Archive for December, 2007


Well here I am, waiting for a GearLive video of the 1.1.3 version of the iPhone to finish loading over my home internet connection, which is actually markedly slower at the moment than the cellular connection I’ve been using the past week or so on a pretty fun Christmas trip to Florida, and though I might as well spend these last fifty or so minutes of 2007 blogging about it in general, oh and that beat 2008 that has already engulfed our nation’s eastern shore. Yep, I’m in the central time zone and for the moment it’s still ’07.

So I found out today that I passed all my classes last semester. Finally taking the time to find the right place to look, it also looks like my GPA is just a smidgen over 2.5, so I need to do some serious A-grabbing this time around, but that should be easier since my classes are more diluted (3-hour classes, 18.5 hours total, only one true four-hour class) and more focused on the humanities etc. I dunno but something tells me that a case study will be easier than a geologic column and a problem or two on rotational kinematics. Hopefully my upcoming grades prove this out, else my merit scholarship is endangered. And no, I’m not spending too much time on business, or at least I’m not now…there isn’t much to do with a company that makes sales in the single and low double digits per day…it’s that I was spending too many late nights beating bosses on Need for Speed. Then again I actually bought a game for my Wii: Need For Speed ProStreet. Go figure…at least my Wii is in the common area of my dorm suite where I’ll be competing with people watching movies, playing Wii tennis and just plain socializing. Yay, not owning a TV.

But I digress…and will now proceed to watch a little more of the slowly streaming video in the background…

…and I’m finished watching all of it, and also finished performing a speed test that shows my internet conneciton as deceptively sprightly. Funny how speed tests do that…

But anyway I’m back home from a trip to Florida filled with short nature hikes, middle-length (if I say long the die-hards will kill me) kayak excursions and a long day at Peace River (near Arcadia, middle of the state)fossil-hunting, which was for the other members of my family mildly successful. I chose instead to listen to Microtrends in Audible format, and kayak some of the time. Oh, and we had Christmas, which was a non-event in terms of gifts (aside from a post-Christmas sweater and some on-Christmas food that did include a cheesecake) but a fair-sized family gathering. All in all a decent way to use a week of vacation time, or more like a week and a half to be exact. I mean, you gotta visit the relatives, though visiting ’em doesn’t always mean going to their respective houses (this time my family didn’t due the uncle-and-aunt-house-tour to which I’m accustomed, which I suppose was okay). Interestingly enough though, within 24-ish hours we watched two movies down there, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Water Horse. Both in a cheap theater where you actually got what you paid for with popcorn and drinks. Both were good movies that I’d recommend people watching, though NT: BoS seemed a tad too drawn-out in terms of plot line, with unexpected struggle after unexpected struggle, plus a villain the hero had to work with and scenes that, while markedly different, nonetheless made me think back to the original show in a militantly bored way. But in spite of all this, I’d watch the movie again, preferably with a different set of people in a slightly nicer theater. But can someone else pick up the bill for the drink costs that make ballparks blush?

Hmm, I still need to offload two Tuesdays ago’s school Christmas concert footage onto my computer, edit and upload to YouTube\burn to DVD. Wonder whether I’ll tackle that first, or whether I’ll first splice together a slick slideshow of Christmas pix (few movies…my video tapes had the concert on them) on my now thankfully four-footed laptop (thank you Dell for forcing a 2-year warranty on me).

Though, speaking of laptops, looks like I’ll have to write off my poor Toshiba R100…looks like the hard drive is failing or something, and I’m not sure what black boxes and black arts I can use to boot the darn thing up from elsewhere. Darn. Maybe that’s a reminder that the Toshiba R500 is what I need…mmm, thin-and-light performance you can just about taste…with an equally sense-able price premium.

But I’m rambling. Be back later, or maybe not. Anyhow, in case I’m not back, hope everyone had a great year 2007, and best wishes for ’08!

DIA Free WiFi

Well, after I heard about it on the news podcasts and such a day or two ago, I decided to use DEN’s all-new free WiFi network rather than my typical route: pulling out my USB cable and tethering my Sprint HTC Mogul to my computer via EV-DO. Previously, this was the laternative to paying out for an AT&T WiFi session, which I have never done.

Though I must admit to having purchased San Antonio’s WiFi…once…ad used T-Mobile’s hotspot service at DFW.

Anyhow, to the experience at DIA…

First off, when you cconnect (with a strong signal where  am…the Frontier concourse)  you’re presented with a usageagreement, which is standard fare for this type of access. Then you’re told you need to watch 30-second ad before you can access the ‘net. My ad was about Office 2007. I already have that product so it was sort of a drag, but okay…I’ll watch a 30-second ad for internet.

Once I finished the ad, FreeFi (DIA’s underlying Free WiFi provider) took about 10 seconds to authenticate me into the system, at which point I tried to load Google. It took a few seconds (I guess some more authentication was taking place) but the page loaded…with a leaderboard-size portion of my window dedicated to a banner ad and some info about FreeFi and DIA.

Interestingly, I’m using Firefox 3 Beta 1 and right now I’m surfing ad-free on the second tab I opened. And sometimes on other tabs. Maybe they only show ads sometimes. Interesting. Also, FreeFi isn’t losing anything; the ads I was seeing were public service announcements about whatever…you know, the ones form the Ad Council…

Which seems to remind me almost exactly of…NetZero. Remember that old dialup provider? You watched an ad while it was dialing in, then you had an ad banner running ac`ross the top  of the screen. There was software on your computer, so it was independent of your browser window. Whereas this system doesn’t install any software so the ads are just a frame on the top quarter of your web browser. But really it’s almost EXACTLY the NetZero concept. But hey, if it gives them enough money to run WiFi, so be it.

Speaking of money, maybe they should offer a non-ad version for a little extra. And offer download priority to those users. I don’t think ad-supported WiFi for free is perfect, but anyhow…on to the speeds…

I went to and honestly the connection seems to still be your typical T1…except with the FreeFi system sopping up some ping time to do all that ad servng. And of course there are tons of people using it, because lots of people come to airports with WiFi-enabled laptops these days, and if there’s free WiFi people tend to use it. So my download speed was around 490-500 kb/s while uploads were around 500-750 kb/s. Definitely not capped, and definitely a T1, with definitely many people using it. Okay, maybe it was capped at 512/768 but I doubt it. Anyhow, the last piece of the equation, latency, was about 150 ms.  I also looked at’s results comparisons…looks like they might have multiple T1s or such because some people have broken 1.5 Mb/s on the upload. Though on downloads the average is 500 kb/s, ranging between about 375 and 650. Uploads vary wildly between 200 kb/s and 2.2 Mb/s. Latency goes from about 100 to 210 ms, with the average being, again, about 150. In short, don’t expect stellar network performance, but it is generally better than what you’d get with cellular internet and can be used for stuff like YouTube  with reasonable ease.

So I can see why DIA WiFi usage increased tenfold because of ths introduction of free public WiFi (and we’re not talking about that stupid point-to-point network that keeps floating around). Though it does take a little while to get online, you do have banner ads when you’re online, and performance, particularly latency, isn’t that amazing, it is free and decent enough that I may well not chose to break out my cell phone for tethering, even though my download speeds on EV-DO might be a tad faster, latencies would be similar, and ads would be nowhere to be found…at least, not from my ISP. 🙂 Now to get San Antonio and Austin airports to follow suit…

Mentioned in PCWorld Blogs!

Check this out…

Yes, you clicked correctly. I’ve gotten over 100 visits now to Go4Prepaid, at the below page, from this entry.

Very, very cool. And no, I didn’t pay the author, but I sure did thank him a few minutes ago via his contact form for the plug. Needless tosay, I feel rather special right now :). Then again I’m sure that my being on the front page of Google results for various cell phone models helps. Along withhaving the site for about two and a half years now. I feel so proud to see that about 2\3 of my site hits on Go4Prepaid come from Google, with no payment required, so people are generally finding what they’re looking for. Amazing.

Well, time for a shower and then bed. Chemistry homework, as well as a earth science paper and a lot of studying for finals, ca cait till tomorrow.

This was too long to Twitter, too hillarious to leave out, too short to bookmark…

fulfilling his oath, to aid the Grate Danes,
eazing their angwiish, heeling teh horror
they suffert so long, no small distress.
As token of triumf, presented a cheezburger.