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24 February 2006 @ 09:41 am
Looks like we're going to get a better net connection sooner than we'd thought - we'd just started thinking about starting to look at other ISPs as Zen's a bit pricey for half meg ADSL, and Zen have announced they're revamping their products from 1 March & for the price we're paying we can get up to 8 meg ADSL (dependent on exchange & line quality, but according to the BT testing thingy we should get at least 2 meg). With free migration to it as an existing customer. The catch is that it's capped, which Zen weren't doing before - despite my dislike of caps as a knee-jerk reaction I'm OK with this. Partly because the 'standard' cap (so at the price point we're looking at) is 20Gb which is roughly twice our normal downloads and thus not specially relevant - if we go over we can pay £1/Gb after that, if we do that too often we'd upgrade to the fancier service which is £10 more a month with a 50Gb cap. As our only complaint with Zen was that it was a little pricey for what we'd got, this seems like a nice offering :) Thanks to peagles for pointing out the announcement!

Played Quake4 last night - gotta test the patch ;) It's been a long time since I played on public servers & an even longer time since I played without Q4Max's vertex lighting. From what people were saying last night everyone's experiencing a performance hit with the patch - the problem for me is that it means my FPS ranges from single figures to ~25 at peak (ie I'm standing still on my own somewhere). Which isn't that playable - I switched simple items on & that helped a bit. I was also playing in Windows most of the time coz my linux quake install developed some instability issues which we couldn't be bothered to troubleshoot at the time (though I wonder if it's because of the half-arsed non-addition of voice comm stuff to the linux client - looking at J's console in game he was getting error messages at the points where I (in windows) was hearing voices, that might've overloaded my machine to crash point). The 'benefit' of being in Windows was that voice comm was in - I don't have a stereo headset so wasn't speaking myself, but other people were testing it out. Very muffled, but as one's ear got tuned in to the way it sounded it became more understandable - some people were clearer than others though ;) This evening we're going to test what FPS I get with the unpatched & patched versions of Q4 in linux and compare with patched in Windows, and see if it's just a perception problem or if there are differences. It was still fun to play, even with all the performance issues I was having - the server J plays on most seems to have quite a nice crowd on in the evenings - lots of chatter and a sense of humour that definitely meshes with mine.

Another late night though ... which hasn't helped the sleepiness issues any ;) Still, we have a free weekend lined up.
Current Mood: awakeawake
Current Music: Meshuggah "In Death - Is Death"
peagles on February 24th, 2006 09:55 am (UTC)
If your router will give you the stats for your line (attenuation and SNR), then plug them into and you should get a rough idea of what your line will support. It suggests around 6.5Mbit for me.
Margaretpling on February 24th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
I shall have a look - but I think our exchange currently only does up to 2 meg, it's not enabled for the higher speeds yet.
Margaretpling on February 24th, 2006 10:00 am (UTC)
Oh, and that link 404s.
peagles on February 24th, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)
I should be let loose in front of a PC without coffee. Try
Margaretpling on February 24th, 2006 10:05 am (UTC)
Heh. That works :)
Margaretpling on February 24th, 2006 10:03 am (UTC)
Actually, our router sucks and doesn't seem to give us stats, anyway. Ah well.
John: sparklejarel on February 24th, 2006 10:07 am (UTC)
Our router in "suckage" shock!
Margaret: Eek! So scary!pling on February 24th, 2006 10:08 am (UTC)
Yeah, you need to look for a new one :P
John: coffee cupjarel on February 24th, 2006 10:12 am (UTC)
You're right, I do.

Feel free to make a start on looking into it, though ;)
Margaret: dollpling on February 24th, 2006 10:16 am (UTC)
Pah! Once you narrow down the choices I'll poke around on the forums at adslguide to see what people are saying about them :)
kierangiant on February 24th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
get a usb modem. works fine, allows for all manner of networky goodness().
John: coffee cupjarel on February 24th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
But we want something that isn't crap?
kierangiant on February 24th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
for which definition of 'crap' ?
Johnjarel on February 24th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC)
Well, we run a 'proper' network with real IPs etc, for a start, which a USB modem wouldn't be well suited to. We'd like it to be able to act as a switch, and to include a decent firewall. Not slowing down one of our PCs when the connection's loaded up would be a nice bonus too :)
kierangiant on February 24th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
extra pc + openbsd + qfe card. ;)
Johnjarel on February 24th, 2006 07:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but by getting something that is a DSL modem + switch + reasonable firewall in one box, we can replace three continually running devices with one.

Besides, I have no interest whatsoever in running openbsd :P
kierangiant on February 24th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
i guess you have to draw the line somewhere
Natalie Currierubymurray on February 25th, 2006 12:00 am (UTC)
I have plusnet and I find it quite good, I have a 100 Gb cap for 21.99 per month - and you dont get bandwidth throttling on P2P unless you download more than 30 Gb between 4pm and 12am each month. They don't charge you more if you go over the limit - they just tell you off.

The sustainable useage policy is horrendously complicated but I havnt fell foul of it yet, and I download, game, spod and surf - is that what you mainly do?

If you have LLU by EasyNet or Tiscali on your exchange, you'll be able to get 8Mbit with Plusnet too as they have an agreement or something....

My boyfriend works for them too ;)
Margaretpling on February 25th, 2006 10:13 am (UTC)
Re: Plusnet
PlusNet were an ISP we used back in the days of dialup - they had a flat-rate unlimited use offering then. And changed it, without telling their customers or flagging it up on the website or anything, just changed the file with the terms & conditions to give a nebulous 'fair use' policy. And disconnected my internet connection without warning one day - when I rang to find out they said I didn't follow their fair use policy (which incidentally is true and had I been given advance warning I'd've changed ISP). And when I said I didn't know about it, they said they'd only changed it recently. So I complained about not being informed and got told that in future they were going to inform customers about changes but they hadn't this time. Legally speaking it was all in their favour, as I'm pretty sure the contract did say they could do it that way. So I asked for my money back for the un-used time and signed up with Demon immediately.

Obviously that was a long time ago & things have changed since then, but it's not left us with a good impression of either PlusNet or nebulous fair use policies ;)

One thing I like about Zen is that unlimited has meant unlimited - no caps, no 'fair use' thises or thats, no throttling, you get to use your line as much and as fast as the ADSL speed you've paid for. And now there's going to be a cap on their new offerings they've explicitly stated what the cap will be, and there's still no 'fair use' handwavy things and there's still going to be no throttling or suchlike.
Natalie Currierubymurray on February 25th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC)
Re: Plusnet
I think you get what you pay for - I left Pipex, which was a totally unlimited service - but it was £34 per month. I don't torrent enough to go over the download limits. Sorry to hear about that incident with Plusnet. I know they did have this problem with dialup ages ago when they accidentally had everyone on 1:1 contention and then switched it to 20:1 when they realised and no one could get connected. Or at least I think that is what happened, I cant remember what my bloke said now tbh.

I think the problem most ISP's have is people using thier home connection to stream vast amounts of data. This obviously costs the ISP lots of money - so they have to do something about it - whether its throttling or capping. I do think though that Plusnet's policies are very unclear - but I have my boyfriend to explain them. I couldnt really *not* use them - I think he would take it rather personally! ;)