As an user blessed with broadband, it’s sometimes easy to forget just how slow, annoying and downright rubbish dial-up modem internet access really is. I kind of have a problem with computers doing anything slowly (that HDD grinding caused by not enough RAM is pretty maddening....) but web pages loading slowly is kind of a personal peeve.

Furthermore, why is it always the important web pages that take ages to load? Why can IE or whatever not slow to a crawl when its chewing something insignificant, rather than when I am trying to check my bank balance or answer an important e-mail? It’s like the internet knows....

Anyway, for those of you in the unenviable position of having to endure dial-up 56K land, help is at hand!

"Data compression specialist QuikCAT Technologies has launched a service it claims is capable of accelerating email and web page access by up to 14 times.

The software, Miliki Dialup Accelerator, uses the company's patented content sensitive compression technology to reduce the amount of data passing down the connection. The upshot is an apparent increase in data throughput.

Not everything compresses by the same amount - the company only claims a six per cent increase on web pages, for instance, presumably because what takes up the space on a typical web page are the graphics and they tend to be compressed JPEG or GIF files anyway. "

More here.