Tag Archives: Cable

Has Anybody Seen Rudy Giuliani Of Late?

by Anura Guruge



Just occurred to me while watching TV tonight, and hearing the the Robert Mueller investigation might finally be coming to an end, that I have NOT seen Rudy on TV in quite a few days.

Maybe weeks. Yes, I watch enough cable news, morning, noon and night that I usually catch most appearances to the Rudy.

Has Drump dumped him?

Has he had another health relapse?

I know that he hasn’t been doing the media rounds for at least a couple of weeks. I am NOT complaining. He drives me nuts. Just wanted to share an observation in case you had not noticed it. But, don’t lose any sleep over it. Be thankful, very thankful.


Related posts:
Search ‘Trump’.


by Anura Guruge

MetroCast High Speed Internet Delivering 190Mbps On My 150Mbps Service, In New Hampshire.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.


The above actual screenshots from (Netflix) Fast.com was on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, on what was my 150Mbps Metrocast Internet service.

I check my Metrocast Internet speed, every morning, with Fast.com, before I start doing any work on my PC. I just want to make sure everything is copacetic.

So, I do my test, hoping to see 140 to 150Mbps, I get 190Mbps! Try again. It even flirts with 200Mbps, then falls back to 190Mbps,

I am impressed. I am happy.

I am NO stranger to Metrocast bumping up the Internet speed with no warning and more importantly, NO INCREASE in price.

In 2015 it was 75Mbps, and I was thrilled to get that speed.

In January 2016, with no fanfare, they increased the speed to 105 – 110Mbps. I was over the moon.

In January 2017, again with no notice, they hiked the speed up to 150 – 160Mbps.

OK. I waited and waited in January 2018 for another hike. Nada. I was crushed. I wrote about it.

Then, in mid-April, this.

Not complaining. All good. I am happy.


I do have a TDS 45 Mbps service IN ADDITION to my ‘190 Mbps’ Metrocast — as a backup. I use it to drive my Roku 3 streaming.


Related posts:
Search ‘Metrocast’.


by Anura Guruge


MetroCast: Getting 150 Mbps Downloads On My 105 Mbps Service; Game On With TDS.

by Anura Guruge


Actual screenshots from (Netflix) Fast.com & Speedtest.net
on my 105 Mbps Metrocast service
between 1:00 to 1:45 pm Sunday, December 18, 2016.

With TDS now offering 1,000 Mbps in Alton
I knew that Metrocast would bump-up their
speeds — as they did January 2016 & 2015.

Click to ENLARGE and admire.

fast150

fast160

sptest1601

sptest1602

sptest1603


I do have a TDS 15 Mbps service IN ADDITION to my ‘105 Mbps’ Metrocast — as a backup.

Right now I do not plan to upgrade to the TDS 1 Gigabit. I will wait to see how others fare. I am happy with the MetroCast service — especially if it will be at 150/160 Mbps.


Related posts:
>> Metrocast steady, TDS fails.
>> M
etrocast 105 Mbps.
>> TDS 1 Gig delayed.
>> MetroCast maintains 75Mbps.
>> 75Mbps Internet From Metrocast
.


by Anura Guruge


TDS Telecom, As I Knew They Would, Has Pushed Back 1 Gigabit Availability.

by Anura Guruge


I was first told that I could be one of the first to try it out, in the area, in October 2015. That was told to me in January 2015. TDS did not want me switching to MetroCast 75Mbps. I didn’t believe TDS and dig go and get 75Mbps from MetroCast.

Then I was told I would definitely have it in Spring of 2016. In December 2015, when I was in a protracted ‘battle’ with them about reduced bandwidth (since I still kept one TDS drop as a backup), I was told Gigabit, coming in the next ‘few months’, would solve all my problems. Well pigs would fly.

I just happened to check. They are now saying AUGUST 2016. That is neither Spring 2016 or really a ‘few months’ from December (though I appreciate that there are no defined limits as to how far ‘few months’ extends).

I no longer trust TDS. They have abused me for way too long. I probably will NOT sign up for 1 Gig though I realize that I might be spiting myself. I am going to continue with MetroCast 105 Mbps till at least year end to see how others fair with TDS. I know this for a fact; 15% of THIS neighbourhood will NOT signup for 1 Gig. That is a given.

tds1glatest1111

Latest TDS 1 Gig in Alton availability map — with different areas ‘pinned’ as A, B, C etc. I am ‘G’. Click to ENLARGE. Use this link to access original: http://www.tdsfiber.com/where/Alton/


TDSaugust2016sadsad

Click to ENLARGE. My neighborhood. Yep, pigs will fly.


I have invented a new game to while away few minutes of my near daily run. I try to come up with new phrases to fit the TDS acronym. Example: Too Damn Slow.

My latest.

TDS = Totally Despicable Scoundrels.

You can join too. It is fun and therapeutic.


Related posts:
>> Metrocast steady, TDS fails.
>> M
etrocast 105 Mbps.
>> TDS 1 Gig delayed.
>> MetroCast maintains 75Mbps.
>> 75Mbps Internet From Metrocast
.


by Anura Guruge


MetroCast Maintains 105 Mbps In Alton (N.H.) During Saturday Night.

by Anura Guruge


With any cable-based Internet access system the crucial question is whether they can maintain the promised bandwidth during peak usage on the cable — Saturday nights invariably considered the busiest time on cable.

Last year, when I first got 75 Mpbs from Metrocast, I was anxious to see how MetroCast would come the first Saturday night. They passed with flying colors.

Ditto this year with 105 Mbps. Typically, as is Metrocast wont, I would get 107 Mbps. But 105 Mbps at 11:30pm on a Saturday night is not bad at all since I am also sharing the bandwidth, as I write, with Deanna and Devanee both using the Internet. So MC is probably still delivering close to 107 Mbps. This is good. Very impressed with MetroCast. They have come a long way.

metrocast105saturdaynight

Click to ENLARGE. Using ‘gstnetworks.net’ which is my ‘goto’ speedtest. 105.78 Mbps download, 12.19 Mbps upload. That is GREAT.


Related posts:
>> Metrocast steady, TDS fails.
>> M
etrocast 105 Mbps.
>> TDS 1 Gig delayed.
>> MetroCast maintains 75Mbps.
>> 75Mbps Internet From Metrocast
.


by Anura Guruge


Parts Of MetroCast Being Sold Off — BUT Not New Hampshire As Yet.

gstspeeds252015Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


Other Related posts:
>> Metrocast 75Mbps fixed.

++++
Search ‘MetroCast’ for many other posts >>>>>


metrocastdeal11

Click to access original.


I happened, quite by chance, to come across a slew of stories about the MetroCast sell-off, similar to that above, when I did a search on Google News for a Metrocast outage last night.

I was kind of taken aback. Though I do follow the financial markets quite extensively I had NOT heard of this deal. I quickly worked out that this deal was just for the Connecticut area. So I called up MetroCast to find out what the deal is.

MetroCast New Hampshire has NOT BEEN sold as yet! But this is not good news. The more bits of MetroCast that get sold off, MetroCast as a cable provider loses clout … because they are not as big. I don’t use MetroCast cable or a bundle. I am not totally stupid, just partially. I just use MetroCast for their quite impressive 75Mbps Internet service. I get DISH (through TDS) at more than 1/2 the price than what it would cost me with MetroCast.

Anywho … Just a heads up. I will now track this.


Abraham Corona — Photos By Another Sony a77 II Fan Who Has Been Helping Me.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Other Related posts:
>>
Hopefully Sony a77 II from Cameta Camera
>>
Getting Sony a77 II rather than RX10 II.
>> Sony RX10 II — further delayed?
>>
Sony RX10 II — delayed?

**
Sony RX10 II: Issues to Consider I.
** Understated Zoom on
Sony RX10 II.

++
Why is Canon G3X so ugly?
** Sony RX10 II vs Canon PowerShot G3X.
**
I bought Sony stock, rather than RX10 II.
** Sony’s
2 new cameras: A7 RII & RX10 II.

>> Search ‘camera’, ‘Panasonic’, ‘Canon’ & ‘Samsung’ for other related posts >>>>


Image by (and copyrighted to) Abraham Corona.

From his Facebook page (click to access) with his permission.

Click to ENLARGE.
abrahamph1abrahamph2 abrahamph3


I am definitely going to get a Sony a77 II. That is now a foregone conclusion. The plan is to also order it, as a 2-lens bundle, from Amazon BUT fulfilled (i.e., shipped) by ‘Cameta Camera‘.

hoodcap1Given who I am, and the amount of research I have done into my camera purchase (over the last 6 weeks), I had a number of questions about this bundle, e.g., two both lenses come with hoods? NO they don’t. Only one, the Tamaron. The Sony lens does not. Sony sells the hood for $75. That is just a piece of plastic. That is a bit excessive — and I say that as a Sony (SNE) stockholder! Well I am not going to get that hood. I actually found a real NEAT one. It is called a ‘Hoodcap’ — hood and lens cap in one. IF it works this will be great because I am always fiddling around for my lens cap. NO, I can’t abide having the lens cap tethered to the camera. That annoys me. The ‘Hoodcap’ seems ingenious. Why didn’t I think of that. Just hope it works. It is only supposed to work on two Sony lenses and the 16 – 50mm I am getting is one of them.

In addition to the hoodcaps I have had other questions. The bundle talks about an HDMI-to-microHDMI cable. That comes with the camera. So I was confused as to why it is listed separately. Also wanted to know how many battery chargers I will get. Appears I will get two. That is good. Well the answers to these last questions came from Abraham Corona — via the Amazon “Ask a Question” feature. He has been EXTREMELY helpful.

On one of his answers he included a link to his Facebook page so I could see his work. I was impressed. I asked him if I can post a few of his images on this blog. He kindly agreed. So that is how you get to enjoy these pictures. 

Abraham Corona.

Thank you.


TDS Highspeed (Fiber) Internet Access In Alton — It REALLY Was The D-Link Router!

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Prior related posts:
1/ Internet Bandwidth Issues With My TDS Broadband Access
Aug. 28, 2012.

2/ Unless It Is A Dire Emergency Get Your Networking Cables Online; Update On My Internet Bandwidth Woes – Getting 2nd TDS Line!
Aug. 30, 2012.

Cisco Linksys EA3500

I am humbled, amazed and at the same time rather pleased. It really was the router! The D-Link DIR-655 that promised so much. Wow. I am still in a daze about that.

I have had broadband, high speed Internet access for about 12 years and wireless networking in the house for about 11 years. Though it got me nothing, though I can take credit for convincing the prestigious ‘The Margate‘ to offer Wi-Fi in 2003, I was an Wi-Fi evangelist (as ever) ahead of my time. At home I tried to have the latest in Wi-Fi standards. So, I got the now de facto 802.11 n when it was still a draft standard and not supported on all devices. Hence my preference for D-Link. They liked bleeding-edge Wi-Fi technology too. Till last Thursday, September 6, 2012, I have only ever used (recommended and sold) D-Link routers. Whenever folks blamed Internet problems on my D-Link I was skeptical and until now they were always wrong.

When Union Tel. first installed my 10Mbps Fiber to the house we had, from day one, short, very annoying, Internet drops. We would lose the Internet for about 40 seconds then get it back. It would happen about 3 times a day. As you can imagine, for the first 48 hours Union Tel. consistently blamed it on the (then quite new) D-Link DIR-655. But, I stood by my D-Link pointing out that I had used it for 2 years with Metrocast and never had a problem. Union Tel. had installed the Fiber on a Friday. That was a mistake. They were in a hurry, both technicians having the afternoon off. Those two, quite old, were very nice BUT if I ever see them within 100 yards of my TDS equipment I will call the police. Yes, they admitted that 10Mbps Fiber was new to them.

It took until Tuesday for Union Tel. to belly up that THEY had an issue and it was not the poor, maligned D-Link DIR-655. They came and gave us a Static IP address (rather than us having to use DHCP). Problem solved immediately and forever. The problem is that TDS does not offer Static IP to residential customers. So I have ‘issues’ each time I talk to TDS. They get very confused.

This time around, the amazingly competent (ex-Marine) Tim Barker, proved to me that it was the D-Link. I had to agree. Bandwidth fluctuated through the router. So, given that Tim and TDS like Linksys I bought a good Linksys.

Wow. Wow. Wow. What a difference. I can’t believe that we suffered for this long because the D-Link was dying. That was a lesson for me.

No I did not try upgrading the D-Link software. The software was upgraded about 18 months ago. Though I can’t attest to it this felt to me (and to Tim) as hardware degradation — and I realized that the D-Link was running hot, in what is a hot room (though we do run A/C in this room most of the Summer). Not sure, but that the problems started soon after Teischan got a Wi-Fi Google Nexus 7 pad seems suspicious.

My biggest takeaway from this sad experience is the need to keep the router COOL. I am going to build a special, ventilated shelf for it today — BECAUSE tomorrow we, actually TDS, is moving everything around.

Yes, we are still getting a 2nd Fiber line so that we will have a total of 25Mps (about 18Mbps guaranteed) to the house. I am done with routers for my main, work computer. This computer is getting plugged in directly to the wall (though yes, there is still a TDS Fiber router on the garage wall). At least I will not have to contend for bandwidth with the kids and Deanna — and the kids suck up bandwidth with their videos and games. I will keep you updated after the cut-over tomorrow.



Suffice to say that over the last 15 days I have had a huge amount of interactions with TDS, by phone and in person. TDS tries so hard to please. They dropped the ball once but recovered quite well. The local support during that time, all done by Tim Barker, has been beyond exemplary. I used to be the Customer Support manager for ITT UK. So, I remember a few things about customer support. Tim reminds me of the best of the best that used to work for me.

Anyway, I have learned two things about TDS and their Internet Fiber service from a couple of Little Birds that shared the scoop with me. Yes, TDS has had service issues with their Fiber BUT they think they are beyond that now. But, something to me vigilant about.

The second, and more serious, is that TDS, in Central NH, is basically out of Fiber capacity! No, it is not a Finer Optic cable shortage. They have plenty. It is a Central Office equipment shortage. They have run out of ports to plug-in new Fiber customers. They jumped through hoops last week to get us our 2nd Fiber and we only got it because TDS likes us. They have plenty of Copper, but the bandwidth you can get on Copper decreases with distance from the C.O. So they relented and we are getting Fiber and the fact that I spent 40 minutes on the phone with TDS and dashed off 4 e-mails definitely was a factor. But a heads up to others. You might not be able to get Fiber from TDS for a year or more! It is a supplier issue going back to Union Tel. TDS basically has to swap out the old equipment at the C.O. and install new. That costs a lot of money and requires huge amounts of coordination — and we in central NH are but country bumpkins who wouldn’t notice drop in bandwidth (and are loath to pay for bandwidth).

Just read in ‘Popular Mechanics’ today — compared to many countries in the world we in the U.S. have relatively slow Internet access. That kills me. It should really bother YOU too.

Unless It Is A Dire Emergency Get Your Networking Cables Online; Update On My Internet Bandwidth Woes – Getting 2nd TDS Line!

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge


Linksys EA3500 Dual Band N Router

TDS, on 4:58 pm (Eastern) on Tuesday, redeemed themselves, albeit after my 3rd call to them that day wanting to know why I was still waiting for a technician when I was promised one, the night before, by noon. Tim Barker, their local Internet guru, who I had met a year ago when he came to change my static IP-address, made an after hours call (at zero cost to me) at 6:30 pm. Tim is good. Time trouble shot the whole problem all the way from the external, on the garage wall, Fiber router all the way to my PC. Looks like it is my 5-year old, D-Link DIR-655 router. Usually I am beyond skeptical when people tell me that it is a router problem. This time it looked pretty conclusive though I am still not 100% convinced, especially after a little bird told me that TDS had had some major issues with their Fiber Internet service (but that I should have experienced those prior to last week).

Tim likes Linksys, though I have used D-Link wireless routers since 2002. I acquiesced to him, but made sure I got one of their higher end products (especially as I had a $20 off coupon) because I do know folks have had issues with the lower end Linksys products. Time was waxing lyrical about Cisco until I showed him my old Cisco employee badge from 1996! I know Cisco. Cisco’s irrepressible Executive VP of Marketing, in the mid-1990s, the man that put Cisco on the map (so to speak), Don Listwin wrote the Foreword for my third book. [I met Don, in a bar in D.C. during one of those gala, mid-1990s networking shows. I dropped a full glass of beer on his lap even before I shook his hand. He liked me ever since and jumped at the chance of writing the Forword when everybody said “Don’s too busy and important to waste time writing a blurb for you“!)

I have a habit of being able to think while I am asleep. I had trained myself to do that over 30 years. When I woke up the next day, my brain told me: ‘hey, look at getting a 2nd line so that YOU don’t have to EVER contend with router problems again’. Wow. I am a confirmed bandwidth junkie — really my only addiction. You know that old adage: ‘you can never be too rich or too thin‘. Well never having been even marginally rich I can’t attest to the first part, but I do know that you can be too thin — because I was, in 1983, when I, through dieting and exercise, reduced my weight from 210 to 135 pounds. I was skin and bones and looked like a skeleton with a translucent skin. But, I definitely stand by this adage: ‘I can never have enough bandwidth‘. This is not the first time I have opted to get two lines to the house. Many of you are probably too young to even have heard of ISDN, the broadband solution of the 1990s. It was incredibly, for the time, fast at 64Kbps. Yes, that was a ‘K’, for Kilo (meaning thousand), as opposed to today’s ‘M’, for Mega (meaning million). To get that in rural NH, Meredith to be precise, was brilliant. I knew I wanted more. I was, of course, in the networking field. Looked around and found what was called an ‘aggregating router’ — you could plug in 2 ISDN lines to it and get 128Kbps to the house. That is what I did.

I had thought about getting another aggregating router. But, opted for a different route. My main PC is getting plugged in directly into the wall, sans a router. So now I should get ALL of the download and upload bandwidth that TDS says I am getting. Yes, I will monitor it.

Putting the Linksys router on the other TDS broadband line. That will be mainly for Wi-Fi. I don’t use Wi-Fi. So that line and its bandwidth will be Deanna and the kids — and very occasionally for one of my backup machines and for Teischan’s Linux machine (which she now rarely uses after getting a Google Nexus 7 pad).

I will keep you posted on my TDS Internet bandwidth saga. Installation of the 2nd line and the switch-over is next week.  Since I use a static-IP address they will have to configure that on my PC. I have a feeling we will end up getting a static IP on the second line too.


All these changes got me thinking about cables. Ethernet LAN cables can get damaged. I have run into that. Though I don’t totally buy into the need of gold, jumbo cables for each and every application, after 30 years in networking I do know that there is a breakeven point in terms of a cable’s quality and its capacity (errors being the biggest culprit, slowing you down rather than crippling you). So I looked around for some new cables. I am not a cable junkie. Cables don’t excite me — other than the OLD, giant, 64 pin, bus-and-tag cables. That was my specialty; bus-and-tag cables. One of my longest standing clients was BusTech — where the ‘Bus’ referred to those bus-and-tag cables (from the 1960s)!

Wow, we now have Category 6 (Cat 6) cables for 100Gbps applications. Cat 5 is the standard for 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet. They have a Cat 5e for 1G. Cat 6, which is backward compatible with 5, is not expensive ONLINE. Plus they come in cool, bright colors like orange, red, green, violet etc. 7′ cable is $4.25 plus shipping.

Since I knew I was going to going past a BestBuy over the next few days, I thought that I would just swing by and get some cables. Just for the heck of it, I checked the BB prices. Wow. I knew BB tries to make some margins on cables. I did a few months at BB a few years ago as an Epson merchandiser. Great job. One of the best I had. Got to know BB, their procedures and quite a few of the staff (in Concord) quite well. I do not blame BB. They are working on thin margins. So they have to compensate somewhere and for that cables are perfect. If you just bought a printer you are going to want a cable, if you don’t already have one.

But, in this instance, with these Cat 6 cables I was amazed. I bought 3 cables, with shipping, for what I would have paid for 1 at BB! I went to Cables.com. I had used them a few years ago. They seem to be good. Plus, they accept PayPal. These days, unless I already have an account with the company, as I do with Amazon, eBay and TigerDirect, I will NOT buy online unless they accept PayPal. Two reasons: it is easier and safer. So that is my story. If you need cables try cables.com or Tiger(direct).com. Yes, TigerDirect is the old CircuitCity! They are good.

Internet Bandwidth Issues With My TDS Broadband Access

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge




Normally my (supposedly) dedicated, 10Mbps to the house broadband internet access works flawlessly — just as a utility should. It is there, it is constant and it is stable. Since Friday I have been having a heck of a time. Around noon Saturday I had zero, yes ‘0’, upload bandwidth. So I couldn’t upload anything. Download bandwidth was down to about 3Mbps. It was slow.

It has been awfully erratic since then. Sometimes, as you can see from the above screen shot, I get the bandwidth I am paying for. Around those readings I am fine. Yes, I would LOVE more bandwidth. I will gladly pay more for more bandwidth. But, this another one of the travails of living in rural NH. We don’t get much choice and we don’t get much bandwidth. Oh, to have Verizon FiOS! Alas.

TDS claims to offer higher bandwidth, e.g., 25Mbps, in NH but every time I call they say ‘Ah! Not where YOU live’.

Right now I would be happy if I could just have constant bandwidth. Without bandwidth I am a fish without water. I can’t do anything on my computer. As I write I am waiting for a TDS technician to appear. I might have to call again.

I did not start off with TDS. 26 months ago, in June 2010, I signed up with our local Union Tel. for the new, dedicated, 10Mbps fiber to the house service. Sounded good and the price was very reasonable. Yes, it took them 6 days to get me a stable, reliable service — in the end they classed me a business account and gave me a dedicated IP address. Since then, until this Friday, things were good — during that time we only had one long, 12 hour, outage.

TDS bough Union Tel. shortly after I became a customer. For about a year that didn’t make a difference. Now it does. TDS telephone support really tries hard to please. But, they have NO CLUE and NO INFORMATION about my Internet service other than how much I have to pay. Yes, basically ALL they have on me and know about me is my billing information. They can’t even PING ‘their’ TDS router. Until this weekend that was OK. They didn’t have to do anything.

Now it is a problem. I am hoping they can fix this. Otherwise I am sunk, I am screwed.

I was a Metrocast cable and Internet customer for a long time, for over 11 years. I was one of their first Internet customers in the Lakes Region. Over that time I got very au fait with how their Internet access worked. 80% of the time I could troubleshoot the problem ahead of their tech. But, as with ALL utilities in Alton, Metrocast in Alton was not what it was in Gilford or Meredith. I do not know what it is with Alton but we are definitely the poor cousins. On this road with Metrocast, on a Saturday night, when most of those on the road were using their Metrocast cable, bandwidth would drop precipitously. Similar to what I am having with TDS today; difference being that I knew Metrocast cable was a shared access media while with TDS I am paying for a dedicated line to the C.O. in Barnestead.

Since June 2010 Metrocast has upgraded their service to Alton. They pulled some new Fibre and upgraded their network equipment. They now offer 25Mps download and 2Mbps upload. I just got off the phone after long, very productive, very pleasant chat with a Metrocast rep in Pennsylvania. He understands my issues. He himself has never used the 25 Mbps. He used the 12Mbps, albeit in PA. Yes, his bandwidth drops to 10Mbps on Friday and Saturday nights. That is about a 17% drop. If I get a 25% drop I will be down to 18Mbps. That will still be twice what I get, best case, with TDS. Yes, I will be paying more, but bandwidth, to me, is a necessity.

So, I might be going back to Metrocast. They are all set to send a tuck over here the next day. I also have a ‘magic’ name of a person to call to have it all expedited. Stay tuned. If you don’t see any new posts you will know that my Internet is down.