Dialup woes & webpage load times

December 10th, 2007

As said in the previous post, my broadband connection is still down :(. If you happen to know anyone in BSNL who can get things done, please let me know.

Now for the interesting part. Over the past 3 years or so, i.e. every since broadband internet became common place, I was taking internet for granted :). We are connected forever ūüėÄ and there are now tons of ways to communicate. So, with the broadband down, I tried the long forgotten dialup route.

Gmail¬†has¬†been¬†one¬†of¬†my¬†favourite¬†email¬†services.¬†They¬†made¬†some¬†new¬†UI¬†changes¬†and¬†the new UI email can be accessed at http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2. This UI doesn’t load at all. It takes more than 7 minutes on a 40 kbps dialup. This is atrocious. Heck, even the old UI takes more than a minute and¬†a half to load. You can ofcourse tell me about the plain HTML interface. But its barely usable and it sucks.

Yahoo¬†mail¬†is¬†even¬†worse.¬†The¬†new¬†beta¬†UI¬†takes¬†about¬†5¬†minutes.¬†To¬†create¬†a¬†new¬†email,¬†I clicked on the “new” button on the left side. Immediately, a small dialog box appeared saying, “Looks like the interface is taking time to load. You may want to try the mail classic until then.” Even, the damn classic interface is very slow. With ajax also disabled on that, you never even¬†get any new mail notifications. Email experience has been the worse since the last 3 days.

Then¬†rediffmail¬†came¬†along¬†:D.¬†Loading¬†of¬†interfaces¬†took¬†a¬†bright¬†turn.¬†The¬†new¬†ajax¬†based¬†interface¬†loads in less than 30 seconds. Rediffmail classic loads in about 10 seconds, which is pretty cool. Imagine people sitting in remote villages. They don’t have access to broadband. Mail experience for them also will be awesome :D. Out of a many small things, I do miss the keyboard shortcuts in rediffmail.

¬†I was experimenting with the PayPal¬†Instant¬†Payment¬†Notification¬†service (new post on the tech blog coming soon) since yesterday. All the pages are secure and each pages takes an average of 3 to 5 minutes to load. You wouldn’t believe me if I said that,¬†I had brushed my teeth in that gap of page loads and even had bath when waiting for a manual to load :).

Hmmm…¬†is¬†there¬†a¬†way¬†to¬†detect¬†the¬†connection¬†speed¬†of¬†the¬†client during a web page request?¬†If so, we can build better UIs for the even the worse affected.

Update: After a lot of shouting & fighting, my broadband problem got resolved.

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