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The Net


By The Net, Wellington

Now that this year’s ‘V’ 48 Hours Furious Filmmaking Challenge is under way and 160 Wellington teams are out enjoy­ing the sun­shine, I have had a chance to resolve a few domest­ic issues that have been bug­ging me.

Firstly, broad­band. I have been a Woosh Wireless cus­tom­er since I star­ted Miracle Pictures in 2005. I wanted a Telecom free home/office (and, in all fair­ness, I think Telecom also wanted a Dan-free net­work) and there was no such thing as naked dsl in those days. Woosh were the only game in town and I hap­pily signed up for broad­band and a phone. Apart from one speed-bump due to improved firm­ware back in late 2006, the ser­vice from Woosh has stead­ily deteri­or­ated as it’s cus­tom­er num­bers have ris­en, to the extent that since Christmas I have been get­ting poorer than dial-up band­width at all times (oth­er than the very middle of the night).

The first-level sup­port email that I received from Woosh told me to point my aer­i­al towards Unitec, which was chal­len­ging as Unitec is in Auckland and I am in Wellington. Then they told me that my prob­lem would be escal­ated to second-level sup­port and I got to wait for a couple more weeks. Last Monday I finally got a call from them (plus marks for not drop­ping me off their list entirely) and we went through the re-booting, mov­ing the aer­i­al, re-booting again, dance and we dis­covered the fol­low­ing: Despite the fact that I have no south facing win­dows and the aer­i­al points north, I am con­nect­ing to the Wakefield Hospital cell-site which is due south. I can­’t reach the Government House cell-site as Wellington Hospital and Mt Victoria are in the way. In fact, I am get­ting the Wakefield Hospital sig­nal reflec­ted off the Wellington Hospital and hillside.

And the Wakefield Hospital cell site is the busiest and most con­ges­ted in the city.

So, we reached an agree­ment that we would part com­pany. I did­n’t quite have the heart to tell the young man that I’d already booked an impressive-seeming naked DSL with IP phone ser­vice with Xnet (a com­pany that does­n’t appear to need to advert­ise). They have a sane approach to volume char­ging whereby you don’t have to com­mit to a plan, so I only pay for what I use and the per MB rate is about what I have been pay­ing at Woosh (but not always using).

This after­noon, I noticed that the DSL light on the new Linksys DSL modem was flash­ing, indic­at­ing that the line was live. A quick call to Xnet sup­port got me the details they had inex­plic­ably failed to email me and I was up and run­ning. And boy was I run­ning: My unscientif­ic approach to meas­ure­ment is basic­ally keep­ing an eye on the through­put using iStatMenus. Before the change I was limp­ing along with 1KB/s to 5KB/s down­load speed (sub dial-up) and after the change I was get­ting – get this – upwards of 350 to 700 and even over 1MB/s on a couple of occa­sions. That’s like a (thinks) 1000% increase in speed!

Now, after shift­ing the Airport I can really get some work done.

More from the YouTubes

By The Net

LEGO™ Darth Vader meets Eddie Izzard:

[kml_flashembed movie=“” width=“425” height=“350” wmode=“transparent” /]

[Found at Gizmodo]

Unbelievable frustration - semi self-inflicted

By meta, The Net

“What did you do with your Waitangi long week­end, Uncle Daniel?”

Well, nieces and neph­ews, I spent most of my week­end sit­ting in front of the com­puter because Old Grandpa Davies from Auckland wanted a shop for his web site and (me being me) I thought that would be a good oppor­tun­ity to fix a few issues that had been bug­ging me with the site since it went live last year.

Of course, the res­ult was that I intro­duced a few more issues while tak­ing care of the old ones, and fool­ishly did­n’t start test­ing in Internet Explorer 6 until after the design work was fin­ished. Imagine how I felt at 4 o’c­lock this morn­ing when I found that some­thing was dread­fully badly broken in IE only. About 75% of our cus­tom­ers, maybe more, use IE so this would be a bad thing.

I decided to sleep on it for a couple of hours and have a fresh crack at it this morn­ing. A long time later, and sev­er­al abor­ted attempts at a solu­tion fur­ther on, I finally work out that mov­ing the import­ant piece of javas­cript from the head­er to the bot­tom of the body will fix it. Yup, in IE this par­tic­u­lar piece of javas­cript has to load last and every oth­er browser on the plan­et deals with it. Man, this sh*t drives me batsh*t insane! And the entire world eco­nomy is going to be run­ning on this gaf­fer taped rub­bish by the end of the decade.

I’ve got quite a bit of, er, fin­ess­ing to do but the guts of it is done now so I’ll put my feet up for a bit and watch a DVD and then catch up on last night’s lost sleep. Big crick­et day tomor­row, as well fin­ish­ing the Academy shop to the cli­ent’s satisfaction.

Also man­aged to miss my Capital Times dead­line (bum­mer) so there’ll be a bump­er review in next week. and I’m being dive-bombed by moths – what’s that about?

Tuesday Allsorts #1

By Asides, Cinema, Football, Music, The Net, Theatre

David Beckham 27 Feb 2006Why is this man smil­ing? “Er, Victoria, a pigeon’s just crapped on my shoulder.”
Presenting the first of my weekly (weakly?) lists of stuff I’ve stumbled across via the web over the last sev­en days.

Firstly, it is unlikely that I will be pur­chas­ing the new red England away top des­pite my being a prime can­did­ate (I bought the 2002 revers­able ver­sion and still wear the blue side). Even though it is un homage to the clas­sic 1966 World Cup win­ning shirt it’s still too busy for me. What is it with the little white “thing” on the right shoulder and the Umbro logo is as wide and prom­in­ent as the three lions? And they have per­severed with the tiny gold star which made the last shirt seem like it belonged to the People’s Republic of China. Anyway, on to the inter­est­ing stuff:

  • The Guardian talks to Underworld, Ray Davies, Pete Shelley, Richard X, Johnny Marr, Nick Hodgson, Rhymefest, Peter Hook, Tony Hicks, Gary Numan, Ron Mael and KT Tunstall about how some of their sig­na­ture tunes came to be:

The drum pat­tern was ripped off from a Donna Summer B‑side. We’d fin­ished the drum pat­tern and we were really happy, then Steve acci­dent­ally kicked out the drum machine lead so we had to start from scratch and it was nev­er as good.” (Peter Hook from New Order talk­ing about “Blue Monday”)

Not only is there a pre­ma­ture gear change after the second chor­us, but towards the end of the song there are a fur­ther two in a row. They’re so ill-advised that you can hear the nervous­ness in his waver­ing voice as he tries to res­ist each time. All it achieves, though, is the effect of everything going hor­ribly out of tune. I’m not abso­lutely cer­tain that the word “caco­phon­ic” exists, but that’s the most apt way to sum up this atrocity.”

255. Casting a black Desdemona along­side a black Othello is kind of miss­ing the point a bit.
256. The Montague clan are not ali­ens. No, really, they’re not.
257. No mat­ter how much homo­erot­ic sub­text has been built up over the course of the play, I will not end Richard II by hav­ing Henry pull Richard’s dead body out of a pool of water, hav­ing him pro­ceed to lie on top of it, and then roll, the one over the oth­er, all over the stage in com­plete silence until the cur­tain comes to hide them from the audi­ence’s bleed­ing eyes.

  • Finally, not only has someone in a fea­ture film got my name, he’s the title char­ac­ter – and this is a film with Bruce Willis and Ben Kingsley! Some people are used to shar­ing the same name as char­ac­ters on screen (I know an Anderson and a Harper who must be sick of it) but will be a new exper­i­ence for me.