October 2008


The car is due its MOT soon and it’s booked into a garage on the recommendation of my sister.  She said she had hers done by this guy and it was great, near Cowdenbeath. I phone the guy, get a date for taking it in and he gives me his address and post code and it’s bloody nowhere near Cowdenbeath. Not only that it’s way out in the middle of nowhere. However, arrangements have been made so I don’t need to wander the empty country roads in the vain hope of finding a bus back to civilisation.

I hope it doesn’t cost much for the MOT. I had considered taking it in to the local Council for MOT. They don’t do repairs and so have no interest in getting money from the motorist. So what they say it needed would be what it needed and not what the garage wanted to charge for it. However, I do know it needs certain things done to it and it would be an unnecessary waste to take it to two places.

So it’s the end of the first month and bandwidth usage stands at just under 1.5 Gig. That isn’t a full month but it is most of it. By and large my usage should be in the region of ” gig a month if I continue to us the web at the same rate as now. I dare say that in some months it will go up and some months it will go down.

I haven’t downloaded any upgrades for software yet but no doubt there will be two or three along at once a la buses. Also I haven’t really uploaded anything. When I sign in for this blog WordPress keeps reminding me to update, but it’s a bit of a laborious (for a lazy git like me) process and I let the minor versions tick over and only really upgrade with the major versions.

I made an enquiry recently to Madasafish in respect to my free co dot uk and it being transferred from my old account (dial up) to my new account (broadband) as I was an existing customer who upgraded.

I get a message back asking me to phone them.

Not wanting to spend money on a phone call I write back and ask them what the problem is. Getting things in writing is better than a phone call anyway.

So I get a response telling me that the domain name has been detagged. I haven’t even heard of that before. A few minutes later and the Internet has answered all my questions. Apparently only UK domains can be detagged – which just means it is disassociated from the web site it points to. Various sites and FAQs mention a £15 fee to  ‘re tag.’

No way jose.

I comment on this fee when contacting Madasafish and I’m waiting for them to re attach the domain name to my account. After all, it’s basically only the ISP that can detag a domain name. It’s all a bit of sneaky Rip Off Britaining if you ask me. The fact that it’s only applicable to UK domains shows that other countries were having none of it.

The best Star Trek series in my humble opinion.

Just mentioning it because I was browsing through Amazon and I looked at those dvds. I have a large proportion of the series on VHS, including all of season seven, and picked up a few of the DVD series from WH Smith when they were selling them off cheap(ish).

On going through Amazon I noted that the DVDs available were dwindling.  Not wishing to lose out on them I decided to complete my collection and bought three seasons worth of DVDs from Amazon. And at about half the price I paid for the ‘sale’ items from Smiths.

So I now have the full seven seasons on DVD.

I’ve been watching some of the episodes when I had some time during last week. It still ranks as some of the best Trek tv ever.

So it’s been just over two weeks with broadband and I’ve just went past 1 gig of bandwidth. (Handy little thing the usage page.) Another big whack of mp3s from 7 digital (Camel, Deep Purple) and an upgrade of Zonealarm which was the fastest download I’ve had so far. Fifty megabytes in just over a minute. The 126mb of songs took a lot longer to download. I guess it’s not just your internet connection, the servers you are hooked up to also contribute. ZoneAlarm’s server is more than twice as fast as anything else.

I’ll also look a little closer at the songs I buy on 7digital as a few of the Deep Purple tracks had DRM on them. Not something I’m a fan of and the DRM isn’t flagged on the web site. Plus they weren’t MP3 files but wma files. And 7digital have a big banner on their site saying “100 percent MP3.” And they’re obviously not.

So I’ve had broadband for over a week and today discovered that my bandwidth stands at 600MB. If that were averaged my monthly bandwidth usage would be about 2.5 gig. However I should deduct a few things from that. Firstly I went mad on 7digital and bought a whack of songs. I donwnloaded them all as a single zip file (nice option available when you’re on 7digital; I bet igoons doesn’t offer that) and that accounted for about 150MB.

Then there was the fact that I had automatic updates turned off on the main laptop. Not for bandwidth purposes when I was using dialup – although it was a pain updating – but purely for Not Being Pestered By Microsoft purposes. It has been a while since I fully updated the laptop so I did that during the week too. That was 100 MB.

So there’s 250 or so Megabytes to be taken off any total and that will give me a more truer view of my bandwidth usage. But saying that I suppose it will go up and down over the months.

It’s early days but the broadband seems promising. Very fast speeds, no connection problems. I’m not on the net too often, which was why dial up was never gotten rid of before now (that and a family member had access to the net via another screen name) and I don’t watch TV on the net (or at all) or download constantly: so the package I have from Madasafish should be good. And the fact that I’ve got a broadband package cheaper than the dial up package I was using, so I’m saving money.

The good thing about Madasafish is that there is a feature in the account where you can monitor your usage. And I’m surprised at how much data actually gets passed to and fro. The account shows daily usage and on average it’s about thirty to fifty megabytes a day; most of that download. Uploads seem to be minuscule. I personally think that’s quite a lot for the small amount of time I am browsing online. On the laptop I have turned off the automatic downloading of pictures on Internet Explorer and we’ll see if that makes any difference. It’s just an experiment as even on normal browsing I will be under the 5 Gig limit every month.

I wish I could have kept AOL (I still have the screen names as email addresses) but they f*cked it up three times – and they’re out.

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