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DSL Reports Speedtest

DSL Reports Speedtest

So got my new 35/35 service running and apparently we’re getting close to the maximum upload. Verizon had called me on the upgrade date and told me that I would only get 29mbit upload because the ONT at the house wasn’t capable of more. He offered to send a tech out to replace it, so I said “sure”. The tech came out today and basically said he wasn’t aware of any speed difference on the other ONT’s. He called his boss and he said the guy I talked to was misinformed because the 611/612 ONT’s are all pretty much the same (just different port configuration and MOCA support) and won’t go any faster than my 610.

The second thing he said was they only guarantee 75% of the claimed speed (which is 26.25mbit) so there really isn’t much of an option at this point. I guess I’ll be satisfied for now, but I’m a bit miffed that they said they could fix it and now they can’t or won’t now.

I just wished the sales/service people who called you would actually not make promises they can’t keep. I think they continue to have a shortage of highly qualified guys.
I tried to do some searching for the AFC AccessMax SFH ONT 610X specifications, but I couldn’t find any useful data.

My old gallery of my FIOS Installation in case anyone is interested.

UPDATE 1/22/10:So my wife just reported that Verizon called back and DID claim it was an equipment problem and will be sending techs back on saturday to fix it (shaking head). Big company communication fun, I have no idea, I’ll update again Saturday.


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this is fios, this is big

This is FIOS. This is BIG.


The good news is the latest bundles as of 1/17/2010 while not great for everyone, are a good upgrade for me. Something changed last month and my bill was $10 up so it all coincides well for a change of plan. I’ll end up saving a few bucks a month while getting 35/35mbit service (up from 20/20) and a few extra FIOS TV channels. The bad news (and its not new news) is the Wi-fi hotspot joke they claim you get.

Verizon Wi-Fi is not available for PDAs, phones, desktop PCs or Macs.
In fact 64-bit Windows need not apply as well. It is ONLY available for 32-bit vista/xp. This is just ridiculous, wifi access is built on all open standards. It’s purely a marketing/business decision to alienate all of the PDAs, phones, Macs, etc…

It amazes me how Verizon can wave the Network Neutrality Flag and yet at the same time not offer any access to all to various devices. So, its network neutrality, as long as you’re the type of device we think deserves it.

The ugly? Well, the $1.99 mysterious fee is still an unknown factor and ETF’s have doubled on both FIOS and Wireless up to $350 and $360 respectively. FIOS prorates at $15/month and wireless is oddly $10/month which will leave a hefty chunk even at the end.

They continue to be my most hated/loved company. FIOS and FIOS TV are unparalleled, the wireless on the other hand? Well, lets just say I won’t be a quad-play subscriber any time soon.


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iptraf
So I’m a pretty technical gal and sometimes I know what I want to do, but I have no idea how to do it with the latest version of whatever operating system I’m using. Typically these days thats usually a Linux flavor of some sort. I use it for my web-server, my file server and a few other things, but typically I set it up leave it and don’t touch it for a year or so. So instead of having to troll through man pages every time I want to do something, I started to keep a list of not-frequently used commands that I always seem to forget. So this is sort of an anti-FAQ for Linux. I mean if they were frequent, i wouldn’t forget!

Scan for viruses manually with clamscan – Most of this is excluding the test directories and system devices.

clamscan -ir –exclude=/sys/ –exclude=/usr/share/doc/clamav-0.95.1/test/ /

Firewall aka. IPTables
Block IP address – * for a range

iptables -I INPUT -s 192.168.0.* -j DROP

List IP’s instead of RDNS

iptables –list -n

Delete the 3rd rule

iptables -D INPUT 3

Remove file with crazy name – Ever mange to munge a filename so bad rm won’t remove it?

ls -il
find . -inum 124043383 -exec rm -i {} \;

Hard disk tweaking – not sure how much this helps but it helped me.

cd /sys/block/sda/queue/iosched/
echo 1000 > write_expire
echo 0 > slice_idle
hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

SMART Hard Disk Check– run smart report if you have a Highpoint controller that supports it. Remember to run a periodic short/long test. I’ve found the basic report is often inadequate.

smartctl -a -d hpt,1/1 /dev/sda

Yum locate dependency- some package failing because it needs some dependency? This was a real lifesaver.

yum whatprovides yourlibraryhere

Did something before but forgot? grep the .bash_history file, it seems to keep everything from the beginning of time.

iptraf traffic statistics– need to know traffic flow on your machine right now? Yeah you could do some sort of netstat command but I can never figure it out on the local platform (its “netstat -I en0 -w 1” on OS X).
This app will give you all sorts of useful live statstics on your ethernet connections.

Next time – SELinux – all you need to know to setup your apache/php/centos webserver.

P.S. Any useful commands you use that you think might be helpful? Leave a comment :)


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So I’ve been busy updating my programming skills by learning and creating an app for the iPhone. So I’ve not had a lot of time to actually post anything for awhile. But, I have started using del.icio.us as a way to post some interesting links that I don’t have the time to write about or post here…I was thinking of using the ‘press this’ thing here, but, that’s just going to create a bunch of posts and I’d prefer to keep some sort of quality standards.

So for fun random links I find interesting…

http://delicious.com/jriskin


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TinEye

6/3/2009

Tineye.com

Tineye.com

I almost didn’t want to share this site with others because it’s so great! I’ve been using it since the early beta and it went public sometime earlier this year. Tineye is a ‘reverse’ image search. So you feed it an image and then it finds that image on other sites. But, its even better, it will still work if the image is cropped, sized etc… I’ll let them describe it…

TinEye is a reverse image search engine. You can submit an image to TinEye to find out where it came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions. TinEye is the first image search engine on the web to use image identification technology rather than keywords, metadata or watermarks.

They have indexed over 1billion images and I’m sure that number is going to grow rapidly.

Example: Here is an image of britney and all the other possible sources.

Uses:

Identification: Can’t figure out who someone is? Often with a few links to other areas, their name will be mentioned, or in the file name, or in the other images.
Validation: Is someone seem too good to be true on that dating site? Suspec that myspace profile is fake?
Copyright: Is someone using your image?
Quality: Need a larger source image for your wallpaper, print project, or artwork? Maybe you just want to see a larger/cleaner image from some blog post that has been reblogged so many times all you can see is the thumbnail.

Go check it out, it’s one of my favorite new sites of 2009.


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MP3 Player? With hacked macro lens.

MP3 Player? With hacked macro lens.

Over the years I’ve considered developing quite a few fun and interesting cell phone applications. Unfortunately, after developing some software to test and trying a dozen different cell phones some inherent physical limitations proved too large to overcome.

Most cell phones while having adequate resolution, are fixed focus lenses that can only focus about 2 feet away and farther. Much closer than that and the images become a fuzzy mess!

This totally destroys any hopes of some of the cool applications that can be made by barcode scanning products (e.g. price checks, order online) and scanning text (e.g business cards, subscription cards).

Imagine you walk in to a store in the mall and see something you like, but you’re not sure about the price. You scan it, and you phone opens google maps with all the nearby locations that have that product and the prices they charge. Things like this would be possible with the addition of a tiny bit of extra optical help…

Someday…


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Card Printing

4/23/2009

4up_full1

4up_med

Zoomed in you can see the half tone patterns.

Zoomed in you can see the half tone patterns.

So full reinstall on the server, there were some broken things and wordpress got hacked (yet again) but I think we have it secure for the moment. Meanwhile I made some new business cards and wanted to share.

My friend Jonah had mentioned to me he used Gotprint.comto make some business cards and the quality was pretty decent. Having seen ‘digital’ printing in the past (I have a DTP background) I was a little skeptical, but realized it has been 6-7 years since I’ve tried anything and it has to be better right?

The answer is YES!

The Gotprint.com cards I had made for a paltry $20 are pretty decent! If I were to review them overall they would get the following grades:

A • Convenience
A • Price
A • Cardstock quality
B • Printing quality
B • Diecut quality
B • Speed (unless you pay extra)

Here are some samples from past cards I’ve made. Including some expensive high quality offset cards from around 2000, some medium quality offset (same year), an inkjet print from home and the Gotprint.com cards.

The high quality offset wins hands down, but they are expensive and take a lot more effort to find the right printer. The regular offset are still a hair better than the digital print in line quality but in absolute resolution the digitals are slightly better. So halftones will be smoother but the white lines are a little less solid. The inkjet has a great continuous tone look, but it sacrifices resolution as the same bleed that allows the smooth tones blurs out the sharp edges. I included it merely for comparison the paper quality can’t compare to real cards and cutting them also is an issue.


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Deltran Battery Tender Jr. @amazon.com
Deltran Battery Tender Jr. @amazon.com
Plugged in
Plugged in

Ok, so having a very small battery and not driving your car for a 7-10 days at a time is not compatible. The Deka battery I bought last year in Feb. 2008 was running like a champ when I was driving pretty regularly. Now I’m back in the home office, making much shorter trips and driving Kimmy’s car more and it was starting to be a drain on it.

The great news is for $25 and amazon my problem is solved. The Deltran SuperSmart Battery Tender works like a champ. Its very smart…

“Battery Tender Plus is the most advanced charger/maintainer on the market specially designed for today’s sealed lead acid batteries. The Battery Tender Plus uses micro-processor technology in a four-stage charging profile to charge, improve, and float your battery so it is ready when you are. Constant current charging and regulated voltage patterns allow the battery to be recharged fully and safely without the fear of overcharging.”

I opted for the smaller Jr. model which looks like a standard wall-wart power supply. I wired up the included quick connect cable that came with it and zip tied it near the front air intake (the quick connect cord is pretty short so it may be a problem in some installs) now I just plug in when I know I’m not going to be driving for awhile and I’m 100% sure my car will be ready when I am.


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New Mac Mini’s

3/3/2009

So apple announced a couple new MacMini’s today. At first I was really disappointed since MacRumors has them both listed as a maximum speed of 2.0ghz (as of 11:40am PST). But, in reality its a 2.0Ghz and 2.26Ghz model.

Engadget also gets a FAIL as of 1:34pm PST, also erroneously reporting only a 2ghz model.

But there is some good news underneath the surface of this fairly standard refresh.

First the basics, support for up to 4GB of memory (up from an unofficial 3GB and officially 2GB maximum), more USB ports (no-hum), 802.11n, firewire 800 and the most obvious big enhancement the 9400M graphics chipset.

The real interesting part to me is the new 1066Ghz frontside bus and the socket that comes along with that (up from 667mhz). I can’t wait for someone to crack one open. It appears to use the Core 2 Duo P7350 which if I’m not mistaken is a socket P. Which means there might be quite a bit of latitude for upgrades.

Model Number sSpec Number Frequency L2-Cache FSB Mult Voltage TDP Socket Release Price
Core 2 Duo P7350 SLB53 2000 MHz 3 MB 1066 MT/s 7.5x 1.00V-1.250V 25 W Socket P OEM
Core 2 Duo P8700 SLGFE 2533 MHz 3 MB 1066 MT/s 9.5x 1.00V-1.250V 25 W Socket P $241
Core 2 Duo P9600 SLGE6 (E0) 2667 MHz 6 MB 1066 MT/s 10x 1.050V-1.212V 25 W Socket P $348
Core 2 Duo T9800 SLGES (E0) 2933 MHz 6 MB 1066 MT/s 11x 1.050-1.212V 35 W Socket P $530
(table data pilfered from wikipedia)
New Mac mini
New Mac mini

So in this table, the P7350 is what I believe the new Mini to be using. This means if the CPU is easily removable at a minimum the P8700 should be a drop in replacement at 2.533Ghz its part of the same exact line. The P9600 has a slightly narrower voltage range and twice the cache, but again I couldn’t see why this wouldn’t be a GREAT drop in replacement at 2.667Ghz. The top of the line would be the T9800, it has a higher total wattage which means a slightly higher chance of running in to trouble but at 2.933Ghz its worth trying.

Personally, I have a Mini that I upgraded to 2.33Ghz. It’s the same 34Watts as the original 1.83Ghz CPU that came with it originally. The only downside is that it does make quite a bit more noise than the original CPU when both cores are running 60% or more. But, if the original mini can handle a 35Watt CPU, the new one just might…

Can’t wait to see the first 2.93Ghz Mini benchmark!

P.S. There are in fact faster versions of the Socket P line of CPU’s but I omitted the 3.066Ghz C2Extreme (44watts) and the 2.26Ghz C2Quad’s (45watts) as just a little unrealistic with the stock mini cooling, but that isn’t to say it isn’t possible. Only time will tell when someone actually tries such a thing…

Update: Ask and ye shall receive (well partially at least), macminicolo.net has an unboxing and disassembly, no specifics on the cpu/socket but it all looks pretty similar to the current model.


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10.4-10.5.6 Updates Graph
10.4-10.5.6 Updates Graph

You might want to hold off on the unless you’re already experiencing problems like some new MBP users are. My latest not-so-scientific numbers show its a risky bet.

Check out my older post on the topic

The graph is basically the number of positive to negative comments made on MacRumors.com.

10.5.6 Update
10.5.6 Update

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