Re: Alan says I gotta tell you!

Claire Owen wrote:

Looks terrific and the pages load much faster than they used to for me. I am still on dial up having installed broad band last week to have it work at half the speed of my old dial up!! The wonders of modern technology are slow here in the country I guess.

Some of the speed benefit will be down to the lack of picures on the index pages. Text loads a lot faster than pictures. I have tidied up the html page code a bit, and added a Table of Contents for quick reference - there is a link at the bottom of each page to get back to it.

I don't know how it works in France, but in the UK the telco, the phone company, is responsible for the wiring up to the master socket, the first phone point in the house. The in-house wiring is up to the homeowner, and may have been installed when the house was built, added to by previous occupants, or all be DIY.

In my case it was all DIY, done with the four-wire and six-wire BT signal cable of the time (25 years ago)(by me :-) ). This cable is *no good* for broadband, and I have resorted to connecting one of those little splitters to the master socket, so that the house wiring only gets telephone signals and the broadband router is fed from the splitter. All this is pending my rewiring the house telephones with twisted-pair cabling, which will support broadband.

If your house wiring is not to modern twisted-pair standard, it could affect the reliability of the broadband signal. This should be may noticable as the broadband light on your modem flickering even when there is no computer activity. If you are a long way from your exchange the signal may be pretty degraded already and any slight fault will be critical. Your modem may be falling back to a slower connection speed because it can't get a reliable connection.

Digression: dialup modems work at the same frequencies as the human voice and can connect using almost any voice telephone wiring. Voice frequency transmission doesn't require much in the way of special cabling, just good connections - a piece of wet string can be made to work.

Broadband uses higher frequencies which do require some sophisitication in the transmission line. Twisted pair is a transmission line that uses pairs of wires to carry each signal. By twisting each pair together it becomes much better at rejecting noise and can carry higher frequencies for further (there are lots of complicated electromagnetical reasons for this). One of the deciding factors about whether you can get broadband at your home is how good the cabling is between you and the exchange - if it's old-fashioned straight wires you're usually out of luck.

Um,  I do go on a bit.  Hope that was some use.