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Anyone remember T1? Adobe helps us remember

No, it has nothing to do with Arnie and the search for John Conner. Back in the day, T1 lines were the stuff of legend, with so much bandwidth that you’d be running an enterprise and a half on the throughput. But how does it stack up today? KitGuru downloads Adobe’s DNG Converter 7.2 and experiences a little historical whimsy.

Four hours and thirty seven minutes.

That’s almost long enough to fly to Dubai.

It’s enough to watch 4.5 complete football matches.

In the good old days, that was how long it would take to download Adobe’s DNG Converter on a 56k fax/modem.

All good fun and we love to reminisce, but that wasn’t the figure that caught KitGuru’s eye this morning during an update to one of our systems. It was the estimated time that would be needed to transfer the 101MB file using a T1 line.

In the late 1950s, AT&T developed the T1 system to carry lots of calls over long distances. The devices required for this began to arrive in the 1960s and, in its final iteration, the system was updated and improved to the point where it could carry almost 100 voice conversations at the same time (1970s). With standards of the day, the data flow was round the 6Mb/sec mark.

If you’re in a big city, then you have every chance of getting 4x that speed on a modern broadband connection – higher if you’re prepared to pay a little more.

Services like Infinity can deliver 4x the old T1 speeds

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While we’re now able to enjoy 4x T1 speeds in the home at sensible money, you have to wonder what the future will look like.  Today’s T4 lines move data around the planet at somewhere close to 256Mbps. surely it’s only a matter of time before that will be the standard offer from service providers. You can see the adverts now, “For regular users, we still maintain a traditional 24Mbps download option, but for serious users and professionals, why not opt for our latest bi-directional 256Mbps offer”.

There was a time when downloads that measured themselves in MB would require a late night trip to one of the 'Easy Cafe' stores in central London, just to download it fast and burn it to a CD (remember those?)

KitGuru Says: It’s quite incredible the way that we’ve exchanged Kb for Mb and GB for TB, but the really amazing stuff has yet to happen. Terabytes will be rebranded with the Peta prefix, you’ll carry a TB on a £20 stick and download speeds will become almost instantaneous for small files like films. You can now get a good gigabit ethernet switch for about £15 and there’s much more to come. On a side note, we’re still not sure why Adobe (a) quotes download speeds for carrier systems that no longer exist in its target markets and (b) insists on installing every camera option on the planet – instead of just asking you what you own.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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