April 2008

Clearwire – epic fail, worst ISP ever!

Clearwire - let me count the ways I hate you. So I was a Qwest user for many, many years. I loved them. Then around November '07 the speed came crashing down. I went from 7Mbs to like 70kb! Everytime I would call I would get the same line: "Well the modem is synced at 7Mbps so that is what your getting". It didn't matter that their own speedtest tool (speedtest.qwest.net) showed I was getting 1/10th that.

Finally I had to move my home server to
Slicehost and my mail over to google. I needed a new ISP. I would have gone to Comcast but I have Broadstripe (used to be Millennium Cable) in my area which is just slightly better than two cans and string.

I thought Clearwire was the ticket. It was GREAT for the first week and then it went to shit and stayed that way. I was getting 4,000ms ping times! I was seeing 80% packet loss. It took forever to just check my e-mail. After six weeks and escalating my ticket multiple times I was told, in March, it would be fixed in May! That was enough. I called them up to cancel and I have to pay a cancellation fee to get out of my contract (I know, my fault for signing one).


Even though they documented the crappy service they wouldn't let me go for free. The customer person I was talking to was even arguing with me! Trying to convince me they have great service! She wanted me to transfer my service to someone else to avoid the early termination fee. I told her I wouldn't wish Clearwire on my worst enemy. Their official line was since I was getting *some* connectivity they fulfilled their obligation since speeds are not guaranteed.


P.S. Fuck You Clearwire

Yay Speakeasy! I have fast internet again

Funny how I didn't have Speakeasy when I worked there but I have it now. Speakeasy came through for me and now I have fast internet again. I got daily updates and the installation was seamless and on time. I got the Onelink DSL (6Mbs/768kbs) so its on a "naked pair". They also give a static IP address. Now I can play WOW and Xbox Live again.

Lost Odyssey

My favorite RPG games of all time are Final Fantasy X and Shadow Hearts Covenant. Both were 50+ hour games and the stories were great. I preferred the combat in Shadow Hearts though. They had a ring with a clock hand that spun around and you had to hit a button when the hand was on a certain portion of the ring. There were many different ring configurations. In my opinion this added a bit of 'twitch factor' to an otherwise turn based game. I felt the story in Final Fantasy X was a little better and the graphics were of higher quality.

Now that I have a Xbox 360 again I was looking into what sort of RPGs are available. Since I already completed Oblivion prior to giving up my 360 that wasn't in the running. I know that a Japanese RPG is a lot different than Oblivion (which I guess is an American RPG?) but lets pretend they are both in the same category (I think they are). So I was looking at Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata and Lost Odyssey.


Okay Blue Dragon was just too cute for me and it starred kids. I really don't like playing kids (yes I know the star of Final Fantasy X was a kid - well a teenager more like it). It also got very luke warm reviews. With regard to Eternal Sonata - I just wasn't interested in the story what-so-ever. Finally I came to Lost Odyssey - which also had luke warm reviews but it had something...special?


The team behind Shadow Hearts Covenant and the writer of Final Fantasy were the ones who put Lost Odyssey together. For me, a match made in heaven. So I dug into the reviews - what were people saying? Well for the most part they didn't like the random battles and folks felt it didn't break new ground. More of the same - of my favorite games - sign me up! I did like the random battles of Shadow Hearts so that was no big deal. Okay what about the story?


A world where there was an industrial+magic revolution results in steampunk technology. Two countries go to war and have a massive battle that is interrupted by a meteor strike! Everyone is killed except our hero who has lost his memory - this is where the story starts. The introduction movie is really nice and you get introduced to combat right away.


My only complaint about the game is the dynamic texture system is little wonky. Sometime the characters are really blurred and the high resolution textures don't load unless you zoom in using the left trigger.


All in all I recommend the game.

Off the wagon

So it turns out I couldn't live without my XBOX 360 and so I bought another one. This doesn't mean and I have given up on programming but that I am looking for some balance.

Computer programming unplugged

I just found this via reddit.com and I think it is brilliant! Computer Programming Unplugged

Ruby's not ready

I am not a Ruby fan. I really like Python. I have never really been able to accurately explain why I don't like Ruby. Well I just found a lengthy post that breaks down the differences in Ruby and Python via reddit: http://glyphobet.net/blog/essay/228. The author does a great job of breaking down the Ruby-isms I don't like and I learned about some I didn't know about.

Stupid Title, Great Book

I just picked up Secrets of The Rock Star Programmers: Riding the IT Crest. Wow what a horrible title. Good thing the book is really good. Ed Burns interviews well known folks in the field of programming. He asks them a range of questions from "How do you setup a new machine to work on?" to "How do you keep the work/life balance?". Someone once said that to be successful you need to study the habits of successful people, so this is my attempt at that I guess.

Strange Dreams

A couple of nights ago I dreamed that I left my current job, Pelago, and went back to my previous job at Speakeasy. In my dream I regretted it and even met a co-worker out somewhere and we were talking about infrastructure changes and I pointed out I thought he was making a mistake and then he bluntly told me I didn't work there anymore. I love working at Pelago and can't imagine leaving anytime soon - maybe there is another meaning.

Last night I dreamt I was still at AT&T Wireless and was leaving to go to England for some reason. I was working with all my old friends and had to say goodbye to everyone - I remember being quite sad about it.


One dream on it own isn't that meaningful but two dreams of leaving has spooked me a bit. I wonder if the collective unconscious is trying to tell me something.