Beware the easy fix

I was rather amazed that in his column, John McCormick first says that two large causes of
the Internet’s apparent slowness are the inefficiency of the Hypertext Transfer
Protocol and the Internet routing system [GCN, May 18, Page 43].

But at the end of the article he recommends products which, by design, severely
exacerbate the problem.

The two products he recommends are NetAccelerator from IMSI of San Rafael, Calif., and
Go Ahead Got It, from Go Ahead Software Inc. of Redmond, Wash.

These products apparently speed Net surfing by predownloading all the links in a Web
page, 95 percent of which you will never see.

This seriously clogs the whole Internet with uselessly downloaded information. Why any
power user would recommend software that clogs your local hard disk with cache files and
the Internet with garbage and bogus requests for information is beyond me.

I shudder to think what would happen if a government agency with a T3 connection
followed this advice, bought 2,500 copies and installed it on 2,500 machines. It would
waste a tremendous amount of bandwidth and probably affect the throughput of the Internet
up to the nearest major access point, and maybe farther.

I think it is in everyone’s best interest to just say no to the easy, cheap answer
that such software represents and that in the long run costs everybody.

Nathan Spitzer
Desktop analyst
Information Management Division
Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md.

Ordinarily I’m able to skim GCN in 15 to 30 minutes. Your May 18 issue, however,
was so full of interesting stuff I had to put it aside for later reading. OK, dinner was
ready, but usually I can finish reading the issue before dinner.

I had actually canceled my subscription earlier this year—too much to
read—but I’m glad I renewed it.

You guys really deserve a pat on the back for bringing information to government folks
that we can use.

Nick St. Amant
Computer specialist
Social Security Administration
Baltimore, Md.


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