Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

How things have moved on

Normally this is the sort of short musing I’d reserve for Twitter, but I’ll treat blog readers to it too.

Anyhow, Firefox, a minor security and bug fix release, is out, and so I’ve updated my Windows copy of Firefox – as I run Windows Vista in a somewhat seldom-used virtual machine I was still running, so the updater downloaded the full 9.2 MB patch rather than the smaller 1.5 MB patch if I’d had

What struck me was that the 9.2 MB file downloaded in about 10 seconds, although this is to be expected for a 10 Mbps broadband connection. The thing is, I remember about 8 years ago, when I was still using dial-up, and how long files would have taken to download. That 9.2 MB file would have probably taken the best part of 45 minutes on dial-up – more if the connection was being used for anything else at the same time.

Sometimes, it’s worth taking a step back, and looking at how far we’ve come with technology. I still find BBC iPlayer genuinely amazing, for example.


  1. You appreciate the speed even more if you are occasionally forced to go back to slow unreliable connections. Last week I had a 512k connection with terrible packet loss and so today I’ve quite often thought “no, that can’t have finished downloading already!”

  2. At least you can actually use the BBC’s iPlayer where you are. Us expats here in the US are out of luck.
    Well, except for when we’re not. Thanks Foxyproxy 😉