Oh, yeah, I remember dial up - not that long ago! We went DSL about (??) 10 years ago - my daughter set it up and it worked great .... for a week or so. Then I had to re-initialize. Turned out she had set up the access for a fixed address (i.e. for a cable modem) but DSL needs a dynamic address. Fixed that and we were off and running. Have a small network going - DSL modem, router with two wired ethernet connections to our 2 desktop PCs and a wireless port (which connects to the smart TV (works great, by the way), the XBOX, our Kindle Fire, the Kindle eReader and whoever else wants to use when visiting). Our DSL rate is one notch above the minium at 6 Mbps and it is quite adequate for streaming movies, etc through the smart TV (via Netflix or Amazon Prime). Fast enough.
Given the limited bandwidth of a standard telco local loop and its noise and time-varying properties--it's amazing that DSL works at all, let alone at the speeds it can achieve. My kudos to those enigneers who had the insught to say "this sounds crazy, but it might work" and to those who have made it work so well, given the situation. Totally unappreciated by folks out there, of course, the way most of these enigneering achievements are unappreciated.
That's quite an assumption and shows your age :) . I had a 300 baud modem in 1979 or 1980 and used that to access the DEC VAX 11/780 at work. I continued to use it to access the Well in the mid-1980s and eventually upgraded to a 1200, then 2400 baud modem.
Supporting parents/grandparents in their use of technology can be a struggle! I gave my father a Mac II in the early 1990s; one time he sent me a letter (through snail-mail) with a hand-drawn image of the screen: a dialog box with a bomb and some text in it. "Mike, what does this mean?" It means I don't want to be in the tech support business, dad! <sigh> well over 20 years later I still am, but now my teenage kids are tasked with it!
A wall phone is no problem. I had DSL for years (gave it up only because AT&T wouldn't give me a new modem to replace my old, flakey one). I had 2 wall phones. Went to RadioShack and bought 2 wall phone DSL filters. It hangs on the wall plate and has it'sd own posts for hanging the wall phone. Neat, clean, not unattractive.
@SteveP67 thanks for the tip on the wall phone filter. I may need it for the next task, getting Grandpa's friend to give up her AOL dailup and go DSL. She will never put up with a hanging filter in her kitchen.
@Robert I agree with you about the DSL speed. I have one grade up from Grandpa, 3Mbps and we can have a PC and an iPad streaming video and another stream on a third PC or phone streaming audio.
I live close enough to a Verizon central office that my line can support 7Mbps for another $20 a month. I don't need it but it's nice to know I can upgrade without having to switch to the evil Comcast.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...