Once a month, Microsoft brings out their security updates which from a user point of view is a bit more manageable than the old random release of these updates. Some of these monthly updates (for Windows XP) run to over 40Mbytes but the typical size of late has been around the 10 to 20Mbyte mark.
Now it is just not possible to handle this sort of download over a modem connection unless you possess infinite patience. And if you add in the almost daily anti-virus software updates (and the large updates once every couple of months), you can get blown away pretty quickly. I try to keep up but this will usually involve a visit to an internet cafe to get this stuff.
That may seem OK but the majority of internet cafes here proudly advertise “fast broadband” when they only have 128kbps connections. Some have 256kbps. If you get in early, you can get most of that bandwidth to yourself and do your stuff. But heaven help you if a large group of other users file in.
I recall one time I went into a “cafe” (no coffee in sight) to do my updates and my humble task ground the bandwidth right down such that the owner came out to find out who was downloading music or images. “Not me”, I said. I killed the task, did a bit of harmless surfing and finished the job off at another “cafe”.
On another occasion, I thought it wise to ask the manager if I could do my updates and I was told “no, try somewhere else”. Honest but obviously a strategic mistake.
I have been reading about Google’s new online applications (calendar, word processing, spreadsheet etc.) and just how useful they are. And the pressure this is putting on Microsoft. On the one hand, you never have to worry about updates again but on the other, you may never have enough bandwidth to make the experience worth it here. And Youtube ? What’s that ?
Its just too expensive here and the real broadband world is just a dream. The 15 year monopoly by Timor Telecom is just not doing it for me.