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5 Things to do While Waiting for your Dial-up Internet

Updated on March 24, 2014

Ever Have that Sloooooooow Connection Feeling?

Okay, some of us don't have the ultra-fast internet connections. In fact some of us don't even have kinda fast internet connections. I figure my connection is about as slow as you can get and still be able to do (some) things on the internet. On a good day, my connection is 21.4 kps. Yes, that's K. On a bad day I get 14.4. If I'm getting 31.2 K, I do a little happy dance, eliciting some odd looks from my children.

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So, what can you do to fill the painful waiting time? Most of us with slow connections know that the "watched pot" syndrome exists here too. The more you look, the slower it goes. And yet we can't just walk away and do something. We have to be ready to hit the refresh button at any time to start the whole process over again, when our computer claims to be unable to access the site that we're looking for.

Here are 5 things that we can do to turn this unwelcome downtime into something valuable.

And one note, though most of us with slow connections know this, though we don't always remember. Always copy your work before posting anywhere. (I hope this bit sounded as good as it did my first time round.)

I must admit, that since I wrote this lens, I have graduated from the excruciating dial-up experience. But I still have my account, should I get nostalgic.

Read a Book

This is what I usually do. There is always at least one, sometimes several, books on the go beside my computer. This is a great time to pick up that classic that you've always been meaning to read, but just never had the time.

Perhaps you could spend the time reading a book to your toddler. That way, not only does she get the time you usually spend with her, but she also gets some of your computer time as well. More time is always better.

If you get ambitious, perhaps you could even learn French or Greek with that language book that your wife got you as a joke and you stuck up on the bookshelf.

Me, I just read some good ol' Science Fiction. Or maybe a Harlequin. Nothing with culture and nothing scholarly for me. Though I admit, I have read my share of "Green Eggs and Ham" while sitting here, waiting for my slow internet connection to do...something...

Here are a few of the books that I've read while waiting lately.

The Eleventh Plague
The Eleventh Plague

A boy and his father travel across an America changed by plague and war.

The Children of Men
The Children of Men

What happens to society when no more children are born?

The Christmas Note
The Christmas Note

A wonderful tale of friendship and ways to find joy in hard times.

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables

The classic story of a girl growing into a woman in PEI.


Clean Your Desk

If your desk is anything like mine there's a few things that could be straightened up on it. Organize all the CD ROMS. File some of your paperwork. Go through all those papers that the kids bring home from school. Surely there's something in them that they won't miss. You could even dust some of those knicknacks. Mine usually get close to an inch of dust on them before I get around to cleaning them off.

Prepare Food

Perhaps food and computers aren't always the best combination, but you can save some time by using your internet waiting time to prepare food. I often stem strawberries or snap beans that I'm going to put into the freezer while I'm sitting in front of my apparently idle computer. Set up a TV tray and chop the vegetables for your salad. Shell some peas. Knead your bread... well, maybe not. But you could slice up your freshly baked bread.

The possibilities are almost endless if you're willing to move a little bit of your meal preparation into the computer room with you.

Sort Something

Is your tackle box biting you every time you open it.? Are your buttons busting out of their containers? Perhaps your hockey cards need to be re-organized? Your Pogs have no more space in their jar? Well, now (while you're waiting for the rest of this page to load up) is the perfect time to deal with these little projects that there never seems to be time for. Pull out that disorganized binder of Pokemon cards and get to work!

Write a Story

My last suggestion doesn't need anything but your computer. While you're waiting, pull up your word processor and begin to write. Fiction, non fiction, your auto-biography, your auto-biography the way you wish it was. It doesn't matter what, just start writing something. This is a great time to get your blog posts finished as well. Just type them into a word processor, though be sure to check that the formatting comes out the same to save on frustrations.

If you need a suggestion for a story, how about...Zombies? Be sure to let me know when your zombie story is finished and posted online. I'll add it to my list.

What do you do while you're waiting for your dial-up internet? Please share with us, if you're able to that is. If can't, fear not for I understand completely.

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    • mcspocky lm profile image

      mcspocky lm 4 years ago

      My first modem was 2400 baud. I remember trying to load a weather map from compuserve and watching the graphic fill in, in slow motion. (1994) To understand baud as compared to bps you can read here.

    • MelanieKaren profile image

      Melanie Wilcox 4 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      nice lens - good ideas and creative

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      Had very bad experience with dial up net connection earlier. Happy it's gone now in cities.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      I lived in a rural area (read: the Boonies) until recently, where dialup was literally our only option. I do miss the smells, sights, and silence of the countryside, but boy, do I love city-folk Internet connection speeds!

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      I am thankful everyday that I no longer have dial up. It was one of the more painful experiences. It also interfered with my burglar alarm phone notification system. We had a grand time figuring that one out.

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 5 years ago

      I remember dial up and I spent a lot of time with #2, (Tidying My Desk) back in those days... Nice lens,

    • Snowsprite profile image

      Fay 5 years ago from Cornwall, UK

      Ye Gods! Dial up. I didn't think anyone had to suffer that any more. Waiting for normal computer start up to getting on-line is bad enough. I usually switch on, feed the cat make some tea and by then it is ready (if nor raring) to go. Interesting top 5 lens.

    • Missy Zane profile image

      Missy Zane 5 years ago

      I used to clean my desk or brush any cat who happened to be nearby. Great lens. I really enjoyed it.

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Fortunately, I don't have dial-up, but I remember how painful it was!

    • Shanna Redwind profile image

      Shanna Redwind 5 years ago

      @IMKZRNU2: Yep, I do that when I'm in town. At least I get a 1/2 hour of speed then.

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      You brought back so many memories of dial-up...thankfully those days are by the wayside for me now....but something I used to do when it was super slow and really frustrating me was to go to the library and use their high speed connection!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 5 years ago

      Cute ideas for a boring time!