posted on Jan, 8 2007 @ 01:29 PM
Just to pick at nits, you say his PC is slow, and then move on to say it's slow loading web pages...
How does the computer perform elsewhere? I mean, at 3 years, I'm sure he's not playing the latest high-end video games on it (unless he has
upgraded it, in which case he wouldn't be complaining about needing more memory.) But does it take forever to start when you boot it up? Starting
up IE with no home page take a long time? Starting up anything taking a long time? If that's the case, get more memory; DSL won't make the
PC itself any faster. Memory is pretty cheap most of the time too. Also, big difference in memory (RAM) vs. hard drive space.
56K is comparatively slow nowdays, so he probably should upgrade anyways. A lot of sites now don't care about the low-end of the totem pole, and
they fill up their pages with tons of images, useless scripts that make the pages bigger, references to other sites, etc. But, it may seem like it's
moving slower than it should if he's low on RAM--it may take a few seconds to download the images, etc. from the web, but loading those images into
an already-full RAM will take an eternity.
All the memory in the world won't help a slow internet connection though. Something else you may want to consider is whether the phone line has too
much noise on it--static. I had issues with that when I had dial up; called the phone company, they came out and did their thing, and it worked great
for a while. Well, as great as 56K can...
As Mechanic 32 says, a 56K modem rarely works at 56K--at least, I've never seen one do it. I think the best I ever got out of one was around 40K.
Also, looking at download speeds in the IE download window can be confusing. It'll say something lik 5K p/ sec. 56K modems transfer ~56,000
bits per second; 5K p/ sec download speed is ~5,000 bytes. At least, that's what I remember hearing someone tell me once upon a time.
There's a fair difference between a bit and a byte also--I think a byte is 8 bits. Maybe 4. Been a while since Comp Sci. 101...
Hope there was something useful in this little ramble...