Friday, August 29, 2008

Rogers High Speed Internet service

I picked up my cable modem installation package this afternoon. It only took about 10 minutes to install.  Most of the time was spent under a desk trying to find a free power outlet.  Anyways, it was pretty simple and my speed appears to be about 2x faster than the Sympatico DSL highspeed service. Upload speed is about the same.  It's still not 7MB/s but I'm happy for now.

Page refreshes are noticeably faster, and downloads of binaries are what I would expect for $50 per month. I updated several Mac OS patches I was holding off on due to the crappy DSL speed.

I plan to wait a week before canceling with Bell.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Poor Sympatico DSL service

I've been a long time Bell Sympatico DSL (Highspeed Internet) customer. As of late I'm pretty muchup to my wits end with this bad service.  

First of all, it always cuts out during a rain, and especially lightning storm. This summer in Toronto it's been especially bad because of the wet weather we've been having. Recently, it's been spotty even without wet weather. The Bell "helpless" desk hasn't been any help, other than trying to get to to move my modem around the house, but I wasn't going to play that game.

Secondly, it gets progressive slower. Ultimately I have to reboot the modem because it becomes totally unusable.

Lastly, I don't believe I'm getting the service I am paying my hard earned dollars with. The "Express" service I have is supposed to give me up to 7Mbs (megabits per second) download. On all DSL tests I can only get up to 2Mbs. Bell had told me before that it's because of the neighbourhood I live in but that's not my problem, is it?

Anyways, my monthly DSL service is $50.51 (includes modem rental and taxes). Rogers is offering the same 7Mbs service for $39.95 / month (for 12 months). After 12 months it's the same as Bell but at least I get a 10% discount on my entire Rogers bill. I have cell and cable TV so it's a pretty significant savings.  In addition , they are offering $30 one time online discount. Seems pretty worth it to me.

Don't get me wrong, I don't like Rogers either. Both companies are gougers but I have to choose one.

So long Bell, nice knowing you. Maybe you can pick up some new customers in Bangalore :-)

I'll let you know how the new service compares.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aquarium Update

It's day 3 for the new fish and everything is looking good. The two Zebra Danios are hungry and swimming fast, so it looks like the water conditions are less toxic compared to last week.

We also bought a bottle of "bacteria", see photo.  It's not as gross as it sounds, but essentially its a bottle of good bacteria to jump start the biological filtration process.   The green color you see in the photo means the tank water is 2ppm of ammonia. Ideally ammonia should be zero. 

Today I did a test and its looking more yellow thank green, so that's a good sign.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Aidan's Fish Aquarium

Uncle Warner bought Aidan a 5 gallon aquarium for his 3rd birthday. He was also kind enough to include $30 as a fish fund. $30 was more than enough for the fish but didn't cover all the other things required for a nice aquarium, e.g. gravel, fake plants, heater and of course a sunken pirate ship.

So we set it up and added 7 small fish. The were doing quite well until the next day, then they all died. Having owned and tended to a much larger aquarium as a child I knew that the water needed to be conditioned before fish could live confortably. However I didn't expect all the fish to die so soon.

Warren tells me that sacrificial fish are needed to cycle the aquarium to establish the proper water conditions and "good" bacteria. I've confirmed that on many internet sites as well. The science behind it is very fascinating: ammonia, nitrites, nitrates and PH. I also bought a tester kit to test and monitor those levels. I guess we just have to be patient and make several more trips to the pet store before we have a thriving aquarium to be proud of.