I bought a computer system for 100 euros, so we now have high-speed Internet at home. There is however, one catch: we have a download limit of 250MB per month. That's like downloading 50 MP3s, something easily accomplished in under 30 minutes.
We are surfing under constraint, with images and flash disabled. All downloads are precious, although I splurged by installing the latest critical updates for Windows, along with some anti-virus and spyware tools. Shannon also called home using SkypeOut, (an ace service indeed).
Back in my BSS days (early 90s) I was lucky to download 200MB a year, and my hard-drive could only store 140MBs. How quickly things change. Then, I could download at a rate of 1MB/hour, and I only used the Internet as a gateway to dialouts for calling foreign BBSs. Today, the Internet serves as my external memory, and my personal research assistant; it is my link to the noosphere, a source for inspiration and wonder, and a satisfying waste of time.
For example, the other day I wanted some information on typography:
Tomorrow is Koninginnedag, the 'orange' festival honouring Her Majesty, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. It is also the one day where 'free trade' is allowed amongst the citizens of Holland, and the entire city becomes a rummage sale. There will be DJs and bands blasting tunes around town, (legal) drinking on the street, and crowds that could make even a Londoner feel claustrophobic. Or so I am told.