I saw a Segway in person for the first time in my life today.  A guy was riding it and he was flying.  He went from the sidewalk down the little ramp to the street and across an intersection without slowing down at all.  It was pretty funny but also looked really fun and cool.

And it looks like Adelphia has relented a little on their upload cap.  As long as I’ve been a customer of their cable internet service, it’s been capped at 256 kilobits/sec (32 kiloBytes/sec), which is pretty pitiful.  But for the past few weeks I’ve noticed (in disbelief) that my tx-meter showed I was transmitting at around 100KB/s.  Today I transferred a 350MB file and sure enough, it took 57 minutes for an average of 102KB/s.

This is good news since I tend to transfer files a lot, and whenever I’m at work I have a VNC window viewing my home desktop, and I’m also often streaming music from my home system to listen at work.  At the old 32KB/s the music skipped a lot and the remote desktop window was really slow.

Update 20050517: either there’s a problem with my connection, or they changed their minds about this.  My connection is now limited to 50KB/s upload -- still better than the old 32, but only by about 50%, whereas the old new speed of 100KB/s was a 200% improvement.  Hrmph.

Posted by Anthony on 4 replies


01. Apr 13, 2005 at 11:17am by Mike:

I don’t think that you can ride a Segway without looking like a complete fool.  Yet I desperately want to try one.  The first one I saw in the wild was some old guy doing laps in a parking lot in front of Walmart.  He must have been practicing or something because he was still out there when I was done with my shopping.  I actually saw a herd of them in France in front of the Louvre.  We pointed and laughed and took pictures like ugly Americans.

02. Apr 13, 2005 at 11:59am by Rolly:

I visited a plastic molding company in Vermont last year that makes one of the components for the Segway.  I got to see one up close, but did not get to ride it, much to my dissappointment.  I also saw a police officer riding patrol on one last year at the Indianapolis airport.  That looked all kinds of futuristic.  I heard that the USPS is considering them for mailman use instead of the traditional walking.  So you might see mailmen cruising around on them soon.  Watch out!

03. Apr 13, 2005 at 12:07pm by Rolly:

Oh yeah, and speaking of speed, I heard a news clip today about the internet2.  Apparently it has limited use among college and university networks and students are downloading (and hence being sued for) movies like The Matrix in 30 seconds instead of the 25 hours it would take on the old fashioned internet(not sure if the 25 hours stated was for dial-up or high speed?)

04. Apr 13, 2005 at 12:30pm by Anthony:

I haven’t read any specs on internet2 but assuming a movie is about 1500 megabytes, then if it takes 30 seconds that’s 50MB/s.  That would be insane.  Most hard drives can’t even write data that fast -- I just did a quick test on my two 120GB (i.e. fairly new) drives, and they read at 17MB/s, and writing is slower than reading.  Of course they could have been referring to lower-quality versions of movies that are about 700MB, in which case the rate would be more like 25MB/s, which is near the limit but still possible with today’s hard drives.

In any case, the day when I can download data faster than my system can write it to disk will be a good day :)

And the 25 hours must have been a reference to dial-up.  25 hours is 90,000 seconds, so assuming they’re talking about the 700MB movie that’s 0.008MB/s or 8 KB/s, aka "56k" (kilobit) modem dial-up speed.  Practically speaking, downloading a 700MB movie takes me about 2-3 hours on my cable internet connection, but it’s only that slow because it’s limited by the sender’s upload speed.  Upload speeds are usually only a fraction of download speeds; in my case I can download at about 4Mbit/s but can only upload at about 0.8Mbit/s.

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