Crazy Speedy

Something weird just happened: the speed of my high-speed Internet connection just increased by a factor of about 4. I’m watching full-screen QuickTime video that looks much, much better than it usually does. I’m zipping files down over the Internet at 260KB per second. Am I hallucinating? Perhaps I should go to bed. But I’m afraid that things will go back to “normal” when I wake up. Help!


Chris's picture
Chris on June 26, 2003 - 14:20 Permalink

Aliant or Eastlink?

I got to get me some of dat!

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on June 26, 2003 - 17:23 Permalink

I’m with Eastlink, and when I bittorrent (thanks for the info on that, Peter) I can often get download speeds of 300-400KB/s. It’s very nice. Upload speeds tend to be, maybe, a quarter of the speed of downloads.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on June 26, 2003 - 18:05 Permalink

Most connections to my clients run well over 400; several go over 550 (about 20% of all installs are up there — sadly, my own is not and it tops out a little under 450). If you’re hallucinating over 260 you’ll be down right nervous running curves with ISN HS…

There is a growing problem, though, with really bogus performance calculators available on the Internet. Some of these run on remote servers with web interfaces, others run natively on your computer. None of them are reliable because it is impossible for those calcs to include the most vital segments of the Internet, in a non-variable way, which directly relate to the performance you are getting.

Unfortunately, while that is true, most people don’t a) understand it, b) comprehend the relevance of it, or c) believe it; in that order. The part which I find exceptionally difficult in a few circumstances is the part where the client or potential client simply refuses to accept facts as presented by one who has nothing to gain by creating fantasys in order to tell the client what he or she wants to hear (these are expensive customers).

For example, I frequently see one such calculator (usually tossed in my face by a very “knowledgeable” “senior technician”). This particular calc will frequently give results of 800 or 900 K/sec.

It’s bad enough when “that’s over the theoretical maximum” is misunderstood, but when the relevance is explained it beguiles me why some wish to then begin disbelieving it.

Very frustrating. If I thought it was simply a failuthat impossible — and to them innovation is to get you to do the impossible — well you get the picture.

My best example is of a local businessman who hired me to hook three serial devices to his computer. I told him that while there were four serial ports, there were only two IRQs and I needed a third IRQ (none were available) to do the job. His “lever” was that “so-and-so” has done it with two and “if you can’t do the job I’ll get someone else”. And so because I ~believed~ what he said I worked for about two days and when I was defeated (by a thoroughly impossible task — given the restrictions he imposed) I didn’t even have the guts to ask to be paid because I felt the failure was mine.

It was, I believed him.

He’s a good guy and I see him often and I never accept his terms for anyhing now (got my pay after all huh?)

Kevin's picture
Kevin on June 26, 2003 - 18:12 Permalink


GD powerbook… this is about the most difficult comptuer I’ve ever typed on!! As such:

…was simply a failuthatimpossible —” was a randomized cut and paste peformed by my Mac on my behalf without any deliberate attempt, nor informed conscent, on my part… it should read:

If I thought it was simply a failure of logic I’d be very patient, but when it’s deliberate and intended as a lever between the impossible and what they want —- and them innovation is to get you to do the impossible for them — well you get the picture”


Yes, all of that was automatically clipped and chopped by this interface by picking up on random changes in the impeedance of the keyboard surface which then confuses the track-pad in a way not ever seen on ANY other brand of computer! I’m becoming an un-Mac person again :(

Also, this correction took about 7 tries and several mouse clicks (to put the insertion pointer back on the screen). Arrrrgh…

Kevin's picture
Kevin on June 26, 2003 - 18:18 Permalink


…and them innovation…”

Was originally

… and their idea of innovation…”


That wasn’t a “typo” is was a ‘Cosmic Insertion’ as I’ll call it from now on!

Cosmic Insertion, n, phenomenon which occurs on Mac Power Book computers which results in random textual modifications which cannot be explained by any combination of conventional “select”, “insert”, “delete”, “block move”, type functions — whether accidental or deliberate — without going beyond the complexity usually considered inherent in random unstructured digital events.