Optimum Online

Verizon FiOS has arrived, and so has the rain!

Posted on 2008.02.01 (Friday). Filed under: Entertainment, Internet, Optimum Online, Service Providers, Speed Tests, Technology, Television, Verizon FiOS | Tags: , , , , , , |


Well, I am very satisfied with my Verizon FiOS installation, which occurred on the 29th of January, 2008. The tech was supposed to arrive between 8 and 12, and he did get here at about 10 o’clock. A nice guy, open to all my suggestions (as mentioned in the previous post here) about where I thought I’d like everything installed. (And that is where it was installed)

They spend about 6-8 hours on a Triple Play service establishment. (Phone, Television, and Internet). Much more than I would like, more than the technicians would like. Anyway, I wanted to put some pics up here showing the install, but it has either been night time, or raining when I’ve wanted to get pictures of the ONT and the wire drop that he hung.

With that, there isn’t supposed to be rain tomorrow, and I will try to get to those pictures. If you have any questions about Verizon vs. Optonline, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below, and ask.

I do, however, have some speed test results, for now, below:

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FiOS in less than 24 hrs.

Posted on 2008.01.28 (Monday). Filed under: Entertainment, Hardware, Internet, Optimum Online, Service Providers, Speed Tests, Technology, Television, Verizon FiOS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Fios___Verizon_logo

So, we received a phone call from Verizon yesterday asking that we make accessible all things which the Verizon FiOS technician needs to access. The ethernet wires, the coaxial into-the-house (although I have an idea of relocating that), the televisions, and the telephone wiring (which I believe I want to switch around), I suppose. I tidied up all my horrible-looking, dangling telephone and coaxial cable lines earlier this morning, as well. I figure if it looks somewhat neat, the next guy would feel a bit more obligated to do something neat as well.

Right now, as it is, I have my cable modem in the basement connected to the first splitter off the incoming coaxial cable. From there, the CAT6 travels to my D-Link router upstairs here on the first floor, and from there it goes back downstairs thru the air-conditioning duct along fifty feet of CAT5 to my main computer, and about two feet to my desk right here.

The telephone. My telephone (one of three lines), which is VOIP comes from the cable modem downstairs, across fifty feet of narrow/thin telephone wire, to this same room, where it exits thru the wall and out to the telephone box on the side of the house, which in turn goes back into the house’s internal telephone wiring. It seems rather redundant for it to go from the basement, outside, to a box, and back to the basement — but as this house was built in 1932, and there are two separate telephone lines running through the walls, Cablevision decided for the sake of it all, to do it this way. I suppose the box outside always worked, so why not do it that way, rather than run new wires to the main telephone connections inside.

The coaxial cable. At the moment, there is a very old and beat-up cable coming from outside to the first splitter in the basement. From there it splits off into the cable modem and a signal amplifier. From there (the signal amplifier) it goes to a 5-way splitter, dispersed to different televisions in the house. There are two unused coaxial cables there. One comes into this particular room, and the other goes to my garage.

What I have thought would work best… I did a lot of thinking about how this will all run. I’ve decided that the best way to do it, would to have their stuff installed right here in this room. It would be advantageous to do so, as it would be in a drier place, more accessible, and running on newer wires. Also, having the wireless Actiontec router that Verizon supplies on my 1st floor, rather than basement, would be a bit more beneficial in granting me more “useable” range; I want to use my laptop wirelessly on the 1st and 2nd floors, I don’t care about it being used in the basement.

The total schematic running through my mind is as follows:

(Mind you, the ONT and Router are not the same things, but as both are being used to provide all the incoming services, I refer to them as one unit)

  • ONT/Router –> Ethernet cables on 1st floor (den) –> 2 Computers
  • ONT/Router –> Telephone jack on 1st floor (den) –> Box on outside of house –> Internal phone wires.
  • ONT/Router –> Unused coaxial cable on 1st floor (den) –> First splitter off old coaxial-in –> televisions.

I am hoping that all the above can be achieved. It seems that this would be the best way to install everything, I wouldn’t need two routers or a wireless hub/repeater, and it’d all be someplace I can keep an eye on it.

Some photographs, before/after my wiring cleanup.. for the hell of it:

ExhaustLoom1 ExhaustLoom2

WindowLoom1 WindowLoom2

Notice anything that I did not mention?

Less than 24 hrs for FiOS. I can’t wait!

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Number crunching & brain numbing computer games

Posted on 2008.01.22 (Tuesday). Filed under: Gaming, News, Optimum Online, PC Games, Service Providers, Strategy, Web Games | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

So, I’m an avid EVE-Online player, and since my Optimum Online internet connection has been less than trustworthy this past week, I’ve had to find other things, less dependent upon a stable connection, to play.jim data center1

My good friend Jim (pictured at his datacenter on the right) has set up a game called Black Nova Traders on his personal website, for private play amongst friends.

It’s not a bad game at all, and it has killed countless hours of boredom. Its built on the idea of the older “Trade Wars“, with an updated spin on things and web-based. From their own website, this is the description:

“BlackNova Traders is a turn-based space strategy game where you start off with minimal resources which you must use wisely to make money, money is power. As the game goes on you upgrade your ship, make alliances and colonize planets to produce more money in your quest for top rank and domination.”

I was off to a slow start there, not being able to figure out how anything works, to becoming dominant and shooting at planets that have decimated me. Oops. – With my billions of credits I have accrued, however, it hasn’t kept me out of the game for long. Which is the good thing about this game; you can get back up as fast as you got knocked down. Right at this moment, I’m all out of turns, so I’ve turned to the blog for occupation of my encephalon.

Figuring out the numbers in Black Nova Traders isn’t all too difficult; you’re messing with percentages and production values, and that’s about it. If you’re interested in installing your own copy, Black Nova Traders is an open-source project, and you can get all the information you require at their forums.

top After days of playing this game, and looking for ways to keep busy while out of turns, I turned to another web-based strategy game called Earth: 2025. I couldn’t particularly get all into it, as the turns only re-tick every half-hour, and I was going it alone. I’ll get back to it at some point, with some more people, if possible. That particular game, though, gets more involved with numbers, and lots more management from spies to industry to residents, military, etc. One step in involvement above BNT, and just a tad bit brain-numbing.

Now, let’s take a step back from these web-based games and look at something that has forever boggled my mind. Hearts of Iron II: Doomsday. Wow. Just typing the title of the game sets off little neurons in my brain shouting “Oh no! Not that!”.

hoi2dd boxshot Hearts of Iron II is a grand-strategy game, by Paradox Interactive. It’s somewhat of a legend in the community of grand-strategy gamers, but I have yet to ever figure out the first damned thing to do within this game. You can play as any country in existence (circa 1936), and do almost anything imaginable with your country. You control everything, down to politics, single battalions of troops, all naval units, air units, the infrastructure, diplomacy, and taxes. I’ve installed the game at least six or seven times on my computer over time, since it has been released in 2006, and still, it beats me. Every time, I install this this thing, telling myself “This game can’t beat you. It’s a computer game for crying out loud, you should be able to figure it out”, and I just don’t get it yet. I’m bound to try it again later this week, after having taken three months at least, off from it. In fact, I challenge anyone reading this blog to try the damn thing, and if you can figure it out and teach me what the hell I’m doing wrong, I’ll kiss your feet (granted that they’re healthy, clean, and free of any unfavorable scents). There are tons of numbers to crunch in this particular game, and it is the specific reason for the title of this posting. ARGH. My brain hurts just typing about it.

Other games I’m looking into trying, currently consist of:

Earth: 2025 (again)

Lost Empire: Immortals

City Life 2008 (not sure about this one)

Star Trek Online (developers laid off on January 18th... Hoping its picked up again)

Dark Orbit

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FiOS is Coming

Posted on 2008.01.17 (Thursday). Filed under: Entertainment, Hardware, Internet, Optimum Online, Service Providers, Technology, Television, Verizon FiOS | Tags: , , , , , , |

Well, the Verizon FiOS representative just left my home no less than ten minutes ago.

FiOS service will be installed in my home on the 29th of January. Phone, TV, and 20/20 internet.

It came to a total of $200 ±$4-6 per month, incl. all taxes and fees; the price is guaranteed for two years, with a couple things, which may have once been perceived as goodies, which are nowadays almost essentials. (HD boxes, DVR, battery backup for phone–which OOL does not provide–, the installer will stick all the boxes on the televisions.. etc.)

Personally, I’d rather do my own home installation, install my own boxes, configure my own computer, and run my own Ethernet lines. So, we’ll see what happens on the 29th when this guy gets here. I already know where I want the ONT box, and I hope this guy upholds the same standard of workmanship that I do.

fiosontheway

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Optimum Online 30/5 BOOST vs. Verizon FiOS 20/20

Posted on 2008.01.17 (Thursday). Filed under: Entertainment, Internet, Optimum Online, Service Providers, Speed Tests, Technology, Television, Verizon FiOS | Tags: , , , , , , |

BOOST

So after two weeks of deliberation with the family and whatnot, a representative from Verizon is coming today to explain his product. I’ve decided that while OOL has an excellent customer service support center, and has only been down perhaps three or four times in the last eight to ten years that I’ve had it (that I’ve noticed), it might just be time to move on.

I do a lot of file sharing and use the internet pretty much around the clock. I’ve patiently been waiting for FiOS for two years now, just like many other people, and it was finally laid on the poles back in October. I called at the time, and the lady there told me it usually takes two months after you’ve seen all the trucks in the neighborhood, before you can connect. Well, I’ll be damned if she wasn’t correct.

OOL offers me 30mbit download speeds, and I’m able to get those, on occasion. I’ve done some testing over the past two nights and I’ve gotten as high as 25 and 4…

But more often than not, I’ve been getting 9 and 4…. I guess they win an award for the most stable upload speeds.

Grrr....

So, it’s great that I can achieve an UP TO speed.. once in a great blue moon, but not often.

From what I hear, FiOS is much much more consistent with its speeds. And the extra 15mbit upload is going to help me with many things. Sometimes I want to share videos with friends, or pictures… and it’s quite aggravating at times that I can’t get these fukin’ things out faster!!

So once this guy gets here and explains his products to my not-so-technologically-savvy grandparents… who for some reason think that a fiber optic cable has to be installed throughout the house for them to be able to watch television after this thing is installed (grr… I give up)… we’ll see if I’m biting myself in the ass or not.

My uncle has FiOS and he has no complaints about their customer service and uptime. On the contrary, I’ve read many complaints from others on the internet that FiOS billing dept. and customer service sucks. Am I being too greedy in my need for more speed? Am I turning into one of these typical “instant-gratification” freaks? We’ll see what happens… My guess is that typical of human nature, the only thing I’m going to see about FiOS service is the negative shit, because we all have been there and done it before — when things are going great, we enjoy the moment and live for it. When things go bad, we complain, and bitch, and moan, and groan all month long about it. What-ev-er!

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