The Big Think

August 11, 2007

Site Slowness

Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 10:00 am

I’m so sorry about the abysmal performance of the blog lately. Its otherwise tardy behavior has been further reduced by the paroxysms of the interwebs. Translation: it’s been FREAKING slow lately.

Fear not dear reader (and I use the singular to show just how damaging the slowness has been lately). I’m in the process of changing servers and should have a right speedy blog a fortnight hence.

June 2, 2006


Filed under: Bandwidth Speed,Technology — jasony @ 11:18 am

As of yesterday we’ve finally left Cox Communications and our clunky, horrible cable modem service, behind. The verdict on the new DSL connection so far has been very positive. After the inevitable installation and configuration issues (mostly my fault), the modem has been up and running without a single glitch for about ten days. That right there beats the pants off of Cox’s service. It clocks in around 1.5-2mbps, but generally feels the same as the old service. And it’s fifteen bucks as compared to Cox’s fifty. Cox is such a ripoff.

I happened to see that our old Motorola Surfboard modem is going for about fifty bucks on ebay. It’s been five years since I’ve sold anything on ebay and don’t have much of a history there, but I’d still like to sell it.

May 22, 2006

New DSL Installed!

Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 3:03 pm

After a series of false starts, we finally got our new DSL installed. According to the tech guy who just paid our house a visit, the errors are probably the result of a breakdown in the chain of connections that have to happen between the time we call to order the service and the time it actually happens. There are lots of people between here and there and somebody temporarily bobbled the balls.

Anyway, it’s up and running now. Our download speed is around 2-2.5mbps, which is theoretically slower than the “up to 4mbps!” that Cox was advertising (we normally got around 3mbps at the high end and as low as 128KBPS (yes, that’s right) when it wasn’t working well. Upload with Cox was around 256kbps. With DSL it’s 419.

I’ll keep you posted on how good the service is.

May 17, 2006

Actually, Nevermind

Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 8:40 pm

Erin just reminded me that she doesn’t have an alternate email address yet. Whoops! Go ahead and keep writing her at her current one for the time being.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Goodbye Cable, Hello DSL

Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 3:48 pm

After fighting the monthly fight over our sucky cable modem service, I’ve finally given up and decided to give DSL a try. (COX cable modems suck— there, I said it, so now Google with cache it and it’ll be searchable). I got off the phone with AT&T/BELLSOUTH/WHOEVERTHEYMERGEDWITHTHISWEEK a few days ago and the guy there was extremely helpful and knowledgeable. As befits a salesperson, I guess. The real proof will come when we first have problems. Anyway, he said to give the service a week to be connected and the modem ten days or so to arrive. Later that day we got a call saying that the order was in progress and we’d have the service turned on in a week. About 30 minutes later we got a call saying everything was ready! Wow, talk about giving yourselves a large window.

So today- a mere two days later- the box with the modem and other stuff comes in the mail. I have to rewire the outlet in my office to “hear” the other line. I switched the wiring about five years ago when we moved in so I could have an office line, then a year or so later cancelled the line and got it transferred to a cell phone. So I still have some basic wiring to do- hope I can remember what I did and undo it. After that, the modem should (!) be an easy install and we should be up and running.

I got Cox to give us a discounted rate for the next month. We’ll keep them both running simultaneously. If there is a problem with the DSL line we’ll cancel the service and keep Cox (oh, please, no). If not, I’ll have the extreme pleasure of calling Cox and telling them to cut us off. Can’t wait for that moment.

Incidentally, here’s how the old and new service compare:

Cox Communications:

price: $49.95/month (no cable tv bundle). Works out to $622/year after tax.
speed: 4mb down, 256mb up
current phone service: $30/month
internet down about 15% of the day each day of the last four
total internet/phone last year: $1003

price: $19.99
speed 1/5mb down, 512 up
new phone service (bundle): $35 after tax
hopefully reliable
total quoted cost per month is no more than $60 (I think it was $59 and change)
total/year going forward: $720

So we save $283 this year and have a much better calling plan (not that we’ll call long distance on the wired phones).

It’s not a lot of savings and it looks like we’re giving up 2.5mbps download speed by switching, but I have never… ever… gotten anywhere near that quoted 4mbps that Cox quoted me. DSL is guaranteed bandwidth and should be about on par with what we’re used to.

I’ll let you know how it goes. By the way, for friends and family, please stop writing us at our old addresses. For me, just use one of my other addresses (firstnamelastinitial at mac dot com will work for me). We’ll let you know about Erin’s soon. One thing we’re going to do for sure is to stop linking our emails to our service provider so that we can cancel service and go with a better option in the future without having to email all of our friends.

November 15, 2005


Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 12:13 pm

Cox must be feeling the pressure to treat its customers well. SBC has been digging up the neighborhood for the past two weeks installing new fiber for their DSL services (only $14.95/month!). It’s been a bit of a pain, but the workers have been good about replanting grass and generally keeping the place looking okay. Well, as good of a job as you can do when you dig giant 6′ deep holes in people’s yards.

Anyway, Cox must have realized that they’re soon going to have mass defections if they don’t do something about their service. We’ve been consistently getting between 100k-500k on our so-called “high speed” cable modem for a couple of months now. Complaining hasn’t done anything to fix the problem.

Lo and behold yesterday they sent work trucks to our neighborhood to upgrade the system. They’re doing something to the cable box in front of everyone’s house, and the service guy who came out this morning to check our connection (again) said that they’re upgrading more of the equipment.

And here’s a bonus. I was told that our old modem was slowing down because it was old technology that had been orphaned by one of the many recent “upgrades”. (you know- the ones where they say “your maximum speed has been upgraded from 2mbps to 1000TERABITS/SECOND!” and then you read the small print that says *”speeds not guaranteed”). The modem would have to be replaced at our cost (about $70) because we purchased the original.

The service tech this morning took a look at our old modem and commented on how old it was, then said he’d go ahead and replace it with a new one no charge. Right now we’re getting 3.7mbps. Finally!

Chalk it up to the pressures of competition, but I sure wish Cox would treat its customers well when they don’t have competition breathing down their necks. Sure, it costs time and money, but you’re eventually going to have to do it anyway. Why not make your customers happy and do it when you don’t technically have to?

October 18, 2005

Bandwidth Speed

Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 10:32 am shows our Cox Cable speed (“up to 4mbps”) at 639kbps.

October 15, 2005

Cox Cable Modem Slow Speeds

Filed under: Bandwidth Speed — jasony @ 11:47 pm

The title is so a google search will turn this post up. We’ve been having some real speed issues on our cable modem the last few weeks, and so far Cox has shown very little desire to deal with the issue. So by way of tracking performance I’ll be occasionally posting how fast (slow, really) our service is.

Performed multiple tests tonight using three different testing services (speakeasy, toast, and bandwidthplace). Speakeasy’s reported speed was 189kbps, Toast showed 619kbps, and Bandwidthplace showed 767.3.

According to Cox we are paying for “up to” 4000kbps (not guaranteed). The techs there say that we should easily see 2000kbps.

Not at all impressed with what Cox is giving us for $50/month, especially when SBC DSL is $15/month.

Is it too much to ask for reliable service for a decent price? How about reliable service for an indecent price? Apparently, if you’re a Cox customer, that’s too much to ask.

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