Friday, June 29, 2007

We have broadband. Well, sort of.

So the package arrived, along with a text message to say the line had been activated. Virgin.net seemed to be on track to provide an easy DSL experience.

Oh dear! No way! First they managed to ignore my questions and sold me the wrong modem - a USB unit only suitable for one computer, not two with wi-fi networking as I had told them. This will require an ethernet modem (which I had assumed they would send). So now we await the opportunity to obtain the right modem.

Not overly detered, I decided to load the USB modem software and check that the line works. After a lot of trouble and three expensive calls to the technical support, I have found that the USB modem will only work through the BT service outlet. The regular phone cables within the house appear to be scrambling the DSL signal. The tech support people assure me this does not happen with an ethernet modem but I have to wonder.

There will be an acceptable solution eventually, I am sure of that, but meantime I am not getting any younger.

As to the connection speed, it's not too bad. I think the fastest download, on an iTunes podcast download, has been 60KB/s. I can live with that!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Broadband in the Sticks

Hmm. The best we can expect is 512KB ADSL. That's a step backwards, like going from iTunes all the way back to 45s (we'll reserve 78s for old-fashioned 56K modems!)

Actually, in that context, 512 KB doesn't sound so bad.

Well, yes, it does!

The service provider will be virgin.net. They had the shortest hold time and actually seemed quite helpful at the sales end of the company (Colin told me he listened to his grandfather and bought a Mac!) I couldn't find a BT telephone number on their web site (that's ironic) while Sky just had too many complicated options. I did look into satellite broadband but the price is prohibitive with no advantage in speed. Delivery date is June 27th. We will, as they say, believe it when it happens.

Let's pan the iPhone!

Yes, they are out there! This article carries the comments of several IT consultants and, of course, they always know which side of the bread needs to be buttered. . . theirs!

The so-called Enterprise market is huge. But it really isn't geared to innovation. So why would anyone expect CTOs and IT Managers to embrace the iPhone? Ironically, it is the consumer that will make or break the iPhone, not the corporations. They have their Blackberries.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Explaining the Silence

There has not been much activity recently on the Focalplane hub and that includes uploading photos to Flickr. There are reasons. First, we have moved house. Second, trips to Europe, Canada and Africa seem to be the norm rather than the exception, and photo opportunities have been rare even though the camera is always to hand.

To compound this, we have no home internet connection at present - not even a telephone line! And when I am in Africa (as now) the connections can be slower than cold treacle. The other day I had to upload a 73 MB file to an ftp site. It took 6 hours!