Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 18th Jun 2012 05:29 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Over at the Goodbye, Microsoft web site, Brad R. takes Ubuntu to task for abandoning dial-up modem users. Apparently Ubuntu no longer includes the GnomePPP dial-up package in the distribution, without which you can't get online via dial-up. It gets better: if you do have some way to connect, when you download something from the Ubuntu repository, the first thing Ubuntu does is update its 16+ megabyte repository index. Happy waiting! Brad concludes that "Ubuntu is for broadband users only."
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RE[4]: seriously
by earksiinni on Mon 18th Jun 2012 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: seriously"
Member since:

First, nobody wrote "poor people use dial-up".

It's called "reading between the lines".

The fact is that this "primitive" technology that the whole world used to use 15 or 20 years ago to access the Internet is STILL used in Africa. Nobody ever said that it's still being actively promoted and deployed.

Actually, a number of comments have said something to the effect of "pretty sure most of Africa". To the contrary, your statement is a bogeyman as I was never arguing against the assertion that dial-up is "still being actively promoted and deployed" in Africa. In a narrow sense, I was arguing against the notion that dial-up is the primary method of connecting to the internet in Africa.

But if you think that my intention was to merely correct a technical error made by some commenters, then you've missed my point entirely.

And guess what, broadband here in France is also mainly based on landline. Cellular networks in the parts of Africa I know use GPRS at best. No 4G, no 3G. That too is an old technology.

Still missing my point...

Second, "most personal internet access is carried informally over cellular networks" is also wrong...

I am talking about Africa, of course, not Europe. I also meant to emphasize the word "informal", by which I mean that internet access often is routed through intermediaries, like paying a person in your village to use the internet through their cell phone.

Most internet access may indeed be carried over cell networks, but not because it is the best option or the most affordable option. It's simply the only option.

Precisely. Dial-up is rarely an option.

The real problem is Africa is that there isn't money to build and maintain the infrastructures, whatever their price (mobile equipment) relative to more massive investments (building a correct landline network).


People who haven't experienced first hand the Internet access conditions over there don't know what it's like to not be able to speak to your family on a Skype call.

I do, in fact. It sucks.

dial-up is a luxury that only the industrialized world can afford

You've had me laughing there. Do you imagine anyone willing to use dial-up when given another option?

Glad I had you laughing, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek to enhance my point about people's ignorance about Africa. Of course they would use another option, and similarly just as dial-up is usually not an option in Africa dial-up is rarely used.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: seriously
by zima on Mon 25th Jun 2012 23:59 in reply to "RE[4]: seriously"
zima Member since:

> People who haven't experienced first hand the Internet access conditions over there don't know what it's like to not be able to speak to your family on a Skype call.

I do, in fact. It sucks.

BTW, when a buddy of mine had possibly comparably bad VoIP conditions (a totally over-utilised shared LAN connected via poor radio link on one end, and on the other a dial-up deep in CIS - fairly unreliable and slow even as far as dial-up goes), it turned out that the software makes a huge difference. Skype was nearly unusable.

GTalk client (the win32 one at least) coped significantly better with poor connectivity, turned out to be the optimal choice; you might try it out - and there still might be software which is even better (it's just that GTalk worked fine for the purpose), this field still improves (also with codecs - I remember stumbling on some recent ones which offer perfectly intelligible coding of speech at less than 1kbps)

BTW, one additional data point to your "Le ignorance" post:
Connecting the unconnected
[...] “In India, Indonesia and Pakistan, the mobile phone is the primary, and often only, way users access the internet, at 40%, 48% and 48%, respectively,”

Edited 2012-06-26 00:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2