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kathy

An internet question

I'm moving soon, and when I move, I will have cable TV, phone and internet facilities available.  There is a very tempting offer of National phone calls, 70 TV channels and 30Mb Broadband offered for about 29€  a month for the first year.  Does anyone have experience of cable broadband?  I have 6Mb at present, and that seems adequate for most purposes.  I don't download a lot of stuff.  Sometimes Youtube videso stop, and sometimes I have problems with cycling feeds stopping and starting.  I'm just wondering what benefits 30Mb will give me.  My Pc is quite old , rther overloaded with stuff, and pretty slow at times. I can't afford a new one at present - moving is expensive!  But I hope to get a laptop sometime.

Any advice would be appreciated.

(The TV channels include Spanish ES and Teledeportes, which would make me very happy!)
billgull

Kathy!

We have both our cable TV and Internet Services from the same
company. About 3-4 years ago, they installed fiber optic cables
for the entie county. At the present, I have 18mb Internet
connection which was just recently upgraded free-of-charge from
5mb. I had the same problem that you had with YouTube and
Cycling events. Invariably the race would get down to the last
couple of kms and the feed would either freeze-up or drop out
completely. With the 18mb it is really a lot better. I haven't had a
freeze-up or a drop out since the upgrade.

I much prefer watching the races via the Internet as I can't stand
listening to P&P and Bobke Roll. And, I am not about to pay
Universal Sports for their coverage.

Also, your charge sounds a lot better than ours. We pay $107.00
per month for the Cable TV/Internet package and we do not have
a landline telephone connection. We only have celll phones. And
those charges vary between $125.00 and $150.00 per month. A lot
depends on how much the daughter uses her cell phone at Med
School. Her texting bill is astronimical. Of course, at Med School
they use texting as their major means of communications between
the students and professors and student-to-student.

As an aside -- they have a closed circuit TV system at the Med
School where all the lectures are televised via their local cable TV.
There are stories abounding about students that spent four-years
at Medical School and the only time they attended classes were
when they worked with cadavers. Otherwise they just stayed home
and watched the lectures on the cable TV system.
kathy

Thanks, Bill.  It sounds as though it might be worth my while then.  Until recently Broadband has been expensive here in Spain compared with the rest of Europe.  I'm paying about 60€ a month at present for phone line, all national calls and 6Mb broadband.  The cable offer has this with 30Mb broadband plus the TV channels.  The price is fixed for a year, but there's no fixed term contract, so if I don't like their prices after a year, I can look for other offers Laughing

Your cellphone bills sound horrendous!  I don't use my mobile much for calls, only for texts, which are much cheaper, even to the UK.
Biosphere

Kathy

Have you tried this test?

http://www.speedtest.net/

Give it a go and report back the numbers. I suspect you're getting a lot less than 6MB if Youtube videos are breaking up. My gut reaction is that the cable broadband wouldn't make the internet streaming better as I suspect that's being limited by more and more users logging on to watch a race and that cause congestion at server at the far end rather than your local stream. But then that is contrary to what Bill said.

Cable Broadband should be be just as reliable as ADSL and as an end user you shouldn't really notice the difference apart from speed. I don't think there are any disadvantages. If you think it's a reasonable price after the 12 months then you probably don't have anything to lose. At €29 per month it sounds like very good value if you're getting good quality TV.
kathy

Thanks, Bio.  I do do a speed test from time to time.  Usually it's OK, but I have noticed it being low at certain times of the day.  I only live about 200 metres from the relay station or whatever it's called.    Generally, Youtube videos are OK, but certain ones just recently have stalled - I think people are trying to put better quality stuff on Youtube.  I'm going to go for this cable option, becaus it's a lot cheaper than what I'm getting now, and I can always pack it in if I'm not happy with it!  Also they say they will install it - free - within 3 to 5 days of it being contracted.  I had a 15 minute conversation last week with a woman who rang me up about it, after I'd started to fill in their form on the web, only to find out eventually, that unless I agreed to the installation on the day I was moving(!!), then the offer was out of date.  But this new offer they've got online now is even better, so I'll fill in their form just before I move, and wait for another phone call to arrange installation.
kathy

Just done the speed test

Download speed 8.56Mbps

Upload speed 0.66Mbps
maffy

d/l 1.07Mbps

u/l  0.32Mbps

austerity-gov put back any theoretical improvements from 2012 to 2015.

did i mention 1.07Mbps is faster than usual?

kathy - buy as fast as you can afford. you'll mostly get it in a cable area, even with the user-contention.
TNG

The biggest advantage of moving to a 'much faster' broadband download speed is that the upload speed will also likely increase. More and more I find this to be a constraint....I've been stuck on 4mbps down and 0.38 up for a couple of years, waiting for BT to rollout their Infinity system to my exchange....it's been promised for over a year now, every 3 months they delay it a further 3 months (I think 'infinity' really refers to that point in the future that I'll actually get it!).

The thing is that it promises me 27mbps down, and over 6mbps up, and it's the latter that I find more interesting. Uploading pictures to the web is one obvious area, but equally this iCloud thingy (and likely competitors) will likely need much higher upload speeds that I get at the moment.

So if this deal of yours promises 30mbps down, do they say what the upload speed is likely to be?
KarenP

I just switched to cable internet wideband from DSL.  It's 50mbs down/ 5 up when it's fastest.  The downside is that when all your neighbors in the area are on-line at the same time, it slows down.  For me this hasn't been a big problem, yet.  I guess it depends on how full the node is in your area.  The upside is that that almost always it's fast.  I need the faster upload speeds because I often must upload big files.

To keep cable/internet/phone costs low, I think it makes sense to wire up your home with as many different providers as possible.  Then every year you can switch and get the best rates.
kathy

Just an update - I signed up online for the cable offer yesterday.  One change - the broadband is now 50Mb!

This morning they rang me up and wanted to come and install it tomorrow

Shocked  I explained that I wasn't moving until Wednesday, so they're coming on Thursday instead.  So I should only be offline for a day!
berck

I've actually been happier with cable broadband over DSL. I've never been able to get the 'up to' rates I've paid for. Although, I did used to see what Karen was talking about when the whole neighborhood seemed to have cable broadband. As the neighbors moved, the speeds started going up.

My current connection is rated at 16M down. I generally get 20-25M and 4M up.

50M sounds fantastics. I hope we don't got through kathy withdrawals for a day. Wink
Severo

I had cable internet and TV for the past year or so as it was available where we then lived (we don't now, much to my annoyance in TV and internet terms). The cable was all very fast and I didn't have many problems with race feeds, Skype etc. The past three weeks have been somewhat more problematic, since we moved and no longer have cable TV or fast internet...
kathy

I am connected!
MAILLOT JAUNE

Yeeeehah!!!!! You must be relieved. Hope the move went well.
kathy

Download speed 36.  upload 5.  Not the 50Mb speed though!
berck

kathy wrote:
Download speed 36.  upload 5.  Not the 50Mb speed though!



Well, they generally say that the top speed is the maximum available. I still wouldn't complain about 36Megs though. That's a nice throughput.

Glad you got hooked up and moved fine. Smile
KarenP

berck wrote:
kathy wrote:
Download speed 36.  upload 5.  Not the 50Mb speed though!



Well, they generally say that the top speed is the maximum available. I still wouldn't complain about 36Megs though.


I would. They said 50 Megs, so why not at least ask them why they're not giving you that?

Hope you are enjoying your new digs, Kathy.
berck

KarenP wrote:

I would. They said 50 Megs, so why not at least ask them why they're not giving you that?

Hope you are enjoying your new digs, Kathy.


I think it depends on how they worded the language. I know DSL carriers always state as 'up to' rates. Meaning, you'll never see it. I never did when I was on DSL. They say up to 6Mb, and I'd get anywhere between 3-5Mb depending on the day. I've noticed my Cable Internet uses the same word. Mine is suppose to be up to 16Mb. The cool thing is that I see rate as high as 25Mb.

Now, if they said guarantee rates of 50Mb, then their is an argument. Kathy can try asking, but I'll tell you what she'll get. I lot of, well there are many reasons why you may not be seeing those rates... and then a list of excuses which blame your settings, or other internet servers. Not once do they mention a bad Cable modem, or too many Cable Internet users on their network.
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Download speed 36.  upload 5.  Not the 50Mb speed though!


Those are fantastic numbers. I get 2M download if I'm lucky on the DSL. I get a better rate sometimes off my 3G mobile phone if I set it up in a tethered MyFi config Shocked

Tis ironic cos in the lab at work I've got a million times Kathy's download speed (for both download and upload) and I'm the equivalent of 1000km from the exchange. It will cost a bit more than €29 per month if anyone is tempted though Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
kathy

Must done another speed test.

46.27 download, 4.97 upload (The max upload claimed is 5).  Now, I think I will invest in a laptop to take more advantage, and also to enable me to post whilst I'm watching the cycling Laughing   Any suggestions what I should be looking for?  I'm not really into games, but I do like a decent keyboard, for touch-typing.  My current desktop is five years old, and pretty clogged up now.  I have two external hard drives to save photos and other stuff, but mostly I use if for forums, email, facebook (playing Scrabble), my writing, photos, and sometimes Youtube when my speakers are working, which they aren't at present.  (Although I' have retrieved the CD with the driver from the depths of a box Laughing )  Sorry, that all sounds vague - I really don't know what I want.
Biosphere

The old perenial what laptop should I buy. Slapshot or Berck need to do us a sticky Wink

I've said before that it's very hard to give this type of advice so I'll limit myself to my experiences, but just quickly browsing one review website, this one popped out and it's mid range price which I figure is important with the expense of moving house.

http://www.techradar.com/reviews/...samsung-rv511-s01uk-985230/review

It's a good all rounder from the sounds of it without being top of the range at anything. The keyboard though seems to get singled out as being relatively good which is the one thing you specified. I have something similar from Samsung but about 15-18 months old so a predecessor of sorts - similar but updated spec. The keyboard is comfortable and it's been a reliable machine. I don't have a desktop, but I use it as one 99% of the time with an external keyboard, mouse and a nice 24" screen which the video driver copes with fine.It's a 15.6" screen. I have no gripes about it's performance and handles things like video rendering, CD ripping, photoshopping on 18MP digital photos etc, without any problems IMO.

If typing is really important then maybe a 17" is worth considering (keyboard has to match the screen so is bigger and more comfortable) but that really is getting into desktop replacement territory. Too big to carry out and about (IMO), but fine for carrying to sofa. Helped the mother-in-law buy a HP one about 2.5 years ago now and I really like the keyboard - build quality feels very good. Really good speakers too (more room in bigger chasis) and it's been very reliable for her, though I know quite a lot of people think their quality isn't as good as it should be. Paid for the 17" screen by taking an AMD chipset instead of an Intel one - equivalent performance but cheaper. Anytime I use it, I think it's a very nice machine to use. We picked it up in an electrical goods chain store so got to try before we bought - competitive with on-line prices.
kathy

Thanks, Bio, I'll have a look.  I've been looking at Amazon and trying to decide on the merits of a 17" as opposed to 15.6".  I don't think I'll have any great need to cart it around with me - only, as you say, to the sofa, so I can use it whilst watching TV!  I'm going to look what's available locally as well.
kathy

My local computer shop has this on offer for 399€

Packard Bell TM85 15.6"

Intel Core 13-360M processor at 2.53GHz

4GB DDR3 RAM

500Gb hard disk

Graphics card ATI Radeon HD5470M 512Mb

DVD rewriter

Includes Original Windows 7 Home Premium

I can't find any reviews for this specific model, and I haven't had a look at it yet (too busy), but it sounds like good value for money.  I have an ancient Packard Bell PC (even older than the one I'm using!), and it gave me good service.  Any specific tips what to look out for, and any snags when I go and look at it, please?  I would like to be able to attach an external keyboard for use at home.
berck

If is has WXGA+ (1400x900) resolution, then its fine. If its WXGA (1280x768), then I'd look around more. For me, with a 15" screen, I'd want WSXGA+ (1680x1050).
Biosphere

berck wrote:
If is has WXGA+ (1400x900) resolution, then its fine. If its WXGA (1280x768), then I'd look around more. For me, with a 15" screen, I'd want WSXGA+ (1680x1050).


Do you think that WSXGA+ might be a very small pixel pitch on a 15.6" screen? I'm running 1920 x 1200 on my 24" and it's quite comfortable on the eyes. That would scale to about 1280 x 800 on a 15.6", but maybe the 1680 x 1050 would make me go WOW if I saw it? scratch
berck

It could be. It just depends on your preference. Work gave me a 15" dell that does 1920x1200. I do think that's too small. The standard on the Mac 15" screens is WXGA+, which I think looks just fine. I just prefer a bit more space. Dell's recent systems that are equivalent to this use 1366 x 768, which is similar to 1280x800.
Biosphere

berck wrote:
It could be. It just depends on your preference. Work gave me a 15" dell that does 1920x1200.


I had no idea that laptops came with such dense pixels these days. Thought that type of density (and greater) was reserved for smartphones.

berck wrote:
The standard on the Mac 15" screens is WXGA+, which I think looks just fine. I just prefer a bit more space. Dell's recent systems that are equivalent to this use 1366 x 768, which is similar to 1280x800.


I do like the 15" Mac screens when I've played with them and the extra bit of "space" on the WXGA+ is probably valuable since Kathy mentioned writing. My biggest screen gripe is that there aren't many vertical pixels any more since the world went widescreen, and it only takes a few stickys on a forum to push the latest posts off the bottom of the screen!
kathy

My leaflet doesn't say what the screen resolution is, but I've done a Google search - it's difficult to find the info - but I found a Danish/Norwegian page which say it's 1366 x 768
TNG

1366 x 768 is the 'standard' for nearly all the low to mid-range laptops these days (it's the old 1024 x 768 uplifted from a 4:3 format to the widescreen 16:9 format). Personally I hate that resolution, having been used to reasonably high-end Thinkpads at 1600 x 1200, with the last one at the aforesaid 1920x1200, which is the same as the 24" monitor on my desktop. My wife, OTOH, thinks that 'everything is much too small' and insists that I downgrade the 1600x1200 resolution on her laptop to 1024x768!! Only because she spends far too much time on eBay and likes the pictures to be as large as possible.  Rolling Eyes

Bottom line is we all have different ideas as to what's more comfortable, but generally speaking increasing screen resolution invariably means increasing the price point for the laptop. If budget is a constraint, you'll probably need to accept that you're not likely to be able to improve on 1366x768, which may or may not be a problem.
kathy

Hm, it's the widescreen aspect that's got me a bit worried - simply because I'm not used to it.  I don't think the resolution will be a big deal, considering I've now got 1024 x 768 on the 17" TV/monitor I'm using on my PC.  I do notice 'fuzzy edges' sometimes.  I'm using this TV because my flat screen monitor died a premature death some months ago, and I was so disgusted with its short life I haven't replaced it!  I do have one of the old 'fat' monitors lying about, but this slimline TV takes up much less room on my desk.

Money is tight for this laptop, as I've just paid out over 1000€ in removals!  So I thought I'd get a cheapish one now, see how I get on with it, and perhaps upgrade to something better in a couple of years' time.
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
Hm, it's the widescreen aspect that's got me a bit worried - simply because I'm not used to it.  I don't think the resolution will be a big deal, considering I've now got 1024 x 768 on the 17" TV/monitor I'm using on my PC.  I do notice 'fuzzy edges' sometimes.  I'm using this TV because my flat screen monitor died a premature death some months ago, and I was so disgusted with its short life I haven't replaced it!


I think you'll be fine then based on our current set-up. You're not going to lose anything on the vertical and you'll gain on the horizontal. I use the traditional 4:3 at work and I much prefer the 16:9 at home. Feels more natural to me.

FPing speadsheets will benefit from the extra columns Smile
berck

Biosphere wrote:
kathy wrote:
Hm, it's the widescreen aspect that's got me a bit worried - simply because I'm not used to it.  I don't think the resolution will be a big deal, considering I've now got 1024 x 768 on the 17" TV/monitor I'm using on my PC.  I do notice 'fuzzy edges' sometimes.  I'm using this TV because my flat screen monitor died a premature death some months ago, and I was so disgusted with its short life I haven't replaced it!


I think you'll be fine then based on our current set-up. You're not going to lose anything on the vertical and you'll gain on the horizontal. I use the traditional 4:3 at work and I much prefer the 16:9 at home. Feels more natural to me.

FPing speadsheets will benefit from the extra columns Smile


I agree with Bio. I think you'll be fine kathy.
kathy

Biosphere wrote:


FPing speadsheets will benefit from the extra columns Smile


I never thought of that Laughing   They can be a pain at times!!
Mrs John Murphy

Related but not related.

Know someone who wants to abandon Yahoo (they hate the new mail set up) and wants to move it to gmail.

It's a yahoo.com address and it appears that Yahoo doesn't allow POP access.

Any advice to work around this as they have had the account for 10 or so years and have a lot of material on it.
kathy

No idea what the answer is to your question, MJM, but I have Yahoo mail and I had the same aversion to the new setup, but I seem to have got used to it now.  I don't know why they had to alter something which worked all right.   The only advantage I can see of the new system is that it's easier to attach things to your email.
Biosphere

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
Related but not related.

Know someone who wants to abandon Yahoo (they hate the new mail set up) and wants to move it to gmail.

It's a yahoo.com address and it appears that Yahoo doesn't allow POP access.

Any advice to work around this as they have had the account for 10 or so years and have a lot of material on it.


I had the POP problem recently as I wanted to push my Yahoo email to my Android phone. Turns out Yahoo did support it, but it's disabled by default. Dig around in the account settings and hopefully you'll find the option to enable.

Guy who sits beside me at work has been moved to the new interface by Yahoo but they left me alone for some reason. He says they told him he could revert to old interface when they asked him if he wanted to try it out, but he can't figure out how to do it now as he's not happy either. The new interface is the same as the mobile interface so I guess that's why it's been introduced for a common look and feel across platforms. In other words devised by marketing men that don't actually use the product?
kathy

If you click on Options at the top LHS of the Yahoo Mail page, then mail options, in the left hand column you'll get something called 'POP and forwarding', but I don't know what it does.

MJM - I think that's what your friend wants!  It enables you to POP your mail to another account, as far as I can see.
Biosphere

kathy wrote:
If you click on Options at the top LHS of the Yahoo Mail page, in the left hand column you'll get something called 'POP and forwarding', but I don't know what it does.

MJM - I think that's what your friend wants!  It enables you to POP your mail to another account, as far as I can see.


That's the one. POP is a standard that allows different mail programs to interwork.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_Office_Protocol
Mrs John Murphy

It turns out that Yahoo and POP seems to be based on location. yahoo.com emails don't support POP but .co.uk etc do. Managed to suss it and it is currently fetching 10 years worth of emails Smile
berck

Mrs John Murphy wrote:
It turns out that Yahoo and POP seems to be based on location. yahoo.com emails don't support POP but .co.uk etc do. Managed to suss it and it is currently fetching 10 years worth of emails Smile


It allows me to do it from yahoo.com. It's under Options > Mail Options > POP & Forwarding. Forwarding only works with new email. You'll need to POP to get everything.

I'm not too trilled about the new interface either. Yahoo has a habit of telling you that you can get the old interface back, but making it very difficult to find. Unfortunately, they enforced a no switchback policy now. Here is the statement.

Can I switch back to a previous version of Mail?
Last Updated: July 28, 2011

We have removed the "Return to Original Mail" link from the help menu as we're strongly encouraging all users to migrate to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail. We will continue to invest heavily in the latest version of Yahoo! Mail, further improving it and delivering more compelling features to our users.

We know that changing to a new interface can seem daunting, so we’ve done everything possible to make the transition easy. We have created help pages specifically for users who have recently switched to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail, highlighting differences that you may notice: http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/ymail/migrating/.
Mrs John Murphy

It seems like it is yahoo making it as difficult as possible to make the migration. However, I seem to have got it sussed and it is fetching the emails (2000 collected, 2500 to go).

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