Precision and craftsmanship since 1977

Oh, so slow!

Is it just me, or have all my computers, and particularly all their internet connections, started going slower and slower and slower?

Recently, everything seems to be going at a snail’s pace.

I don’t know if it’s truly a function of getting old, but everything I do on my PCs and Macs seems to take so much longer, as I get older.

Or maybe it’s a result of my brain working faster and faster as I get closer to burning it out – and the rest of the world just doesn’t seem to be keeping up.

Then, the cynic in me wonders if there is any connection between Apple’s recent releases of OSX 10.9 Mavericks and of iOS 7.03 and the fact that my Macs, iPads and iPhones, running earlier versions of operating systems, now seem to take forever to do the simplest of tasks.

Whatever, the “need for speed” is rising higher and higher on my personal wish-list.

So much so that I have taken some recent, active steps to (slightly) improve my frustration.

  • I have given up waiting for the NBN to be available at any of the places I work – the factory, the office, my studio, my home, Lord Howe Island… so I have decided to take the first step myself, by upgrading our factory connection from bonded-ADSL to symmetric ethernet broadband. With luck we will achieve speeds of 20Mb/s downstream and upstream – more than 10x faster than the average we have experienced and more than twice what we have at the best of times. The most significant benefit will be for customers uploading and downloading files from our servers. File transfers will now fly! And staff connections over our WAN will be almost instantaneous.
  • my home connections will be upgraded to ultra-fast cable plans – at least 20mb/s connections
  • all my mobile phones and tablets will be upgraded to versions that will allow 4G data connections
  • and, as soon as they become available, I will upgrade my workstations to the next-generation Macs and PCs.

All of this sounds exciting and I am looking forward to the next small step into the 21st century.

But the gloomy thought on my mind is that in 12 months time, it will probably all happen again – I will be complaining that my internet connection is simply not adequate, and that it takes forever to simply rotate that 15Gb client Photoshop file stored on my cloud server.

I read last month that the maximum capacity of electronic data storage devices has doubled every 3 years for the last 20 years and is likely to continue to do so for many decades to come.

Likewise, the speed of data transfer between electronic devices is more than doubling every year. And the average person’s pipeline to the world-wide-web is getting wider at much the same rate.In contrast, the speed at which we interact with our electronic devices has a practical limit defined by the interfaces between our brains and the outside world – our human sensory devices, particularly our eyes and ears and hands.

Until such time as we have direct connections between our brains and our PCs, I guess I will have to put up with getting more and more frustrated with the “oh so slow” speed at which my brand new Mac seems to run, even when I have updated to the latest and greatest.


Is this the graphic designer of the future?


Perhaps, like me, you need to keep reassuring yourself that your internet connection IS actually running at the speed your ISP advertises?

Then try this simple connection meter, courtesy of Ookla:

The full-blown Ookla Speed-Test can be found here.


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