Search This Blog

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Competition: What would you do with time on your hands?

Ok then, let's have some real world experimentation for this first competition sponsored by Geo .....

This blog post can be read at

The increasingly boring arguments about why on earth you would need more bandwidth than is available (to some) right now got me thinking. If I could download/upload the large files I need to for work (let alone the ones my kids would like to be able to for entertainment) far faster than today, what would I do with the time that could free up? After all, driving 60 miles to deliver a CD with a few fat files on is getting rather tedious, as well as expensive in fuel at £1.45 a litre.

So, I thought I'd try downloading a gig of data and see how long it actually took. The process is still ongoing as I write this.... Then, I wondered how long it took other people to do, which is where you all come in!

The link below is to a 1 GB file for you to download, and I'm asking that you time that download and post how long it took you. Bear in mind that 1GB of data is not actually a great deal when you consider that most memory cards and dongles are far bigger than that nowadays. I have never bothered trying to download a movie as it is too tedious a process currently (and don't tell me to do it overnight as that's when I work, as you all know), but at a guess this is approximately what a film is.

Here's a stopwatch for you to time it so post your long did it take you?

Obviously, the purists would say that you shouldn't do anything else whilst trying to download it to give a proper indication of how long it takes to download a gig, but that's not how the real world or most people's computer use functions, is it? Oh, and if you go over your download limit for the month, don't blame me!

Now, I have some prizes here for the best answer in the first of two competitions we are running, very kindly sponsored by Geo.

The quiz question is this: if you had a faster connection eg 1Gbps so this file would take a remarkably short time to download, what would you do with the time freed up by having a mega connection?

The best answer will win some ace Geo goodies, including the Geo Rubik Cube which I am now very fond of and don't even vaguely want to part with! Get downloading and thinking up your answer.



Cybersavvy UK said...

UPDATE: Third attempt at downloading the file here. It just keeps stalling.....this is why I don't bother trying to download movies.

Very interesting letter to Ed Vaizey published tonight after he was on Twitter for some time talking about copyright, content, innovation and the newzbin story.

Open letter to Ed Vaizey by Mark Goodge

James Saunby said...

19 minutes, 43 seconds.

What would I do with that time - know that multi-tasking really was pointless again?

PhilT said...

50 minutes. While doing other things.

If I had a gigabit connection I would have to go out to work flipping burgers in the time saved in order to pay the £350 per month that Chattanooga suggests I would be charged for said Gigabit connection.

chris said...

Our community network has a 2megabit feed, shared by 20 families and businesses. If I hogged it downloading a gig file it would impact on all of them, so there is no way I can enter your competition.
If I could download it in a few seconds it would save me going to the town to collect it, around 30 mile round trip, 2 hours inc parking up. Or I could use the link we just put in to the village network and give it a try, but if I did that it would impact on the village users. hmm. difficult one. If I asked my neighbours on satellite it would cost them £15 for a gig of data transfer on top of their £40 a month rental.
I may just wait until the wee small hours when nobody is up and try it on our community network. I would love to win that cube off you.

Cybersavvy UK said...

@PhilT if it took you 50 minutes then in a Hong Kong cybercafe this would cost you a couple of quid. Max. Just assume that you have a gig and it's affordable and tell me then what you would do with your time....

Igor said...

1 hour, 5 minutes, 23 seconds

If I would have a Gigabit connection I would stop spending time on selling my house for moving into some area covered by better Internet access :-)

PhilT said...

Can my hard disk keep up with a gig ? 1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 8.38897 s, 128 MB/s

yes, exactly 1 Gbit/s as it happens.

30 hours of flying time and a few hundred quid to use a HK cybercafe :-)

The question is a bit moot because I virtually never sit waiting for anything to download, so I would do what I would have been doing anyway while it downloaded in the background ?

PhilT said...

In the interests of science I'm downloading it now at a rate limited to 100 kbytes/s which is what a 1M ADSL connection will do easily (120k usually achievable). ETA 2h45, started at noon.

PhilT said...

The 1M experiment :-

100%[====================================>] 1,014,644,736 101K/s in 3h 10m

2011-07-29 15:11:23 (86.5 KB/s)

Adrian said...

I love this!

Just before Christmas I visited the City Fibre Holdings Bournemouth show house where they demonstrate a 1Gbps connection downloading a blue-ray movie in about 6 seconds.

It gets you thinking about why that's useful - and you start to see the possibilities. For a start it totally turns the linear v non-linear TV debate on its head - downloading a bespoke stream of true HD programming in the time it takes to broadcast an advert. (I must write up my presentation on that).

We treat broadband to Adam Smith's economics where supply follows demand which works well for staple items like in his pin factory but not for innovation. We need to hear more of Saye, the French economist that says that demand follows intelligent supply.

chris said...

9 minutes to download on the village community network. not tried it on the wennet one yet, can only do that in the middle of the night and never wake up to doit...