FRII Break Room

Informal tech chatter from the geeks of Northern Colorado’s largest commercially available data center

What is Fiber?

What is “fiber” Really?

Fiber Optic Cable

In a world of ever expanding technologies, many new hype or jargon words can be thrown around that don’t necessarily come with an easy or readily available explanation. One of those words that you might have heard lately with regards to technology is fiber. While we all know and have used the word fiber when talking about clothing or dietary supplements, do we know what fiber stands for when speaking about technology? Continue reading

What is the Cloud?

What is “the cloud” Really?

Cloud

We have all seen the TV commercials boasting about the speed and reliability of the cloud, but what s it really? Essentially, the cloud is nothing more than an abstract idea for hosting files on the Internet. Put another way, it is the idea of accessing something on the Internet rather than a physical object. A good example of this is file sharing programs like Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud. Instead of physically moving files over like you would do with a flash drive you can have the same effect but over the Internet. Think of it as a digital locker where you can put your photos and emails and via them from any computer with an Internet connection.

Read on to learn what is the cloud?

People still use dial-up?

close-up image of rotary phone

Although called dial-up, a dial up connection is actually calls out through your computer, not a rotary phone.

When FRII started in 1995, all of our customers were dial-up users. There was no broadband. And we still have many customers on dial-up [1].

Inspired by Verizon’s acquisition of AOL, CNET recently questioned why anyone would still be on dial-up. The answer isn’t that difficult.
So, why do people still use dial-up?

Mysterious email settings: IMAP and POP

A chalkboard is covered with advanced mathematical equations. A man stands facing it, back to us, scratching his head in confusion.

Setting up your e-mail shouldn’t be this hard.

Are you excited about the new laptop you bought? Playing with your new tablet? Well it’s all fun and games until someone gets POP-ed. That’s right: we’re going to talk about POP and IMAP.

Don’t be ashamed that you have no idea what that means; for most of my life I have closed my eyes and selected my email settings randomly and hoped for the best.

Read on. No advanced degree required.

Why is my Internet so slow?

highway sign for merging trafficBandwidth. The data world’s equivalent to Black Gold. With life migrating to the digital world more and more everyday, everyone is fighting to get their worth of this prized resource. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) promise faster and faster speeds to residential and business users and faster dedicated speeds to enterprise-class users. But are they actually providing these speeds or are they fudging the numbers to build a customer base?

Read on to find out.

The Internet, then and now

A screen shot of Primenet, an early Internet Service Provider, offers Gopher, Telnet, and WWW, along with e-mail, files, and Unix shells. Image shows user connected at 2400 boud.

ISPs often offered Gopher and Telnet, in addition to www, in the early days of the Internet.
(c) Tim Patterson, via flickr; CC BY-SA2.0

To me, in 1995 the Internet was not a thing; I had no idea it existed! I was 12 at the time and was more concerned with riding bikes and just being a kid. So when I was asked to write a blog on what the Internet looked like in 1995, I wasn’t sure I knew what to talk about. I did some research and I found that the Internet in 1995 was . . . how do I put this nicely? . . . for super nerds.
Continue reading