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Goodbye Xfinity, Hello Frontier

Friday, December 27th, 2019 No comments

It’s getting close to the end of the year, so I figured now would be a good time to get around to some of the writing I’ve been meaning to do over the past few months.

I signed up for Xfinity from Comcast when I first moved to Oregon almost 8 years ago. I remember planning it out to that the installer would be here the day after I arrived. Over the years, I’ve had very few problems with their service and I’ve barely spoken to their customer service. They’ve increased my speed a few times without any extra charge. I’m the kind of person who likes having a long relationship with companies and won’t switch if I don’t have to. Some people complain about Xfinity, but I know that the quality of service you get often depends on where you live.

Over the years, I may have looked into other services, but I never found a compelling reason to switch. Xfinity was fast and reliable and I couldn’t get matching speeds from the top contender, Frontier, in my neighborhood. A few years ago, however, Xfinity implemented monthly bandwidth limits. They gave customers 2 free courtesy months where we wouldn’t be charged if we went over our limit. I periodically checked my bandwidth usage on their site. I rarely came close to the limit, even when Xander was here and we were both using the Internet. There were a few months where it was really close. Then last November, Xander and I went quite a bit over. I blamed it on streaming more and a lot of new video game releases . After that things went back to normal. Then earlier this year, I believe it was August, I went way over by myself. That was my first month of not going into the office every day after finding out I was being laid off. I was streaming CNN every day, streaming on Twitch a lot, and downloading and uploading a lot of videos. Also, a bunch of new games were released. A few weeks earlier a Frontier representative had knocked on my door with a new offer. They had upgraded their service in my neighbor and for quite a bit less than Xfinity, I could get twice the download speed and over 30 times the upload speed. I said ‘no’ at the time because I didn’t know how reliable Frontier is, but I did keep the representative’s business card. After I went over the 2nd time, I decided I should probably say goodbye to Xfinity. I didn’t want to pay overage fees to them and their unlimited plan is an extra $50/month. Frontier had no bandwidth caps.

I talked to friends of mine who are Frontier customers and posted in Nextdoor asking for opinion. It seems that some people had great experiences with Frontier and some didn’t. Once again, it probably all depended on where you lived. I scheduled an appointment, which was scheduled for around the middle of September. Installation was quick. They removed the old Verizon FIOS box that was left here by the previous occupants. Apparently Frontier had bought all the Verizon lines. Frontier’s service has been really good. There were a few times early on that I lost my connection, but that could partially be because I updated my router firmware at the same time that I switched ISPs. The speed is great. I’ve been uploading videos to YouTube and it’s so much faster. I’m glad that I rook the chance. I was afraid that the service would be terrible and I’d end up wanting to switch back. Luckily, that hasn’t happened.

Changing Hosts Again

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 2 comments

I know I just did this less than 2 years ago, but I have changed hosts for this site again.

The host that I moved to was great for the first few months, but after that the service became unreliable.  I moved all of my sites to that hosts as the domains came up for renewal. It wasn’t until I had already moved some of them that the issues arose.  I think the company was bought out by a larger company around this time.  If I recall, it took over a month to move my last site due to some bug and they were swamped with so many tickets they couldn’t get to mine quickly. Once the sites were up, they ran smoothly until last fall when the sites started going down. It’t not just this blog, it’s my podcasts that are unavailable for long periods of time.

As much of a pain as it will be to move 6 sites, I’m going to bite the bullet and try to move them all over the next couple of weeks. This site seems to load so much faster than it did before. Hopefully, it’ll be reliable.  The host has a lot of good reviews online, but so did the other one.

Here’s hoping I won’t have to do this again anytime soon.

10 Years

Monday, October 6th, 2014 No comments

I didn’t realize it until a month after the fact, but this site turned 10 years old in August.  Time flies, doesn’t it?

I remember trying to decide which platform to use before deciding on Movable Type.  Now I’m using WordPress.  I remember switching hosts at some point,  but I don’t remember why.  I’m sure it’s in the archives somewhere.  I’ve gone through at least a couple of different redesigns.

Blogging isn’t as popular as it used to be, but I hope I’m still doing some form of this 10 years from now.  It’s a good way to help remember things that happened to me.  I’m going to try to write more often in the future, but I’m pretty sure I’ve said that before :).

My Comcast Ordeal

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 No comments

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting a call from the same number every few days “on behalf of Comcast” to tell me about special offers that Comcast has. I’m assuming that Comcast hires an outside company to do this, but I just consider this to be a call from Comcast. I get calls like this from Comcast from time to time. I estimate that I get them no more than once or twice a year. I tell them I don’t want to make any changes and they leave me alone for many months. This time, Comcast has been very annoying. For a while, I would answer the phone and they would hang up without saying anything. Now they will at least respond to my hellos.

I normally interrupt them and they try to continue on with their script, so I eventually say that I’m not interested and hang up. Last Friday I let the call go on longer because I was in the middle of a walk. The person said, “So you don’t want to take advantage of these deals?” I said “No” and not to call me anymore. Then I hung up.

Today is Wednesday and I’ve gotten calls the past 2 days. I had decided today to let them get to the end of their script without agreeing to any upgrade. The person on the phone asked me what I do to watch TV. I lied and said that I stream everything. Either the call was interrupted or she hung up. I am in a building where I don’t get good reception, so I think the call was interrupted. This makes me believe that they will call me again within the next few days.

The incident with Ryan Block and Veronica Belmont that’s been in the news reminded me of my own ordeal. I’m seriously thinking about switching to Version FiOS even though it will cost me more money. I just hope that their ordeal will make it easier for me to cancel my service if it comes to that.

I’m a Podcaster Now

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 No comments

I have been listening to podcasts for years, but now I have become a podcaster myself.  I’ve been a guests on podcasts before.  I’ve thought about doing my own for years.  I even had a podcast about The Legend of the Seeker set up in iTunes a few years ago, but never did it because I couldn’t find a cohost.  Now I’ve finally motivated myself enough to do it.  Beginning this month, I’ll be on two introcasts (introductory podcasts).

One is called Intro to  Brisco.  It’s a podcast about The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.  My cohost Caitlin and I are new to the series.  I’ve been meaning to watch this show for a while.  I bought the DVDs about 3 or 4 years ago, but never got around to them.  Now I have a chance.  I’ve heard good things about it. Matt and Mel are veterans of the show.  We just spend 3 hours recording our first episode.  The pilot episode of Brisco was 2 hours and we had lots of feedback.

The other one is called Downbelow: A Babylon 5 IntroCast.  As you can probably tell, it’s a podcast about Babylon 5, which is one of my favorite TV shows ever.  Cohost Ian is also a veteran and Elisabeth and Heidi are newbies.  I’m so excited to introduce people to this show.  We’ve released 2 episodes already.  The pilot movie was 2 hours and it took a long time to cover it.

I’m having fun so far doing these podcasts.  It’s a lot of work.  I hope people understand that I’m new and it will take a little while for everyone to become comfortable.  I’m learning a lot.  I got some new equipment this past week and learning how to properly use it has been a slightly frustrating experience.  I’m also learning audio editing using Audacity.  Give these shows a try if they sound interested.  Constructive criticism is appreciated.

That can be my next tweet!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 No comments

I think it was last week that I kept seeing “http://thatcan.be/my/next/tweet” in people’s tweets.  It didn’t make sense and I figured I had just missed something since I was in a training class and wasn’t following Twitter closely.  It turns out that particular site “generates future tweets based on the DNA of your existing messages”.  I generated 10 tweets for myself.  I guess I say “wow” and “lol” a lot.

  • Got a week. yes, brand new trending topic location is Ealmart getting Portal 2 Launch Mississippi gains.
  • DirecTV customers can see him in my iPhone cam around I like it yes wow lol Bad Des!
  • Anybody getting hungry again and stones may break my least favorite season 1 Watched a good things about.
  • I like the rest of someone lol I’m at the house hunters I had a long time flies They a week.
  • I like the week 😀 Sorry, I don’t remember this video out — Destructive Jackson, MS It’s a case for HBO?
  • I saw it to be waiting a week. yes, brand new camera Wednesday and Castle he was having yes wow lol I?
  • You could see Wilfred now I am watching Hereafter Check this email I was surprised when it yes wow lol I.
  • Marking another one does not much, dude. Hope you’re doing good way tonight lol after I can see him in.
  • Teehee xbox preview at the rest of Tokyo 8), Kanye West 5) & Green Day 3) oh…
  • Oh that new trending topic location is that one lol hi tornado watch viva la revolution burger It’s.

WordPress App

Sunday, September 6th, 2009 No comments

Just testing out the WordPress app for the iPhone. Pretty neat.

The Breakfast Song

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 1 comment

I found out about this on Twitter and had to share.

Things Change

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 No comments

When I was in college I downloaded a lot of stuff from the Internet using file sharing programs. I hope that saying this here isn’t going to get me in any trouble 🙂 . I downloaded music that way if I wanted to get only one song instead of the full album. I downloaded movies and TV shows. I even downloaded games where you had to get 30-something zip files, unzip them all, and then run a program that would combine the pieces into 1 game.

Now that I have a full-time job and I’m making decent money, I don’t do that anymore. I don’t really have the time or patience. I don’t leave my computer running all the time. Even when I tried to leave it running more so that stuff could download, it would take days or even weeks for it to finish. Why wait hours for a TV show when I can pay $2 and download in less than half an hour or instantly if I’m streaming? Also, when I’m at work and a song pops into my head I’m not going to start up a file sharing program and look for it. I go to Amazon MP3 or iTunes and get it there. The only time I might make an exception is when I check all my legit sources (Amazon MP3, iTunes, Hulu, Netflix Watch Instantly, Xbox Live, DirecTV on Demand, etc) and still can’t find it. That’s pretty rare these days and if it’s a TV show I’ll delete as soon as I’m finished. I have reformed.

Spoiler Alert!

Saturday, February 7th, 2009 No comments

With DVRs and the Internet, we can watch TV shows whenever we want to. We’re not forced to sit down in front of the TV at a certain time on a certain night to watch out favorite shows. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

One thing you have to be really careful about is spoilers. Nobody really likes to be spoiled when it comes to shows that you watch, especially popular shows with big mysteries like LOST and Battlestar Galactica. We want to find out for ourselves what happened.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the articles I read online have carefully worded headlines that don’t give anything away. Also, on podcasts that I listen to they are usually carefully about not giving away spoilers or putting them at the end so that people can avoid them if they like. If there are spoilers contained within these articles or podcasts, there is usually a spoiler warning. Fortunately, avoidance of giving spoilers doesn’t last forever. After a certain amount of time people feel that it’s okay to talk about the important developments in an episode and it’s not their fault if someone hasn’t seen it yet. Depending on the source that amount of time could be a few days, a few weeks, a few months, etc. I don’t like getting spoiled, but it’s not that big a deal and I’m over it in a second.

My problem is with spoilers on Twitter. Whenever a big show like Heroes or LOST comes I see at least one person warning everyone not to spoil anything or scolding someone who gave away a big plot point. Yes, I do understand that West Coast viewers see everything 2 hours after we do and some people choose not to watch live anyway. But still. Twitter is all about the conversation, but I can’t talk about this show that I’m so excited about that I’m taking the time to watch it and watch it live and that. I hate being peer pressured into anything.

I’ve seen Twitter described as the tech watercooler. Haven’t TV shows traditionally been watercooler conversation topics? It seems to me like you shouldn’t hang out around the watercooler if you don’t want to have anything spoiled. If you go into the break room/kitchen at work and people are talking about an episode that you haven’t seen, would you tell everyone to shut up because you don’t want to be spoiled? I don’t think so. I think this may be another situation where people behave differently on the Internet than they do in real life.

I don’t remember spoilers being as big of a problem in the VCR days. Those tapes could only hold a few hours so you couldn’t wait too long to watch what you recorded before you needed that space back. And technological changes in general have made it easy now to watch an episode when you want and get spoiled before you watch it.

It’s just frustrating that when I’m most excited about a TV show episode, I can’t talk about it. As much as I want to blurt out plot points sometimes, I don’t out of politeness. Maybe some Twitter client out there will implement a filter where users can enter keywords (LOST, the hatch, Oceanic 6, etc.) and not receive tweets can contain those keywords. Maybe there is one already.