* Posts by Microchip

17 posts • joined 12 Mar 2010

BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies

Microchip

Zen

Been looking at Zen myself since my service went to hell when I got dumped into Sky, although I was going to wait until I moved house, the pain is just getting a little too much. Are they worth the money? I was looking at quite a few providers, but my issue is that sometimes I go through serious bandwidth - a couple of months ago I hit 400GB in a month with various software images, and most of the "pro" ISPs have caps on ADSL2.

(Can't currently get FTTC as I'm on an EO line, although they're working on it. Half the reason I picked my flat was because I was within 100m of the exchange - now it's come back to bite me in the backside! Losing my 2.5mbit upload because Sky don't support it stung quite badly.)

1
0
Microchip

They're mostly full LLU, taking over the line and piping over their own backhaul, so while their kit sits in BT exchanges, about the only interaction with the BT "network" is being powered by it, and connecting to the BT last-mile copper.* Related: it's a pig to escape Sky's broadband+phone provision, as I discovered to my horror after I was automatically transferred from Be and didn't shift quick enough.

* There is sometimes exceptions of course, where Sky haven't deployed LLU, but they seem to have their kit in most exchanges.

1
0

Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

Microchip

Re: Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

I picked up a pair of the N40L Microservers, nothing too powerful, but they set me back about 130 quid a pop at the time after cashback redemptions. Threw 4x3TB WD Red NAS drives at it (£140 each or so at the time, as they'd just come out, but a whole lot cheaper than the enterprise class drives I'd been looking at for the 24/7 usage) and 8GB of ECC RAM (not hugely expensive), throw a copy of FreeNAS on a 4GB USB stick which can be stuck in the internal USB port, and run the lot on raidz1, including torrent clients and the like (see http://www.freenas.org/ for full details of what it can do). Bit of tweaking and I can easily max the gigabit link out. Took the 2GB of RAM and the 250GB drive that it shipped with and put it in the other server giving it 4GB and 2x250GB, slapped a cheap fanless Radeon 5450 in it, and used it as a HTPC and Plex server/client on a basic Win7 setup, pretty much just works. Coupled it with a 3 quid Cyberlink infrared USB remote and a couple of USB extension cables so the remote sensor is somewhere reachable. Not all the buttons work, but the volume, play, pause, arrows and OK do, which suits me to a tee.

One thing to note - while you can run Plex (one of the best media server/clients I've had the pleasure of using, the client forked from XBMC a while ago) on the FreeNAS box, if it's a basic CPU unit like the microservers, it's going to struggle doing the transcoding to UPnP hosts such as consoles or TVs. My setup manages with one box doing the file serving and one box doing the transcoding, but it's borderline at times with 1080p content, but if you run the Plex server on the NAS and a Plex client on a box of some sort, no transcoding is necessary, so you can get away with fairly low CPU requirements on the server and client end. But if you want to transcode you'll want something with a reasonable processor in it. Same goes of course for most of the lower powered NAS boxes, many can run the Plex server, as long as you run a Plex client on the other side that doesn't require the NAS to do anything fancy to the video on the fly. Sending to Plex on an Android device etc usually means it needs to transcode, so it won't work too well on the lower powered CPUs, although you might get away with it for SD video.

Of course, if you can stick a client on the other end, the likes of XBMC are also an option, without messing about with the likes of Plex. I just really like the interface on the big TV, the media management, and smart transcoding to my tablet.

0
0

Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down

Microchip

Worth looking at SIM-free if you're happy with what you've got.

They're doing the one plan for £15 a month on SIM only. Can't beat it for the cash really.

4
0
Microchip

Back here too.

0
0

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Microchip

Re: Shivers...

I was waiting for that. That comic always makes me a little bit sad. Poor Spirit...

2
0

EE turns up speed knob EVEN FASTER on 4G spectrum

Microchip
Thumb Up

Re: Brilliant.

That brilliant moment where you realise afterwards, and the lack of an edit button. ;-)

1
0
Microchip
Meh

Brilliant.

So you can burn through the paltry allowances (or very expensive ones) even faster!

Seriously, aside from mobile broadband usage with a dongle and PC, what's the point? The 3 SIM in my Nexus 4 has happily churned out 22mbit down and 4mbit up recently, and gets a solid 10mbit most of the time even indoors, and has a nice unlimited data package. How fast do you want your mobiles? And does this suitably eat battery life to compensate for the speed too?

8
0

Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

Microchip
Thumb Up

Re: Knowing little about these things

Lifehacker has a post on it. http://lifehacker.com/5889158/turn-a-99-nook-into-a-fully-fledged-android-tablet-in-four-easy-steps

I suspect it'll need a bit more updating (see XDA forum, http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1199 ) from the guide, but the basic premise stands no doubt.

2
0

Security firm in Tor Project 'mass surveillance' row responds

Microchip

This doesn't look like news. We use something similar on our network routing our data through a SaaS cloud which does our URL filtering and virus scanning, and I've installed suitable certificates on the network to make sure all HTTPS as well as HTTP traffic gets scanned, because a virus can just as easily come in through HTTPS. Am I missing something? Unless they're just talking about the fact they're hardware devices with shared certs... suppose a company could issue one cert across multiple devices for their kit, but it still seems to be being blown out of all proportion...

0
12

Steelie Neelie calls for copper price cuts to drive fibre

Microchip

With copper prices so high...

... why don't they lay down fibre replacements, take out the copper, and flog it to offset the costs?

0
0

Cloud startup's business model defies laws of physics

Microchip
Alert

RIAA/MPAA/etc?

So, these duplicate file hashes... will the MPAA/RIAA be able to get hold of said hashes / create them, then request Bitcasa to hand over everyone who has an MP3/video matching that hash? Possible instant mass lawsuit ensues?

Other than that, it sounds a great plan, but I suspect a lot of freetards would get potentially nailed.

0
0

OnLive streams towards Blighty

Microchip
Meh

Hmm...

According the US video, unless they've advanced it somewhat, that you can only view on the ipad/android tablets. It's a shame if it's true, would be pretty impressive to have that sort of cross platform compatibility.

0
0

PM promises change as police interview ex-spokesman

Microchip
Thumb Down

Hmm.

"which prompted News International to reach the bold and ruthless decision not to sack Rebekah Brooks but instead to close the 168-year-old paper."

... Yeah, and replace it with the "Sun on Sunday".

Thought that was pretty much what it was already...

0
0

Sega celebrates two decades of Sonic the Hedgehog

Microchip

Ahhh...

I did have the original Sonic on the Master System too... and Sonic Chaos, later on. Didn't realise the level select worked for that too... would have saved a good few hours replaying the game to get back to where I was after the parental units turned it off on me!

Ahh, back when games were harsh, and they took months to complete, because there were no saves, and there was no nice easy continues... when you were dead, you were dead, and completing a game was a real achievement...

0
0
Microchip
Happy

The level select code...

... wasn't it up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, ABC+start?

Well, that's how I always did it anyway...

Points for anyone who can remember the sound test codes on Sonic 2... I seem to remember the beginning was 19, 65...

1
0

BT rolls out new, 'competitive' consumer deals

Microchip
Alert

Beware of just looking at your synced line speed...

A lot of people are still on standard ADSL MAX, which is only ever going to show a maximum speed of 8mbit down/842(ish) up, whereas your line may support quite a bit more than that.

It's not guaranteed though, of course.

If you want a realistic(ish) idea, the calculator at http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/max_speed_calc.php can help, following the instructions on how to get your line stats.

0
0

Forums