May 23 2009

Internet down most o’day.Didn’…

Category: Internet Connections,TweetsChrisM @ 10:14 am

Internet down most o’day.Didn’t think I was asking2 much2 LAN Xbox & laptop,tether laptop 2mobile’s GPRS&try Xbox Live.
I was,apparently 🙁

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May 21 2009

arrrgh.in_laws pc refusing to …

Category: Internet Connections,TweetsChrisM @ 8:05 am

arrrgh.in_laws pc refusing to boot.internet up&down like a yo-yo.DSL not mounting usb stick.kazakh customs playing silly buggers w/paperwork

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Oct 16 2008

UK Broadband Speeds

Category: Internet ConnectionsChrisM @ 5:38 am

Back when 2Mbit connections were the most a residential customer could aspire to, the broadband speed tests that were available were, in general, reliable. Of course, if the server that the test data was held on was over in America, then you could expect slight variance between reported speeds and your actual potential maximum throughput, and if the test data size was too small, you would need to shop around for larger data test schemes. However, as ADSL+ and then ADSL2 became available, some of the older tests, or less reliable servers meant that such tests could not be relied upon to give accurate results. Of course, you could find three or four different suppliers of tests, run each four times and then average the results, but most people don’t bother. Virgin Media has been complaining that those of their customers who complain about slow speeds were often led to false, or at least slightly inaccurate conclusions. So they are apparently teaming up with on such bandwidth test supplier to try and ensure future tests are more reliable. For now, with my 256Kbit/sec connection, I don’t think I need to worry about changing my bookmarked tests just yet 🙂

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Jul 09 2008

Breached The 10 Gb Limit Already

Category: Internet Connections,PersonalChrisM @ 7:58 pm

A couple of days ago I noticed that our internet connection was seriously slow once more. Convinced our pseudo-ISP (that all data goes via, before hitting Megaline) had goofed again, I checked what I’d been downloading so far this month. Unfortunately, it turns out I had indeed transferred more than my monthly limit within the first week of July from a friend’s FTP server. (Obviously copyright-free material such as linux distros only 😉 ). Now that our speed has doubled to 256kbit (actually it comes in at more like 384kbit normally, but I’m not about to volunteer that info to our ISP), download limits are probably going to be hit in half the time… At least the throttled speed on our ‘unlimited’ account has now also doubled to approx 64kbit, so I’m still better off than on dial up.

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Jun 26 2008

PayPerPost and SocialSpark Sites Down

Category: Internet Connections,PersonalChrisM @ 3:48 am

[EDIT 3]
The site is now up, my thanks to Emily for the heads up. Luckily the opp I took last night and posted on was still available. The requested link had only changed by one word, so I didn’t need to change much in the post at all. Anyway, see below for the original version of this post…

I attempted to enter the details for my last sponsored post through Izea’s PayPerPost scheme, to find that the site was not responding. As I have had problems with my internet recently, so the first thing to do was check if a few other sites were working. Google, a few favourite forums and friends’ sites were all working. So, I opened up NetFront on my phone, waited for the Edge connection to be established, and confirmed that the Izea sites were not accessible via KCell’s servers either.
At this point, I thought I’d try and check Izea’s blog to see if they had posted anything about planned downtime/maintenance issues. D’oh! The blog is based on the same servers, so this didn’t help. I did a quick search, and checked the Google cache of the Izea blog. Sadly, this was five days old, and held no helpful news. Eventually, I checked on Google’s Blog Search, and lo and behold, there are unexpected problems right now, posted on the Izea blog. I could only see a three line intro to the post, as the blog itself is still down, but I at least know it isn’t just me.
I hope they fix the problems soon, it is 4am, and I only have an hour or two to enter the post’s details before I lose my reservation on the opp. That and I need sleep soon 🙂

OK, so head on over to here for Izea’s post on the situation.
See the comments below for a quick hello Izea’s Karen. As tempting as it may be to throw my toys around, obviously I understand this is effecting more than just me and my $15 opp 🙂

PLEASE do head on over to the Izea blog post I’ve linked to, BUT just in case there is another hiccup with Amazon’s server this time, I’ll include a copy of that post below…

We’re not quite sure what’s happened just yet, but our data center seems to have gone down. We can’t get voice calls into them to ask why either.

We have people travelling there right now (with large sticks) to see what’s going on, but for the time being at least PayPerPost and SocialSpark are both down.

We will of course be working hard with the data center to restore normal service ASAP.

Update 1 17:06: Just found out that the connectivity between the data center and their main Internet carrier has gone down. This is still not good news in so far as the sites are still down, but for us at least it means less work when they fix it. The machines are actually all up and running just fine, they just have absolutely no-one using them.

Update 2 21:36: Well, the data center has not been so helpful so far. It seems the problem was not the carrier at all, but someone or something in the center itself. The ‘engineer’s (see the quote marks there) haven’t had a clue what’s wrong, haven’t offered us any decent updates and generally just suck. However, they are, at long last, making progress and apparently we should see some servers come online shortly. In the meantime, we’ve deployed static elements of to an Amazon EC2 server and pointed some of our domains at it. We’ll be posting up a message on those sites soon for those visitors that don’t know about the blog. Hopefully we’ll have gone to a lot of effort to do that though and won’t need because our servers will be visible on the Internet once again.

What a crazy nightmare.

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Jun 23 2008

Full Internet Access Has Returned

Category: Internet Connections,Kazakhstan,PersonalChrisM @ 6:05 pm

Over some of the weekend, for some reason, I was not able to access most websites. I could visit, run searches and check in on Facebook etc. (hi Claire/Wednesday 🙂 ).
However, trying to visit most other sites, even the News section on google resulted in pages not being found. I checked the sites themselves were OK by visiting them via a proxy server, however I wasn’t happy logging into this blog to create posts, as this would leave my user name and password in some log somewhere. Anyway, all things appear back to normal now. If any other Megaline customers in Astana read this, did you have the same problems, or was it restricted to those who connect via the company that looks after the flats on SaryArka?

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Jun 11 2008

Based On An ISP Theme

Category: Internet ConnectionsChrisM @ 2:16 am

The recent comment flurry over at the Broadishband Got Narrower post reminded me I had a few bookmarks ready to post news about ISPs back in Britain. Read on if you have a moment…

I thought I had already written a couple of posts about the Phorm scheme in Britain, but I can’t find any reference searching through the last few months. Anyway, the idea is relatively simple, internet users have their site history (anonymously) analysed to ensure that adverts displayed are relevant to their interests. Whilst BT, and other ISPs, have stated that certain topics will be excluded (medicine, adult and political-orientated sites I believe), many people and organisations are very concerned at the possible privacy issues. Anyway, BT are a little uncomfortable, as an internal report revealed that trials were carried out without the consent of the ISP’s customers. Check out here for more info.

Sticking with the ISP theme, here we have one article on the proposed voluntary code for ISPs when advertising their speeds and data limits. In Britain, many ISPs used to advertise ‘unlimited’ 8Mbit connections, with users eagerly signing up. When these same users found connections sometimes around the 3-4Mbit range, and their downloads either blocked due to AUP (Acceptable Use Policies) or their PeerToPeer applications’ bandwidth throttled (or ‘shaped’), people began to complain. To be fair, unless you live IN the local telephone exchange, you will never get an 8Mbit connection when the account is for ‘up to’ 8Mbit, and if every customer was downloading movies (public domain ones only of course) 24/7, either everyone’s speeds would suffer, or the ISP would have to invest in so much hardware that prices would inevitably rocket. All most consumers want (those that have a clue about the reality of the industry at least), is plain English to be used in any communications from the ISP, clearly stating what approximate speed can be expected, and just how much data can be downloaded per month, without incurring restrictions.

Finally, we have a report stating that Britain’s internet infrastructure needs to be intelligently upgraded, for the economic and social benefits to be reaped soon. Although Japan and a few Nordic countries already have widespread <100Mbit trials or even standards in place, Britain has stopped around the 24Mbit mark, and even then if you don't live in the right area, 8Mbit is the theoretical ceiling (possibly LLU (Local Loop Unbundling) related?). Compare that to the speeds found in Kazakhstan, and you could easily ask what people are getting their knickers in a twist about, but the cold hard truth is that if the UK wants to stay at the front of the line, when it comes to enjoying the benefits of next-gen technology, it can't afford to faff about forever arguing over costs and timescales. (Orchestral Movements in the Dark's song Dream of Me (Based on Love's Theme) for some reason was in my head when I was trying to think of a post title, in case anyone cares about the root of it).

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May 23 2008

Tables Turned

Category: In The Media,Internet ConnectionsChrisM @ 10:11 am

Long term readers/’real life’ friends will remember that Irina and I used to live in a cottage out in Bourton on the Water, a real picture postcard village in the Cotswolds. At the time, there was no chance of getting ADSL at all, which led to us having two phone lines. One was for normal voice calls, and the other was permanently (24/7) connected to Freeserve on one of their 0808 numbers. Whilst this was never faster than 51.2 Kbps, it still gave me the possibility to leave the PC downloading all day and night, and traffic shaping never seemed to hit their dial up services. Anyway, according to a BBC report, the ratio of broadband:non-broadband customers in the country has swung so far that city dwellers are now statistically less likely to have a broadband connection than their rural brethren!
The section that particularly caught my attention was:

There has been a major drive to bring broadband to every corner of Scotland, partly to sustain the economies of isolated communities where many residents can now work from home.

I really think this sort of thinking should be bought to the attention of decision makers in this country…

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Apr 19 2008

Megaline Problems?

Category: Internet Connections,KazakhstanChrisM @ 12:12 pm

ChrisK came over this week, and when I had to edit some settings on my PC, I was reminded that I had not yet posted on a potential solution to people having problems with their Megaline ADSL connection here in Kazakhstan.
Basically, I ended up wiping my DNS server settings that day, and when I checked the internet later, I found a lot of web sites were timing out.
If you find yourself in the same situation, try changing your DNS servers to those belonging to OpenDNS. The primary Domain Name Server is , with the secondary being . Once I had reverted my DNS server settings, I found the previously misbehaving sites were all ok again. Hope it helps 🙂

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Mar 26 2008

Broad(ish)band Got Narrower

Category: Internet ConnectionsChrisM @ 3:53 am

My current internet connection is normally rated at 128kbit/sec. They have the cheek to advertise this as unlimited broadband. For starters, an internet connection that is no fast than dual channel ISDN, and isn’t capable of playing many online radios does not seem so broad to me. Secondly, their definition of unlimited somehow equates to 10Gb of down or uploads in one month. Once you pass that gargantuan (LMAO) amount, the internet connection is further throttled down to 32 kbit/sec. That is worse than most old 56k dial up connections! All this makes getting the good jobs quite difficult online, as those with faster connections are able to reserve jobs before this PC’s browser has even opened up the initial page.
All said though, we do at least have ADSL here now, I remember when we first arrived it was strictly dial up only, and the large phone bills that would follow a few late nights online. The WiMax trial that was mentioned some 18 months ago was never completed in this area of town, so the only hope really is that the ISP will get a little more realistic in both terms of speed, and also monthly bandwidth caps.

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