Monday, January 23
I remember how great it was when 9600bps modems came out. You no longer had to w... a... i... t... for a screen to refresh. It was just blurrp. Done. Not quite instantaneous, but near enough. Compared to 2400 or worse, 1200, it was bliss.
Which is to say, I swapped modems, and I'm now running at 9600kbps. 9632kbps down, to be precise, and 1024kbps up. Yeah!
I seem to be running on the second oldest version of the firmware for this modem, so I'm going to upgrade it now. That should give me ADSL2+ support and other fun stuff. And if it doesn't work, I have Mister Poopy Modem to fall back on.
Update: 12283/1021. I sacrificed 3kbps of upload for 2651kbps of download. I think I can live with that.
Thursday, January 19
I have ADSL.
Not ADSL 2+.
Not ADSL 2.
This modem doesn't support ADSL 2+ as far as I know, despite the lying weasel "2+" sticker. I tried using it with ADSL 2, and I got a connection at 10.8 Mbps down and 864 kbps up. Sometimes for as long as five or six seconds. Then it dropped out. Many many times.
After a certain amount of fiddling, I forced the modem into standard ADSL mode, and it's now running at 4544 kbps down, 960 kbps up. That's a fair way short of 24 Mbps, but its a lot better than 1500 / 256 that I had before I moved, and a whole lot better than the 64k I've been surviving on since then.
The connection's been stable for half an hour with no packet loss, which is a good sign. I might poke at it a bit to see if it will give me a higher speed - or I might leave it alone for now. Yeah, I think that's a better idea.
Friday, January 13
My ADSL is connected! I missed the email yesterday, or I would have tried it out last night.
I'll probably have to get myself a new modem, because my current one only does ADSL 2, not ADSL 2+. So I'd be limited to 12M instead of the full 24. Which would be very sad. But still slightly better than the 64k I've been stuck with for the last five weeks.
Wednesday, January 11
Just got word from my ISP (who shall remain nameless until I have something good to say about them) that my ADSL is currently being provisioned, and within a week I should - if things go right - have a 24 Mbit internet connection.
(If you saw that glitch, then yes, I've been spending too much time on web forums lately.)
I got myself a pair of Sennheiser PX100s. I previously had some Koss Porta Pros, but after a few years of going everywhere with me they were pretty much trashed, and I threw them out.*
I went to get a new set, but the only store nearby that had the Koss phones wanted $150. Since I only paid around $80 for the original set, and since they sell for around $35 retail in America, this seemed a bit excessive. Fortunately, I found the Sennheisers, which are nicer looking and more comfortable, distinctly cheaper (at least in Australia), and sound every bit as good.
It took me several minutes to work out how to unpack them, but you only need to do that once.
By the way, even Sennheiser make lousy headphones. These ones? Total rubbish. I don't know why a company like Sennheiser would even want to sell them. I can understand why people would buy them; you've just thrown your old headphones away only to find that replacing them is more expensive than you had expected, but you need something and - oh, those are cheap. Uh, for example. Unfortunately, they're complete crap.
* Apparently, "pretty much trashed" is covered under the warranty, but I didn't know that at the time.
Saturday, January 07
This is brilliant.
Its a series of videos taken at last year's Skeptics Society conference on, um, brains, minds and consciousness. It's so far covered evolutionary psychology (and why it is wrong), the neural correlates of consciousness (and why idealism is bunk), and where science comes from - and I'm less than a quarter of the way through. It's fascinating stuff and the speakers are wonderful.
It's a three gigabyte download for the "high quality" version (which suffers from some nasty compression artifacts), but that's about eight hours worth of video. Very highly recommended.
While you're waiting for the download, go here and vote for Yuri. This blog is running on Kei, but she's not in the poll.
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