Articles in life

  1. Moving to Telstra Cable

    Telstra Cable Modem

    After 8.5 years of ADSL2+ and around 10 years with Exetel, my household has finally decided to move onto the next stage of broadband connection.

    Provider Connection Bandwidth Actual Monthly Data Monthly Cost
    Old: Exetel ADSL2+ 24Mb Down/1Mb Up 6.5MB Down/0.75Mb Up 230GB Down/Free Up $43
    New: Telstra Cable 30Mb Down/1Mb Up 36Mb Down/1.2Mb Up 200GB $80

    Note:

    • My Exetel plan has long been grandfathered, and 230GB/month data consists of 50GB peak (4PM to 4AM) and 180GB off-peak.
    • Monthly cost includes telephone rental, although I rarely use the phone as most my out-bound calls are on VoIP.

    Another advantage of my old Exetel connection is having a static IP -- something that was useful when I was hosting websites on my ADSL connection but I have long moved on from that. So with almost half the price, more data, being a customer for a decade and have recommended it to half a dozen others -- what makes me moving back to Telstra? The last time I was a Telstra customer was when my home Internet was a Telstra Direct 56k dialup connection (1999-2002).

    Bandwidth. Speed. Here is my speedtest.net result

    SpeedTest.net Result

    At 36Mbps down and 1.2Mbps up Telstra Cable is faster than advertised speed. If I ever crave more, I can always spend another $20/month to get onto 100Mbps down and 2Mbps up. I know it is not faster than a full 100Mbps/40Mbps NBN FTTH connection. However with the current political climate, I am not sure when a fibre-to-the-home would ever be a reality. So instead of continue to suffer under my worsen ADSL connection, I finally decided to bite the bullet.

    Yes, the home broadband connection has got worse. From my old post when I first got ADSL2 it sync'ed at exchange at 12Mbps down/0.8Mbps up, and actually downloads at 9.7Mbps down. 8.5 years later due to reasons unknown the sync speed has degraded to around 6.5Mbps down and 0.75Mbps up over the last couple of years. Worse still, the actual download speed can't seem to go above 5Mbps. Exetel also has its own problems during peak hours (part 2 of that discussion on Whirlpool) that caused some overseas video streaming service unusable between 7PM and 12AM.

    As of Telstra Cable -- so far so good, other than

    • Application was submitted to Telstra in early February. Somehow there was a glitch so it didn't get into the queue until I called again in early March.
    • Installation was scheduled to 25 March -- 6 weeks after ordered.
    • Took about an hour and half to actually have the cable installed, as the "Professional Installer" didn't want to crawl under my house to move the outlet to another room, citing workplace safety issue. The old outlet was for Foxtel from the previous owner of the house (more than 10 years ago) and the cable has already been cut. I ended up have to go under the floor myself to pull the cable into the right room.
    • The modem I got (NetGear CG3100D-2BPAUS) is pretty basic -- mediocre wi-fi performance, no SNMP, etc. I'll probably go and get a better wireless router in the future.

    So far so good with the bandwidth. Internet can stall every now and then although I suspect that it could be modem issue -- something I will need to track down later on.

  2. Po Po

    Po Po and Me

    Woke up early this morning, and as usually reached out for my phone to check what emails have I missed over night. Found one sent out by mum at 6:51AM titled "外婆今晨往生". Called home (Gold Coast) straight away and confirmed the sad news -- my grandma (po po) has passed away in Taiwan, and my parents are taking the next available flight back to TW tomorrow morning.

    It has been a tough journey (especially for mum) for the decade, and there's finally a closure to all these. In the midst of sadness it's also an encourage to know that my grandma has always put her trust in Jesus.

    Will be prayful this week.

  3. ANZAC Day

    ANZAC Day 2013 - that's the day Elsie learnt how to ride a bike.

  4. 3.16 Wedding

    Arthur & Celia's wedding at Central Baptist Church Went to this wedding on 3.16 for an old mate of mine, Arthur 吕永生 who picked a very appropriate verse for the wedding -- John 3:16 (although the Chinese preaching was quite a bit lacking, couldn't do justice to the passage). Still …
  5. Online Bashing

    Jason Fried at 37signals talking about how you should/should not bash someone publicly. Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that …
  6. Anna & Dolphin at Sea World

    We have been on holidays on the Gold Coast over the past week -- pretty much our typical twice-a-year Gold Coast holidays where we lived at my parents' place. Except this time Vivian's parents also came along so we have to (1) organised accommodation for them ($500 for 6 nights at …
  7. Kensington Park

    3 laps of the park. Almost killed me. #needmoreexercise Bought a pair of Brooks Ghost II last year in the hope of getting back to jogging (bought on OzBargain, of course). So far has been disappointing -- more of myself who can't seem to be able to schedule the time for …
  8. Gifts from The Orange Pigeon

    Surprise this morning when I checked the mail -- some gifts, ie 2 pens and 2 wrist bands, from The Orange Pigeon. They are a charity organisation based in Melton VIC that grants wishes to those who are terminally ill. They were one of the recipients of OzBargain's Christmas donation. We've …
  9. Free Sauna Today in Sydney

    Yes FREE Sauna in Sydney today -- just need to step outside. Almost 9PM and its still just before 40 degrees. Forecast says that the temperature won't drop until mid night. Still, thankfully I am still staying safely indoor rather than embracing the constant hair-dryer blows. Or under the threat of …
  10. Rubber Ducky at Darling Harbour

    Idolisation Today: Sydney. Start of Sydney Festival today and 60 thousand people gathered at Darling Harbour to checkout Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck, according to this SMH article. We waited an hour under scorching sun for this giant sized bathing toy to arrive. Here's a take from Sydney Tower …
  11. ANZAC Day at Coogee

    Rather than watching the parade reciting "lest we forget", we went to Coogee & had a barbie with FOCUS friends.
  12. Water Front

    Relaxed afternoon. That's the "lake" that I used to kayaking 17-18 years ago, but now it's populated with powered boats.
  13. Holidaying on the Gold Coast

    Took the flight from Sydney to Gold Coast and landed here at around 3:25pm. Holidaying? Not really, but it is nice to be back to the house that I once called home 20 years ago, sleeping in the very same bedroom.
  14. Saturday at Taronga Zoo

    First time taking the family to the zoo this year, and last time we came was on the New Year's Eve. Note that the photo was taken using Galaxy Nexus' Panoramic photo feature -- first time testing it and it worked amazingly well. Oh, did I mentioned that I recently bought …
  15. All was well

    After trying to squeeze in a bit of reading time before bed for the last 2 months, I've finally managed to finish reading all 7 volumes of Harry Potter. My almost-8-year-old Anna started reading them first, now half way through Prisoner of Azkaban, has already grown into a fanatic of …
  16. Startup Entrepreneurs Talks

    That's why I don't go to many networking events. Talking to the new social media expert startup entrepreneurs can be quite stressful sometimes.
  17. Startup & Family

    Funny that after I posted my last blog post a few days ago, Jeff Atwood blogged about moving on today at Coding Horror. He is leaving StockOverflow for family reason. Startup life is hard on families. We just welcomed two new members into our family, and running as fast as …
  18. Moving on

    Handed over two projects this week. One that I have worked on actively for 4 years -- an active blog + an active community that I found myself no longer having time to take care of. The other one was a website that I have started almost 12 years ago -- was enthusiastic …
  19. How to Email Busy People

    Jason Freedman on how to email busy people, as we all know busy people don't have time for all your emails and they do say "crap, Ctrl-A, Delete and let's start again". Subject Lines Matter Use Your Company Email Address Remind Him of Context Limit Your Entire Email to 5 …
  20. Liam Neeson's "Unknown" (2011)

    Went and watched Unknown with Vivian at Westfield Eastgarden today -- something that I would never been able to do with a day job. 10:40am in the morning with bunch of oldies in the cinema, and almost felt like one as well. As of the movie -- acting was good and …