What a 64 Kbps internet connection teaches you.

Image credits: LifeHacker

A Few hours ago I used up all the data in my SLT data package for the month of May. The “generous” people at SLT guarantees that once this catastrophe happens, the maximum bandwidth you’ll get for any non-SLT site would be 64 Kbps. However, there is this option to buy “Extra GB” at a rate of LKR 250 for 1 GB of data, but in my point of view SLT is trying to rack up some quick cash from some desperate souls. So, instead of giving up for the ‘Extra GB’ I went with the old yet faithful 64 Kbps connection; here’s how it went.

1. You immediately start asking smart questions

As a CS undergrad almost all of my questions are more or less related to tech, but when you know that you aren’t getting your questions answered in a fraction of a second your brain starts to dig more and more into specifics. Instead of immediately googling whatever the error I get in its raw form, the slow connection forced me look into the error and figure out what it really means. After a while, whenever an error pops up I started looking for every potential place where it could have gone wrong and this helped me to formulate a more specific question; to be googled of course.

TL: DR- I can’t afford to google a dumb question and get a crappy answer so, getting what to search exactly is very important.

2. Stack Overflow becomes your best friend more than ever.

I think we all can agree that StackOverFlow is the savior of almost all the developers. With a normal internet connection stackoverflow.com loads up in milliseconds and we never appreciate how the developers of SO made the pages so lightweight. This noble gesture ensures that even the slowest connections of all (like what I have right now) will be able to access the site without much of a fuzz. They have very few images embedded in the pages and almost 95% of the content is in plain text, no fancy CSS or imagery whatsoever.

As I mentioned before the slow connection bars me from visiting those fancy sites riddled with ads and useless garbage, instead I’m stuck with SO for better or for worse thus I began to use the entire feature set in SO. Tags, flags and ‘Marked as duplicates’ instantly becomes your best friends to find out the answers for your burning questions.

3. Google search queries became more strict and techy.

Google is a powerful ally for anyone who surfs the internet, and the search queries can be made complex, strict and specific to suit your needs. This is something that I (and most people) don’t usually use but, as I mentioned before “desperate times calls for desperate measures”. The queries became increasingly appended with various arguments to get the best answer first. Some of them are as below,

  • site:stackoverflow.com mongodb not working in a server over a VPN nodejs
  • android drop all the activities in the stack -developer.android

Checkout this blog post to learn some of these hidden features in Google.

4. No ads please.

Yeah, ads are just utter nonsense and people just ignore them all the time. There is a phenomenon called “Banner blindness” which makes visitors to a website consciously or subconsciously ignore banner-like information. Since I’m just going to ignore all the ads, why the hell am I letting it load in the first place? So, time to cut all these pesky ads for good. Enter AdBlock; an extension for chrome (and for Firefox as well) which removes “some” of the ads. Now, “some” isn’t good enough when you are running on a 64 Kbps connection! Simply put, I can’t afford to load any images at all, next thing I did was to edit the filters to load no images (*.jpg,*.gif,*.png…etc.) and Voila! I saved some of that precious bandwidth.

That’s all for now folks, and I believe that some of these tricks might come in handy if you are also a victim of “premature data package expiration”. Put your thoughts down below and if you liked the article care to give a ❤ please?

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