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Woosh-be-gone!

By The Net and 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=“http://www.youtube.com/v/muaAZE0M3LU” width=“425” height=“350” wmode=“transparent” /]

[Found at Gizmodo]

Unbelievable frustration - semi self-inflicted

By meta and 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 and 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.