Things are good in the network when you get downlink and uplink throughput results like in the first screenshot on the left. Downlink speeds are in the 150 Mbit/s range, uplink is in the 50 Mbit/s range and the round trip delay time is around 19 ms. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I’m a bit disappointed that I sometimes have to discover that in places such as large train stations with thousands of people in close proximity, networks are only on air with a single LTE carrier. No carrier aggregation and no small cell deployment anywhere to be seen.
I’m one of those people who run their own XMPP server because I like my privacy. In my case I use Prosody and by default it communicates directly with the client apps such as ‘Conversations’ or ‘Pix-Art Messenger’ on Android. Unfortunately, iOS is much less cooperative and in the name of power saving, cuts the connection to clients a few minutes after they have gone to the background. Sending messages to these clients then requires the use of Apple’s push service to wake up the client app, e.g. the Chatsecure app, so it can pull the message from the server. So how is that done in practice?
Heise news reports that around this time 25 years ago, Commodore, the company behind the legendary C64 and Amiga computers filed for bankruptcy. I still remember that day as I was sad on the one hand but on the other didn’t care very much anymore as well.
Back in 2016 I wrote an article in which I calculated the number of users that are served by an LTE base station site. I made my calculations based on the number of base station sites and subscribers in Germany that are publicly available. My conclusion was that an LTE base station site serves about 750 subscribers. A few days ago I came across this presentation by Nokia given at Aalto university in October 2018 which has interesting numbers on this topic as well.
Further and further back I go to find out why things in computing today are the way they are. The latest book I have read on computing history is actually a bit away from computing and is about the development about the transistor, microchips and finally, microprocessors. One person that significantly stands out in this story is Robert Noyce and Leslie Berlin’s book ‘The Man Behind The Microchip‘ is a fascinating biography of a man who’s ideas have changed the world in a big way with something very little.
Back in October 2016, I ran my first Wifi 802.11ac speed measurement at home. At my desk with one wall between me and the Wifi Access point plus a nasty corner, I could get up to 368 Mbit/s versus a ‘measly’ 70 Mbit/s with my 802.11n based Lenovo X230 notebook I had at the time. What I didn’t do back then was to note the top speed I could get when I was closer to the Wifi access point. Now that I’ve upgraded to a Lenovo X250 with an 802.11ac Wifi card built-in and supporting access points popping-up in many places, it was time to see what the practical maximum could be.
A couple of weeks ago I got away very impressed and entertained by ‘We are Bob‘, a crazy story about a programming whiz kid that gets run over by a car and waking up a hundred years into the future, not in his own body, but as a replicant in a sophisticated computer. He’s then pressed to become the brain of an ‘unmanned’ interstellar probe and leaves the solar system just before mankind is about to blow itself up. And that was just the beginning of the story. I very much enjoyed it so I couldn’t wait to read the second part of the trilogy by Dennis Taylor ‘For We Are Many’.
I was quite surprised when I read that tomorrow, in an attempt to further push the single EU telecommunication market, a cap will come into effect for fixed and mobile phone calls from a user’s home country to other EU countries. I was aware that debates about this were going on but I had no idea this was already decided. How could I have missed that!?
In the early days when the Internet was about to get popular, i.e. in the early to mid-1990s, there were several novel approaches to search and find information. The first to reach a wider audience in the early-1990s was ‘Gopher‘, a program and protocol to ‘surf the Internet’ and the accompanying ‘Veronica‘ search-engine. It was in the mid-1990s when I used the Internet for the first time but I only vaguely remember Gopher and Veronica. When I recently saw this toot on Mastodon that lead to a great article on Gopher and this video on Youtube from 1995, it started to dawn on me how narrowly I missed the Gopher hype at the time and sailed right past it to the World Wide Web.