Friday, December 28, 2007

The ISP Who Stole Christmas

Breena and I have sinned. When we moved into the country to look after her grandmother, we had to get satellite internet from DishNetwork. When that fell through, we decided to keep the service through the move, even though we were now closer to civilization and DSL and cable were accessible. I mean we had basic DSL speed, even though the lag time was annoying. Besides, we were trying to be good and complete our contract.

Well, as I said we have sinned and gone over the 17 gigs (actually much closer to 16 gigs because they use the decimal system rather than hexidecimal for calculating it (17,000,000,000 bytes rather than 18,253,611,008 bytes) So now we basically have modem speeds until we get it down somewhere in the 13,000,000,000 range. This means there is no online gaming, no decent internet browsing... we get email but that is about it. The web has become useless for us until some unknown future time when our penance is paid.

Mostly this was used for accessing online podcasts (Taverncast is great!) or Breena was watching a video or two. What I consider average internet uage. Oh yeah and our usually end of the quarter downloading of journal articles for writing papers for school.

Now I am considering dumping the satellite internet for something that is more reliable and eating the early disconnect fees or just letting them whistle for the money. Either way would be cheaper than keeping this horrible service. The only thing that is holding me back is that we do not know if or how long we will be staying in the area as we are both looking at shifting to another grad school. So I don't want to lock myself into a contract.

So basically, internet-wise our Christmas break sucks ass because of DishNetwork and EchoStar's policy of making sinners pay the pennance for offending the internet gods of the sky. We are back below our limit, but now must be 70% of our limit to get our speed turned back up. I expect this to be about the time we have to go back to school as I don't have any real way to measure daily usage for the past 30 days. So much for relaxing with a little gaming over the holidays with Breena. Bah Humbug, but at least I am getting caught up on my reading.

All I can say is if you have any other option for communication besides DishNetwork / WildBlue / Echostar... Carrier pigeon, flashing sunlight off mirrors, yodeling off the mountaintops, take it. I have heard the same about their Satellite TV content too so I should not be surprised... just disappointed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A New Year

I promise I will maintain my blog. I promise I will maintain my blog. I promise I will maintain my blog. I promise I will maintain my blog. I promise I will maintain my blog. I promise I will maintain my blog. (ad infinitum)

There... now for a new year.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

First Posting

Well, I am new to this blogging thing, but as by dearest Breena has convinced me to try it... here I am. I am a current student studying archeology at a major US university. This is my second career as I also have about 20 years in network engineering.

It is not a new year yet, but Breena and I went and saw "Golden Compass" for Yule so I figured I would make it the subject for my first blog. I heard that it had a bad first weekend, and especially the Catholic groups crowing like they had received a new crop of choirboys that their boycott of this "Godless" movie was working. Maybe it was the more fanatical Christian groups in general... but then I would have to use the simile "like they found a new way to bilk money out of their followers" -- That works too.

Honestly, "Golden Compass" was just a movie that both sucked and blew. Whoever did the screenplay and editing (I should look the idiots up on IMDB) should be blackballed from working in the industry again. Besides showing that you should not smack your golden monkey, the "pie in the sky" attitude of the movie was nauseous. Maybe it was because I read the books first and so expected something of quality. Some points that were missed was that it was supposedly impossible to fool the Panzerbjorn, but that Lyra managed to fool Sturllison because he was trying to act like a human and not like a bear. Second, the books were darker ending on the opening of the rift by Asriel using the ripping of the demon from Roger for power and Lyra going through the rift into another world. Not this sickening "we will continue to fight the good fight," dreamy-eyed crap that ended the movie. I remember hearing voices raised in saying "What the hell!!!" as the lights came up.

Now that I am over my personal gripes, honestly, the writing and re-construction of the story was badly done. Many of the main points of the book were missed or glossed over in long winded synopses of points by the characters. The editing felt choppy and if this is the form that the other books will be done in for film, all I have to say is... Please just don't make the movies."

It will be kinder for us viewers.