Saturday, January 19, 2002

Relief for idle hands

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Modem users, have you ever found yourselves downloading something you didn't really need just to keep your connection alive? Unfortunately this is a scenario more common than you'd expect for those of us still lumbered with a dial-up internet account who wish to evade those infuriating enforced idle disconnections. For example, you'll be surfing the net when an email arrives in your inbox. If this is a particularly long email and you decide to reply to it there and then, it may take you ten minutes or more. In between the time it takes you to type and send your message it's very likely that you will have been booted offline by your ISP in order to free up an extra connection for another subscriber. There are a million and one other reasons you might want to leave your PC for ten minutes or so to take care of something which simply cannot wait, and it's no fun having to reconnect to the internet each time you return to your PC, especially if you are regularly confronted with busy tones.

And they expect us to put up with this sort of treatment? Ha, not likely! No, what we need is a program which can be set to connect to various web sites at specified intervals to make it look like we're making use of our connection and hence avoid being dropped like a hot potato. It could even sit unobtrusively in your task tray, blinking and flashing to indicate its current activity status. Eureka, I think we've got something here! Let's call it... oh I don't know, say Stay Connected.

Maybe you'd prefer a minimalist, 18kb, free alternative? If so Connection Monitor is the task tray gadget for you.

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