NEW SHIRT!!! There are a lot of misconceptions about THE PENTAPPLEGRAM. Did you know ancient druids used it to ward off kernel panics as well as for human sacrifice?

Pentapplegram Shirt - Apple Logo Pentagram T-Shirt, Funny Apple Parody, Mac iMac macbook steve jobs ipad iPhone

Josh has his new “The New iPad” for mere moments before he discovered that it was capable of wireless upload speeds faster than the download speed of his fiber optic home internet. That shit is, in a word, bananas. Of course super fast, go-anywhere data doesn’t matter much when a couple of hours of video streaming eats all of your allotted bandwidth for the entire month. I’ll never get used to the constant “two steps forward, three steps back” mentality of the big telco companies. Everything is always unlimited and nearly free until it A) gets good and B) a lot of people start using it.

Of course I see the correlation between higher quality service and more users to need for more infrastructure, employees, etc, but early adopters like me get to sick back and watch our bills go up as our services get whittled away. Remember when long distance phone service used to be a thing? At least that was an antiquated telecommunication concept we were able to move past and stay past. Now nearly every service provider for any kind of data (wired, wireless or otherwise) is reverting to the ancient AOL days of metered bandwidth, and it’s bastard offspring – throttling. In a few years, we aren’t going to have wired anything (and that includes Satellite TV). We’re going to have a home broadband antenna that brings in our TV, Internet and mobile data through one fat wireless pipe. And a few years after that we aren’t going to have an Internet, or cable or phone lines. It’s just going to be The Network. It’s all just data. At least that’s what NEEDS to happen. At the rate the telecoms are backpedaling, we’re going to be asking our moms if they can get off the fax line so we can dial up our iPhones to log into Prodigy. We promise it’s for school and we aren’t looking at any bad BBS’s or anything.

Obviously this comic was envisioned at the same time as the Pentapplegram shirt. They were intended to be companions, released on the same day. As soon as I finished, and launched the shirt I had the idea for the “Where’s Carl?!”  comic and shirt and this one had to take a back seat for a few days. Just clearing that up in case the time line confused anyone. No? No one? No one would ever care about that? Just me? Cool.

COMMENTERS: What’s the pre-info age service that you used to not be able to live without that you barely even remember now? Did you have a prepaid long distance card? What about a prepaid wireless phone with a 30 minute monthly plan for something like $50? Both my parents had carphones for a number of years and we used them CONSTANTLY. It’s so foreign to think of a time when a phone was locked to a location. “Is she at home? No answer. Try her car. No luck there either? Did you page her? She doesn’t have one? Ok, then THERE IS NO WAY TO CONTACT HER AT ALL PERIOD.” Barely makes sense, right? From at 15 to age 18 I pretty much lived and died by my pager. I can hardly imagine a dumber device now.

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  1. Gentleman… you made me laugh like you haven't in a while! Congratulations for the Gigadong and 300 jokes! =)

  2. …I actually cant think of one. By the time I got old enough to live on my own and get this stuff myself, the info age was well underway. Internet and broadband and stuff right at the starting line. Didnt even have to go through the dial-up phase.

  3. Sorry, this is going to be long…
    (stop sniggering)

    I was parked up outside the theatre where my son did his drama lessons while my wife dropped off a thing she'd borrowed. We both work in IT (it's important). It's a 5 minute drop off so 30 minutes later I'm starting to worry when she reappears 'the thesps have a problem with their network' (my IT creed is 'I'll look at your PC the day after you regrout my shower', hers is much more friendly. And she'd already committed us.)

    I paid for the car park and followed her in to a dingy office with a crumbling fireplace. Inside the fireplace, covered in bits of mortar and general crap was a nest of wires and a 19" box of some kind. Apparently this was the modem. (also important, this happened in 2010, not 1994). I start tracing cables and trying not to inhale too much brick dust eventually uncovering an ATM (that's Asynchronous Transfer Mode, da bomb that was supposed to circumvent fibreoptic networking in about 1992) modem attached using 10 base 2 ethernet (that's the stuff that looks like TV ariel cable) to run to the PC's.

    • I ask about their ISP and they tell me they are with Demon (I'd not heard of anyone being with Demon since the 90's finished pretty much) and paid £60 per month for their 256k internet link, could I fix it?

      A sharp talking to later and they got themselves an ADSL link at a quarter the price and 10 times the bandwidth, plus not needing to use one of the PC's to serve the internet to everything else and wireless. Apparently I was a god or something.

      I just know that somewhere in the bowels of whoever bought out Demon (or whatever Demon has become) was a Comms cabinet and in the bottom was an ATM hub with a handwritten sign sellotaped to it stating 'Do Not Turn Off, Do Not Touch', because the chances of them having a clue what it actually did apart from make them some money every month was tiny to zero…

  4. I had a card through my home phone provider that allowed me to bill payphone calls to my landline. Very useful when I couldn't find any quarters rolling around on my floorboards. I also used to have to walk next door, call a friend to have them call my house on a three minute delay, walk back and listen for the ring when I lost my cordless phone…how did I lose something that huge to begin with?

  5. Sorry to be a design pedant, and off topic, but the pentapplegram doesn't work… if you follow the top left point you end up in a loop, unlike an actual pentagram which you can trace the whole way round…


  6. My mom only got a mobile phone last summer, so I have a very recent understanding of the frustration of phones being locked to location! She still can't use text messages and if I text her, she phones me to ask what it said.

  7. My mother is a home health nurse which means she visits her patients at home, quite often in low-income areas. In the days before cell phones she had a work pager which while in the field would require her to use a pay phone to call the office. Remember the low income area part? Mom used to always complain that "these young men are always hanging around the phone" and would get annoyed when she went to use it. My mother, being the hard-nosed, old school nurse that she (still) is would tell them to buzz off. When I informed her they were probably drug dealers of some sort waiting for a call she just rolled her eyes and informed me that she could handle them just fine.

  8. I am clearly ancient compared to you whippersnappers…when I was a kid the only person I knew with an answering machine was a friend whose father was a pastor…it was this giant reel-to-reel device. I also remember the phone card that would charge payphone calls (or long distance calls made from a friend's phone) to your home phone. That thing was pretty handy. Finally, I recall being absolutely astonished at the idiocy of the mother in a "news" story a few years ago who flipped out because she couldn't reach her daughter at a movie theater due to the daughter having turned her cell off. Never occurred to the woman to just call the theater and have someone go in to get her.

  9. I had a VCR to record television shows on VHS tapes. I had 3 recording options, but I always used EP (I think) which meant I could record around 10 hours of programming on one tape, but the video quality was rough. I used it all the time. When my wife and I upgraded from crappy cable to DISH, it came with a free "DVR." I had no concept of what that was, but now I get so frustrated listening to the radio because I can't re-wind or pause it like I can with TV.

    • Also, when I was a kid my parents rented a phone from the phone company. It was just part of the monthly phone bill. It was blue, had a rotary dial, and was attached to the wall in the kitchen.

    • HA! I had to re-record (burn?) my husband's entire collection of old cartoons from VHS tape 6hr format to DVD. 27 discs of Bugs, Porkey, Etc. – including the really racist and violent ones you never see anymore.

  10. Yep, the answering machine was an absolute must. Now free voice mail is a given but nobody leaves messages anymore, maybe because it's tedious both to leave and retrieve, at least compared to a text message.

    Also, directory assistance, *69 and all those other pay-per-use features.

    • Fire and santorum don't mix well (outside of Santorum's etch-a-sketch mind); the CGI costs would be enormous, and unless you're doing t-girl porn, there aren't any bosoms.

  11. I've never really had a need for any sort of mobile device. I only got a cell phone about 3 years ago, "for emergencies", and now I get to experience the joy of paying $35/month for a device I've used for maybe 15 minutes over those subsequent years.

  12. I had brick phones right up until I got an Android. Changed my life.

    I barely remember when AOL made browsing the internet easy. Those are distant, nearly-lost and -forgotten days for me. About the only thing I remember is getting an email from a hacker, mistaking me for another hacker.

    • Try logging on with a rotary phone where you have to put the handset into one of the really old-style modems so it picks up the signal.

      Or, where you're trying to learn Espanol on your Atari 800 and you have to wait for the cassette tape drive to catch up to the computer to say the correct words to you.

      Yes, I have done programming with stone knives and bearskins.

  13. VHS rewinders. Holy crap did rewinding a VHS type in the VCR take forever. I wanted to watch that Power Rangers movie NOW, dammit! I can't wait Eons for it to get all the way to the end in a VCR, I'm not made of patience! I'm only 8 years old, for crissake!

    OK, so I may have been pretty young when the information age hit, still. It was important. But that leads me to another one. Already used to my iPhone when I hit Army Basic Combat training, my communications were limited to a weekly 5 minute phone-call home and handwritten letters. The guy with the most minutes on his pre-paid calling card was king, Oh, you want to use my calling card this sunday? I guess you can, if I can have your Peanut M&Ms from that MRE. oh yeah….

    • I still remember our computer science teacher loudly proclaiming that the then early internet was a fad. He was dead sure BBS's were the height of tech, and things like Prodigy, CompuServe, and Mosaic were all worthless to use or learn about.

      I reminded him about this at our last reunion when he brought up how he had to upgrade the computer lab for broadband.

  14. As new tech introductions speed up, people (or groups) that strive to keep on the cutting edge will have a harder and harder time. As new tech gets produced faster and faster, they must pick and choose what to keep up with.
    It will come to a point where certain groups are cutting edge in certain areas and "hopelessly behind" in other areas. Meanwhile a different group will be far ahead of the first group in some area and far behind in another. Why do you think the last person to be a true renascence man was back during the renascence?
    Relating this back to the original question, this increase in the speed of new tech is going to cause more and more individual pieces of technology to get outdated before a significant number of people can adopt them.
    Look at a timeline. What percentage of people found something better than the wheel before they discovered the wheel? What percent skipped wired home phones (not many in the US but check out China). What percentage skipped Laser Disks or zip drives? Oh look, these percentages are going up and the time between the inventions is going down.

  15. A 40 dude gangbang over 4G? No way. He'd run out of bandwidth for the month by at least dude five.

    I long for the day when the cable companies drop their entertainment aspirations, accept their lucrative role as dumb pipes, and we can finally get whatever we want whenever we want it for one low price.

  16. I get it that Josh has a mega boner for Apple but did he ever read The Monkey's Paw? Bringing Steve Jobs back via sacrifice will only lead to horrible agonies. InfernalPhone, anyone? Siri voiced by Regan MacNeil? All Apple stores to be decorated like the cabin in Evil Dead? (actually this would all be pretty cool…carry on, Josh.)

  17. I kinda just lived in my in my own little world until the 90's. Never really bothered with all this techno crap. I'd rather hunt down a rabbit with a stick of butter than text someone on and off all day. For me, the phone is for calling people. No more, no less. Still is, but I have gotten a bit of a knack for Macs (Punny).

  18. I remember in the 90's when email was just becoming a thing thinking it was the stupidest thing ever. Why would you need something slower than a phone call but faster than a paper letter?


  19. I am very much not a tech-savvy person (important background knowledge).
    When I started university in the *cough* late 90s, I got my very first personal e-mail address from them. The interface was white with black 8-bit lettering. It was called something like… Pegasus? They kept it on the pool computers for quite a while after switching to the more user-friendly web-based mail, which came in handy when that broke for about a week. I had to show everyone else in the pool how to at least read their mail on it. Not even the pool supervisors (IT students!) remembered how to do that. My one moment of computer-nerdy glory…

    • I feel… sad. Very sad. For you, that is. We should get Microsoft to hire you! Oh the glory it would be! Kidding, we don't like Microsoft here. Surprising, how stupid IT supervisors can get.

  20. Apparently the no-longer-offered unlimited iPad data plan that both Josh and I got the day the iPad 1 came out and have kept ever since…. is still really unlimited. We kept it when we upgraded to iPad 2's and now when we signed up for LTE service of the New iPads we were given the option of keeping it again. Apparently there are not many people who have kept these plans since iPad Time 0… and unlike the iPhone, they are still truly unlimited.. no caps, no throttling.
    I'll ask him to work on the 40 dude gangbang…. I'm sure he's got footage from last weekend's Bear Run in Dallas 🙂

    • That's really quite shocking. The % of iPad data users to iPhone users must be so severely smaller that they are just biding their time before transitioning from Unlimited to "Unlimited [wink]."

      Either that or the extra $10 or so they charge for LTE (they do charge more right?) gives them enough reason to leave it legitimately unlimited.

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