Wednesday, 10 January 2007

And another one bites the dust ...

BritishLibrary.Net, an initiative started by the British Library back in 1999 to provide a self financing dialup service for scholars and anyone else who wanted an account is closing at the end of March.

The service started in the 'free' dialup service boom in the UK with the intention of providing a free basic service for scholars who wanted a service and by implication an email address with a bit of class. In reality it was a virtual ISP reselling easynet services but logo'd by the BL.

My involvement came through York University. When we closed our dialup service, we needed to be able to offer an alternative. We settled on BritishLibrary.Net because it was free and reliable and (a) they would give us cd's to redistribute, and (b) the had good information to allow Mac users, Linux users and Windows users who wanted to set them selves up without the CD.

Well that was then, this is now. Boradband has basically killed dialup and they're not making the revenue to cover costs, so they're closing. Simple as that.

Being ethical I mailed former coleagues at York about the closure - I don't know what they've been doing about recommending dialup providers since I left, or even if they do, but I thought I'd better let them know in case they're still handing out instructions, or worse still got the information in a collection of online guides somewhere.

Other than that, not much. Used wget some months ago to get back my web pages, and I havn't used my email account with them for years and it gets almost no traffic, suggesting that it's dropped out of everything including the spammers. The only thought I have is thet the 'use down a wet hole' powerbook I got rid of last Sunday probably has the BL dialup settings and email settings still set on it. Not much of a hazard, don't see anyone using the UK dialup settings from Australia, and well, the email, there's nothing there. The machine is too old to become a spam bot so not a problem.

Anyway I don't see anyone picking up my old powerbook - too old and I bet it ends up in landfill ...

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