Archive for July, 2009

As It Turns Out, HughesNet Is Horrible, Rest Stop Edition

I pity him, to think how, with no man to care for him, and seeing no companion’s face, suffering, lonely evermore, he is vexed by fierce disease satellite internet service, and bewildered by each want his ire as it arises. – Chorus, Philoctetes The Man With HughesNet, a Greek tragedy

Okay, so maybe not everyone using HughesNet is suffering, always lonely, is stuck on a deserted island and has a bunch of people in the background chanting about his doom. Still, the plight of someone on HughesNet these days can’t be overstated by much. Hence the excerpt from a play that I acted in my sophomore year in high school. Four years later, I had to Google it to make sure I got it word for word, but I was close enough to find the passage.

What does this have to do with my short, albeit rather painful, experience with HughesNet? Not much, other than the painful part. In fact, the rest stop west of Eden, TX, while remote, is quite different than a deserted island. For one thing, the structure on which the internet satellite dish was purched was well-maintained. Second, US-87 runs by said rest stop. Third, the Texas Department of Transportation instituted the free wireless hotspot as a public safety measure, seeing as how some carriers’ cell phones (ahem, Sprint…ever heard of roaming on Five Star Wireless in the Eden area?) just flat out don’t work around those parts. Of course, you can’t use any sort of voice communication technology over HughesNet, but I suppose that’s beside the point. Still better than a deserted island with vipers and no free public WiFi, right?

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Mission Trip 2009

UPDATE: So far the soul count appeas to be eighteen from that trip. God == awesome.

So I did a lot more than configure wireless networks the week of July 5th. You know, like helping run sound for a Vacation Bible School program that brought twelve fifteen kids to Chirst (about half of the local people who attended). We also reached out to the adults in the community, with a hamburger supper, an ice cream social/worship night and even a bounce castle at the end of the week. The sponsor church for our dead-church-turned-church-plant even brought down a Sno Cone machine and a popcorn machine for the occasion (though you’re right in thinking the bounce castle was the bigger achievement).

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That’s Comcastic (in a good way)

So I’m back in my apartment in Colorado. And, as usual, I’ve got my ear to the ground on tech. Especially since, mysteriously, my quite-reliable router had dropped off the ‘net sometime a few weeks ago…or so it seemed.

What had really happened is the modem has been kicked off the network for a bit, been reassigned a new IP address, and I had forgotten to set up DynDNS again on my router (easy to overlook when you’ve had the same IP for months on end). So in reality the internet at my place was hunky dory…I just didn’t know where “my place” was on the ‘net.

So what was the cause of the modem reboot and subsequent switch from to for my IP address (people with addresses probably didn’t see a change; they’re still around here)? A DOCSIS 2.0 upgrade, as a matter of fact.

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Big Spring, TX (aka I Get A Networking Green Belt)

So I’m here in Big Spring, TX on a mission trip at Gateway Baptist Church. I’m helping with sound and various other things. Lots of community events and a Vacation Bible School program are how my home church is ministering to the populace. So far, life’s good; despite hot sleeping quarters for the guys I think we’ve God through us has had a huge impact here this week. So far twelve kids have come to Christ; there will probably be more salvations before the week’s up. That’s really cool. I’ll link to a slideshow once I’m done here on Twitter (I’m leaving Saturday morning for Colorado).

So if you’re a techie and am wondering what the “Networking Green Belt” part of the post is, bear with me. First let me lay out the internet situation in Big Sprint: Alltel EvDO, Basin 2Way as a WISP, Suddenlink for cable, one or two numbers for dialup. Sprint (my typical cellular carrier) is 1xRTT-only here, as is Verizon for the moment (but they’ll be EvDO soon once they integrate Alltel’s network). Not sure yet abut Basin 2Way’s services and pricing, though I’ll bet it’s only economical for folks who can’t get cable. For cable, Suddenlink is the provider; I’ve detailed their pricing plans and traceroutes here, here and here. Please disregard the extraneous discussion about DOCSIS modulations. Dialup is one of two phone numbers to my knowledge, one for AOL and one for everyone else. This is one of the few areas where has no local numbers, depiste their aggregation of dozens of dialup access number providers. The numbers here are owned by SBC/AT&T, but not WorldNet. Fun stuff.

So back to my networking green belt.

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Today’s Wireless Internet Adventure

Today I went over to one of my relatives’ house that’s too far away from the CO for DSL. My primary reason for going there (seeing said relatives) of course didn’t stop me from checking out how they connected to the interwebs. I knew they had a wireless setup from talking with them six monhs or so ago. Today I figured out just what that meant.

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